Weekend Events Roundup

Avoid tax-free weekend crowds with Barton Springs, bubbles and Breaking Bad

Avoid tax-free weekend with Barton Springs, bubbles and Breaking Bad

Kids playing at Bubblepalooza at the Long Center edited version
Bubblepalooza at Long Center is a good way for the kids to wrap up the summer. Photo courtesy of the Long Center
Barton Springs Pool during the day
Cool off at Barton Springs Fest this Saturday. Photo courtesy of Save Our Springs
Walter White as Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad returns this Sunday on AMC. Photo courtesy of AMC
Kids playing at Bubblepalooza at the Long Center edited version
Barton Springs Pool during the day
Walter White as Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad

If you’re a parent, you'll probably be spending this weekend getting the kiddos ready to head back to school. Tax-free weekend has returned, offering up a bounty of cheaper clothes, backpacks and school supplies. It also means that parents across the state will be battling to find the last One Direction notebook in Texas.

Once you stock up with plenty of socks, pencils and Trapper Keepers, here are some fun ways to unwind.

Barton Springs Fest
Although Austin has changed (a lot), one thing has stayed the same: Barton Springs. On August 8, 1992, Austin voters approved Save Our Springs, a citizen-initiated ordinance that has spent the last two decades dedicated to ensuring our chilly pool is protected and available to cool us off during the oppressive summer heat.

To celebrate the community-led conservation efforts, the second Saturday of August is Barton Springs Fest Day, which the Austin City Council made official earlier this year. After one of the hottest weeks of the year, you probably don’t need a holiday to convince you to chill out at the pool.

Enjoy some cool watermelon, compete in the diving competition, or listen to some educational lectures on the environment at the Barton Springs University. Stick around for live music and enjoy all that's great about summer in Austin.

Bubblepalooza at the Long Center
It remains a mystery why bubbles make kids squeal with glee and send adults straight back to childhood. In essence: They are pretty fun.

If bubbles are your thing, then head to the Long Center on Saturday. Bubblepalooza is back for the second time and hopes to be bubblier than ever. Along with bubbles, there will be some performances by Austin’s best “kiddie” rock bands and a chance to get artistic with chalk art.

Just don’t hog all of the bubbles to yourself like that fish from Finding Nemo.

Mortified at the ND
Mortified returns to Austin for another weekend of shows featuring brave folks revealing some of their deepest secrets from childhood and adolescence. Presenting stories and anecdotes through journal readings and yearbook photos, presenters get confessional while proving that things really do get better.

The show is funny, heartbreaking and poignant, not to mention surprisingly therapeutic for both storytellers and the audience. Besides, where else can you spend an angst-filled night listening to someone read their Hanson fan fiction aloud?

Breaking Bad: Season Five, Part II at the North Door
All bad things must come to an end. AMC has been relentlessly teasing fans about the end of one of the greatest TV dramas of all time and ended last season with a cliffhanger that left us sitting on the edge of our seats.

Although many fans already have plans to watch Sunday night's season premiere, those of you who don't can join your fellow nerds at a screening at the North Door. They’ll blast each new episode every Sunday on a 25-foot, high-definition screen and provide drink specials — complete with a dash of the signature “blue meth.” Truly, this Breaking Bad watch party is the danger.