Just because we can’t travel or get out and explore Austin right now, doesn’t mean we can’t still treat ourselves to a little quarantine-staycation! Check out this ever-growing guide to Austin activities and things to do at home to help support our local businesses, musicians, museums and more. Check out online exhibits, catch Made in Austin movies, keep the kids entertained and take your housemates and loved ones on a social distancing date night to remember.
Museums & Arts
Blanton Museum of Art
The Blanton Museum of Art holds the largest public collection in Central Texas with around 19,000 objects. Recognized as the home of Ellsworth Kelly’s "Austin," its major collecting areas are modern and contemporary American and Latin American art, Italian Renaissance and Baroque paintings, and prints and drawings. Now you can experience these works and many more with their online collections.
Bullock Texas State History Museum
Continue learning and exploring with the digital Artifact Gallery from the Bullock Museum. Search the database for all things Texas, or read in-depth Artifact Spotlight stories on historical clothing and dress, artworks and maps, sporting equipment, journals and more. Immerse yourself in the stories of the people who defined Texas with these interactive campfire stories.
Harry Ransom Center
Explore the Ransom Center’s digital collections for a sampling of the museum’s diverse holdings in literature, photography, film, art, and the performing arts. Dive into online collections covering topics such as Gabriel García Márquez, Harry Houdini, the Brontë family collection and more.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Even though visitors can’t experience the spectacular blooms at the Wildflower Center in person, you can keep following along for stunning updates and fun flower-powered trivia on their social media channels. Plus, on March 26, when you purchase or rent the film "Fantastic Fungi," using this link, the Wildflower Center will receive 40% of sales revenue. This is a great way to support the Center while they are closed.
LBJ Presidential Library
Take a virtual walk through the LBJ Library and explore past exhibitions to learn about American history. Learn more about the Vietnam Conflict, American life in the 1960s, unique Texas artifacts from the University of Texas collections and archives and more.
Things to Do with Kids
The local letterpress design studio is offering free nationwide shipping of their sustainable, handmade toys, cards, posters and accessories. If you’ve got a bored kiddo at home, try one of their interactive toys to pique their imagination.
The Thinkery team is regularly posting activity videos and story times to their social media channels. They are also collecting all of this original content, along with links to other resources from around the internet, on their website at thinkeryaustin.org/athome
Take a virtual walk through the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum from the comfort of your home. Find the 360 degree tour on their website. You can also purchase coloring books, art supplies and other gifts from their online gift shop. Plus, registration is now open for the monthly Shaping Space after-school outreach program (now online!). Sign up for a monthly membership and receive a curated digital program to help your children explore the intersections of art, sculpture, and nature in your own backyard.
Date Night Ideas
AFS Cinema Virtual Screenings
While the AFS Cinema’s physical location is temporarily closed, the staff is keeping the flame burning with virtual screenings. Check the website for each week’s selection of screenings for films like Bacurau, from Brazilian writer-director Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles and Fantastic Fungi, plus special Q&A screenings and more.
Alamo at Home Virtual Cinema
Scratch your Alamo Drafthouse itch without leaving ever your couch! By purchasing a ticket to Virtual Cinema screenings through Alamo Drafthouse or any local arthouse or independent cinema, you'll help local theaters and supporting filmmakers around the world. Check out the lineup of films, explore the archive of video essays and interviews on the Birth.Movies.Death channel on YouTube, and top it off with a homemade order of Alamo's famous vegan buffalo cauliflower.
Take a Cooking Class
From the Intero kitchen to yours, you can now experience a one-on-one visit with one of the farm-to-table restaurants’ chefs, all online. Enjoy preparing some delicious Intero favorites or customize a class based on what you’d like to cook! To schedule a class, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Classes are scheduled at a time/date of your choosing based on availability. Assembly Kitchen delivers your favorite dishes from Comedor, prepared and ready to cook, along with instructional cooking videos and direct access to their chefs for questions. Order until 3 p.m. for same-day delivery between 5 and 7 p.m. and order after 3 p.m. for following day delivery.
The Escape Game
The Escape Game has some fun activities for people to play at home. Try the Escape From Iron Gate Board Game on Amazon where it was released as the #1 new game. Or, purchase the now-digital escape room in a box, Unlocked Volume 1 (Digital). Both of these products, along with some free digital games are available on their website at https://theescapegame.com/teg-at-home/
Have a Takeout Dinner Date
Don’t miss out on Taco Tuesday just because you’re stuck at home. Support Austin’s food & beverage industry by ordering a carryout or delivery meal for date night. Plus, many local restaurants are now offering beer, wine and DIY cocktail kits along with food purchases. The Wayback Cafe has partnered with Garrison Brothers Distillery to provide cocktail kits for $35, which include one 375 ML bottle of Garrison Brothers’ Small Batch Texas bourbon, two limited-edition highball glasses, bitters and a bar spoon. Hotel Saint Cecelia is now offering Room Service at Home with a special Breakfast in Bed menu, cheese boards, wine and Salty Dog or Ranch Water cocktail kits.
Check out this growing list of Austin restaurants still open for business.
Visit a Virtual Comedy Club
Continue supporting the local comedians you know and love by tuning in to Twitch for live comedy from The Hideout Theatre and ColdTowne Theater. Enjoy virtual improv shows (and classes!), stand up, live podcast recordings and more. Visit hideouttheatre.com and coldtownetheater.com for the latest schedule. Esther's Follies is bringing their famous sketch comedy, political satire and award-winning magic directly to you with their “Daily Dose of Esther’s Follies” series. Through free and premium content, Esther’s will feature digital videos including original musical and sketch comedy bits, podcast interviews, cast cameos and videos from the archives. Subscribe today!
Stream a Made in Austin Movie
Even though we can’t gather at the nearest Alamo Drafthouse or catch a flick at the Violet Crown, we can still enjoy movies made right here in ATX. Check out the Austin Film Commission’s list of Made in Austin movies and follow us on Facebook for #MadeinAustin Friday Features, where we round up some of the greatest Austin flicks available to stream.
More Fun Activities to Support Austin Businesses
Order Brunch & Coffee To Go
You’ll want to rise and shine early on the weekend for a cup of coffee from your local shop and a yummy takeout brunch. Fill up on breakfast tacos (vegetarian & vegan options included), avocado toast or a classic American breakfast plus a bottle of sparking wine or a growler of your fave local beer from Cenote (pickup and delivery available from the East Cesar Chavez location). Pre-order a brunch box from Holy Roller for Sunday pickup between 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Try The Sinner brunch box for two with apple butter & bacon cinnamon rolls, fried chicken & biscuits with honey butter & maple syrup and the kinda Cobb salad. Beer and wine are also available for purchase. On the way, stop by Caffe Medici for an espresso to go (order ahead online) or drive-thru Radio Coffee & Beer for coffee, eggs, sandwiches & more.
Take a Virtual Workout Class
Stay in shape while staying inside with our list of locally-owned and operated fitness studios and gyms that are offering streaming classes. Whether you’re looking for high intensity training or just want to raise your heart rate before a good savasana, Austin’s fitness community has you covered. See the list here.
Listen to Local Bands
“Go to” a virtual show from your devices by tuning in to streaming performances by local bands and musicians. Or, listen to your favorite Austin artists all day long with the Austin Music Office’s official Spotify channel. Find playlists featuring tunes from past festivals like SXSW and Free Week or playlists that capture the sound of neighborhoods like Red River, Rainey Street and more.