What are you going to do this summer in Austin, kids? Check our family calendar for ideas

School is finally almost over. The temperature is on the rise, and soon, a chorus of “I’m bored,” might be heard coming from your house. It’s summer in Austin.

Luckily, it is summer in Austin, which means you can find something to do with the kids every day.

Check out our list and find more at austin360.com/raisingaustin.

A-list: Families play on the Long Center Terrace during Bubblepalooza on Saturday, July 16, 2016.
Suzanne Cordeiro For American-Statesman

Only in Austin

Bricks and Blocks Bonanza. We know you love to build things, and the Thinkery lets you do that at various stations all around Legos and Duplos as well as Jenga and more. All ages. 6-9 p.m. June 8. $15-$13. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

Bubblepalooza. Who doesn’t love bubbles? This free event is all about making bubbles, plus there’s live music. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. June 9. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org

Austin Ice Cream Festival. Sure there’s chocolate and vanilla, but we bet there will be bacon flavor, too. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 to 10 p.m. June 23. $15-$67.50. Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St. austinicecreamfestival.com

Austin Bat Fest. Yes, we love our bats underneath the Anne Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. This festival celebrates everything bat. Congress Avenue Bridge, 100 S. Congress Ave. 4 p.m. to midnight. Aug. 18. $15. Kids 8 and younger Free. http://www.roadwayevents.com/event/bat-fest/ You don’t have to wait for the fest to celebrate them. They come out every night around dusk.

Cedar Park Rodeo is coming to the H-E-B Center.

Entertainment

Domain Northside Kids. Come to the lawn at the Domain Northside for activities for kids 18 months to 6 years old. Free. Camped, 10 a.m.-noon June 6. Heroed, 10 a.m.-noon Aug. 1. Reservations required, domainnorthside.com.

Teen Turn Up. Teens ages 11-17 enjoy teen parties all summer long at Austin’s recreation centers. Balling Out. Three on Three basketball, 6-9 p.m. June 22, Dittmar Recreation Center, 1009 W. Dittmar Road. Pool Palooza, 6-9 p.m. July 27, Dittmar Recreation Center, 1009 W. Dittmar. Road. Back to School Dance, 6-9 p.m. Aug. 24, Givers Recreation Center, 3811 E. 12th St. austintexas.gov

Greater Austin Comic Con. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 16 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 17. $24-$49. H-E-B Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park. hebcenter.com

The Original Harlem Globetrotters. Start your whistling now as you get ready to watch the tricks on the court. 7 p.m. July 13. $24.25 and up. H-E-B Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park. hebcenter.com

Cedar Park Rodeo. See the ropers and riders inside an air-conditioned venue. 7:30 p.m. Aug. 17-18. $27-$12. H-E-B Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park. hebcenter.com

Marvel Universe Live! Now you can see your favorite action heroes live. 7 p.m. Aug. 23-25, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Aug. 25, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Aug. 26. $25-$90. Erwin Center, 1701 Red River St. uterwincenter.com

Game play at the Austin Public Library. Whether it’s board games or computer games, join the fun. Día de los Niños Game Day. 2 p.m. June 1, Little Walnut Creek Branch. Free Play Gaming. 3:30 p.m. June 7, July 23, Aug. 6, Carver Branch. Family Board Game Night. 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Central Library. Teen Videogame Free Play. 2 p.m. Fridays, Central Library. Tech Chicos. 9 a.m. June 25-29, Ruiz Branch. Lego Lab. 4 p.m. June 1, July 6, Aug. 3, North Village Branch; 2 p.m. June 6, June 20, July 17, Carver Branch; 3:30 p.m. June 8, July 13, Aug. 10, Hampton Branch; 2 p.m. June 12, July 10; Milwood Branch; 3 p.m. June 12, July 10, Aug. 14, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. June 13, July 18, Aug. 1, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; 2 p.m. June 15, July 20, Aug. 17, University Hills Branch; Noon, June 19, July 17, Aug. 21, Ruiz Branch; 3:30 p.m. June 19, July 17, Aug. 21, Pleasant Hill Branch; 3 p.m. June 28, July 27, Aug. 23, Cepeda Branch. Night Builders: Family Lego Lab, 7 p.m. June 14, July 12, Aug. 9, Hampton Branch. Master Builders, 1:30 p.m. June 14, 3:30 p.m. Aug. 14, Howson Branch. Arcade Night: An After Hours Family Event. 6 p.m. July 21, University Hills Branch. library.austintexas.gov

Toybrary Austin events. Meet Abby Caddaby. 10:30 a.m. June 12. $12.Superhero Party. 10:30 a.m. June 13. $10. Mermaid Party. 10:30 a.m. June 15. Father’s Day Event. Fix-it Clinic. 10:30 a.m. June 16. Fourth of July Party. 10:30 a.m. July 3. $10. Daniel Tiger visits. 10:30 a.m. July 17. $12. Hello Kitty visits. 10:30 a.m. Aug. 18, $12.Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane. toybraryaustin.com.

The Austin Symphony Children’s Art Park is moving from Symphony Square to the Central Library. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Music

Austin Symphony Hartman Concerts in the Park. 7:30 p.m. Sundays through June 3-Aug. 26 (Except July 8). Free. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org

Austin Symphony Children’s Day Art Park. This year the concerts move from the Symphony Square to the Austin Central Library. A different musician plays each week with a different theme. “Trolls” and April & Amy, June 6; “Martina the Beautiful Cockroach,” All Rhythms Percussion Ensemble, June 20; “Peter and the Wolf,” Austin Symphony Orchestra woodwinds, June 27; “Frogs, Cockroaches and things that go boom!” Austin Symphony Orchestra brass quintet, July 11; “Hansel and Gretel,” Austin Symphony Orchestra woodwind quintet, July 18; “From Robots to Zombies: A Musical Adventure,” Joe McDermott, July 25. 10 a.m. to noon Wednesdays. It’s now free! Austin Central Library, 710 W. Cesar Chavez St. austinsymphony.org

National Geographic’s “Symphony for Our World.” Hear music by the Austin Symphony Orchestra while watching scenes from nature. 8 p.m. July 28. $29-$59. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org

H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert and Fireworks. Hear the symphony and then watch the sky light up. 8:30 p.m. July 4. Free. Vic Mathias Shores. austinsymphony.org

Hey Lolly Music Sing-Along. 10 a.m. Saturdays, July 7-Aug. 4. $3. Scottish Rite Theatre, 207 W. 18th St. scottishritetheater.org.

Gustafer Yellowgold. 11 a.m. July 28. $10-$6. Scottish Rite Theatre, 207 W. 18th St. scottishritetheater.org.

Music at the Austin Public Library. The Telephone Company. 11 a.m. June 5, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. June 7, University Hills Branch; 6 p.m. June 11, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. June 14, Milwood Branch; 2 p.m. June 18, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. June 20, Hampton Branch; 2 p.m. July 5, Pleasant Hill Branch; 2 p.m. July 7, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. July 27, Yarborough Branch. Music and Movement. 11 a.m. June 4, June 18, 11:30 a.m. July 16, Manchaca Road Branch; 3 p.m. June 6, June 20, July 18, Central Library; 10:15 a.m. Thursdays, Carver Branch; 11 a.m. Thursdays, Howson Branch; 11 a.m. June 11, July 9, Aug. 13, Pleasant Hill Branch; 11 a.m. July 6, Aug. 3, Old Quarry Branch. Jim Gill. 3 p.m. June 10, Central Library. Kupira Marimba. 3 p.m. June 24, Central Library. Echoes of Africa. 6 p.m. June 4, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. June 5, Cepeda Branch; 2 p.m. June 7, Pleasant Hill Branch; 2 p.m. June 11, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. June 13, Hampton Branch; 2 p.m. June 18, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; 3 p.m. June 19, St. John Branch; 11 a.m. June 26, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. June 27, Ruiz Branch; 2 p.m. July 5, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. July 6, Yarborough Branch; 2 p.m. July 11, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. July 12, Milwood Branch; 3:30 p.m. July 17, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. July 19, Dove Springs Recreation Center. The Hoots. 2 p.m. June 6, Ruiz Branch; 2 p.m. June 14, University Hills Branch. Austin Ukestra. 1 p.m. June 10, July 8, Aug. 12, Recycled Reads Bookstore. Youth Songwriting Workshop. 3;30 p.m. June 15, July 13, Carver Branch. Lloyd H. Miller of the Deedle Deedle Dees. 2 p.m. June 23, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. June 25, Howson Branch; 3:30 p.m. June 26, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. June 29, Terrazas Branch. library.austintexas.gov

Toybrary Austin music events. Music class with Miss Ariel. 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays. $10. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane. toybraryaustin.com.

Blanton docent Gary Kattner, right, reads a book for (left to right) Mandy Kutz, and daughter Effie, 3, Cate Bowman, 3, and mother Jillian Bontke Bowman during a children’s event in the Blanton Museum of Art. Julia Robinson/ FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2014

Museums

Bullock Museum. The history museum has special programs during the summer in addition to the programs it always runs. Check these out. Free First Sunday events with themed programs: Rodeo, June 3; Stars & Stripes, July 1; Friendship, Aug. 5. Sense-sational Thursdays, explore history with your senses at 10 a.m. on special Thursdays. Little Texans, June 14; Ranches and Rodeos, June 21; Story time, June 28; History Detectives, July 5; Little Texans, July 12 and Aug. 9; Story time, July 26. Make it Tuesdays create art. Round ‘em Up, June 12 and Aug. 7; Piecing History Together, June 19; Paint, June 26; Red, White and Yum, July 3; Comic Book Art Party, July 10; Artful Writing, July 17; Summer Window Clings, July 24; Mini Art, July 31; Daniel G. Benes Science Shows, Aug. 2. Workshop: Rodeo Leather Craft. Try it out for yourself. Noon, June 9. World Refugee Day, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. June 16. Yippee Yay! The rodeo exhibit comes to life with trick roping. 2 p.m. June 3, July 7, July 28, Aug. 4, Aug. 18. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com

Blanton Museum. Each summer, the Blanton brings creative programs for different age groups that have you learning about art as well as making it: 3ft Deep for ages 3-5, 10 a.m. Tuesdays June 12-July 24; Artists and Authors, for ages 5-7, 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Thursdays, June 14-July 26; Deeper Dives for ages 8-10, 10 a.m. Fridays, June 15-July 27; Free Diving for ages 11-14, 1 p.m. Fridays, June 15-July 27. Plus you can make art in the WorkLab, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays, June 13-27, and July 11-25. Blanton Museum. 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. blantonmuseum.org

Contemporary Austin. Families Create: For the Birds, June 9; Fanta-Sea Creatures, July 14; and Ice Painting, Aug. 11. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St. thecontemporaryaustin.org

Thinkery. Baby Bloomers for children younger than 3. 9 a.m. Monday and Saturdays. Each month has a theme, and every week there are special performances. In June, it’s all about what’s Under the Sea. $5. Instant Ice Cream workshop, for ages 4 and up. 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. June 2-3, 16-17, 30-July 1. The July and August workshops haven’t been announced yet. Parents’ Night Out, 5:30-10 p.m. July 13 and Aug. 3. Kids must be 4 or older and potty-trained. $45 first child, $25 each additional sibling. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

Hill Country Science Mill. In June, kids ages 8 and older can learn to turn Trash to Treasure and make art with artist McKay Otto. 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. June 2. Free, but reserve your spot at programs@sciencemill.orgSolar Art. Make art using the sun. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 8. Cyanotype Making. Use the sun and water to dye fabric. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 16. Shark Week. Celebrate all things shark with movies, a fossil dig for teeth and more. July 25-July 29. Hill Country Science Mill, 101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City. sciencemill.org

Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum. Family Day10-4 p.m. June 10, Entangled; July 8, Happy Birthday, Charles Umlauf; and Aug. 12, Remembering LBJ. Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, 605 Robert E. Lee Road. umlaufsculpture.org

George Washington Carver Museum. First Saturdays at the Carver Museum. Noon-4 p.m. June 2, July 7. Let It Ring Juneteenth Celebration. Noon-4 p.m. June 16. George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St. austintexas.gov

The Williamson Museum. Midsommer Festival. Celebrate Swedish heritage. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. June 23. Free. 8 Chisholm Trail, Round Rock. Hands on History. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 14, Aug. 11. 716 S. Austin Ave. williamsonmuseum.org

NASA shows astronaut Clayton Anderson has written an alphabet book about space. He’ll be at BookPeople this summer. NASA 2010

Books

African American Book Festival. Explore new works for all ages. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 23. George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St. austintexas.gov

Book People events. Jennifer Donaldson reads “Lies You Never Told Me,” 6 p.m. June 2. Stephanie Garber reads “Legendary,” 6 p.m. June 9. Space Party with Astronaut Clayton Anderson. Anderson reads his “A is for Astronaut: Blasting Through the Alphabet.” 4 p.m. June 13. Carrie Fountain reads “I’m Not Missing,” 7 p.m. July 12. 10:30 a.m. story times every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Topics include Zumbini, June 2; Proud to Be Me, June 5; Milly McSilly, June 6; Ramadan, June 9; Heartsong Music, June 12; Ms. Staci, June 13; Father’s Day, June 16; Armstrong Community Music School; June 19; Tiny Tails Petting Zoo, June 20; Barking Book Buddies, June 26; Fourth of July with author Stephanie Ledyard, June 27, “Pete the Kitty,” June 30. Check the website for additional events and story times throughout the summer. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd. bookpeople.com

Barnes & Noble story times. Each Saturday all Barnes & Noble locatioons offer 11 a.m. story times. In June, find “Oh the Places You Will Go,” June 2. “Incredibles 2: Sweet Dreams, Jack-Jack,” June 9; Father’s Day, June 16; “Jurassic Park,” June 23; “Pete the Kitty,” June 30. barnesandnoble.com

Book events at the Austin Public Library. Día de los Niños Celebration. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 2, Central Library. Ice Cream Social. 1 p.m. June 2, Howson Branch. Dog Man, create comics, 3:30 p.m. June 6, North Village Branch; 2 p.m. June 15, Yarborough Branch; 2 p.m. June 28, Pleasant Hill Branch; 6 p.m. July 2, Carver Branch; 6 p.m. July 10, Twin Oaks Branch. “Princess in Black” Party. 2 p.m. June 4, Howson Branch; 2 p.m. June 13, Ruiz Branch. 3:30 p.m. June 19, Old Quarry Branch; 3:30 p.m. June 20, North Village Branch; 2 p.m. July 5, Dove Springs Recreation Center; 11 a.m. July 17, Twin Oaks Branch. Pajama story time. 6 p.m. Mondays in June and July, University Hills Branch; 6:30 p.m. Mondays in June and July, Central Library; 6 p.m. June 5, July 3, Aug. 7, Yarborough Branch; 6 p.m. June 26, July 24, Old Quarry Branch; 6 p.m. June 28, North Village Branch; 6 p.m. June 28, Spicewood Springs Branch; 6 p.m. July 31, Milwood Branch. Camp Bluebonnet. Read the recommended books for grades 3-6. 2:30 p.m. Mondays in June, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. Tuesdays in June, Howson Branch; 1 p.m. Tuesdays in July, Pleasant Hill Branch; 11 a.m. Wednesdays in July 11-Aug.8, Spicewood Springs Branch. NBTween Book Club. “Nerd Camp,” 4 p.m. June 13, Howson Branch. “Frogkisser!” 6 p.m. June 20, Hampton Branch. “Eleven and Holding,” 6 p.m. June 21, Spicewood Springs Branch. “The Harlem Charade,” 6 p.m. June 21, Twin Oaks Branch; “Garvey’s Choice,” 4 p.m. July 11, Howson Branch; “The Bicycle Spy,” 6 p.m. Hampton Branch; “Ghost,” 6 p.m. July 19, Spicewood Springs Branch; “Hereville,” 6 p.m. July 19, Twin Oaks Branch; “The Night Diary,” 4 p.m. Aug. 8, Howson Branch; “Sisters,” 6 p.m. Aug. 15, Hampton Branch. “Ms. Bixby’s Last Day,” 6 p.m. Aug. 16, Spicewood Springs Branch. Teen Writing Club. 2 p.m. Thursdays, June 14-July 12, Central Library. Teen Book Club. “Saints and Misfits,” 6:30 p.m. June 19, Howson Branch; “Uglies,” 6:30 p.m. July 17, Howson Branch; 10:30 a.m. June 22, July 6, July 20, Aug. 3, Cepeda Branch. library.austintexas.gov

Toybrary book event. “Penguin & Shrimp” story time. 10:30 a.m. June 22. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane. toybraryaustin.com.

The Austin Humane Society will offer Teddy Bear Surgery again this summer. Austin Humane Society

Animals and nature

RED Arena Round-Up. Family fun and inclusive rodeo play day with a petting zoo, kid games and mini horses. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 2. Free. Dripping Springs Ranch Park, 1042 Event Center Drive, Dripping Springs. redarena.org

Ask a Vet. Bring your questions to hear from Thundering Paws veterinarian Lauren Cannon. 11:30 a.m. June 2, Barnes & Noble Sunset Valley, 5601 Brodie Lane. barnesandnoble.com

The Austin Humane Society Summer Kids Series! The Austin Humane Society offers events throughout the summer for children. Story times for children 8 and younger: 10 a.m. June 5, July 10, Aug. 7. Tail talks animal question session for children 8 and older: 2 p.m. June 5, 1 p.m. June 19, 2 p.m. July 10, 2 p.m. July 24, 2 p.m. Aug. 7. Teddy Bear Surgery, 1 p.m. June 9, July 7, Aug. 11. Austin Wildlife Rescue: All about Wildlife for children 8 and younger: 10 a.m. June 12, July 17, Aug. 14. Outdoor Movie Night: 7:30 p.m. June 14, July 12. Humane Hero Hour for children 8 and younger: 10 a.m. June 19, July 24. Art workshops for children 8 and younger: 10 a.m. June 26, July 31. Free, but you must register, AustinHumaneSociety.org, 512-646-7387. Austin Humane Society, 124 W. Anderson Lane.

Wildflower Center. Nature Nights at 6 p.m.to 9 p.m. on Thursdays each have a theme: Outdoor Recreation, June 7; Fantastic Creatures & Where to Find Them, June 14; Bats, June 21; Water, June 28. Free. You also can find hands-on programs for preschoolers through its Sprouts program, 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, and during the Nature Play Hour, 10 a.m. Saturdays. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org

Zilker Botanical Garden opens its Woodland Faerie Trail today through Aug. 10. The trail is full of homes people have created for the fairies. Maybe you’ll see a fairy. Reserve your spot online at and on austintexas.gov/parksonline. Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road. zilkergarden.org

Animals at the Austin Public Library. Welcome to Jurassic World for teens. 1 p.m. June 4, Central Library. Visit with a Park Ranger, 2 p.m. June 8, Yarborough Branch, 3:30 p.m. June 12, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. June 25, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. July 2, Pleasant Hill Branch. Crowe’s Nest Farm, 2 p.m. June 9, Manchaca Road Branch; 3 p.m. June 12, St. John’s Branch; 2 p.m. June 14, Pleasant Hill Branch; 2 p.m. June 15, Terrazas Branch; 2 p.m. June 21, Milwood Branch; 6 p.m. June 25, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. June 28, University Hills Branch; 3:30 p.m. July 10, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. July 23, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. July 25, Ruiz Branch. Dinosaur George, 3 p.m. June 3, Central Library. library.austintexas.gov

Toybrary Repitle Show. 10:30 a.m. June 2. $12. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane. toybraryaustin.com.

Zilker Summer Musical returns to the hillside with an Elvis-themed show “All Shook Up.”

Theater

Zilker Summer Musical “All Shook Up.” Zilker Summer Musical returns with the music of Elvis. 8:15 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays July 7-Aug. 18. Free, but donations welcome. Zilker Hillside Theatre, 2206 William Barton Drive. zilker.org

Pollyanna Theatre Company’s “If Wishes Were Fishes.” 2 p.m. June 23-24, and 2 p.m. June 30-July 1. $10.50-$13.50. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org At the library: 2 p.m. July 11, Hampton Branch; 2 p.m. July 19, Pleasant Hill Branch; 2 p.m. July 23, Howson Branch; 11 a.m. July 24, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. July 26, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. July 28, Manchaca Road Branch.

Summer Stock Austin “The Music Man.” July 20-Aug. 11. Prices and specific times and dates of shows TBA. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org

Summer Stock Austin “Rob1n.” This modern retelling of the Robin Hood tale puts a girl in the starring role in this musical by Allen Robertson and Damon Brown. July 24-Aug 11. Prices and specific times and dates of shows TBA. thelongcenter.org

The Little Mermaid. 8:15 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays June 1-30, 8:15 p.m. July 1. $10. EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens, 1101 FM 2325, Wimberley. emilyann.org

Robin Hood. The children’s version of the classic story. 10 a.m. July 14, 21, 28. 2 p.m. July 15, 22, 29. $10-$8. EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens, 1101 FM 2325, Wimberley.emilyann.org

Spoonful of Sugar Improv for Families with Hideout Theatre. 11 a.m. June 3, 9, 16-17, 23-24, 30, July 1. $12-$8. “Too Many Stories!” 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays, June 13-Aug. 1. $6. Scottish Rite Theatre, 207 W. 18th St. scottishritetheater.org.

“Beauty and the Beast.” The Disney movie comes to the stage. 7:30 p.m. July 11-Sept. 2. $25-$150. Zach Theatre, 202 S. Lamar Blvd. zachtheatre.org.

Literature Live Presents “King Midas.” 2 p.m. June 4, Spicewood Springs Branch; 3 p.m. June 5, St. John Branch; 2 p.m. June 6, Hampton Branch; 2 p.m. June 8, Terrazas Branch; 2 p.m. June 12, Cepeda Branch; 2 p.m. June 14, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; 3 p.m. June 17, Central Library; 11 a.m. June 19, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. June 21, Pleasant Hill Branch; 2 p.m. June 27, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. June 30, Manachaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. July 2, Howson Branch; 3:30 p.m. July 3, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. July 5, Milwood Branch; 3 p.m. July 7, Recycled Reads Bookstore; 6 p.m. July 9, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. July 11, Ruiz Branch; 3:30 p.m. July 18, North Village Branch; 2 p.m. July 19, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. July 20, Yarborough Branch. “Puppets, Puppets, Everywhere!” 2 p.m. June 7, Milwood Branch; 3 p.m. June 26, St. John Branch; 2 p.m. June 28, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; 2 p.m. July 10, Cepeda Branch. library.austintexas.gov

Sandbank Shadow Factory Presents: “The Legend of Walter Weirdbeard.” 3:30 p.m. June 5, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. June 6, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. June 14, Ruiz Branch; 2 p.m. June 21, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. June 22, Yarborough Branch; 2 p.m. June 26, Cepeda Branch; 2 p.m. June 28, Milwood Branch; 2 p.m. July 2, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. July 14, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. July 18, Hampton Branch.library.austintexas.gov

Magik Theatre Presents: “The Three Little Pigs.” 2 p.m. June 13, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. June 16, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. June 27, Hampton Branch; 11 a.m. July 3, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. July 9, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. July 19, Milwood Branch; 3:30 p.m. July 24, Old Quarry Branch. library.austintexas.gov

Other performances at the library: Terence Taps. 2 p.m. June 11, Howson Branch; 2 p.m. June 20, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. July 12, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. July 16, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. July 26, Milwood Branch. Magician John O’Bryant. 2 p.m. June 22, Terrazas Branch; 2 p.m. July 16, Howson Branch; 2 p.m. July 21, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. July 25, Hampton branch; 2 p.m. July 26, Old Quarry Branch. library.austintexas.gov

Wildstyle (voiced by Elizabeth Banks), Emmet (Chris Pratt) and Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) are three of the key characters in “The Lego Movie.” It will be showing at kids movie events around town. Credit: Warner Bros.

Movies

Sound & Cinema. Watch a classic movie with a soundtrack by a local band. The movie titles have not been released yet, but some will be family-appropriate, some won’t be. Free. 6 p.m. July 11, July 25, Aug. 1, Aug. 15. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org

Paramount Summer Movie Classics. Show your kids all the great films you or your parents grew up on. “The Wizard of Oz,” 1 p.m. June 3; “Back to the Future” 3:15 p.m. June 3; “Labrinth” 7 p.m. June 5; “The Princess Bride” 1 p.m. June 17; “The Little Mermaid” 1 p.m. June 24; “Mary Poppins” 1 p.m. July 1; “Annie” 1 p.m. July 22; “Superman.” 1 p.m. July 29; “The Nightmare Before Christmas” 1 p.m. Aug. 5; “Grease” 1 p.m. Aug. 11; “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” 1 p.m. Aug. 19; $6-$12. Paramount Theater, 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org

Alamo Drafthouse Kids Club. “How to Train Your Dragon,” 10 a.m. June 1-7, Lakeline. 10 a.m. June 25-26, 10:15 a.m. June 27-28, Slaughter Lane. 10:30 a.m. June 25-21, Mueller. “Trolls,” 10 a.m. June 8, June 10-14, 11:30 a.m. June 9, Lakeline. 10:05 a.m. June 18, 10:20 a.m. June 19, 10:10 a.m. June 20-21, Slaughter Lane. 10:30 a.m. June 25-28, Mueller. “The Neverending Story,” 10:30 a.m. June 8, June 11-14, Mueller. 10 a.m. June 18-21, Lakeline. 10:15 a.m. June 1, June 3-7, Slaughter Lane. “The Lego Movie,” 10:30 a.m. June 1-6, Mueller. 10:25 a.m. June 8, 10:10 a.m. June 9, June 10, June 12-13, 10 a.m. June 11, 10:15 a.m. June 14, Slaughter Lane. 10 a.m. June 25-28, Lakeline. “The Land Before Time,” 10 a.m. June 29-July 5, Lakeline. “Sing,” 10:30 a.m. June 29-July 5, Mueller. Coming in July: “The Muppets Take Manhattan,” “The Land Before Time,” and “Monsters vs. Aliens.” In August: “The Prince of Egypt,” “King Fu Panda,” and “Despicable Me.” Special sensory-friendly viewings: “How to Train Your Dragon,” 10 a.m. June 5, Lakeline; “Trolls,” 10 a.m. June 12, Lakeline; “The Lego Movie,” 10 a.m. June 26, Lakeline; “The Land Before Time,” 10 a.m. July 3, Lakeline. “Incredibles 2” Family Party, 9 a.m. June 17, Lakeline. 9:15 a.m. June 17, Mueller. 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. June 16, Slaughter Lane. drafthouse.com

Movies in the Park. Roll out the blanket and enjoy a free movie. “How to Train Your Dragon,” 9 p.m. June 21. Patterson Park. “10 Things I Hate About You” 8:30 p.m. Aug. 16, Martin Multipurpose Fields. austinparks.org

Flix Jr. Flix offers $2 children’s movies at 11 a.m. Wednesdays. “How to Train Your Dragon,” June 6. “The Iron Giant,” June 13. “The Secret Life of Pets,” June 20. “The Land Before Time,” June 27. Look for the July and August schedules online. 2200 S. Interstate 35, Suite B1, Round Rock. flixbrewhouse.com

Regal Summer Movie Express. 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Westgate Stadium 11 and Gateway Stadium 16. and “ “The Iron Giant,” and “Curious George,” June 5-6; “Despicable Me” and “Ice Age: Collision Course,” June 12-13; “Storks” and “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” June 19-20; “Despicable Me 2” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” June 26-27; “The Lego Movie” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” July 3-July 4; “Sing” and “The Peanuts Movie,” July 10-11; “The Lego Ninjago Movie” and “Ferdinand,” July 17-18; “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” July 24-25; “The Lego Batman Movie” and “Trolls,” July 31 and Aug. 1. Tickets are $1. regmovies.com/movies/summer-movie-express

Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse. Offers $1 movies 10 a.m. Monday through Thursdays at Round Rock 8. “Boss Baby,” June 4-7; “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” June 11-14; “The Lego Ninjago Movie,” June 18-21; “Storks,” June 25-28; “The Nut Job 2,” July 2-5; “My Little Pony,” July 9-12; “Ferdinand,” July 16-19; “Paddington 2,” July 23-26; “Captain Underpants,” July 30-Aug. 2; “The Emoji Movie,” Aug. 6-9. . cinemark.com/summer-movie-clubhouse

The Bullock Museum is offering its Summer Free Family Film Series: “The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh” 2 p.m. June 23; “The Land Before Time” 2 p.m. July 14; “Toy Story” 2 p.m. Aug. 11.Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com

That’s My Face, Youth and Young Adult Film Series. “A Strike and An Uprising (In Texas,)” 6:30 p.m. June 8. “Taking Israel: A Journey of African American Students,” 6:30 p.m. July 13. “The Mask You Live In,” 6:30 p.m. Aug. 10. George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St. austintexas.gov

Austin Public Library screenings. Look for these movies to be shown at your local library. “Thor Ragnarok,” 2 p.m. June 2, University Hills Branch; “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” 5 p.m. June 4, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” 5 p.m. June 11, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; “Grease” singalong: 1:30 p.m. June 4, Old Quarry Branch; “Trolls,” 2 p.m. June 16, Twin Oaks Branch; “Coco,” 2 p.m. June 19, Ruiz Branch; “House Party,” 6:30 p.m. June 20, Carver Branch; “Captain Underpants,” 3:30 p.m. June 22, Old Quarry Branch; “Peter Rabbit,” 3:30 p.m. June 29, Carver Branch: “Black Panther,” 2 p.m. June 30, University Hills Branch, 3:30 p.m. July 20, Carver Branch; “Rock Dog,” 2 p.m. Aug. 9, Old Quarry Branch; “My Little Pony: The Movie,” 3:30 p.m. Aug. 17, Carver Branch. library.austintexas.gov

Create art at the Austin Public Library with events like Crafternoon. American-Statesman

Art

Art at the Austin Public Library. In addition to creating art in museums, check out these art-creating events. Art Smart Día de Los Niños, 10:30 a.m. June 1, Central Library. Art Smart “We Read” Community Mural Project. 2 p.m. July 23, 30, Aug. 6, Aug. 13, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 4 p.m. July 24, 31, Aug. 7, Aug. 14, University Hills Branch; 1 p.m. July 25, Aug. 1, Aug. 8, Aug. 15, Carver Branch; 1 p.m. July 27, Aug. 3, Aug. 10, Aug. 17, Pleasant Hill Branch. Crafternoon. 3 p.m. Mondays in June, Dove Springs Recreation Center; 11 a.m. June 9, University Hills Branch; 3:30 p.m. June 13, July 18, Aug. 22, Carver Branch; 3 p.m. June 14, July 12, Aug. 9, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. June 20, July 11, Cepeda Branch; 3:30 p.m. June 26, July 24, Aug. 28, Howson Branch. Sew U for teens. 3 p.m. June 5, June 19, July 3, Central Library. Feltastic and Filmazing. “Ferdinand.” 2 p.m. June 9, Howson Branch. “Trolls,” 2 p.m. June 16, Twin Oaks Branch. “Coco,” 2 p.m. June 19, Ruiz Branch; 2 p.m. June 5, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. July 17, University Hills Branch; 6:30 p.m. July 26, Central Library. “The Emoji Movie,” 2 p.m. July 6, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. July 12, Carver Branch. You Are the Artist for ages 5-10. 11 a.m. June 12, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. June 21, Dove Springs Recreation Center; 2 p.m. June 21, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; 2 p.m. July 3, Cepeda Branch; 2 p.m. July 12, Pleasant Hill Branch; 2 p.m. July 18, Ruiz Branch; 3:30 p.m. July 25, North Village Branch. The Contemporary Austin Presents Art Story time. 11 a.m. June 13, Old Quarry Branch; 11 a.m. June 14, Milwood Branch; 11 a.m. June 16, Pleasant Hill Branch; 11 a.m. June 27, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; 6 p.m. July 2, University Hills Branch; 10:15 a.m. July 3, Carver Branch; 11 a.m. July 12, North Village Branch; 11 a.m. July 30, Hampton Branch. library.austintexas.gov

Science/Technology

Science at the Austin Public Library. Tween Steam: Stop Motion Animation. 2 p.m. June 12, Ruiz Branch, 2 p.m. June 15, Little Walnut Creek Branch, 4 p.m. June 26, University Hills Branch, 2 p.m. Carver Branch, July 19; Wire Wearables, 4 p.m. June 12, University Hills, 2 p.m. June 13, Pleasant Hill Branch; Rita Want Artist in Residence Series, 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, June 14-July 5 Central Library; Paper Circuits, 2 p.m. June 21, Carver Branch, 2 p.m. June 22, North Village Branch, 2 p.m. July 7, Twin Oaks Branch, 2 p.m. July 10, Ruiz Branch; LittleBits Theme Park, 4 p.m. June 10, University Hills Branch, 2 p.m. July 20, Howson Branch. Spy Camp. 2 p.m. June 19, Cepeda Branch; 2 p.m. July 9, Howson Branch; 2 p.m. July 26, Pleasant Hill Branch. library.austintexas.gov

That hotel pool could make you sick this summer, CDC study finds

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released this bit of information last week:

1 in 3 waterborne disease outbreaks traced happen in hotel pools or hot tubs.

There have been about 500 waterborne disease outbreaks from 2000 to 2014. In addition to hotel pools and hot tubs, water parks have also been to blame.

Infographic: Swim healthy, stay healthy

 

Diseases include things like Cryptosporidium, Pseudomonas, and Legionella. These diseases are also really tough to fight. Crypto can survive in even properly maintained pools and pseudomonas and legionella can survive disinfectants.

In the 493 outbreaks from 2000 to 2014, 27,219 people got sick and eight people died. More than half of them happened in the summer.

These disease cause things like skin infections, respiratory disease and diarrhea.

Austin had its own Crypto outbreak in 1998, when 1,300 people got sick.

RELATED: Before you go swimming know what’s lurking in the water

The CDC offers these suggestions:

Protect yourself and your family from germs spread through the water we swim in and share

Take the following steps to protect yourself and loved ones from germs when swimming in pools, soaking in hot tubs, or visiting water playgrounds:

  • Don’t swim or let your kids swim if sick with diarrhea. If Crypto is the cause of the diarrhea, wait until 2 weeks after diarrhea has stopped to go swimming.
  • Check the pools, hot tubs and water playground inspection scores.
  • Before getting in the water, use a test strip from your local retailer or pool supply store to check if the water’s pH and bromine or free chlorine level are correct.
  • Don’t swallow the water.
  • Take kids on bathroom breaks hourly, and change diapers in a diaper-changing area and away from the water.

Healthy and Safe Swimming Week

Healthy and Safe Swimming Week begins Monday. CDC encourages swimmers to help protect themselves, family and friends from germs and encourages the aquatics sector to follow recommendations for the design, construction, operation, and management of recreational water facilities. For more information and other healthy and safe swimming steps, visit www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming.

RELATED: How safe is your local pool?

Brigitte Decato, a swim instructor with the Swim Safe program at the YMCA, works with Octavio Ruiz, 5, (center) on the backstroke. 2007 Laura Skelding AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Follow our swim safety tips:

Don’t forget that even if the pool is safe, water can be a very unsafe place. Keep these things in mind when you head to the pool, lake or beach this weekend.

Before you dip your toes into whatever body of water you choose, practice these rules for water safety we compiled using experts from the YMCA, City of Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department, Colin’s Hope, Safe Kids Austin, the Lower Colorado River Authority and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What does drowning look like?

Unlike what we see in the movies, “drowning is a silent thing. There’s no splashing, yelling or choking,” says Stephanie Hebert, the injury prevention coordinator at Dell Children’s Medical Center and the Safe Kids Austin coordinator. “They go under and when they are under, you don’t hear them, you don’t see anything.”

Drowning also doesn’t take long. Irreversible brain damage happens in as little as four minutes. Children who drown are usually missing for less than five minutes and usually are in the presence of at least one parent.

For children younger than 15, it’s the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths, behind motor vehicle accidents. Children younger than 5 are more at risk. Boys also are more susceptible because they tend to take more risks.

It can happen anywhere. Pools with lifeguards, natural bodies of water, bathtubs and toilets.

As of mid-May this year, 16 children already have drowned in Texas, according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

It’s also preventable, so let’s focus on that.

Watch the water

The No. 1 thing parents can do to prevent a child from drowning is supervise their children.

For young children, that means getting in the water and having hands-on contact or being within arm’s length.

For older children, that means watching them in the water at all times. Reading a book in a lounge chair or talking to a fellow parent or texting isn’t supervising.

The Austin-based drowning prevention nonprofit group Colin’s Hope distributes 75,000 water safety packets every year that include a Water Guardian bracelet. The bracelet slips on and signifies that you are the designated adult watching the children in your group. If you need to take a break, you hand it to another adult, whose sole job is watching the water.

The City of Austin ordinance requires that kids 9 and younger have an adult with them to be in a city pool and that kids ages 10 to 14 can be by themselves if they pass a swim test, but why chance it? Supervise everyone in your group.

Vacation is also no time to let your guard down. Kids can drown in cruise ships and hotel pools.

Always have a phone nearby and learn CPR. A water safety class is also a great idea.

Good swimmers drown, too

Even kids who know how to swim can drown, says Alissa Magrum, executive director of Colin’s Hope, which was started by the parents of Colin Holst, a 4-year-old who drowned in an Austin pool in 2008. Colin had had swim lessons and was at a life-guarded pool with his family and friends watching.

“A lot of families think, ‘My kids are decent swimmers; they’ve had swim lessons, they are fine,’ ” Hebert says.

But things happen. Children accidentally swallow water. Or they hit their heads. Or they misjudge their abilities. Or they get tired or dehydrated or hungry.

Donita Grinde-Houtman, the aquatic supervisor for Austin Parks and Recreation, says lifeguards respond most often between 2 and 6 p.m. because kids get tired. “Kiddos have been at the pool all day long, they’re getting tired, and they don’t recognize that they don’t have the energy to swim as far as they need to.”

Take frequent breaks. End earlier than you think you should. Rehydrate and refuel throughout the day.

Not-so-good swimmers need more help

That doesn’t mean water wings, pool noodles and other pool toys to stay afloat. Put a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket on your budding swimmer. They have to have one on for getting in a boat, so why not extend that to any body of water?

Before you go to a pool, define where the shallow end is, especially for not-so-good swimmers. One of the most common reasons lifeguards make a water rescue, says Bret Kiester, the executive director of the Hays Communities YMCA and the aquatic directors liaison for all the Austin-area YMCAs, is when kids who aren’t good swimmers find the deep end. Sometimes they’ve monkey-crawled along the side of the pool to that end; other times they’re following an older sibling or they don’t know where the deep end starts.

Lifeguards are great but not a guarantee

Be hesitant to swim in a place without a lifeguard because they add a layer of protection. However, they’re not insurance.

One lifeguard Magrum was working with put it this way: “We are not baby-sitters. We are here in an emergency.”

Lifeguards have a lot of people to watch, not just your child. Their job gets even more difficult the more people are in the pool and the less-clear the water is. They also get distracted by children horsing around (i.e. running around the pool) and other emergencies not in the pool.

Lifeguards, who go through similar training programs, are supposed to scan 180 degrees every 10 seconds from top to bottom, from right to left. If you see a lifeguard who isn’t doing that or you notice that lifeguards aren’t getting frequent breaks and rotating out, alert a supervisor.

Swim lessons

Swim lessons statistically have been shown to reduce a child’s chances of drowning, but it’s not a magic shield.

The YMCA and the City of Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department start swim lessons as parent-and-child classes at age 6 months, old enough for a child to have good head control.

Those early classes are about familiarizing the baby with water and teaching parents good water safety with their children.

By age 3 or 4, children can take solo lessons, but if you’ve missed that age, don’t worry. “It’s never too late to learn how to swim,” Kiester says. He’s had students as old as 92 learn to swim.

Kids are grouped by age, then by ability, and there are adult classes, too — something parents who don’t know how to swim should consider in order to be able to save a child in danger.

Swim lessons are not just about learning strokes. They teach about being comfortable and water safety.

Sometimes kids will have a bad reaction to swimming lessons. It might be the time of day or it might be the coolness of the water, Grinde-Houtman says.

If your child is truly afraid of the water, Grinde-Houtman says, you might have to take a step back and start with something like sitting at the side of the pool and putting her feet in the water.

Free swim lessons are available from the Austin American-Statesman’s Swim Safe program, which provides lessons at YMCA locations and City of Austin pools.

A great time to do swim lessons is in the winter, Kiester says. They tend to be less crowded and when summer starts, kids won’t have to re-learn to be comfortable in the water again.

Natural bodies of water

Rivers, lakes, springs and oceans get tricky. The surface is uneven. “You might be wading in waist-deep water and the next step you’re in 16 feet of water,” says Clara Tuma of the LCRA.

You also can’t see the bottom to know if someone has fallen in.

It’s also hard to judge distances. People often get in trouble because they pick a point to swim to and underestimate how far it is. “They run out of energy halfway there,” Tuma says. “They can’t just stop and sit under a tree.”

Wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket allows them to rest and float if they need to.

And often people get confused as to where they are to report an emergency.

Swimming on natural bodies also means you’re not the only thing out there. Keep a look out for boats and personal water crafts that might not be able to see you.

In oceans, teach kids how to deal with rip currents that push swimmers away from the shore.

Never swim alone no matter what type of water you are in.

Keep safe at home

Each year many kids drown at home. Kids can drown in as little as 1 inch of water.

Never walk away from a young child in a bathtub, not even to answer the phone or grab a towel.

Keep locks on toilets if you have infants and toddlers. Keep plastic kiddie pools empty as well as mop buckets.

If you have a backyard pool, install a locking gate system on all four-sides of the pool. If a child goes missing, check the pool or hot tub first before looking inside the house.

Teach baby-sitters about pool safety.

Know which sunscreens work best and what to look for in a sunscreen. AMANDA VOISARD / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Don’t forget to wear your sunscreen and bug spray, too. 

We tested more than 20 sunscreens last week to see which ones worked best and last year we tested 16 bug sprays to see which one actually repelled mosquitoes. 

Before you head out, read our research.

Have a safe summer!

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

 

 

What’s the best sunscreen? We put more than 20 to the test

Last year, I put 16 mosquito repellents to the test, and found some definite winners — and some losers.

This year, I grabbed 21 sunscreens of various types and tested them. I have very fair skin (ghostlike, my family says) and burn easily. I tried the sunscreens while gardening, while going for a long hike in the middle of Austin in the heat of the day (don’t try this at home) and while swimming at the pool.

Know which sunscreens work best and what to look for in a sunscreen. AMANDA VOISARD / AMERICAN-STATESMAN photos

I also rotated which area of the body each one covered to make sure that each sunscreen got an opportunity to be on both the upper body and lower body, except the ones that were made especially for the face. I tried ones that sprayed on, foamed on, slathered on and apply like deodorant. Some were all natural, some had chemicals by the dozen; some were sunblock rather than sunscreen. They had SPF (sun protection factor) of 21 to 100. Was there a difference?

The good news: All of them were better than nothing at all. The patches of skin left bare definitely reddened.

[cmg_anvato video=”4394829″ autoplay=”true”]

See how we rated them:

Baby

Badger Baby Chamomile & Calendula

Type: Very thick cream

Price: $11.48 with $2 off coupon

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 30

Ingredients: Zinc oxide, plus sunflower seed oil, beeswax, chamomile, calendula extract, seabuckthorn fruit extract. The tube says it is non-GMO, biodegradable, 98 percent organic, 100 percent certified natural.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 40 minutes

Scent: Light floral scent

Does it work? Yes. Badger baby was one of the best-performing. It was definitely water-resistant and sweat-proof. It was one of the few spots where there was no coloration of the skin, except the white residue left by the cream. The cream was a bit hard to spread because of its thickness. We could definitely tell where we put it. The scent was OK, but with all those floral ingredients, we expected it to smell better.

Would we use it again? Yes, especially on someone who is fair-skinned or a baby.

Banana Boat Simply Protect Baby

Type: Mineral-based lotion

Price: $7.92

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 50+

Ingredients: Titanium dioxide, zinc oxide. The tube says there are no oxybenzone or parabens, no added oils or fragrances, but there are plenty of glycerides and other chemicals listed in the inactive ingredients.

Water resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes

Scent: Light sunscreen scent.

Does it work? Yes. It was definitely sweat-proof and water-resistant, but it does not rub in or remove easily with soap and water. Days later, my back is still white from where this sunscreen is lingering. It also was not as thick as some sunscreens so it got everywhere, including my car seat.

Would we use it again? Maybe. The great thing is it really works, but with it getting everywhere and being hard to get out, we’re a bit hesitant.

Coppertone Water Babies Pure & Simple Whipped

Type: Mousse-like whipped sunscreen

Price: $9.97

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 50

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, plus various alcohols, acids and other chemicals. The bottle also says it is free of fragrances, parabens, oils, dyes and PABA.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes

Scent: Very light sunscreen smell

Does it work? It definitely let some reddening of the skin happen. It also was not sweat-proof at all, and we didn’t experience any water-resistance qualities.

Would we use it again? Probably not. We loved the concept of the whipped sunscreen, but it was incredibly hard to unlock the cap and press down on the top to squirt out the mousse. It also got all over clothes, but it did rub in better than some of the other baby lotion.

 

Kids

H-E-B Solutions Kids

Type: Lotion spray that sprays white for no missed spots

Price: $6.75

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 50

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, plus a lot of other chemicals as inactive ingredients. The bottle says it is hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes

Scent: Light sunscreen scent

Does it work? Not well. This spray was goopy and gross, which made it hard to spray on hard-to-reach areas. It got everywhere. It also did not protect from pigment changes. In fact, each time, the area where we used this spray was one of the most burned areas. It was definitely sweat-proof, but not as effective on water-resistance after a trip to the pool.

Would we use it again? A big no.

Alba Botanica Kids Sunscreen tropical fruit

Type: Cream

Price: $5.99 with $2 off coupon

SPF: Broad Spectrum SPF 45

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octocrylene, octyl salicylate, plus natural oils and extracts, as well as oils. The tube also says it is tear-free, gluten-free, biodegradable, with no oxybenzone, octinoxate or animal testing, and with natural fragrances.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes

Scent: Very light scent, not fruity.

Does it work? There was definitely some color change, but not as bad as with others. It was easy to apply, rubbed in nicely and didn’t leave that white residue. It did fine with handling sweat. It wasn’t particularly water-resistent, but it also didn’t come off in the pool, either.

Would we use it again? Yes, because it was so easy to apply, but it’s not the most effective one we tried.

Sport

Banana Boat Sport sunscreen stick

Type: Sunscreen stick with Powerstay Technology

Price: $7.92

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 50+

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, plus some other chemicals and cocoa butter.

Water-resistant: Water and sweat up to 80 minutes

Scent: Very light.

Does it work? We did have some skin color change, but not a lot. It was some of the most water-resistant and sweat-resistant of the group. It was easy to use and didn’t feel tacky at all. In fact, you could hardly tell you had it on.

Would we use it again? For ease of use, yes, but we would go over the area a couple of times. Also, it’s unclear how much of the body you could cover before you would run out.

Neutrogena CoolDry Sport sunscreen stick

Type: Sunscreen Stick with Micromesh

Price: $9.97

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 50+

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, also some beeswax, plus parafin and chemicals.

Water-resistant: Water and sweat-resistance up to 80 minutes

Scent: Strong scent that’s nice, but might be overpowering on the whole body

Does it work? No. This area had some of the most color change. It did have some excellent water-resistance, but wasn’t particularly sweat-proof. It also was tacky to the touch and hard to see where it went on.

Would we use it again? No. We love the idea of a sunscreen stick for ease of use, but it didn’t work as well as the Banana Boat version.

No-Ad Suncare 30 Sport

Type: Sunscreen

Price: $6.97 with a $2 coupon

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 30

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, oxybenzone, plus some alcohol, glycerin and a lot less other inactive ingredients than most. It says it is paraben-free, fragrance-free and oil-free.

Water-resistant: Water and sweat-resistance up to 80 minutes.

Scent: It has a heavy sunscreen scent.

Does it work? Yes. We did not notice a color change any time we used it. It stayed on with sweat and water, though it wasn’t noticeably water-resistant.

Would we use it again? Maybe. It worked, but was cold when it went on and slightly greasy. The smell was like wearing a walking billboard for sunscreen.

Neutrogena CoolDry Sport sunscreen spray

Type: Spray

Price: $10.97

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 70

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, plus some other chemicals.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes, plus it says it “stays on through sweat”

Scent: It smells like a French perfume in a good way.

Does it work? We saw some color change. It was the easiest spray to use, though. When you do use it, get ready to jump. It’s really, really cold when it touches the skin. It also was a little greasy. We didn’t notice any particularly great water-resistance or sweat-resistance.

Would we use it again? Probably not. We wanted it to work better as a sunscreen. It was the easiest to use spray, though.

Goddess Garden Organics Sport

Type: Cream

Price: $12.98

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 30

Ingredients: Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, with some shea butter, coconut oil, safflower seed oil and sunflower oil. It calls itself a “natural sunscreen” with organic ingrediants, and says it has no chemical sunscreen.

Water-resistant: Yes, for 80 minutes.

Scent: I thought it was smelly; my husband thought it smelled good.

Does it work? Yes, there definitely was no skin color change with this sunscreen. It definitely had water-proofing and sweat-proofing abilities.

Would we use it again?Probably not. It was definitely one of the best sunscreens as far as efficacy, but it left a white residue and was smelly. It also never fully rubbed into the skin and left its mark on the seat of the car.

Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Ultra Light

Type: Cream lotion

Price: $7.92

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 30

Ingredients: Avobenzone, octocrylene, oxybenzone, plus fruit and flower extracts, shea butter, mango seed butter, paraffin, alcohol and chemicals. It says it is oil-free and breathable, non-greasy and won’t clog pours.

Water-resistant: Water- and sweat-resistant for 80 minutes.

Scent: Smells nice, though sunscreeny.

Does it work? Somewhat. There was definitely a color change, but it wasn’t particularly bad. It definitely had water-resistance properties.

Would we use it again? Maybe. It was some of the nicest feeling of the creams and rubbed in well. It left the skin with a cool feeling and wasn’t sticky. It’s performance was a bit disappointing.

Regular adult sunscreen

H-E-B Solutions Sunscreen Ultra Protection

Type: Clear spray

Price: $8

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 100

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, plus some oils, flower extracts, and some chemicals.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes

Scent: Stinky sunscreen smell.

Does it work? No. Despite it being SPF 100, when we used it, the area had some of definite color change. This was also the only area where the burn actually hurt. It wasn’t particularly sweat-proof or water-resistant.

Would we use it again? No. It didn’t work, plus it was very oily and runny and hard to put on. It left the skin oily.

Neutrogena Beach Defense Water + Sun Protection

Type: Cream lotion

Price: $8.97

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 70

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, plus water, alcohol, and more chemicals. It says it is oil-free and PABA-free.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes

Scent: Nice, light scent.

Does it work? It worked better than some of the others, but there was still some color change. It wasn’t particularly water-resistant or sweat-proof. It felt good, but made the skin look oily.

Would we use it again? Yes, but there are better sunscreens out there.

SunBum premium moisturizing sunscreen spray

Type: Light-mist spray

Price: $15.99

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 50

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, plus a few other inactive ingredients including vitamin E-enriched. It says it is paraben-free, oil-free, PBA-free, hypoallergenic, vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, oxybenzone-free, non-comedogenic and retinyl palmitate-free.

Water-resistant: Yes, to 80 minutes.

Scent: Smells like sunscreen.

Does it work? Yes, it provided some of the least amount of skin color change. It didn’t have particularly noticeable water-resistance, and it wasn’t sweat-proof. The mist made it difficult to see if it was covering, but the sticky residue left behind helped us figure that out.

Would we use it again? Yes, but the price was a bit prohibitive. Also we could have done without the stickiness.

Hawaiian Tropic Anti-oxidant sunscreen lotion

Type: Moisturizing lotion

Price: $7.92

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 30

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene and some alcohol and oils, flower and fruit extracts, plus green tea extract. It promises to help prevent skin damage and skin aging from the sun.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes

Scent: Nice fruity, floral, coconut scent.

Does it work? Yes, we didn’t see much color change. It out-performed some of higher SPF sunscreens.

Would we use it again? Yes, it rubbed in well, wasn’t greasy, smelled great, and left a nice cool feeling.

SunBum premium moisturizing sunscreen lotion

Type: Moisturizing lotion

Price: $14.99

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 30

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, plus a few other inactive ingredients including vitamin E-enriched. It says it is paraben-free, oil-free, PBA-free, hypoallergenic, vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, oxybenzone-free, non-comedogenic and retinyl palmitate-free.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes

Scent: Nice light coconut scent

Does it work? There was a noticeable color change. It wasn’t particularly water-resistant or sweat-proof.

Would we use it again? No. It was very watery, yet it didn’t rub in very well and went everywhere. It left a glistening residue.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost water gel lotion sunscreen

Type: Water gel lotion

Price: $10.97

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 50

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, plus water, glycerin, alcohol, and more.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes

Scent: Light, delightful floral scent.

Does it work? Yes, there was some color change, but not a lot. It had definite water-resistance.

Would we use it again? Yes, but note that it is blue in color, which is a bit odd, and it says it’s not greasy, but we found it to be a bit greasy. It was easy to spread and rub in.

Aveeno Active Naturals Protect + Hydrate lotion sunscreen

Type: Lotion

Price: $9.97

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 70

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, plus water, glycerin, alcohol, beeswax, oat kernel flour and extract and oat protein.

Water-resistant: Sweat- and water-resistant up to 80 minutes

Scent: Nice floral scent.

Does it work? Not really. For SPF 70, we would have expected less color change. It also wasn’t particularly water-resistant or sweat-resistant.

Would we use it again? No. It was hard to spread around and didn’t rub in.

Bullfrog Mosquito Coast Sunscreen + Insect Repellent

Type: Spray with insect repellent for up to eight hours without bites

Price: $6.48 with $2 coupon

SPF: SPF 30, the only one that didn’t say “broad spectrum”

Ingredients: Octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone for sunscreen; butyl, acetylamino propionic acid ethyl ester for repellent; plus aloe and vitamin E.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes.

Scent: Very chemically smelling.

Does it work? No, each time we used it, we saw noticeable skin color change.

Would we use it again? No, not only did it not work, but it was smelly, oily and left the the skin at first tingly and then itchy. It also was not sweat-proof at all.

Face

Neutrogena Clear Face Break-out free liquid lotion sunscreen

Type: Liquid lotion for the face

Price: $8.97

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 30

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, plus water, silica, bark extract and more.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes.

Scent: Neutral smell.

Does it work? Not really. This area of the face was the most burned area of the body. It also was very liquidy and left the skin feeling really tight.

Would we use it again? Nope. It didn’t do the job, plus pimples followed.

CoverGirl CG Smoothers BB Cream

Type: Tinted moisturizer and sunscreen

Price: $7.09

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 21

Ingredients: Octinoxate and zinc oxide

Water-resistant: No

Scent: None.

Does it work? Not really. We still had reddening of the skin. We also sweated right through it.

Would we use it again? Yes, as a foundation; no as the only sunscreen.

Take aways

  • You can’t judge a sunscreen by the SPF number. One of the worst was SPF 100. Some of the best was SPF 30.
  • The sprays were less effective then the creams that you spread on or the sticks that you press on.
  • It’s true that those with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are considered sunblocks rather than sunscreens, worked the best. You just have to be willing to put up with white tinting of the skin and that it doesn’t always rub in.
  • Just because it says water-resistant and sweat-resistant doesn’t mean that’s true.
  • Even the most “natural” sunscreens have some unpronounceable ingredients on the back.
  • There are really only about seven different sunscreen active ingredients. It’s about how they are stabilized and how they are delivered to your body.
  • Any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen.

Sunscreen tips

  • Sun damage is cumulative, and it matters how many burns you had as a child and young adult when it comes to skin cancer later in life.
  • A tan is sun damage.
  • You need sunscreen every day, especially on your face, neck and upper chest, which are regularly exposed.
  • Try to avoid going out in the heat of the day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Even if it’s a cloudy day, you can get burned. The clouds only block about 20 percent of the sun’s UV rays.
  • Apply sunscreen on 30 minutes before you go outside.
  • Most sunscreen should not be applied to wet skin unless the label says it can be.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours.
  • If you’re in water, reapply sunscreen every 40 minutes to an hour even if it says “water-resistant.”
  • Most people don’t use enough sunscreen. You need an ounce of sunscreen each time or about a shot-glass full.
  • Spread sunscreen in a thick layer. If you are using a spray, you need to rub it in. You might need to spray an area three times and rub it in three times to get it thick enough.
  • Choose a sunscreen that says “broad spectrum,” which indicates that it will protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • SPF stands for sun protection factor. SPF measures the protection against UVB rays. It does not measure protection against UVA rays.
  • Choose the right SPF. An SPF of 30 means its 30 times more sun protection factor than nothing. You want an SPF of 30 or above.
  • New research actually indicates that the higher the SPF the better, which means there’s now a case for an SPF of 70 or 100. Previously, scientist thought there wasn’t much of a difference after SPF 50.
  • The fairer your skin, the more SPF you want to choose.
  • Sunscreen in makeup is not enough SPF, plus you don’t re-apply it every two hours to adequately protect.
  • A layer of sun-protective clothing will be better than sunscreen for protection. You can buy clothing with SPF factor built into the fabric or you can actually wash it in the washing machine with RIT Dye SunGuard to give it an SPF factor of 30.
  • There’s a difference between sunblock and sunscreen. Sunblock will have zinc oxide or titanium dioxide in it. It prevents the UV rays from penetrating into the skin. Sunscreen doesn’t block the UV rays, but it changes them once they hit the skin to make the rays not as harmful.
  • Children younger than 6 months can use a sunblock made for babies, but check with your pediatrician first. Keeping babies that young out of the sun and covered will be a better option than the sunblock.
  • There are slight differences in the formulas of regular sunscreen and sunscreen for children. In general, the one for children is made for delicate skin. The formula for babies should be a sunblock, but not always, so read the ingredients label first.
  • If you see a change in your skin or a mole or birthmark, see a doctor.
  • One in 5 people will be diagnosed with skin cancer by age 70.
  • More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all other cancers combined.

RELATED: More sunscreen tips

Sources: Dermatologists Dr. Ted Lain, Sanova Dermatology; Dr. Samantha Hill, formerly of Specially for Children and Dell Children’s Medical Center; and Dr. Lakshmi Atkuri, Scott & White Clinic — Round Rock; and Patricia Agin, formerly Coppertone’s scientific affairs leader at its Solar Research Center, and skincancer.org.

 

Enjoy this Austin summer weekend with the family while you can, Aug. 4-6

Next weekend is tax-free weekend. That really means that this school thing will be starting soon. Savor this weekend with your family by doing something fun together. The highs will only be in the upper 90s. Hooray!

Here are some ideas:

Maggie Barnett, 3, and her sister Brooke, 1, have fun with a giant duck on hand at the Austin Duck Derby. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Friday

Texas Museum of Science & Technology. Star Party. Look at the stars. 9 p.m. Fridays. Texas Museum of Science & Technology, 1220 Toro Grande Drive, Cedar Park. txmost.org

Wildflower Center. Sprouts. Hands-on preschool program. 10 a.m. Friday.Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org

Literature Live! Presents: “The Fifolet.” For ages 8-12. 3 p.m Friday, Little Walnut Creek Branch.

Friday-Saturday

“A Shoe Story: A Brand New Musical.” Summer Stock Austin presents this family theater show based on “The Elves and the Shoemaker.” It’s written by Allen Robertson and Damon Brown and directed by Robertson. 11 a.m. Friday; 10 a.m. Saturday. Tickets $17 and up. Summer Stock Austin also has one-day camps that include a performance Friday. $50. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org

Family programs at Zilker Botanical Garden include fairy landscaping and tea parties, learning about pioneer days and exploring plants. Credit: Zilker Botanical Garden

Friday-Sunday

Woodland Faerie Trail. See fairy houses on this trail. Through Sunday. Free with garden admission. Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road. zilkergarden.org.

Alamo Kids Club. $1-$3 children’s movies, which support a local nonprofit.  “Jumanji.”  10 a.m. Friday-Sunday, Lakeline. “The Secret Life of Pets.” 9:50 a.m. Friday, 10 a.m. Saturday-Sunday, Slaughter Lane. “Song of the Sea.” 10 a.m. Friday-Sunday, Mueller.

“The Wizard of Oz.” Zilker Summer Musical returns with adventure on the yellow brick road. 8:15 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays through Aug. 12. Free, but donations welcome. Zilker Hillside Theatre, 2206 William Barton Drive. zilker.org.

Saturday

Austin Humane Society kids event. Austin Wildlife Rescue. 1 p.m. Saturday. Register at austinhumanesociety.org. Humane Society, 124 W. Anderson Lane.

Back to School STEM Saturday. Free STEM activities for the whole family. 9:30 a.m.-noon Saturday. Free. GirlStart. 1400 W. Anderson Lane. girlstart.org

Austin Duck Derby. See 15,000 rubber duckies floating through the river. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. Benefits Austin Boys & Girls Clubs Foundation. austinduckderby.com

First Saturdays at the Carver. Enjoy family-friendly activities. 12:30 p.m. Saturday. George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St.

Thinkery. Baby Bloomers. Have an animal adventure. For infant to 3. Learn about the sea all month long. 9 a.m. Saturday. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

Summer Free Family Film Series: “Secret of Kells.” 2 p.m. Saturday. Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com

Wildflower Center. Nature Play Hour. Play in the Family Garden. 11 a.m. Saturdays. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org

Dan Stevens as The Beast, left, and Emma Watson as Belle in a live-action adaptation of the animated classic “Beauty and the Beast.” Disney

Toybrary Austin. Date night babysitting. For ages 1-5. $25 first child, $10 siblings. 5-8 p.m. Saturdays. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane. toybraryaustin.com

“E.T.” 1 p.m. Saturday. $5-9. Paramount Theater, 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org

Deep Eddy Splash Party Movie Night: “Moana.” 8 p.m. Saturday. Deep Eddy Pool, 401 Deep Eddy Ave. Pool admission applies.

Barnes & Noble Events: Lego Boost. 3 p.m. Saturday, Lakeline. 11 a.m. Saturday story time at all locations: “Peterrific” and “Aqualicious.”

Bow Wow Reading with Bonnie the Dog. 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Yarborough Branch.

Saturday Family Movie: “Beauty and the Beast” (2017). 2 p.m. Saturday, Windsor Park Branch.

ACT vs. SAT —What’s Right for Me? 10 a.m. Saturday, Ruiz Branch.

“Back to the Future” is at the Paramount Theatre.

Saturday-Sunday

Hideout Kids Presents “Once Upon a Whaa?!” 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St. $8-$12. scottishritetheater.org

Thinkery. Suminagashi Fabrics. Learn the ancient Japanese marbling technique. 11:15 a.m., 1:15 a.m. or 3:15 a.m. Saturday-Sunday. $8. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

“Back to the Future. 3:30 p.m. Saturday; 4:10 Sunday. $11. Paramount Theater, 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org

Sunday

Austin Symphony Hartman Concerts in the Park. 7:30 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 27. Free. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org

Big Don Kid Show. It’s a hip-hop storytelling show. 10 a.m. Sunday, Cherrywood Coffeehouse, 1400 E. 38th 1/2 St.

Family Day with Ashley Mireles. Learn to make cardboard relief prints like Mireles does. Free. 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Mexic-Arte Museum, 419 Congress Ave.

 

7 fun Austin things to do before school starts

Missy Woodard holds her son, Bryce, 3, so that he can see a snow corn snake at the Austin Pet Expo. Michael Gonzalez is holding the snake. LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2014

1. Celebrate Austin’s weird and wild. See 15,000 rubber duckies floating down the river at Austin Duck Derby to benefit Austin Boys & Girls Clubs Foundation. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 5. Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. austinduckderby.com

Or celebrate all things bat at Bat Fest4p.m.-midnight Aug. 19. $15 adults, free for children younger than 8. Austin American-Statesman, 305 S. Congress Ave. roadwayevents.com

And try out weird and wonderful flavors of ice cream at Austin Ice Cream Festival, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 12. $15. Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St. austinicecreamfestival.com.

Maggie Barnett, 3, and her sister Brooke, 1, have fun with a giant duck on hand for the Austin Duck Derby in 2016. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

RELATED: Find more summer fun for families in Austin

2. Be blinded (not really) by science. Girlstart puts on Back to School STEM Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-noon Aug. 5. It’s free and you don’t have to be a girl to enjoy. Girlstart, 1400 W. Anderson Lane. girlstart.org.

Carver Museum offers its Super Science Saturdays. 1 p.m. Aug. 12. George Washington Carver Museum. 1165 Angelina St. Texas Museum of Science & Technology tells you all about the sun (right before the eclipse) during Science Saturday, Noon-4 p.m. Aug. 19. Texas Museum of Science & Technology, 1220 Toro Grande Drive, Cedar Park. txmost.org The museum also hosts Star Parties every Friday at 9 p.m. and Wee-Searchers for children 5 and younger, 9 a.m. Aug. 9 and 23.

Hill Country Science Mill is opening its exhibit the Incredible Ball Machine. Step inside a large ball track that you can control with levers and pulleys. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 16. Hill Country Science Mill, 101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City. sciencemill.org

Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas is teaming up with the Thinkery for Community Night Aug. 9.Bring your favorite stuffed animal and take him through different interactive stations. Free, but it’s first-come-first-served beginning at 4 p.m. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

At the library, make a pinhole projector during Solar Eclipse Afternoon, noon Aug. 21 at Howson Branch, tweens explore STEAM with LittleBits Theme Park, 3 p.m. Aug. 2, Spicewood Springs Branch.

If you love dinosaurs, you can see “Jurassic Park” and see fossils and other science materials from UT Dino Museum. 7 p.m. Aug. 19 and Aug. 26. $25 a car, plus admission for more than 2 people. Blue Starlight Mini Urban Drive-in. 12419 Lowden Lane. bluestarlitedrivein.com

Dr. Katie Luke of the Humane Society assists Nathaniel Morales, 4, with Scooby Doo, who has two hurt feet during a teddy bear surgery. Ralph Barrera/AMERICAN STATESMAN 2011

3. Celebrate animals. The Austin Humane Society hosts events including story time, 2 p.m. Aug. 8, Humane Hero Hour with cats, 2 p.m. Aug. 1, the Austin Wildlife Rescue, 1 p.m. Aug. 5 and Teddy Bear Surgery, 1 p.m. Aug. 12. You have to register at austinhumanesociety.org. Humane Society, 124 W. Anderson Lane.

See all kinds of different animals at the Austin Pet Expo. It’s free and you can bringbring your pet. Palmer Event Center, 900 Barton Springs Road. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 19, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 20. austinpetexpo.com

Don’t forget the Austin area has two zoos, Austin Zoo and Capital of Texas Zoo, the Texas Reptile Zoo, the Austin Aquarium and not far away are Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch and the Snake Farm.

Luke Keyes, of Austin Oddities was on hand to help kids and grown-ups in the art of super large bubble at Contemporary Austin’s Families Create program. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2015

4. Make art. This month at the Thinkery, the Kitchen Lab and Space 8 lab are all about art. Make Suminagashi Fabrics 11:15 a.m., 1:15 a.m. or 3:15 a.m. Aug. 5-6, Aug. 19-20. $8. Learn Printmaking Galore 11:15 a.m., 1:15 a.m. or 3:15 a.m. Aug. 12-13, Aug. 26-27, $8. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

At the Bullock Museum,Make it Tuesdays makes Texas Landmarks out of Legos,10 a.m. Aug. 1. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com

At Mexic-Arte Museum, learn how to make cardboard relief prints like Ashley Mireles does during its free Family Day.Free. 1-4 p.m. Aug. 6. Mexic-Arte Museum, 419 Congress Ave.

Contemporary Austin’s Families Create free program is doing Ice Painting, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 12. Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St. thecontemporaryaustin.org

Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum will host its free Family Day 10-4 p.m. Aug. 13. Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, 605 Robert E. Lee Road. umlaufsculpture.org

The library also offers events for making art. This month, enjoy Crafternoon 3:30 p.m. Aug. 15 at Howson Branch; Family Craft Night, 6 p.m. Aug. 16 at Howson Branch; learn to sew at Sew Happy, 5 p.m. Aug. 1 at Manchaca Road Branch.

Andrew Cannata, Hannah Roberts and Jordan Barron perform in “The Wizard of Oz,” the 59th annual Zilker summer musical presented by Zilker Theater Productions. (TAMIR KALIFA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

RELATED: Find more family things to do in Austin in Austin

5. Enjoy theater. If you haven’t seen the Zilker Summer Musical yet, what are you waiting for? This year it’s “The Wizard of Oz” 8:15 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays through Aug. 12. Free, but donations welcome. Zilker Hillside Theatre, 2206 William Barton Drive. zilker.org.

Summer Stock Austin is bring a new musical based on “The Elves and the Shoemaker” from Allen Robertson and Damon Brown. “A Shoe Story: A Brand New Musical” shows 11 a.m. Aug. 3-4, Aug. 8; 10 a.m. July 29, Aug. 5, Aug. 11-12; 2 p.m. July 30. Tickets $17 and up. Summer Stock Austin also has one-day camps that include a performance Aug. 3, 4 and 8. $50. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org.

Austin Summer Musical for Children is presenting the “Jungle Book” 9:15 a.m. Aug. 12, 11 a.m. 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Aug. 12, 19 and 26, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Aug. 13, 20 and 27. It’s free. Boyd Vance Theater at George Washington Carver Museum. 1165 Angelina St.

Hideout Kids Presents “Once Upon a Whaa?!” 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays Aug. 5-27. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St. $12-$8. scottishritetheater.org

Literature Live! Presents: “The Fifolet” Louisiana pirate adventure, specifically for ages 8-12, 4 p.m. Aug. 1 at University Hills Branch; 6 p.m. Aug. 3 at Manchaca Road Branch; 3 p.m Aug. 4 at Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. Aug. 6 at Faulk Central Library; 2 p.m. Aug. 7 at Windsor Park Branch; 3 p.m. Aug. 19 at Recycled Reads Bookstore.

Dan Stevens as The Beast, left, and Emma Watson as Belle in a live-action adaptation of the animated classic “Beauty and the Beast.” Disney

6. See a movie for free or very little. The Alamo Drafthouse continues its Kids Club. In August, see “Speed Racer.” 10 a.m. Aug. 1, Aug. 3, Lakeline; “Jumanji,” 10 a.m. Aug. 1-3, Slaughter Lane, 10 a.m. Aug. 4-10, Lakeline, 10 a.m. Aug. 11, Village; “The Secret Life of Pets,” 10 a.m. Aug. 1-3, Mueller, 9:50 a.m. Aug. 4, 10 a.m. Aug. 5-10, Slaughter Lane, 10 a.m. Aug. 11-17, Lakeline; “Song of the Sea,” 10 a.m. Aug. 1-3, Village, 10 a.m. Aug. 4-10, Mueller, 10 a.m. Aug. 11-17, Slaughter Lane; “Speed Racer,” 10 a.m. Aug. 11-Aug. 17, Mueller. The movies are for a $1-$3 donation. drafthouse.com. You also can see PBS Kids at the Alamo. “Ready Jet Go! The Moon and More,” 11 a.m. Aug. 20, Lakeline.

Head to Sunday School with the Austin Film Society’s children’s program. See the Lily Tomlin classic, “The Incredible Shrinking Woman, ” 1 p.m. July 30 and 6 p.m. Aug. 1; and Francois Truffaut’s tale of raucous children, “Small Change,” 11 a.m. Aug. 27 and 7 p.m. Aug. 30. $9. Austin Film Society Cinema, 6406 N. Interstate 35, Suite 3100. austinfilmsociety.org

At the Paramount Theatre, see “E.T.,” 1 p.m. Aug. 5; “Back to the Future,” 3:30 p.m. Aug. 5 and 4:10 Aug. 6; and the original “The Parent Trap,” 1 p.m. Aug. 13; prices vary. Paramount Theater, 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org

Deep Eddy Splash Party Movie Night is showing “Moana,” 8 p.m. Aug. 5. Deep Eddy Pool. 401 Deep Eddy Ave. Pool admission applies.

At the Bullock Museum, see “Secret of Kells,” 2 p.m. Aug. 5, and “Where the Wild Things Are,” 2 p.m. Aug. 12. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com

Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse will show its last two weeks of $1 movies at Round Rock 8: “The Angry Birds Movie,” July 31-Aug. 3, “Sing,” Aug. 7-10. cinemark.com/summer-movie-clubhouse.

Regal Summer Movie Express shows its last $1 movies at Westgate Stadium 11 and Gateway Stadium 16, “Storks,” and “The Lego Batman Movie,” 10 a.m. Aug. 1-2. regmovies.com/movies/summer-movie-express.

And the library is a great place to see movies for free. In August, see “Beauty and the Beast” (2017), 2 p.m. Aug. 5 at Windsor Park Branch, 4 p.m. Aug. 16, Cepeda Branch; “Sing,” 6:30 p.m. Aug. 8 at Twin Oaks Branch; “Wizard of Oz.” 3:30 p.m. Aug. 18, Old Quarry Branch; “Secret Life of Pets,” 2 p.m. Aug. 10 at Old Quarry Branch.

Kyle Scarbrough makes the sound of a firefighter using a firehose as he and his son Alden, 3, and Maggie McCreery, 7, play on the fire truck in the Zilker Playground. (TAMIR KALIFA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

7. Go outside. We know it’s hot. We get that. Head out in the early morning or at dusk for the least heat-exhaustion inducing experience. Explore new-to-you pools or water parkstry out a new playground from our list of top 25, plus some other great ones; go dinosaur digging at the Austin Nature & Science Center; check out the Wildflower Center and its Sprouts preschool program, 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, and Nature Play Hour in the Family Garden, 11 a.m. Saturdays. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org

 

 

Check out these parks: The best playgrounds in Austin and Central Texas

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Didn’t your mother tell you to go out and play? But where?

In Central Texas we’re blessed with some amazing playgrounds. We went looking for the best ones. We considered shade and restroom availability, type of equipment and its condition, and the general vibe as well as safety. We ranked our top 25 and then offered some other gems to explore.

Did we miss your favorite? Tell us at nvillalpando@statesman.com.

Remember, before you head to the playground, wear your sunscreenwear your bugspray and know how to play safely.

Joanne Land Playground in Old Settlers Park. Nicole Villapando/ American-Statesman

1. Joanne Land Playground in Old Settlers Park

Address: 3300 Palm Valley Blvd.

Area of Central Texas: Round Rock

Features: This includes one of the largest playscapes in Central Texas plus a smaller one that is interactive using an app. The playground offers multiple slides, multiple things to climb up, climb along, multiple sets of swings for all ages, a gravity slide that is like a zip line (though that’s been offline at the manufacturer’s request). There is so much to do here.

Shade: Some tall shade trees.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Medium. It’s a busy place, but the playground is in a compact space. There is the hazard of the lake to worry about.

Why we love it: This playground just opened this year. You’ll find features here that aren’t anywhere else in Central Texas. For parents, it’s got a beautiful, serene view of the lake and plenty of places to sit.

Bonus: If your kid somehow gets bored here, there are six other playgrounds in the park and the water park and pool.

Christian Acosta, 6, explores the playground at Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park. (Stephen Spillman for AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2015)

2. Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park

Address: 400 Grove Blvd.

Area of Central Texas: East Austin

Features: You’ll find so much to play on here with two big playscapes and many things to crawl on and in and around. Kids have plenty or room to run around and multiple things to climb on and swing from.

Shade: Virtually none. It’s a huge oversight on what would be a perfect playscape if it had shade structures. There are tall trees but around the edges.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Extremely low. This is one of the few fully gated playgrounds in Austin.

Why we love it: We love the variety of things to do here, the multiple places to sit and the dragonfly statues make us happy to sit under them. It’s a very whimsical playground.

Bonus: Plenty of fields both open and the sports variety are available in this park.

Brushy Creek Sports Park. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

3. Brushy Creek Regional Trail Parks

Addresses: Creekside Park, 4300 Brushy Creek Road; Olson Meadows Park, 4200 Brushy Creek Road; Champion Park, 3830 Brushy Creek Road; Brushy Creek Lake Park, 3300 Brushy Creek Road; Brushy Creek Sports Park, 2310 Brushy Creek Road; Twin Lakes Park, 204 E. Little Elm Trail

Area of Central Texas: Cedar Park

Features: These six parks along Brushy Creek act as one big park. Each has its unique playscape, so you can hop from park to park. Creekside Park has two quiet playscapes by the pool with slides and bouncy cars and diggers. Olson Meadows two offers tree-covered playscapes, swings and horses to ride. Champion Park is dedicated to dinosaurs with large skeleton models to climb and a dinosaur dig that is shaded. Brushy Creek Lake Park has a large playscape and sand box, but is know for its big, gated splash pad. Brushy Creek Sports Park has the best playscape of these parks with tons of ropes and other things to climb on, plus it’s totally shaded. Twin Lakes Park is the site of the YMCA, so there isn’t a playscape that isn’t connected to the YMCA.

Shade: Most have some level of shade, some are completely shaded.

Restrooms: Yes! At every playscape.

Anxiety level: Very little. Because each playscape is small, it’s easy to watch children.

Why we love it: We love that each one has its own personality, but each is a great playscape on its own. When you spend the day moving up and down Brushy Creek Road, you’ll have very happy, yet tuckered out kids.

Bonus: Did we mention the amazing splash pad? And that there’s dinosaurs to crawl and on and dig for?

 

The playground at Central Market. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

4. Central Market

Address: 4001 N. Lamar Blvd.

Area of Central Texas: Central Austin

Features: Two big playscapes with plenty of things to climb on, slide down and climb under. Plus, it’s food-themed.

Shade: Big tall trees keep it in the shade most of the time.

Restrooms: Yes, inside the grocery store.

Anxiety level: Medium. It’s well-contained, and you can easily see your child playing. Watch out for the runner heading for the duck pond.

Why we love it: It’s become a great gathering spot for the community. Plus, you can get kids fed with real food, have a glass of wine and watch the kids play.

Bonus: Did we mention no hungry kids allowed?

Play for All playground in Round Rock. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

5. Play for All

Address: 151 N. A.W. Grimes Blvd.

Area of Central Texas: Round Rock

Features: This truly is a playground for all. It’s got many tactile things for kids with sensory differences as well as the ability for kids in wheelchairs to roll onto the playscape and other structures. There’s a lot to do here, but we especially love the miniature town with working stoplights, a library, a hospital, a fire station, a grocery store and gas station, a school and a car repair shop.

Shade: Yes, there are shade structures and trees.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Very low. It’s completely gated.

Why we love it: We love the variety of things to do. You can be a rock star in the music area or you can be the town doctor if you want.

Bonus: It’s a smart playground for kids with all kinds of needs.

Ramsey Park has been redone. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

6. Ramsey Neighborhood Park

Address: 4301 Rosedale Ave.

Area of Central Texas: Central Austin

Features: This park has been beautifully redone with different kinds of playscapes for all ages. There’s so much to climb on and crawl around. We love that the younger kid playscape is not the plastic lesser playground. Instead the little kids also have ropes to climb on and logs to conquer. While we miss the old big tall slide, a new, smaller slide fulfills that need.

Shade: Some. It could use more.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Very little. You can easily see where your child is.

Why we love it: It isn’t the same old playscape that can be found at every school and every other neighborhood around there. It’s a nod to nature and totally fun.

Bonus: The park also has a pool, tennis courts, a basketball court and a large field for soccer.

Victor Clark spends Monday afternoon with son KaRon, 2, at Lake Park in the Mueller Development. Danielle Villasana/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

7. Lake Park Mueller

Address: 4550 Mueller Blvd.

Area of Central Texas: East Austin

Features: Multiple playscapes and multiple things to spin around in, bounce around in, spin from, make this a fun park. It set the trend in Austin for offering structures that go beyond the usual.

Shade: Yes. The trees love this park.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Medium. It’s a busy park, but it’s gated.

Why we love it: It’s good for all ages, but especially for older kids who might get bored at other playscapes, plus it’s across the street from the Thinkery and the Mueller Alamo Drafthouse and many new restaurants and stores.

Bonus: Oh, come on. We know you come here to feed the ducks.

Springwoods park has amazing trees that provide shade. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

8. Springwoods Neighborhood Park

Address: 9117 Anderson Mill Road.

Area of Central Texas: Northwest

Features: It has two large playscapes, but more importantly, it’s the setting of this playground. There are trees everywhere. Even though it’s right off Anderson Mill Road, you feel like you are in the middle of the forest. It’s a relaxing oasis with plenty of things to do including tennis, a walking trail, swings and a forest-theme playscape with a dinosaur and frog to ride.

Shade: Yes! The trees lower the temperature significantly.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Very low. It’s easy to watch kids in this quiet playground.

Why we love it: It’s all about the trees. You really feel away from the city here.

Bonus: Yes, you can ride a dinosaur.

Creative Playscape in Georgetown tells the history of Georgetown. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

9. Creative Playscape in San Gabriel Park

Address: 1003 N. Austin Ave.

Area of Central Texas: Georgetown

Features: This playground features one incredibly large playscape with multiple slides and things to climb on and a second nice-sized playscape, plus swings. It has some unusual features that you can’t get at other playgrounds.

Shade: Some. The trees really help.

Restrooms: Yes, in the recreation center.

Anxiety level: Low. It’s gated.

Why we love it: You can’t find this playscape anywhere. Plus you feel as if you’re going back in time as you step through the pavilion into an old-fashioned town.

Bonus: This playscape actually tells the history of Georgetown. It’s educational.

The playground at the Grove at Southpark Meadows. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman.

10. The Grove at Southpark Meadows

Address: 9500 S. Interstate 35.

Area of Central Texas: Far South Austin

Features: One very large playscape for the big kids has many different kids of things to climb up and move through. A smaller playscape for the littler kids isn’t too shabby, either. It also offers a little house, too.

Shade: Yes, there’s great trees here.

Restrooms: Yes, in the neighboring restaurants, but you have to be a patron.

Anxiety level: High. It would be very easy to lose track of your child or have her run off and not know which direction she went.

Why we love it: You can have dinner or ice cream and then go play. There’s also a stage where groups often entertain.

Bonus: Someone is always ready to play here.

Kyle Scarbrough makes the sound of a firefighter using a hose as he and his son Alden, 3, and Maggie McCreery, 7, play on the fire truck in the Zilker Park playground. (TAMIR KALIFA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

11. Zilker Metropolitan Park

Address: 2100 Barton Springs Road

Area of Central Texas: Central

Features: There’s a lot going on in a small space. You’ve got a whole sunken younger kids playground, a firetruck to climb on, a series of ramps that lead to slides in the large playscape that crosses over the Zilker Zephyr train. You can make music in the instrument section and swing on the swings. We know most longtime Austinites expected this playground to be No. 1. While there’s a lot to do here, the main playscape is really just a series of ramps to run up. We also saw a lot of wear and tear such as peeling paint that needs to be addressed. It really is beginning to feel dated. Play here for nostalgia’s sake.

Shade: Some from the trees, though it depends on the time of day.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: High. It is very easy to lose a kid here. Kids can easily climb over to the other side of the tracks without parents knowing. Plus, it’s often overcrowded and unmanageable. For kids who struggle with sharing or who don’t like sensory overload, this isn’t the place for them.

Why we love it: It’s all about the Zilker Zephyr train for us. Ride around the park in a miniature train? Yes, please.

Bonus: You can drink out of the head of a lion at the water fountain.

 

Katherine Fleischer Park has a cool playhouse. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

12. Katherine Fleischer Park

Address: 2106 Klattenhoff Drive

Area of Central Texas: Far North Austin

Features: This park in the Wells Branch neighborhood is an unexpected gem. The playground offers a lot of different types of playscapes, but our favorite is the miniature two-story house that feels like a treehouse.

Shade: Some. Trees keep about half this playground in shade.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Low. It’s a large area but easy to see kids.

Why we love it: It’s just got this amazing vibe to it, and where else can you play in a two-story house in the middle of a playground?

Bonus: This park comes with a miniature frontier town.

The cool rock wall at Southeast Metropolitan Park is one of the playscapes here. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

13. Northeast and Southeast Metropolitan Parks

Address: 2703 E. Pecan St., Pflugerville, and 4511 Texas 71, Del Valle

Area of Central Texas: Pflugerville and Del Valle

Features: We grouped these two Travis County parks together because they are very similar. They both have two sets of large covered playscapes in between ballparks that are by restrooms and concession stands. The playscapes have some great climbing structures. They also sit on cushy rubber surfaces that we love. No pebbles and no mulch to get into kids’ shoes.

Shade: Yes.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Very low. The playscapes are in a small area with easy sight lines.

Why we love it: We love that cushiony floor.

Bonus: The Southeast one has a large climbing wall in between the two sets of playgrounds.

The cool rock wall at Southeast Metropolitan Park is one of the playscapes here. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

14. South Austin Neighborhood Park

Address: 1100 Cumberland Road

Area of Central Texas: South Austin

Features: This large playscape at this recreation center has a lot of things to climb on, hang from and slide down.

Shade: Some, but not enough.

Restrooms: Yes, in the recreation center.

Anxiety level: Low. It’s easy to see kids and not overcrowded.

Why we love it: If you don’t know it’s here, you’ll be surprised by the number of different things to do.

Bonus: It’s got lovely fields all around it.

Little Zilker Neighborhood Park has been redone. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

15. Little Zilker Neighborhood Park

Address: 2016 Bluebonnet Lane

Area of Central Texas: South Austin

Features: This property, if you include Zilker Elementary, actually has three playscapes: one large one for big kids, one nice-sized one for little kids and the standard one that elementary schools often have. The two in the park are new and offer some fun things to climb on. Plus there are swings.

Shade: It could use more.

Restrooms: There are outhouses if the school isn’t open.

Anxiety level: Some. It’s right near the street.

Why we love it: It’s a great example, like Ramsey, of what a neighborhood can do to improve its park.

Bonus: Enjoy tennis courts, track and a covered basketball court on site.

Dove Springs District Park has a cool playscape and zip line. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

16. Dove Springs District Park

Address: 5801 Ainez Drive.

Area of Central Texas: Southeast Austin

Features: This is a lovely park with wood-themed playscapes. You can spin around on leaves, climb up tree trunks, cross a bridge to get to a different playscape. The thing that kids will really love is the zip line down the hill.

Shade: Not much.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Medium. It is a large area that encourages running.

Why we love it: Oh, it’s all about the zip line.

Bonus: It’s got everything a park needs: pool, tennis, basketball, recreation center, volleyball.

Harper Park in the Anderson Mill area has a playscape that looks like a forest. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

17. Anderson Mill Limited District Parks: Harper/El Salido/Pecan Creek

Address: 11008-11098 Lake Creek Parkway, 11500 El Salido Parkway, and Pecan Creek Parkway and Gungrove Drive

Area of Central Texas: Northwest Austin

Features: Harper Park has a large playscape with many things to climb, including trees, and swings including a bench swing. El Salido offers some unusual things to spin around in and swing from. We love the quaintness of Pecan Creek Park, which you might pass by and never see. All three are close together and offer different things to do.

Shade: Not much, except from trees and a shade covering at Pecan Creek.

Restrooms: Only at El Salido, which has a pool.

Anxiety level: Very little.

Why we love it: We love the variety of equipment and the little bridges to get to the playgrounds.

Bonus: We’re ready to climb the tree structure at Harper and swing on the bench swings.

Gustavo “Gus” L. Garcia District Park has a cool playground for climbing. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

18. Gustavo “Gus” L. Garcia District Park

Address: 1201 E. Rundberg Lane.

Area of Central Texas: Northeast Austin

Features: This park offers two large new playscapes with a lot to climb on. The big-kid one is well-covered by a shade structure. The little kid one looks like a dinosaur. It’s all about climbing and hanging from things here.

Shade: Some.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: None.

Why we love it: It has some different things to climb on. Did we mention the playscape that is a dinosaur?

Bonus: It’s new and fun.

Pease District Park has a large playscape. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

19. Pease District Park

Address: 1100 Kingsbury St.

Area of Central Texas: Central Austin

Features: Nice playscapes, but they are showing some wear. It does have big picnic tables, which makes it great for groups.

Shade: Some from the trees.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Very little. The playground is in one spot and easy to watch for kids.

Why we love it: It’s centrally located and there are a lot of things to do.

Bonus: This park comes with an amazing splash pad.

Mountain View Neighborhood Park has lots of shade and a great playscape. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

20. Mountain View Neighborhood Park

Address: 9000 Middlebie Road.

Area of Central Texas: Northwest Austin

Features: This park just feels amazing. It’s secluded and feels like an oasis that you climb up to. There’s a surprise at the top. It’s got great playscapes, including a tire swing, and plenty of different things to climb. It’s also got a nice pavilion with nice bathrooms.

Shade: Yes. The trees do wonders.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: None.

Why we love it: It feels a world away from the city.

Bonus: That tire swing begs for a ride.

Davis/White Northeast Neighborhood Park is a cool neighborhood park. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

21. Davis/White Northeast Neighborhood Park

Address: 6705 Crystalbrook Drive.

Area of Central Texas: Northeast Austin

Features: This park has great equipment including a large playscape and a second playscape, and it is getting used. It’s also has a nice pavilion.

Shade: No.

Restrooms: Yes, but also portable toilets.

Anxiety level: Very little. It’s small and nicely contained.

Why we love it: The equipment is new and fun and we saw a lot of different kids climbing on it.

Bonus: It’s got all that new equipment without being overrun by kids.

Dick Nichols District Park now has shade over the playscape. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

22. Dick Nichols District Park

Address: 8011 Beckett Road.

Area of Central Texas: Far South Austin

Features: This playground offers a large big-kid playground that is now fully shade, which has improved it immensely, as well as a little-kid playscape with a car. It also has swings for big and little kids and a cool hanging obstacle course. It is showing some wear, though.

Shade: Yes.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Low.

Why we love it: The playscape is fun, but kids flock to that car as well as well as the dolphin that shoots water at you. It’s an old-school splash pad.

Bonus: There’s a pool and a beautifully wooded one-mile paved trail.

Rattan Creek Park is a private park with a tire swing and a rock wall. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

23. Rattan Creek Park

Address: Elkhorn Mountain Trail and Tamayo Drive.

Area of Central Texas: Northwest Austin

Features: This North Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 park is supposed to be for its residents only, but we doubt they’re the only people who play here. It’s beautifully shaded with a rock wall and two playscapes and a tire swing.

Shade: Yes, through trees and shade structures.

Restrooms: Yes, in the pool building.

Anxiety level: Very low.

Why we love it: It’s the woody shade and the different types of play equipment.

Bonus: Did we mention the rock wall playscape?

Tanglewood Forest Park has really nice playscapes. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

24. Tanglewood Forest Park

Address: 9801 Curlew Drive.

Area of Central Texas: Far South Austin

Features: Tanglewood Forest (not to be confused with Tanglewood in Northwest Austin) is run by a limited district, but it offers some of the best equipment for a small park. The playscapes are a great size and there are many sets of swings.

Shade: Not a lot.

Restrooms: Yes, by the pool.

Anxiety level: Very little.

Why we love it: We love the size of it and the variety of things to play on.

Bonus: Parents love the walking track around it. Kids will love the dinosaur to ride on.

25. Gillis Neighborhood Park

Address: 2410 Durwood Ave.

Area of Central Texas: South Austin

Features: This quiet little park has new equipment to play on as well as plenty of shade and restrooms. Plus, you can climb like a spider on a rope playscape.

Shade: Yes.

Restrooms: Yes.

Anxiety level: Some, but only in the parking lot.

Why we love it: It’s cute and quiet with unexpectedly amazing equipment.

Bonus: There’s a pool here, too.

More great playground gems

Try out these great playgrounds, grouped by area of town.

Northwest Balcones Neighborhood Park. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

Northwest

Trailhead Neighborhood Park, 10984 Boulder Lane. It’s a sweet little park with a large playscape and a nice pavilion.

Oak View Neighborhood Park, 10902 Oak View Drive. This one is so hidden, you might miss the playscape, but that’s what makes it great.

Fritz Hughes Park, 3100 Fritz Hughes Park Road. This cute park just beneath Mansfield Dam has a nice simple playscape and a great picnic field.

Northwest Balcones Neighborhood Park, 10225 Talleyran Drive. It’s got two nice playscapes and a pavilion with restrooms.

Pickfair Pocket Park, 10904 Pickfair Drive. We loved crossing the bridge to get to this sweet little playground.

Robinson Park, 13308 Humphrey Drive. Stop by this cute park with two playscapes on your way to Rattan Creek Park.

Hubert C. Schroeter Neighborhood Park, 11701 Big Trail. You can’t see this playscape from the street, but walk through the path of native grasses, and it’s worth it.

Tanglewood Neighborhood Park, 2106 Tower Drive. This cute park includes nice playscapes and a bridge to a rustic trail.

Heritage Park in Pflugerville. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

 

Far North

Buttercup. 411 Twin Oak Trail, Cedar Park. We found this cute park looking for another one. It’s got good shade and things to bounce on.

Tumlinson Park. 405 Tumlinson Fort Drive, Leander. This restricted park in the Block House Municipal Utility District has a large playscape, swings and a bouncy horse and motorcycle.

Heritage Park. 901 Old Austin Hutto Road, Pflugerville. You can learn about history here. You also can play on a shaded playscape or take advantage of the pool next to it.

Pfluger Park, Pflugerville. 515 City Park Road. Trust not your GPS. It will lead you astray, but once you get here, the park offers a great playscape, miniature houses and a gazebo.

Robin Bledsoe Park. 601 S. Bagdad Road, Leander. This park has a nice playscape as well as the city pool. Shade would be good here.

Dottie Jordan Neighborhood Park. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

East/Northeast

Springdale Neighborhood Park. 1175 Nickols Ave. You’ll find large playscape and other things to climb. Some of the equipment has some wear.

Dottie Jordan Neighborhood Park. 2803 Loyola Lane. Kids will enjoy the variety of this playscape. It’s not the newest playscape, but it’s well kept up.

Lott Pocket Park. 1180 Curve St. This is one of those cute parks you might miss. It’s in the heart of East Austin and has good equipment and a splash pad.

Bartholomew District Park. 5201 Berkman Drive. You’ll find many things to climb on in this park’s play area including a train set. The splash pad is great, too.

Edward Rendon Sr. Metropolitan Park at Festival Beach. 2101 Jesse E Segovia St. This playscape sits in the middle of a large park off of the beach.

Eastwoods Neighborhood Park. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

Central

Eastwoods Neighborhood Park. 3001 Harris Park Ave. This quiet park is worth a stop. It’s well-shaded, features two playscapes and a splash pad.

Tarrytown Neighborhood Park. 2106 Tower Drive. The Tarrytown area doesn’t have a big park, but this one is really sweet. The two playscapes are separated by a bridge.

Tom Lasseter-South Lamar Neighborhood. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

South

Little Stacy Neighborhood Park. 1500 Alameda Drive. People who love this park love its shady grounds. Some of the equipment is new. Some of the older equipment probably should be taken out. There is a wading pool here, too.

Battlebend Springs Neighborhood Park. 121 Sheraton Ave. This is an unexpected surprise off South Congress Avenue. It has a big new playscape with a rock wall and things to spin around on.

Tom Lasseter-South Lamar Neighborhood. 3000 Del Curto Road. Del Curto Road is torn up, but once we found it, it was worth it. It’s a wooded oasis with a great whimsical playscape.

Garrison District Park. 6001 Manchaca Road. Garrison has two great playscapes that are nicely shaded.

Joslin Neighborhood Park. 2106 Cimaron Trail. Next to Joslin Elementary, this park sits in a big field and offers new equipment that you won’t find elsewhere.

Rollingwood City Park. Gentry and Nixon Drives. This playscape isn’t the largest, but it’s got a fun, modern merry-go-round where four kids can sit and then spin around.

City Park in Buda. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

Far South

Wildflower Park. 5000 Tiger Lily Way. Circle C does not have a great playscape in its metropolitan park. Skip it and find your way to this one. It’s got two new playscapes with shade structures.

Mary Moore Searight Metropolitan Park. 907 W. Slaughter Lane. People come to this park for the walking trails and disc golf, but it’s got a fun playscape, too.

Silk Oak Neighborhood Park. 3204 Silk Oak Drive. You have to know that this park, which links two neighborhoods, is there to find it. It’s got three playscapes, swings and a volleyball court.

A.B. Dittmar Neighborhood Park. 1009 W. Dittmar Road. This playscape feels like you’re climbing into a treehouse.

City Park, Buda. 204 N. San Marcos St. You come to this park for the wiener dog races and the fireworks, but you can come other times to play on this large playscape.

Franklin Neighborhood Park. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

Southeast

Franklin Neighborhood Park. 4800 Copperbend Blvd. This playscape has so much for all kids to do. It would be the perfect park. What’s missing? Bathrooms that aren’t portable. That’s it.

Kendra Page Neighborhood Park. 2203 Blue Meadow Drive. This park has a fun bench that you and a friend can move back and forth on as well as two playscapes.

Fisherman’s Park in Bastrop. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

Far East

Fisherman’s Park, Bastrop. 1200 Willow St. You’ll come to fish and feed the ducks, but head into the gated play area for two great playscapes and a seat that spins. This park also has an extensive splash pad.

We put 16 mosquito repellents to the test — see what worked, what left us itchy

We tried 16 bug repellents in the woods near our house on our body and on fruit to see which ones worked best. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman Staff

I am very itchy. And I’m about to make you very itchy, too. My apologies.

I spent the last week testing out 16 mosquito repellents in the woods by my house. First I tested these repellents by spraying or applying each on half a cutie, a quarter of a banana and a eighth of a potato — all foods mosquitoes are supposed to love. I sat back and watched who came crawling or flying to eat the fruit.

Then I tried out each remedy on a limb of my body at dusk. With my trusty dog as my companion, we frolicked in the mosquito-heavy woods, especially by the wet weather creek. I took notes on ease of use, scent (or stench), how it felt to the touch, how the mosquitoes reacted and whether we got bitten.

In addition to the ones sold specifically for their mosquito-fighting powers, we tried out two beauty products that had become internet sensations to see if there was any truth to the rumors.

RELATED: NINE THINGS TO DO TO KEEP MOSQUITOES OUT OF YOUR YARD

As seen on the internet

Johnson & Johnson’s Creamy Baby Oil with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E

This baby oil, and specifically the version in the green tube, caused an internet sensation. So much so that Snopes tried it out. Before you rush to the store to get it, know that it’s impossible to find. It’s been discontinued, Johnson & Johnson told us, because of a lack of sales. What? They are hoping to bring it back. 

We borrowed some from an editor who brought it back from a trip to Georgia when it was still on the shelves. She gave us just enough to try it, not the whole tube, because, after all, it’s precious gold.

Main ingredients: water, cetyl alcohol, glycerin, cocoglyserides, soybean oil, cornstarch, mineral oil, shea butter extract, cocoa seed butter, cotton seed oil, aloe barbadensis leaf juice and “fragrance.”

Price and store: Not available, but you can find it on Amazon for $40 or more.

Scent: Light and fresh, slightly floral.

Feel: It does not leave a stickiness or oiliness after applying.

Fruit test: A few ants arrived, but not a lot.

Body test: No insects landed that arm and I didn’t get bitten on that arm.

Results: It really did appear to work for me. One question: It would take a lot to cover your whole body with it. When I was wearing it (and three repellents on my other limbs), I did get bitten on the rear, where no repellent had been used. Always protect the rear.

Avon Skin-So-Soft Bath Oil

About 10 years ago, this was all the rage. Avon does make a different specific insect repellent, but the Skin-S0-Soft oil was supposed to be magical.

Main ingredients: Mineral oil, isopropyl palmitate, fragrance, carrot seed oil.

Price and store: $27, Avon.

Scent: Fresh and delightful.

Feel: Oily, it is bath oil after all.

Fruit test: The ants came calling; the flies also found the fruit.

Body test: Why not just put out a shingle that reads “Dinner is served”?

Results: I got three bites in a row on that arm. Misery.

Wear it

SuperBand Insect Repelling Wristband

This one is a springy band you put on an arm or an ankle. It is supposed to last up to 200 hours after you open it.

Main ingredients: Geraniol, lemongrass and citronella oil.

Price and store: $0.97 for two, H-E-B.

Scent: A strong citronella smell follows you wherever you go.

Feel: It’s like wearing a bracelet, but a little itchier.

Fruit test: The ants and flies were heavily attracted to it.

Body test: It seemed to be working until I got bit in the neck while taking a photo of it.

Results: The price was right and it was the easiest to use, but it didn’t work.

Off Clip-On

You clip in a disk into a fan that you wear on your waist and twist it on. It is supposed to last 12 hours. There’s also a lot of “CAUTION” language on the package.

Main ingredients: Metofluthrin and “other ingredients.”

Price and store: $7.94, H-E-B.

Scent: A strong citronella scent will follow you everywhere.

Feel: It’s a bit heavy on the waist and gets in your way as you swing your arms.

Fruit test: No bugs came to visit.

Body test: I saw bugs fly toward me, then fly away.

Results: No bites, but it is a big clunky.

All about the DEET

If you’re looking for DEET — the chemical warfare of repellent ingredients — these are some of your options.

Repel Sportsmen Max

This had an easy-to-use spray that can be used on clothes without damaging them.

Main ingredients: 40 percent DEET, 60 percent “other ingredients.”

Price and store: $3.98, H-E-B.

Scent: It just smells like alcohol with a slight citronella smell.

Feel: Not sticky or greasy.

Fruit test: The insects were not interested.

Body test: One bite.

Results: With this much DEET, I expected no bites. I was disappointed.

Ben’s Tick & Insect Repellent Wilderness Formula

This spray is water-based and made for going deep into the woods.

Main ingredients: 30 percent DEET, 70 percent “other ingredients.”

Price and store: $7.98, H-E-B.

Scent: A light chemical smell that isn’t overpowering.

Feel: It’s got a slight stickiness to it.

Fruit test: No insects visited.

Body test: I felt the sting, followed by an itch around the ankle. And then I found the bite.

Results: I wanted Ben’s, which shares a name with my son, to be better.

Off! Deep Woods

This pump spray is designed to fight off all kinds of bugs.

Main ingredients: 25 percent DEET, 75 percent “other ingredients.”

Price and store: $4.57 H-E-B.

Scent: Pleasant floral smell. Delightful.

Feel: A bit sticky.

Fruit test: No bugs came calling.

Body test: I saw no bugs. I saw have no bites.

Results: This was a winner. It smelled nice, was affordable and was easy to spray. It wasn’t as easy to spray on clothes as some of the aerosol-based sprays.

Cutter Unscented Insect Repellent

This might be ideal if you want just a little DEET and not a heavy scent, but in an aerosol can that is easy to spray on clothes, which is important because I got bit through my jeans with another product.

Main ingredients: 10 percent DEET, 90 percent “other ingredients.”

Price and store: $2.98, H-E-B.

Scent: It’s not quite unscented, but it’s not offensive.

Feel: It’s a bit sticky, and it burns if you get it in a cut.

Fruit test: It was a bug-free fruit plate.

Body test: No bites or insects spotted.

Results: It’s one of the most affordable sprays and easy to use. It did the job.

Off! Family Care Unscented with Aloe Vera

Don’t be misled by the words “family care.” You still have to keep it away from children. It only is designed to last two hours.

Main ingredients: 7 percent DEET, 93 percent “other ingredients.”

Price and store: $4.57, H-E-B.

Scent: A light, floral scent that is delightful.

Feel: Nice and light, a slight stickiness.

Fruit test: No action here.

Body test: I saw no insects. I felt no insects.

Results: I liked this one a lot, and most important, it worked.

Going natural (aka No DEET on me)

Maggie’s Farm Natural Insect Repellent

Maggie’s Farm offers an easy-to-use spray can that goes over clothes well.

Main ingredients: Isopropyl alcohol, hemp seed oil, glycerin, but also oil of corn, soybean, lemongrass, geraniol, citronella and clove.

Price and store: $5.98, H-E-B.

Scent: Smells like rubbing alcohol.

Feel: Very cold going on but not sticky.

Fruit test: No bugs here.

Body test: I saw no bugs and added no new bites. I also didn’t constantly smell myself.

Results: If you want something natural, that works and is available in a grocery store, this might be for you.

Bug Protector Balm

This balm looks like a giant tube of ChapStick. It’s only good for putting on skin, not covering clothes.

Main ingredients: Oil of lemongrass, geranium, cinnamon and peppermint with castor oil, beeswax, vanillin, lecithin and Vitamin E.

Price and store: $2.98, H-E-B.

Scent: It was some of the best-smelling stuff. You’ll smell like sugar cookies.

Feel: Think about applying a balm to your skin. Then know it’s never coming off, after multiple washings.

Fruit test: The bugs came. They saw. They conquered.

Body test: I smelled like cookies, and the bugs appreciated that with multiple bites delivered.

Results: Maybe this works as a perfume, but not as a bug repellent.

Buzz Off from Austin Natural Soap

The ingredients sound great, and it’s an Austin company. We had to try it.

Main ingredients: Rubbing alcohol, jojoba oil, essential oils of lemon eucalyptus, cedarwood, tea tree, lavender and wintergreen.

Price and store: $5.99, People’s Pharmacy.

Scent: It was so stinky, I couldn’t stand it. I had to head to the shower after a few minutes.

Feel: It felt fine, not sticky or oily.

Fruit test: The bugs didn’t want it.

Body test: I didn’t get bitten, but a fly wanted to get with me and wouldn’t leave that arm alone.

Results: The smell was so overpowering, I couldn’t wait to take it off. I think if I had been in a crowd, people would have been looking at me.

Coleman’s Botanicals Insect Repellent

Does the camping gear outfitter know how to get rid of bugs with its botanical spray?

Main ingredients: 30 percent lemon eucalyptus, 70 percent “other ingredients.”

Price and store: $4.88, H-E-B.

Scent: It smelled fresh and lemony.

Feel: It was incredibly oily and left my skin very shiny.

Fruit test: The bugs weren’t interested.

Body test: Well, I got bitten, through my clothing, while wearing this one.

Results: It was hard to spray and so oily. It also got over everything.

Buzz Away Insect Repellent

At $10.49 for a bottle and with a very strong scent, it had to work, right?

Main ingredients: 5 percent Citronella oil, plus oils of cedarwood, peppermint and lemongrass, and eucalyptus, water, grain alcohol and castor oil.

Price and store: $10.49, People’s Pharmacy.

Scent: It came with a strong lemongrass and citronella scent you cannot deny.

Feel: It was very sticky.

Fruit test: The bugs were afraid of this overpowering scent.

Body test: I saw no bugs. I felt no bugs.

Results: It definitely worked and the scent wasn’t unpleasant, but it was so strong.

All Terrain Herbal Armor Natural Insect Repellent

Would this small pump create a natural armor against the insects?

Main ingredients: Oils of soybean, citronella, peppermint, cedar, lemongrass and geranium.

Price and store: $5.49, People’s Pharmacy.

Scent: It had a strong a citronella and lemongrass smell.

Feel: It stayed on the surface with both a sticky and oily feel.

Fruit test: No insects came calling.

Body test: I saw bugs, but they stayed away.

Results: This one works as a repellent, but the scent and the feel of it would keep us from using it often.

EcoSmart Insect Repellent Pump Spray

It promised to dry quickly and without oiliness, and it did that.

Main ingredients: Geraniol, oil of rosemary, cinnamon, lemongrass and wintergreen

Price and store: $4.98, H-E-B.

Scent: It’s supposed to have a “fresh natural scent.” I thought of it as rubbing alcohol mixed with licorice.

Feel: Great feel. It’s like you didn’t spray anything there, except for the lingering scent.

Fruit test: The fruit remained undisturbed.

Body test: I saw bugs come up to me, but they didn’t bite.

Results: This one works and was one of the more affordable natural lines, but I don’t know that I could handle the scent.

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