Let’s face it, we’re not little kids anymore. We no longer have to make that frantic dash to blow out our birthday candles before a snotty-nosed toddler does it for us, and turning another year older doesn’t really hold the same excitement as it used to. In fact, it often comes with more stress than it’s worth, especially when having to plan a big birthday bash. Sure, there’s loads of birthday ideas in Austin to celebrate your special day any which way you want, but with so many to choose from, it can actually make organizing the festivities all the more difficult.
Luckily for you, we’ve rounded up our favorite things to do in the city to help you blow out your candles without having to sweat it. Whether you’re excitedly counting down the days to turn a year older or having a full-blown quarter life crisis about your latest trip around the sun, you’ve got a birthday to organize, and we’re here to help. Make a toast to your latest milestone in a retro arcade bar or drown your sorrows in a snazzy cocktail joint with the help of these fabulous birthday ideas in Austin.
1. Indulge in frozen goodness at The Museum of Ice Cream
Paying a visit to Austin’s Museum of Ice Cream is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth and indulge in every ice cream flavor imaginable on your special day (birthday cake was so last year). Inside this dreamy Willy Wonka-esque setting, you can take a trip around 12 multi-sensory installations including a banana forest and rainbow tunnel while guzzling down countless scoops of ice cream. Almond butter with banana, sweet honeycomb with toffee and vanilla with spicy mango are some of the tantalizing flavors on offer here. And if the ice cream isn’t enough to cool you down, then you can take a dip in a pool filled with multicolored sprinkles.
Get your tickets to Austin’s Museum of Ice Cream here.
2. Sing your heart out at karaoke
Whether we admit it or not, we all love a bit of karaoke now and then. Besides, a birthday wouldn’t be complete without a few drinks and a good old-fashioned sing-along with friends. As Austin is a college town at heart, it comes as no surprise that the city has a good deal of karaoke bars to channel your inner Whitney Houston in. TopSpin and Fairweather Cider Co. are two superb singing spots that also serve up delicious beverages and good grub to enjoy while you’re belting out a tune. Pizzas, nachos and classic bar bites accompanied with a bottle of beer, cider or wine make for the perfect fuel to keep you singing all night long.
3. Sail a donut boat around Lady Bird Lake
Now here’s a birthday idea that your friends will go do-nuts for. Provided by Capital Cruises, these electric donut boats can be rented out at Lady Bird Lake to supply hours of unforgettable fun for the special day. The idea is simple, but you’re sure to get a lot of laughs as you cruise down the lake with up to nine of your mates. You’re also welcome to bring your own drinks and snacks onboard, but just remember to avoid steering the wheel if you’ve had a beer or two. Pop the Champagne open, bring out the party hats and enjoy a boozy boat trip to mark the b-day occasion on the water.
Find out more about Capital Cruises donut boat rentals here.
4. Zoom through the sky on the fastest zipline in Texas
Nothing screams birthday celebration more than a thrilling zipline adventure over Lake Travis. Okay, maybe not, but why not make zooming down Texas’ longest and fastest zipline your new b-day tradition? This adrenaline-filled experience provides five ziplines for you to have endless amounts of fun on. Once you’re done flying through the skies, you’ll enjoy all day access to a private lake front where you can have a picnic, play beach games and kick back in one of the hammocks on the shore as the day comes to an end. Nibbling on a slice of birthday cake while watching the sun set beyond the horizon never sounded so good.
Get your tickets to Lake Travis Zipline Adventures here.
5. Enjoy a circus-style burlesque experience
AirOtic Soirée is a one-of-a-kind event where the thrill of the circus meets the sensuality of burlesque to make for an extraordinary experience that has to be seen to be believed. By combining risqué choreography with high-level cirque acrobatics, this circus-style cabaret extravaganza is sure to take your birthday festivities to new heights. Delicious craft cocktails are also on hand to be polished off before and during the show so you can raise a glass to turning a year older while the magic of the evening unfolds before you.
Find out more about AirOtic Soirée: A Circus-Style Burlesque Show here.
6. Push the boat out with a fancy cocktail or two
No doubt you’re aging like a fine wine, so why not sip on a delicious craft cocktail to celebrate it? Treat yourself to a mouth-watering concoction of spirits, liqueurs and any other ingredient you can imagine with an added slice of lemon or orange to add a little class to the birthday occasion. P6 and Kinfolk Lounge & Library are some of Austin’s most beloved watering holes and provide visitors with a beautiful backdrop perfect to get a birthday pic for Instagram in. Birthday cake-flavored martini, anyone?
7. Go all retro at an arcade bar
Gamers, thrill seekers and suckers for a bit of nostalgia will love Cidercade. With over 150 games to be played, you’ll never be stuck for something to do here. You can spend hours channeling your inner child with the help of retro pinball machines, zombie-killing shootout games, lifelike driving simulations and arcade classics like Pac-Man and Super Mario Bros. Challenge your mates to a bit of air hockey, duel it out with a hair-raising car racing game or take on the Williams sisters with some virtual tennis all with a pint of refreshing cider in your hand. This is a great spot to bring your nearest and dearest together to celebrate the big day and revel in a bit of healthy competition.
Find out more about Cidercade here.
8. Have a top Texas day out at Austin Aquarium
Get down with the sharks, stingrays and tropical fish and bring in the b-day festivities with an ocean splash at Austin Aquarium. Aside from housing some of the world’s most beautiful sea creatures, the aquarium gives visitors the chance to pet caiman lizards, hand-feed rare species of birds and even meet one of the resident sloths without leaving Austin’s city limits. If you take a walk around their rain forest vivarium, you’ll be able to spot some of the 100s of reptiles, monkeys and other animals who call this place home. You can get up close and personal with the playful lemurs, learn all about their species and take a quick photo with your new furry friends. What better way to remember your birthday by?
Get your tickets to Austin Aquarium here.
9. Swap out the birthday candles for a concert by Candlelight
These enchanting Candlelight concerts combine the yellow glow from a sea of candles with spellbinding live music performances to make a magical experience to remember. A brilliant string quartet will work their magic on compositions by classical music legends such as Vivaldi and Mozart as well as songs from contemporary hit makers including Taylor Swift, Coldplay and many more. Take your foot off the gas and unwind inside some of Austin’s most intimate venues illuminated by candlelight and enjoy your birthday like never before.
Find out more about these sensational Candlelight concerts here.