You don't have to pay to have fun at these Austin events
Half Step's 5 Year Anniversary Party. In honor of the milestone birthday, one of Austin's most acclaimed cocktail bars will be throwing a party to remember. Expect food and drink specials and live music from various performers, including the Michael Hale Trio. There also will be a bull ride contest, if you're feeling competitive. 4 p.m. Sunday. 75 1/2 Rainey St. facebook.com/events/318849112159163/.
Monday Night Tango with Esquina Tango. Extend your weekend with an intro lesson to authentic Argentine tango — no experience or partner needed — and follow that up with two hours of dancing with music provided by DJ Moni. 8 to 11 p.m. Monday. Moonfire Lounge, 310 Colorado St. esquinatangoaustin.com.
Galentine's Day Celebration at Irene's. Have a midweek girls night at a downtown bar that will bring in local vendors, including Shira Melody Jewelry, Daisy Natives and SOSA Makeup & Styling, so you can shop and mingle. Irene's will offer one complimentary drink (your choice of beer or rosé) and complimentary snacks. Space is limited. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. 506 West Ave. facebook.com/events/2072964106072290/.
Joe Nick Patoski at Austin Central Library. The Texas author chronicles the modern evolution of our quirky, bustling, self-contradictory city in "Austin to ATX: The Hippies, Pickers, Slackers & Geeks Who Transformed the Capital of Texas." He'll talk about and sign the book at this event moderated by American-Statesman writer Michael Barnes. Purchase a copy of the book through BookPeople to join the signing line. 7 p.m. Wednesday. 710 W. Cesar Chavez St. library.austintexas.gov/event/atcentral-joe-nick-patoski-554484.
Pluckers' Anti-Valentine's Day Celebration. Pluckers Wing Bar's Linc location will host a special version of their infamous Pluck Hunt, the scavenger-hunt style game you can play in your seat. The emcees will ask teams to complete fun challenges and search for objects on their phones. 9 p.m. Thursday. 6406 Interstate 35. Suite 2949. pluckers.com.
Cupid & Cocktails at Boiler Nine. Unattached this Valentine's Day? The subterranean bar beneath Boiler Nine will be a place for singles to mingle, with light bites, cava and oyster specials, on-the-spot matchmaking with Something More founder Julia McCurley, soul and funk tunes by DJ Ziggy Gonzo, giveaways and more. 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday. 800 W. Cesar Chavez St. facebook.com/events/1066050136919695/.
Saturday, Feb. 16
"Saddle Up: Texas Ranching Tradition" event at the Capitol Visitors Center. Go on a virtual ride with real Texas ranchers at this exhibit featuring the photographs of Joe Vitone and the film of Lori Najvar. The afternoon will have music, storytelling and sing-alongs. 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 16. 112 E. 11th St. tspb.texas.gov/prop/tcvc/cvc-exhibits/index.html.