The most magical time of the year is here: Saturday signals the official first day of summer. To welcome the new season in proper Austin fashion, follow our suggestions for the seven best ways to celebrate the summer solstice.
Return of the No Bummer Summer
Start having a fun summer with the best guide to having a No Bummer Summer. A memorial tribute to the ethos of Esme Barrera, the No Bummer Summer lists off activities meant to get you out of your comfort zone, find some adventures and make new memories. Download and print out your free card so that you can join the summer club that’s devoted to fun in the sun.
Get a brain freeze
One of the best ways to cool off is with cold refreshments, and nothing gets the job done better than an ice-cold snow cone from one of Austin’s numerous of stands. Consider some of the great standbys like Sno-Beach or Casey’s New Orleans Snowballs. Or rage against the shaved ice machine by getting a frozen banana at Bananarchy.
Stuff your face
Stuffing yourself with hot food actually helps regulate your body temperature. You can test if yourself with a few awesome food events this weekend. Spider House is hosting its Crawfish Boil and Tent Revival on Saturday and Buzz Mill is hosting its final boil of the season on Sunday. If mudbugs aren’t your deal, then Buzz Mill will also host a pig roast on Saturday, with $6 for a tasty pork sandwich or two tacos.
Listen to free music
Saturday marks the kick off of the first Solstice Austin festival, which is part of a worldwide celebration. There are more than 140 performances planned across 35 venues in town. And in case you need one more option, you can also check out KUTX’s Summer Jam, a trimmed-down version of the Mapjam festival, taking place at the ABGB in South Austin.
Explore the outdoors
No matter what you do this weekend, make sure you spend some time outside. Take a dip in the newly renovated and impressive Bartholomew Pool on 51st Street, or make that trip to Barton Springs you’ve been contemplating. You can even escape the city for a little bit and join Fall Creek Vineyards for a picnic, paddleboating and wine tasting near the breathtaking Fall Creek Falls on Lake Buchanan.
Show your pets some love
Luckily we already broke down 10 of the best hangouts for dogs in town. This weekend is also a perfect chance to take your pet for a walk along the new Boardwalk Trail on Lady Bird Lake. Or you can help raise funds for pets in need of a home with the launch party for Austin Pets Alive!’s Love Your Rescue Pet Day at Four Hands Home.
Watch some sports
In case you haven’t heard, the World Cup is in full swing. We're still pumped about the U.S. team pulling off a dramatic win over Ghana on Monday. The U.S.'s next opponent is Portugal on Sunday at 5 pm, so start stocking up on red, white and blue apparel and check out our best places to watch the big game.