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10 Fun Things to Do During Downtime in Austin this Winter

Whether you're entertaining family or just looking for some great things to do this winter, we've got some suggestions to appeal to all ages and interests

Butler Pitch & Putt (photo by Holly Cowart)

Looking for ways to keep the kids busy during winter break, entertaining guests from out of town over the holidays, or simply want to explore something new? We’ve put together a little list of fun things to do in Austin during that sleepy time between Christmas and early January.

Check out the Sharks Exhibit at the Bullock Museum

Sharks, a new special exhibition at the Bullock Texas State History Museum shows the incredible diversity of sharks with dozens of life-sized models. Organized by the American Museum of Natural History in New York and on view in Austin through March, Sharks offers a unique look at prehistoric and modern species and their habitats and hunting styles. The models include the prehistoric mega-predator megalodon, the “Tyrannosaurus rex of the seas,” in which you can take a picture inside its life-size jaws. Learn more about visiting the Bullock at

Sharks Exhibit (photo courtesy of The Bullock Museum)

RELATED: The Best Museums in Austin

Visit One of Austin’s Best Parks

There’s no doubt that spending time outdoors is wonderful for your health and boosts your overall spirits. Take full advantage or our mild winter weather, and head out for a picnic, playtime, or nature walk. We’ve rounded up a list of some of the city’s most beautiful and welcoming neighborhood parks for multi-generational enjoyment and memory-making. View our guide to best Austin parks.

Pease Park (photo by Travis Hallmark)

Cheer on the Longhorns

We’re looking forward to cheering on the Longhorns in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day! What’s more fun than getting out to gather with locals can enjoy game day fun at some of the best bars and restaurants in Austin? Check out our list of great places to watch UT Austin football. Hook ‘em!

(photo courtesy of Victory Lap)

Go Ice Skating

While Austin might not have frozen lakes and freezing temps for plentiful ice skating opportunities, there are a handful of fun, seasonal set-ups that are perfect for a spin around the ice with friends, family, and loved ones. An ice skating adventure is also a classic winter activity. Browse our guide to find out where to go ice skating around Austin this season.

Ice Rodeo (photo courtesy of Four Seasons Austin)

Take a Tour of Austin

There is always more to see, do, and learn about in Austin, and we’ve uncovered super fun and informative Austin tours that are bound to teach even seasoned locals something new. Tours offer a perfect outing for visiting guests as well as a fun day or night out with your local crew. Check out our roundup of local tour companies.

(photo courtesy of Austin Detours)

Plan a Spa Day

Brush off that holiday stress, and indulge in an amazing spa day. Escape to one of Austin’s top spas for ultimate relaxation and pampering. From CBD facials to Thai massages, check out our guide to wonderful spa destinations around Austin.

Best Spas in Austin
(photo courtesy of Fairmont Austin)

Gather for a Golf Game

With several varieties of golf games available these days, beyond the classic 18-holes on a traditional course, the game can appeal to to all ages. Choose from mini golf, golf simulators, and putting games of all sorts that offer tons of fun for the whole extended family. If you want to opt for the outdoors, try Austin’s old school favorites, Peter Pan Mini Golf and Butler Pitch & Putt. Or opt for a game indoors where you can drink and dine while you play at such great spots as The Dirdie Birdie, Punchbowl Social, and indoor/outdoor hybrid, TopGolf.

The Dirdie Birdie (photo by Consumable Content)

Explore world renowned artists right here in your hometown. Austin is home to a funky variety of art galleries displaying the works of both globally recognized and locally loved talent. Check out our guide to some of the best art galleries in the city for viewing, collecting and mingling with fellow art lovers.

Austin Studio Tour
(photo courtesy of West Chelsea Contemporary)

Pick up a Good Book

What could be better than getting cozy during some winter downtime and cuddling up with a new book? Austin has an impressive variety of independent book stores to choose from. Browse our guide to best local bookstores to find your next favorite read.

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(photo courtesy of First Light Books)

Try a New-to-You Restaurant

Take a break from all the holiday cooking and get out of the kitchen to enjoy a meal or two at one of Austin’s best restaurants. With a bevvy of buzzy new spots to choose from, you’ll want to consult our list of 10 New Spots to Dine and Drink. If you’re looking for a little glamour to add to your dining experience, browse our Guide to Austin Restaurants with Gorgeous Interiors. Or if you’re taking the whole gang, tiny tots and all, take a peek at our Guide to Family-Friendly Restaurants Around Austin. For even more dining suggestions, visit our Restaurants section of the website.

(photo courtesy of Eberly)

Even More Suggestions & Upcoming Events: