Beat the Heat

Top 10 ways to cool off during the hot Austin summer

Top 10 ways to cool off during the hot Austin summer

Ice Ball Cocktail Swift's Attic
Indulge in an ice ball cocktail at Swift's Attic. Courtesy of Swift's Attic
Pinballz Arcade offers a huge facility packed to the gills with games
Revisit your childhood at Pinballz Arcade. Photo courtesy of Pinballz Arcade
Dart Bowl_Austin_bowling alley_2015
Spend a Sunday at Dart Bowl. Dart Bowl/Facebook
Amy's Ice Cream
Tour Amy's Ice Creams.  Amy's Ice Creams/Facebook
Longhorn Caverns_Burnet_2015
Escape the sun in the cool passages of Longhorn Caverns. Courtesy of Longhorn Cavern State Park
Ice Ball Cocktail Swift's Attic
Pinballz Arcade offers a huge facility packed to the gills with games
Dart Bowl_Austin_bowling alley_2015
Amy's Ice Cream
Longhorn Caverns_Burnet_2015

We've got a full season of hot summer days in front of us, but don't fret. Here are 10 fun ways to cool down, from refreshing outings to delicious treats.

Hit up The Thinkery
This brilliant spot in the Mueller Development is the perfect place to act like a kid (indoors). The museum caters to children, but once a month it hosts Thinkery21, where adults take over the space for an evening of food, drinks and exploration. 

Tour Amy's Ice Creams
Austin's favorite ice creamery offers tours of its production facility once a day, Monday through Friday. See how the delicious flavors are made, then top off the experience with a scoop of ice cream for just $2. Book now: Spots tend to go fast, and the Amy's crew likes to book these babies a month in advance.

Watch Jaws on the water
Alamo Drafthouse doesn't disappoint with its special programming. This screening of Jaws on the water at Texas Ski Ranch is a perfect way to cool off, while embracing the Central Texas summer.

Play it up at Pinballz Arcade
Revisit your childhood with a trip to Pinballz, an old-school arcade that showcases classic games and, of course, tons of pinball machines. The location on Burnet Road is BYOB, so it's perfect for a summertime date or outing with friends. Pro tip: Check out the beefed up Pinballz Kingdom in Buda, where there are more games, outdoor seating, and a full-fledged cafe and bar.

Explore the Longhorn Caverns
Explore the cool underground passages at Longhorn Cavern State Park, which are far from the sun's harsh rays. There are different tours to choose from, so you can experience this natural wonderland though a photographers' lens, a geologists' mind or a paranormal filter. 

Bowl a round at Dart Bowl
Affordable drinks, wonderfully greasy food and fun times are to be had at Dart Bowl. These lanes promise a pleasantly air-conditioned escape. Weekends are the best time to check out Dart Bowl, especially Sundays, when games are discounted. 

Sip an ice ball cocktail
The ice ball cocktail at Swift's Attic is like the ultimate adult snow cone, but with more class. The melting ice ball in the middle slowly adds a sweet concoction to the booze in the glass. Options include an Old Fashioned, a Manhattan, an apple turnover and more. During happy hour enjoy one of these lovelies for just $6.

Get nostalgic with Jim Jim's Water Ice
At least once this summer you have to grab water ice from Jim Jim's. This local staple has been cooling down Austinites for more than two decades with delicious, icy treats that range in flavors from strawberry lemonade to cotton candy. Visit the storefront downtown or look for one of the trucks around the city.

Pretend it's actually winter at Chaparral Ice
This ice rink in North Austin is an icy oasis in our boiling city. There are public skating times everyday and discounts for the little ones, just check in with the website for specific times specials.

Plunge into a swimming hole
The best way to cool off is to take a dip. Lucky for you, we've rounded up the 12 best swimming holes in and around Austin. Go ahead, dive in!