If you're looking for more ways to beat the heat in the sweltering Austin July and August, here are some ways we found and enjoyed:
Omni Barton Creek Resort
Look for a good deal on an overnight stay and enjoy a quick getaway. If you're fortunate enough to have friends or family visiting town and staying here, you can make a fun day of visiting! Swimming, putt-putt, and a treasure-hunt inside the hotel.
|View from the pool.|
The area surrounding Barton Springs was recently renovated. Barton is always a good plan on a hot summer day. The only thing that prevents us from going more often is the rule about kids wearing "floaties." Floats of any kind, including the wearable vests, are not allowed on the west side. This means at least one parent has to stay with the littles on the shallow east side. We enjoy the west side for the snorkeling, diving board, and swimming, but we also like to hang out together as a family. For this reason, we often find ourselves going to Deep Eddy instead of Barton.
|Always a beautiful view|
Recently renovated, Bartholomew Pool is a great place for kids of all ages to swim. The built-in shade makes it comfortable and bearable in the heat. The younger kids like the zero-entry pool and splash features while the older kids (must be over 48") have fun on the slides and diving springboard. Free Fun In Austin did a great review of this pool.
|Crossing the lily pads is a challenge! You must be tall enough to reach the rope.|
|Travis enjoyed the shade.|
My sister and I did a few early-morning, then later evening bike rides on the Butler Trail, enjoying the new Boardwalk. One of those mornings, I went home, grabbed the kids, then took them back out before it got too warm. We parked along South Lakeshore Blvd. where the sidewalks connect to The Boardwalk, then rode to the I-35 bridge. Since the littles were with us, we didn't venture further down the trail, but the older kids and I plan to go back out when the weather cools. Again, Free Fun in Austin blogged a thorough review.
|Looking down from the trail under Mopac bridge. See the slack line?|
|Glassy water reflects the bridge.|
|The Boardwalk boasts a perfect sunrise Austin skyline.|
|Similar view down The Boardwalk at sunset.|
|Back in the late morning with the kids.|
|Where the trail began before the boardwalk was added.|
Although I would never, ever, under any circumstances go here paying full price for tickets, it's a fun place to visit if you score some super-cheap tickets like we did on Champion Day. We loved Hawaiian Falls in The Colony (Dallas area) on homeschool days, so looked forward to visiting the brand new park in Pflugerville. I was shocked at how packed it was! We waited in very long lines and the pools were packed by 10:00 am. (We arrived at 8am for an early entry.) Just keep that in mind when planning your trip. My older kids had a blast in the Adventure Park, an extensive ropes course with climbing walls and zip lines.
We've wanted to visit Hamilton ever since we saw this list over a year ago. I had assumed the pictures made it look more vast, colorful, breathtaking than it really is, but I was wrong. To celebrate the first day of homeschooling, my sister, niece, older three kids and I drove out to Hamilton Pool, arriving at around 10:00 am. We parked with ease ($15 per car) and made the short, at times steep, hike down to the pool. The hike itself was beautiful, with plenty of foliage and escarpments to view. The pool itself is more beautiful that I had imagined. If you haven't been, get out there! Keep an eye on the website as it sometimes closes due to high bacteria levels in the water. It was most relaxing experience to just float on my back and enjoy the view.
|The "stairway" down the trail.|
|The bridge crosses a creek and leads to the pool.|
|You might not realize the vastness unless|
you look back and use the people as a reference.
|View looking out from under the cavern.|