The Austin Recreation Center offers year round activities, events, classes, and rental opportunities for youth and adults. Programs include youth karate, The Austin Philosophy Discussion Group (APDG), Austin Shotokan Karate, open-play badminton, Chen-style Tai Chi (Taijiquan), Jazzercise, the Weavers and Spinners Society of Austin, and volleyball leagues run through Capital City Athletics.
The center houses a 7000 sq. ft. gymnasium with six basketball goals and 2 lined volleyball courts. Other amenities include a 700 sq. ft dance studio with mirrors and bars, a kitchen/meeting space, an enrichment room, a weight room, and locker rooms.
The first organized recreation center in Austin was the privately owned Austin Athletic Club, built in 1923, by William T. Caswell. In 1931. Mr. Caswell sold the club to the City of Austin for "a small remuneration". The name of the center was officially changed to the Austin Recreation Center in 1970. After substantial damage, due to the Memorial Day flood of 1981 that center was closed after the existing center was built and opened in 1986.