Last week before school. What are you going to do?

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Morgan Shirley, 7, leaps into Mabel Davis Pool in July. Shelby Tauber / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

We’re filling this week with doctors, dentists, orthodontists and more. I’m already exhausted and it’s only Monday.

So, what are you doing this week?

Morgan Shirley, 7, leaps into Mabel Davis Pool in July. Shelby Tauber / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Morgan Shirley, 7, leaps into Mabel Davis Pool in July.
Shelby Tauber / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

I have some ideas and you can always look at my weekly family calendar and video calendar for some more:

1. Dip into natural watering holes.This summer, there’s water in the lakes, the creeks, the rivers and the swimming holes. We love dipping into Hamilton Pool, splashing around in Barton Creekand floating the Guadalupe River. Don’t forget your sunscreen, bug spray, water bottles, and, often, life jackets.

2. Try out a new park or hiking trail.Go early or go late — don’t go in the middle of the day — but summer is a great time to step outside your neighborhood park. We’re a fan ofMayfield Park for its peacocks and trails,Inks Lake State Park for its views andLake Park in the Mueller neighborhood for its playground.

3. Head to a cave. There’s nothing cooler (amazing-wise) and cooler (temperature-wise) than a Central Texas cave in summer. Start at Inner Space Cavern for beginners and work your way up to Cave Without a Name.

Two bear cubs play at the Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary last summer. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Two bear cubs play at the Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary last summer. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

4. Head to an animal park. The newTexas Reptile Zoo in Bastrop just opened, but we also love the kitsch of the Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo in New Braunfels, the safari of Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, and the closeness of the Austin Zoo and the Capital of Texas Zoo.

5. Hit a museum. Summer is a great time to be in a museum. Hooray, air-conditioning! This week the Bullock has story time today at 11; Exploration Stations, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday. This week learn about humpback whales. On Friday at 11 a.m., Create Your Own will feature making artifacts based on the ship LaBelle. Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com.

This week The Thinkery has Family Night: Color — An Evening with Roy G. Biv. Friday, the Thinkery is open late for activities all about color. Make soap with Benjamin Soap Co. Make a catapult painting; UT’s Council of Graduate Chemists leads colorful experiments; make dotted paintings with micropipettes; create a flag in Space8. $15. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday. This week in Baby Bloomers, for ages birth to 3, learn about arctic animals. 9 a.m. Saturday. Also on Saturday, Try out Woodworking for ages 8 and older. 10:30 p.m. Saturday. $34 per parent and child. Toy Maker. Early Learners (ages 2 to 3) make a toy. 10:30 a.m. Saturday. $29 per parent and child. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org.

 

 

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus will be coming to Austin in August. Photo by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus is in town this week.
Photo by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey

6. Go to a circus. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey brings “Legends” to the Erwin Center. See the death-defying tricks, watch the elephants take the ring, see lions and tigers be tamed. It’s one of the last chances to see a Ringling Bros. circus with elephants as they phase out the elephant act by 2018. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday. $10-$65. Erwin Center, 1701 Red River St. uterwincenter.comCircus Chickendog featuring six rescue dogs gives us “The Wizard of Dogz!” 2 and 3:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. $12. Dougherty Theatre, 1110 Barton Springs Road. chickendog.net.

 

 

7. See a movie. The Alamo Drafthouse Kids Club is showing these movies this week. Slaughter Lane: “Kung Fu Panda 2,” 10:10 a.m. Monday, 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, 9:55 a.m. Wednesday-Thursday. South Lamar: “How to Train Your Dragon 2,”  11 a.m. Monday and Tuesday and 11:10 a.m. Wednesday. Village: “Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird,” 1 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 1:20 p.m. Wednesday. Lakeline: “The Parent Trap” (original version), 10:45 a.m. Monday, 10:40 a.m. Tuesday, 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and 10:45 a.m. Thursday. Reserve your tickets online for $1-$3 (you pick). It’s a donation to Creative Action. drafthouse.com/packages/2015-summer-kids-camp/austin.

“The Sandlot” is showing at Sound & Cinema at the Long Center. Set up our blanket and enjoy food trailers starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The Night Owls play at 8 p.m. and the movie starts at 8:30 p.m.

8. Hunt for dinosaurs. “Jurassic World” has been the movie of the summer. Tap your kids’ dinosaur enthusiasm by heading to the Texas Memorial Museum and seeing the Onion Creek Mosasaur, digging for fossils at the Austin Nature and Science Center’s Dino Pit, finding the dinosaur tracks in the Hartman Prehistoric Garden at the Zilker Botanical Garden, and running around the dinosaurs at Dinosaur Park Outdoor Museum Adventure in Cedar Creek.

9. Find new reading material. This is your last chance to read something you want to, kids.  You could take in a story time or event at BookPeople. Armstrong Community Music School presents a musical story time at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Tiny Tails to You Petting Zoo comes 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, and it’s all about Bats at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. The Rocking Readers Book Club for ages 8-14 is talking about “The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher,” by Dana Alison Levy, at 3 p.m. Saturday.

10. Be lazy. I rarely recommend this, but this is your last chance to sleep in and have a few slow days before Thanksgiving. Do it.

 


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