Hello Summer

10 fun ways to get in, on, or under water in Austin this summer

10 fun ways to get in, on, or under water in Austin this summer

Lake Austin Spa Paddleboarding
Paddleboarding is just one way to celebrate 100 Days of Blue. Photo courtesy of Lake Austin Spa

The annual #100daysofblue celebration encourages people to get near, in, on, or under water and share their stories via social media. This year’s campaign, which officially kicked off on Memorial Day at Lake Austin Spa Resort, focuses on 100 crowd-sourced words describing emotions evoked by water. A new word will be used each day along with images submitted by participants engaged in 100 Days of Blue.

The kick-off event featured Wallace J. Nichols, scientist and author of Blue Mind: The Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected and Better at What You Do, a research associate at California Academy of Sciences, and founder of Blue Mind Life, which he calls “a vast network of water lovers from around the globe who are changing the conversation about water, for good.”

In addition to its economic, ecological, and educational importance, water has deep emotional connections for many people, Nichols says. 100 Days of Blue is designed to tap into those connections.

Here are 10 fun ways to join the celebration in Austin. Share images, thoughts, or video from your water adventures using the #100daysofblue and #bluemind hashtags.

Throw a pool party
Have a party at your apartment, backyard, or neighborhood pool (Austin has 51 public pool facilities). Hand out blue marbles as party favors.

Paddle the lakes
Rent a kayak or standup paddleboard from Live Love Paddle on Lady Bird Lake, or take a guided paddling tour with the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment on Spring Lake in San Marcos, complete with information about the history and ecological importance of these springs.

Hike the creeks
Hike along Barton Creek or Bull Creek greenbelt trails and get your feet wet with two-legged and four-legged friends.

Snorkel the Springs
Take a mask and snorkel to Barton Springs Pool to see the interesting plant and animal life beneath the surface of these iconic waters.

Explore the Well
Visit Jacob’s Well Natural Area in Wimberley and learn more about the Trinity Aquifer that feeds it. There's no fee to enter the site and view the springs, but a reservation and fee is required to swim.

Learn to dive
Become a certified scuba diver at Tom’s Dive and Swim, and start exploring amazing underwater sites from the nearby Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary to the Caribbean islands and beyond.

Have a reel good time
Wear your swim suit and stay cool watching free movie nights at Austin’s iconic Deep Eddy pool.

Cruise the lake
Tour Lady Bird Lake from the water with Capital Cruises or Lone Star Riverboat Cruises. Choices include bat tours, moonlight, and dinner cruises.

Play in the sprinkler
Remember playing in the sprinkler as a kid? Who says you have to be a kid? Have fun and water your yard at the same time.

Give the gift of swimming
Enjoying the benefits of being in, on, or near the water can be hard for those who don’t know how to swim. A $35 donation provides new-swimmer lessons for an Austin child through the Swim Safe Program.