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Seven Ways to Soak Up the Summer

Lizzie Deal, A&E Editor

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Summer is all about resting, relaxing, and recharging ourselves as we take a break from the rigorous school year. It’s common practice to hang out with friends, go on vacation, or earn some extra cash during this time of freedom. But with only a week left before school starts, summer is fading fast. Here are seven easy ways to fit in some last minute fun with friends before school kicks off.

1. Go swimming at Barton Springs

Going swimming is an iconic summer activity world wide. But while most people opt for public pools, give Barton Springs a try. Rather than a chlorine laced swimming pool, Barton Springs is entirely natural and is fed by the Edwards Aquifer, offering a very natural option to swimmers. Since the water is from the underground aquifer, the temperature averages about 68 to 70 degrees, making it a great place to escape the Texas heat and cool off.

2. Watch a sunset

Watching the sunset is a great way to wind down at the end of the day while enjoying nature and the slightly cooler weather that night brings. For an especially scenic experience, climb the stairs at Mount Bonnell for a great view of the Austin skyline.

3. Go to a panic room

Summer is a great time to hang out with friends, but a great way to shake things up is to grab a group and head to a panic room. While there are lots of different variations of maze rooms, puzzle rooms, and panic rooms around the Austin area, each has the same set of rules: escape the room in less than an hour. The rooms often have different themes or storylines that you are encouraged to follow along with in order to escape. Some rooms do have rules requiring that an adult be present, so you might need to find an adult chaperone for the outing.

4. Go hiking

Take a trip to the great outdoors by convincing a friend or family member to go on a hike with you. Austin has a variety of trails, including St. Edward’s Park, Balcones Public Park, and Spicewood Valley Trail that are a lot of fun to explore. Hiking is a great way to experience the nature around us and get exercise while hanging out with friends or family.

5. Read a book

It might seem cliche, but reading is a great way to escape the heat and experience something new. Scour your bookshelves at home or take a trip to the local library to pick out a book that interests you and enjoy. Some great new releases to read include Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton, a story following a schizophrenic high schooler and his attempt to fit in, Because You Love to Hate Me by Ameriie, a compilation of fractured fairy tales told from the villain’s point of view, and Little Monsters by Kara Thomas, a psychological thriller depicting the moment Kacey’s new, picture perfect life goes downhill.

6. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to help the community while starting to rack up those service hours. By devoting a few hours of your time to helping make this world a better place, not only can you feel good that you’ve made a difference, but by finding a cause that you’re passionate about, you can have fun while doing it. Volunteering at an animal shelter, food bank, or other local charity is a great way to give back to the community during the last few days of summer.You can even grab a friend or family member to double the fun and the impact.

7. Try a new restaurant

One simple way to be adventurous over the last few days of summer could be as small as trying a new restaurant. This could mean trying out a recently opened place to eat, getting around to a place you’ve been dying to try, or experimenting with an entirely new cuisine. Going out to eat is an easy way to spend time with friends and family, and trying out a new location or food is a great way to branch out over the last few days of summer.

With the end of summer rapidly approaching, these seven easy things to do are a great way to spend some last minute fun with family and friends.

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