Valentine’s Day always seems to sneak up on us, leaving us scrambling for a last-minute dinner reservation, a fun date idea, or last minute gift. This year, we’ve done the work for you and compiled a guide to planning the perfect Valentine’s day.


If you’re scrambling to figure out where to take your date for dinner on February 14th, we feel for you. Who are these people that schedule their reservations a month in advance? I’d love to know! Instead of kicking yourself for missing out on that hip new spot that everyone seems to be flocking to, flip the narrative and consider this an opportunity to try out an under-the-radar restaurant or a quaint and cozy cafe.

Look to these restaurants for delicious food, a romantic atmosphere, and the perfect setting to spark intimate conversation– no reservation needed.

Jester King Brewery: Head out to Dripping Springs for a sour ale, a glass of wine, and wood-fired pizza. Enjoy an early leisurely dinner against the beautiful natural backdrop of the Texas hill country.

Cherrywood Coffeehouse: Grab a bite to eat, a beer, or a coffee and laugh out loud at Cherrywood’s stand-up comedy showcase this Valentine’s Day.

Birdie’s: This “fine-casual” restaurant concept offers a seasonal menu that changes daily and a carefully curated selection of wine, served in a casual, counter-service setting. The restaurant operates on a first-come, first-served basis, so you never have to worry about a reservation.


Dinner is great, but dinner and a show is even better! Pick up tickets to one of these musicals or browse student art and enjoy a refreshment at the Mexic-Arte Museum.

Head to the Zach Theatre for a musical performance of “Cinderella.” This Tony-nominated musical is a modern, comedic rendition of the fairytale classic. Produced in partnership with Deaf Austin Theatre, it will be performed in English and American Sign Language.

Bass Concert Hall presents “Aladdin” live with music by 8-time Oscar winner Alan Menken and choreography by Casey Nicholaw. Featuring an extended tap number, glimmering costumes, showstopping art-deco-inspired props, and special effects including a flying carpet, this performance based on the 1992 Disney movie is sure to be awe-inspiring.

Support the youth and the arts at the annual (and free!) Totally Cool Totally Art Exhibit presented by The Austin Parks and Recreation Department and the Mexic-Arte Museum. View paintings, drawings, sculptures, printmaking, and photography done by students from grades 7-12.


Finding the perfect Valentine’s day gift is tough, but finding it at the last minute is even tougher. Luckily, there are a variety of thoughtful gifts that you can snatch just in time for the big day.

For your better half: Get you and your partner an app for couples and relationships that helps improve communication through daily questions and games that foster conversation.

For your mini: Show your little one some love with a trip to Terra Toys. They have a vast selection of V-day candy, plush toys, dolls, games, books, and beyond! You are sure to find the perfect toy to spark your child’s imagination.

For your BFF: The best gifts are those that can be shared, so grab a bottle or two of wine from Lolo Natural Wine, located on East 6th St. They have a curated selection of natural wines that will impress even the most discerning wine drinker. You can also pick up an oyster shuck kit this Valentine’s day. It comes complete with oysters, a shucking tool and gloves, a bottle of wine, condiments, and instructions.