This city in Texas has no shortage of things to do. From eccentric museums to circus-themed bars, this article looks at 10 memorable, fun, and off the beaten path options for your next visit to Austin.
1. Museum Of Weird
This eccentric museum doesn’t showcase classic art or historical figures, but instead all manner of out-of-the-box exhibits such as bigfoot sculptures and shrunken heads. There’s also an attached gift shop that offers some similarly strange souvenirs after you’ve finished exploring the museum.
2. Blazer Tag Adventure Center
This laser tag arena catches your attention before you even step inside with its giant UFO-themed facade. The fun doesn’t stop once you enter, however. You can check out the arcade, explore a ropes course, and of course – engage in a friendly game of laser tag in the sprawling arena. Unless you’re going with a large party or looking for a private laser tag game, you also won’t need to make reservations ahead of time.
3. Mayfield Park
Head over to this gorgeous park to feel like you’ve stepped into a hidden oasis. Mayfield Park is a nature preserve in Austin that is home to some refreshing greenery-lined walking trails, as well as an assortment of peacocks.
4. Toy Joy
In-person toy stores are becoming more and more of a rarity, but this colorful Austin shop has stuck it out If you’re traveling with kids, they’ll absolutely love checking out Toy Joy. This bright, cheery toy store is a child’s dream come true. The shop offers a huge selection of unique toys, and is currently open to the public.
5. Barkin’ Springs
Located near downtown Austin, Barkin’ Springs is the name of a section of the river that is a popular swimming and lounging spot. It sits downstream of the more widely known Barton Springs. Barkin’ Springs is named for its dog-friendly environment, making this an excellent alternative to Barton Springs if you’re traveling with pets.
6. Urban Axes
Looking for a memorable and unique experience? Why not try your hand at ax throwing. While this activity might bring to mind images of medieval knights or strongmen, ax throwing can actually be a fun activity for anyone! Urban Axes is an attraction in Austin dedicated to ax throwing and welcomes walk-ins (as well as pre-booked groups or events), no prior experience is necessary.
7. Carousel Lounge
Enjoy a drink and make some memories at Carousel Lounge. This zany, circus-themed lounge regularly features live entertainment. It is probably best classified as a “set up” bar – they have wine and beer available to purchase but you can also bring your own alcohol and purchase mixers there.
8. Haunted ATX
Are you a fan of ghost stories? Or do you simply like learning more about the history and folklore of a place? Here’s a quirky option in Austin that’s a little more morbid than some of the others on this list – going on a ghost tour. Haunted ATX offers your traditional ghost tour experience – you’ll stop at various supposedly haunted locations and learn all about the ghosts that are said to lurk there. They also offer an additionally spooky twist – the ability to travel in a hearse limo on the tour.
9. Curia Arcanum’s House of Curiosities
Curia Arcanum’s House of Curiosities is a gift shop in Austin that offers offbeat items such as antique books on parlor games or decks of tarot cards. It sits in an unassuming shopping complex, but don’t let the average outside fool you – slip inside to be greeted with all manner of strange and allegedly mystical items. Even if you don’t end up finding anything you want to take home, it’s still pretty fun to look around.
Wonderspaces is an interactive art gallery that features 14 exhibits. This is an absolutely amazing place to go for both the experience itself as well as the chance to take some jaw-dropping pictures. Timed entry tickets are currently required, but you can stay as long as you like after entering. You can purchase tickets online or in person. Purchasing tickets ahead of time is recommended especially if you’re visiting during a busy time such as on the weekend.
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