Texans are wimps when it comes to cold weather. It’s kind of a given. So this time of the year when it’s hot and you don’t feel like blasting the AC, being outdoors is one of the better alternatives over receiving an expensive electricity bill. It’s also the best time for outdoor dates.

But I’m not going to sit here and talk to you about how cool parks are. We all know this. And, let’s be honest, no matter how awesome Zilker is, at the end of the day it’s still a large flat patch of land with inconvenient parking. With that in mind, here are a few alternative ideas for dates on the outside world.

South Congress Taco Tour!

In case you haven’t noticed, there are approximately one million taco trucks on South Congress between Oltorf and William Cannon. I have only ever tried one of them. This needs to change. If you’re in the same boat as me, take a weekend afternoon to do a walking taco tour of this portion of the street. Just get like, one taco at each place, and you’ll have enough of an appetite to hit up a good number of them with your boo. Everyone likes walks on a sunny day. Everyone likes tacos. It’s foolproof.


If you’re into something less ambulatory, fire up your grill or date someone with a grill to fire up. Barbecues are like fancier, more labor-intensive picnics with significantly higher payoff: you get to enjoy the great outdoors from the comfort of a backyard or patio and eat delicious meat until you’re tired of the fresh air. Plus, expertise when it comes to meat grillin’ is a huge plus in a relationship — so if you’ve got it, now’s your chance to flaunt it.


Or maybe you don’t want to act like a sophisticated barbecue-capable adult. I know some days I don’t. This is when the dollar store is your best friend — for a couple of bucks, you can get a huge bottle of bubble solution and all the bubble-blowing paraphernalia you never knew you needed. I know it might sound like a mindless, vapid activity to do with a significant other. Well, it is. I don’t really know where I was going with that. The point is, blowing bubbles is relaxing and fun and perfect for lazy people who, while lazy, still want to enjoy tolerable weather while it lasts.

Rock formations!

Enough with these heavily-wooded hiking trails and lakes and stuff. You know what I love? Good old fashioned rocks. Boulders. Plateaus. Dust on the bottom of your shoes. This is hands down the best way to feel like an actual caveman and get a taste of badass prehistory with your significant other. The closest thing like this is Enchanted Rock, which is under two hours away from Austin. It’ll make for a cute little road trip/caveman fantasy land combo. The adorable name is icing on the cake.

Dog park!

Barton Springs is cool and all, but sometimes you’re just feeling really cheap and don’t want to pay even the smallest of admission fees. This is where the Barton Springs dog park section comes in. It’s free admission, and there are dogs. Freeness and dogs: two things literally any sane person will love. If you or your date has a dog, bring it. If not, no biggie. You can play with other people’s dogs while the owners aren’t looking. It’ll be like in “500 Days of Summer” where they go into IKEA and pretend the rooms are their home, except with dogs instead of furniture.