Updated January 2023
Valentine’s Day is around the corner! If you want to wow your partner but haven’t decided on a gift or planned a fun date yet, don’t worry. We have some ideas for gifts and dates based on your significant other’s favorite things. Make this Valentine’s Day one to remember and avoid a lackluster day with a little help.
For the Music Enthusiast
Date Ideas: This one may be obvious in the live music capital of the world. Take your music lover to dinner and a concert at one of the many live music venues downtown. There is an abundance of options when it comes to shows and venues. Browse our list of current live performance spaces downtown.
Gift Ideas: Swing by Big Henry’s Vinyl and Gifts next to Antone’s and grab your special person a record from their favorite jazz artist or a classic poster of their favorite blues band with a harmonica. Wild About Music is also a great place to find various gifts. If you’re on a budget, they have a large variety of music and musician-themed books, decorations, apparel, jewelry, signs and more. Looking to spoil your loved one? Try gifting them a new instrument to learn.
For the Artist Type
Date Ideas: For your favorite creative, a beautiful date is spending time surrounded by art and indulging in it without being rushed. Take them to The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center or Blanton Museum of Art. After being inspired by the wonderful works, create something with them at Upstairs Circus. We highly recommend getting a reservation to the Contemporary in advance.
Gift Ideas: Support a local artisan by getting a gift for your own artist this Valentine’s Day. The Downtown Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 9am-1pm at Republic Square features several local artists and artisans. If you have more wiggle room on your gifting timeline, the Black Makers Market will have several local artists at Republic Square on February 19 from 1pm-5pm.
For Game Lovers
Date Ideas: Whether your gamer is into video games or board games, there is no shortage of fun for you two downtown. We have an entire blog post dedicated to fun games and activities downtown. Check out some of the great places you can play games of all varieties from ping-pong and bowling to arcade games and more.
Gift Ideas: A great place to find games is Toy Joy, they have a great selection of board games, card games and other activities. Toy Joy and the Texas Toy Museum are full of fun things for those who love to embrace their inner child.
For the Fashion Forward
Date Ideas: Take a cue from Pretty Woman for this date and take your fashionable date shopping on 2nd Street to find the perfect outfit (with much nicer service). Once they’re donned in all their new drip, bring them to a trendy dinner at Devil May Care. This restaurant is the perfect place to show off a new look. Their Valentine’s Day dinner includes live music, caviar and champagne. Plus, they even serve oysters if you want to follow the Pretty Woman theme further.
Gift Ideas: If you don’t get their gift while shopping, we recommend selecting the perfect article at Sneaker Politics and Bonobos for a fashionable fella. Check out Hemline and Luxe Apothetique for a fun look for the ladies. Hunt the racks at United Apparel Liquidators for those who love luxury brands and Austin Rocks for fun accessories.
For Adult Beverage Connoisseurs
Date Idea: For those with refined tastes in the world of wine, beer or liquor, a tasting is a perfect place to go. Seven Grand Whiskey Bar offers flights of your favorite dark liquors. Wanderlust Wine Co is a great place to take a wine lover looking to try a variety of pours. Codependent is the spot to wow a mixologist or cocktail enthusiast. Another way to wow and spend time together is to book a private cocktail class at the Roosevelt for two.
Gift Ideas: If you go to a tasting, a bottle of their favorite drink there would be the perfect gift. For vodka fans, Love Titos has branded gifts that range from guitars to coolers. You could also grab a nice bottle of their drink of choice, maybe one they haven’t tried yet, and create a gift around it.
For Your Nature Lover
Date Idea: When you’re dating someone that loves being outside more than inside, finding some beautiful views will always win you brownie points. Alta’s Cafe on the lake is the perfect view to dine by and the food is wonderful. We highly recommend a breakfast date here to watch the sunrise. Austin Rowing Club is right underneath the cafe so if you can brave the weather, a kayak for two will make the date one they will never forget.
Gift Ideas: If the cold isn’t you or your partner’s thing, you can get a gift certificate for a future rental at Austin Rowing Club. Looking for outerwear or gear? Patagonia is a good place to keep your significant other in style and up to date on their gear.
For the Foodie in Your Life
Date Ideas: Get dressed up and head to Swift’s Attic for a 4-course Chef’s Menu. This dinner can also include wine pairings for each course. The Chef’s Menu will be available on Valentine’s day with Surf + Turf features the weekend before and after. We highly recommend reserving your spaces in advance.
Gift Idea: High-quality ingredients for your foodie to experiment in their own kitchen can make an excellent gift basket. We love unique ingredients from Salt & Time and fancy snacks from Royal Blue. You could also sign them up for the Butcher’s Box from Salt & Time or even try their cooking classes together!
For a Fitness Fanatic
Date Idea: Fitness fiends love carbs after a hard workout. Dress up and load up at Red Ash Italia with some wood-fire Italian food. Your partner probably already has a workout scheduled that day anyway. If they wear comfortable shoes, you could also take a romantic walk around Lady Bird Lake.
Gift Ideas: A membership for a place that offers their favorite workout or a form of exercise they have always been curious to try is a thoughtful gift for a fitness nut. (Warning: if you are the fitness nut and your significant other is not, this gift may not go over well.) You could also get them some new athletic gear that they would look great in. Check out a list of studios and gyms in our stay fit downtown blog.
For the Knowledge Collector
Date Idea: If your significant other is always thirsting for knowledge or seeking to culture themselves, you have a lot of fun options. Take them to the Mexic-Arte Museum to explore art and read about Mexican-American stories, culture and history. If you want to feel fancy, take them to the Ballet. Ballet Austin‘s company is performing Sarah’s Songs at the Long Center the weekend before Valentine’s Day. If they love the culture themselves in the kitchen, Wu Chow is featuring authentic Chinese dishes for Valentine’s Day weekend.
Gift Idea: Gift your knowledge collector with gifts that keep on giving. Try getting them classes to learn something they’ve always wanted to learn, whether it’s dance at Ballet Austin or a new language. You could also gift them a membership at their favorite museum so they can come back over and over with each new exhibit.
When in doubt… Propose
Just kidding, but jewelry is a classic gift. Local jewelers make choosing the perfect gift easy when you go to Eliza Page, Joe Koen & Son or Kruger’s Diamond Jewelers. They will help you find the perfect gift to match your relationship and your partner’s style.
Date Ideas: Create a night to remember with your valentine by watching pole, aerial and cabaret performances at Fetish: A Valentine’s Day Affair at the Belmont with two different showtimes on Valentine’s Day. Watch a fun burlesque show at Higher Ground for their Lust Vs. Love: A Valentine’s Day Dance Experience with delicious food and drinks and performances by Saint Sinner. If you want something a little more laid back, check out Heartbyrn (a Talking Heads tribute band) at Antone’s for an enjoyable show with dinner and drinks.
We hope this helps and you now have a great idea of what to do on Valentine’s Day. Celebrate your love and have the most spectacular time.