After an unusually wet and stormy spring, it looks like we’re finally free of the torrential downpours that have been plaguing us; yes, it’s finally starting to look like summer here in Texas! And  with the sunny weather and release from school, families start hunting for fun activities to enjoy in and around the Austin area. Well, look no further: we’ve compiled an easy list of the top 5 things to do in Austin this summer! All are family-friendly, and most are free!

  1. Blues on the Green. An Austin summer tradition! This free concert in Zilker Park is sponsored by KGSR and has been growing larger every year since its inception 25 years ago. Perfect for families and a dog-friendly scene, this event has gone from concerts every other week to once monthly, with Shakey Graves, Bob Schneider, and Jamestown Revival in the lineup for the 2015 season. Our advice? Bring a big blanket, cold drinks, mosquito spray, and park in the Austin Highschool parking lot – it’s just a short walk across the footbridge under Mopac and over to Zilker Park, and you’ll be saved a lot of stress when it comes to finding a parking spot!
  2. Barton Creek Greenbelt. Go now! Pack your bottled water and your dogs up and hit the greenbelt soon to take advantage of the full creek, because as we all know, Barton Creek sits dry and dusty for most of the summer. But the recent rainfall is sure to provide hikers with plenty of picturesque swimming holes, and as summer’s high temps haven’t quite revved up yet, now is the perfect time to go.
  3. Jacob’s Well. This beautiful karstic spring is located Northwest of Wimberley in the Texas hill country. Though relatively small in area, the spring is fed by cool, clean aquifer waters and is nearly 140 feet deep and has been explored by many underwater cave divers in the past. Due to increasing popularity of this natural resource, those wishing to swim must now book 2 hour blocks of swimming time online.
  4. Zilker Hillside Theater – Hairspray. Starting July 10, the Zilker Hillside Theater will be putting on performances of the popular Broadway musical Hairspray every Thursday-Sunday evening for free at the Beverly S. Sheffield outdoor theater. Bring blankets and snacks: lawn chairs are only allowed in certain areas of the park.
  5. Concerts in the park. The Austin Symphony performs every Sunday evening during the summer at the Long Center on Auditorium Shores. A lovely idea for date night, or fun for the family, the Symphony alternates musical styles between brass, woodwinds, strings, and big band each week.

With all these great things to do, we always wonder – why would we want to live anywhere else?  Leave a comment with your favorite Austin summer traditions!