9 Great Austin Bars With Activities

The best Austin bars where you can do things besides drink.
9 Great Austin Bars With Activities image

photo credit: Holly Dirks

In an ideal world, every bar would have activities. That way, life would be less boring, and every bad date could be saved by a round of skee ball or mini golf. And while Austin is about as close to that imaginary world as you can get, you still might need some help finding a spot to show off your awkwardly competitive side. That’s why we put together a list of our favorite places to drink and play games. Get some friends together, head to one of these spots, and show everyone how good you are at getting some sort of ball into some kind of hole.


photo credit: Nicolai McCrary




$$$$Perfect For:Sports!Day DrinkingOutdoor/Patio Situation
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On the corner of South Lamar and Oltorf is Bouldin Acres, an enormous two acre beer garden that’s basically an adult amusement park with pickleball courts, corn hole, and loads of TV screens. There’s a shop inside in case you forgot your athletic attire, and pickleball courts can be reserved one week in advance (we’d recommend booking early for weekend slots). If you get hungry while you’re here, Bouldin Acres is also home to CM Smokehouse, a trailer where you can get dishes like brisket crunchwraps, smoked buffalo turkey sandwiches, and some of our favorite wings in town. 

With three full acres, a massive bar, and more activities than you can count, it’s easy to spend an entire afternoon at Armadillo Den in South Austin without even realizing it. On the tables, expect to find games like giant Jenga and ring the bull, but the main attraction is the ax throwing lane in the back. It’s only available in the evenings, but it’s a fun way to kill some time with friends in an outdoor environment that feels significantly less sterile than your last ax throwing work retreat. In the evenings, there’s also live music, and a ton of fire pits for the colder months. 

Ego’s has been an Austin institution for over 40 years now, and it’s probably one of the few remaining spots on South Congress Avenue where you won’t spend $6 on a Lone Star. Ego’s is open every night, with karaoke from 8pm-2am. Just remember, this is a public karaoke spot, so come ready to show off what you’ve been practicing in the shower or whatever you decide to belt out after three shots of tequila. 

If you’ve ever posted up at the Skee-Ball machines at Dave & Buster’s for hours trying to win enough tickets to win a little toy plane, while asking yourself “I wonder what this experience would be like at a bar in East Austin,” we’ve got just the place for you. You won’t win any tickets, but if you do want to get competitive there’s a Skee-Ball league you can join that plays a few nights a week. Or show up on Wednesdays and Thursdays when the lanes are free—just go buy a toy plane later because you’re an adult. 

photo credit: The Dirdie Birdie



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We never thought we’d be playing a full round of 12-hole mini golf inside of a bar at The Domain, but we also never expected Pete Davidson to become America’s heartthrob. There’s solid food from some of the folks behind Juniper (but with more casual things like burgers and blooming onions) that you can get before or after a round, plus a full bar that you can order from during a game. It’s a fun way to spend a Tuesday evening indoors, while also convincing yourself you’re getting some exercise by playing sports.

Right down the street from Armadillo Den, Moontower Saloon is another massive space in South Austin with a dog-friendly patio, tons of trees, and an indoor and outdoor bar with beer, wine, and cocktails on draft. Test your balancing skills with giant Jenga, or show up on the weekend with a group of friends, reserve a sand volleyball court, and recreate that scene from Top Gun, but with a lot less baby oil.

In the pantheon of things you’ll only ever see in Austin, Chicken Sh*t Bingo is very high on the list, and the best (and original) place to experience it is at Little Longhorn Saloon. It’s hosted every Sunday in the parking lot and the game itself is exactly what you think it is, but louder and more fun. Grab a ticket for a couple dollars and a cheap bucket of Lone Stars from the bar inside, then find a comfortable spot in the parking lot and pray those chickens are standing over your number when they decide to do their business—the winner of each round gets a cash prize. 

Love playing arcade games, but tired of fumbling around for quarters when the “Would you like to continue??” screen starts flashing? Enter: Cidercade. It’s a flat $10 to get in, and all the games are free. Head to Cidercade on a random Tuesday evening to break your old Centipede score, or show up with a group of friends and post up on Killer Queen for the night. Either way, you’ll have access to a couple dozen ciders on tap—all brewed by Bishop Cider—plus soda, pizza, and wings. 

This sand volleyball spot off Barton Springs is an ideal place to hang with your friends on a sunny day. Volleyball is the focus here, but if your last attempt at organized sports ended in double iced knees, there’s plenty of food, alcohol, and chairs to sit in while you watch other people bounce balls over a net—especially since the games are usually fairly competitive and fun to watch.

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