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These Group Offsites and Activities Can Only Be Experienced in Austin, Texas

Historic Sixth Street Mural in Austin, Texas. Credit: Carmen M. Fischer

Known far and wide as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin, Texas, draws more than 30 million domestic visitors annually and welcomes music lovers to world-renowned festivals such as SXSW and the Austin City Limits Music Festival every year. The city is studded with hundreds of live music venues featuring musicians and bands that play rock, blues, jazz, hip hop, country and just about anything else year-round. 

Greetings From Austin Mural. Credit: Maggie Wilt
Greetings From Austin Mural. Credit: Maggie Wilt

But while Texas’ capital city may be a chart-topper on the musical map for live performances (with apologies to Nashville), Austin has so much more to offer than the sounds emanating from its streets.

The city is a unique cultural hub that’s fondly adopted the unofficial motto “Keep Austin Weird,” one way in which the Austin Independent Business Alliance encourages locals and visitors alike to support the city’s small businesses versus big corporations.

This “Keep Austin Weird” mentality makes Austin a city unlike any other, with authentic local experiences as unique to the destination as its motto. Here are a few ways groups and meeting attendees can experience Austin’s beloved “weirdness” themselves.

Offsite Venues

Offsite venues are the perfect way to give your groups a break from being in a hotel and a look at what a destination has to offer, from its arts and culture scene to its nightlife. In Austin, there’s no shortage of uniquely local offsites to explore.

Broken Spoke

Since opening in 1964, Broken Spoke has become “Texas’ most definitive dance hall” and has welcomed two-steppers, boot-scooters and country stars like Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb and Willie Nelson to presidents, state governors and the Queen’s entourage. Owners James and Annetta White have been operating the Austin staple for 60 years and built Broken Spoke’s reputation for impressive live country music and world-famous Texas cooking.

The red and rustic dance hall is open every Tuesday-Saturday starting at 7:15 p.m. and has live music every night and dance lessons Wednesday-Saturday from 8 p.m.-9 p.m. Broken Spoke has welcomed groups for more than 50 years and has hosted events for Google, Domino’s Pizza, Tito’s Vodka, the Austin CVB and more. The venue offers its own catering featuring BBQ dinners and chicken-fried steak as well as an appetizer buffet, and private dance lessons are available.

[Related: 6 Storied Texas Music Venues for Special Events]

Sunday Gospel Brunch at Stubb's Bar-B-Q
Sunday Gospel Brunch at Stubb's Bar-B-Q

Stubb’s Bar-B-Q

This famous barbecue joint is a local favorite not only for its flavors, but also for being an entertainment venue that hosts regional and national acts like Weezer and Adele. Small groups or individual attendees can make reservations for Stubb’s Bar-B-Q’s Sunday Gospel Brunch, which features a soulful performance, Southern-style buffet and a make-your-own-Bloody-Mary bar.

Stubb’s Bar-B-Q can host and cater for groups of 25 or more and offers signature buffets, homemade desserts and opportunities for entertainment, party favors, floral, photography and specialty decor for truly personalized events. Private event spaces include the 15,400-square-foot Waller Creek Amphitheater, with standing room for 2,200 or 400 seated; the 693-square-foot Downstairs Bar, with space for 150 standing or 60 seated; and the nearly 700-square-foot Upstairs Patio for groups of up to 75.

Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden Outdoor Patio. Credit: Michelle Williams
Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden Outdoor Patio. Credit: Michelle Williams

Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden

This popular Austin spot opened in July 2012 and offers one of Texas’ widest and most innovative offerings of handcrafted sausages and craft beers. Home to the largest tap wall in Texas, Banger’s offers 202 unique taps—more than 100 of which are exclusively craft beers—and a variety of exotic, traditional and vegetarian sausages.

The Banger’s Compound is home to a restaurant, beer garden and smokehouse as well as a second-floor balcony, ground-floor deck, covered porch and basement with a built-in bar. The entire 12,600-square-foot venue can host groups of up to 700. The ground-floor deck can host up to 150 standing or 75 seated, while the second-floor balcony has space for 120 standing or up to 80 seated. Banger’s also offers customizable event menus and an inventory of rentals including picnic tables with benches, high-top tables, barstools, patio chairs and more.

[Related: These Fast-Growing Texas Markets Have It All for Meetings]

Texas-Style Teambuilding

While offsite venues may get your attendees out and about in a destination, teambuilding activities give them the opportunity to experience other uniquely local offerings, from a destination’s natural landscapes to its F&B scene and more. Give your groups an authentic Austin experience by partnering with the following companies and organizations.

Austin Detours

Austin Detours offers customized, personalized tours and activities for groups looking to explore and learn more about Austin while also building stronger relationships. The tour company defines a detour as “a shared, interactive experience between guests and hosts, making every tour one-of-a-kind.”

Each detour blends “headline” Austin with “offbeat” Austin, giving attendees the opportunity to check the city’s iconic sights and tourist attractions off their bucket lists while also weaving in a few surprising wow-worthy moments.

Austin Detours specializes in customizing tours and offsites for corporate groups of 10 to up to 2,000 attendees. The company organizes personalized group detours that handle all planning logistics, including sourcing transportation and providing top-quality tour guides, described on the company’s website as “big-personality, local-expert hosts” and “culture creators” that are often actors, musicians, comedians and other talented Austin locals. 

The Beauty of Liberty and Equality Mural. Credit: The LINE
The Beauty of Liberty and Equality Mural. Credit: The LINE

Some of Austin Detour’s corporate tours and offsites include the Austin Street Art Tour, showcasing the city’s best and most offbeat street art while telling stories that explain how the street art culture ties into the history and culture of Austin; the BBQ and Brew Challenge, during which groups feast on local smoked meats at one of the best BBQ spots in the city before creating their own rub and heading to a local brewery for a craft beer tasting and games; and an Austin Food Truck Crawl, exploring the city’s 2,000-plus mobile eateries. 

Austin Detours also offers teambuilding experiences such as a Tacos & Tequila Challenge, starting with a lesson in Mexican cooking before challenging each team to prepare the best dip using a mix of authentic and unexpected ingredients. Groups then participate in a Jeopardy-style quiz game, Tacos & Tequila Gameshow, with topics including Tex-Mex, local beers and tequila. 

Groups can also practice teambuilding in Austin Detour’s Ultimate Austin Scavenger Hunt, “Austin’s favorite corporate event,” which takes groups to major landmarks and lowkey local spots to snap photos, solve clues, decipher riddles and complete challenges throughout the city.

The Sparks Agency

For nearly half a century, The Sparks Agency has been organizing group events and private experiences that are uniquely and authentically Texas, leaving attendees “with smiles as wide as a Texas sunset and memories as sweet as bluebonnets in the spring.”

The Sparks Agency helps planners “TEXpertly” map out the best possible entertainment in the destination that showcases all that’s special about the Lone Star State, and also offers Texas-inspired teambuilding opportunities.

One group entertainment option that certainly helps “Keep Austin Weird” is armadillo racing, which The Sparks Agency describes as “the purest sport in the world today,” in which armadillos race around a track “only for joy and earthworms.” The experience includes prizes for participants, a show-and-tell presentation about the prehistoric animals, photo opportunities and more.

The Sparks Agency’s teambuilding offerings include a Texas Chili Cookoff, a Texas Burger Cookoff, a scavenger hunt and the “I’m With the Band” experience that takes teams through some of the “ups and downs of becoming a hit-making musical artist.”

[Related: Austin Is Growing Rapidly, And So Are Its Options for Meetings]

The Little Longhorn Saloon’s Mobile Chicken Shit Bingo

The Little Longhorn Saloon has been “the honkiest, tonkiest beer joint in town” for more than four decades and is a staple of Austin’s country music scene. The classic honkytonk bar draws thousands of visitors from around the world every year who come in search of cold beer, live music and a world-famous bingo game—Chicken Shit Bingo.

The bar’s iconic and “weirdly” Austin bingo game is actually more reflective of roulette. Typically, a square-shaped board surrounded by chicken wire is set up with the appropriate amount of numbers and squares, depending on the size of an event and how many people are participating.

Guests buy tickets assigned to a number and square on the game board for a set price. Then, a chicken is released on the board and participants wait to see in which square it poops. Whoever purchased the ticket assigned to that square and number is the lucky winner! 

The Little Longhorn Saloon hosts its iconic Chicken Shit Bingo event every Sunday from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. and recently started offering Mobile Chicken Shit Bingo for corporate and private events. To learn more about the opportunity or organize Mobile Chicken Shit Bingo for your group, visit


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About the author
Taylor Smith | Content Developer, Destinations and Features

Taylor Smith joined Stamats in May 2022 as a content developer, destinations and features for Meetings Today. Smith has experience covering everything from travel to breaking news and graduated from Ball State University with a bachelor’s degree in news and magazine journalism. Previously, she’s written for St. Louis Magazine and worked as an editorial assistant and apprentice for Aubree Nichols, who has been published in premier publications such as The New York TimesELLE and The Los Angeles Times.