Editor’s Picks

Summer Activities

The Austin Public Central Library – Sanwi

Located in downtown Austin, the Central Library boasts one of the best views of Austin’s skyscrapers and city line, with its sixth floor directly overlooking the bustling municipality below. Inside the library, gorgeous stained glass windows and sleek, polished furniture fill the room. The place is bubbly with warm conversations and laughter, derived from the various activities the Central Library offers, from writing and music labs to anime watch parties and reading clubs. To say that the Central Library is the perfect summer spot to relax in would be an understatement; the tranquility and joy contained within its walls would give anyone a sense of fulfillment. The Central Library even has a special area

Graphic by Sarah Garrett

dedicated to teenagers, with shelves of relatable young adult books, computers, desks for working, musical instruments, and an abundance of plush chairs that are all perfect for relaxing. In all, the Central Library’s diverse range of activities, peaceful setting, and welcoming community make it the perfect place to hang out during the summer.


The Wildflower Center – Sarah

While I am not a fan of insects in any form (I was told as a child that ladybugs could bite me), I am willing to sacrifice my discomfort to see beautiful flowers. Lilypads in a small pond, bluebonnets, and indian paintbrushes decorate pebble pathways with their petals about ten miles southwest of downtown. Oranges, pinks, and reds add bursts

graphic by Sarah Garrett

of color to the otherwise green environment in sunset hues of daisies and azaleas. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is not particularly large, but it does boast art exhibits, pleasant ponds, and plenty of local butterflies. Despite the heat of a Texas sun beating down on me, the flowers seemed perfectly lively when I visited in past summers. To anyone missing a bit of brightness in their lives, a trip to the wildflower center will provide just that.


Jim-Jim’s – Annabel

I have always kind of despised Texas summers. Texas summers are unlike any other. I couldn’t possibly get a non-Texan to understand the torture of the swarms of mosquitoes and the dozens of red itchy lumps they leave behind or the weeks of back-to-back 100-degree weather that actually feels like 200 degrees. But for me, one thing makes it all worth it: Jim-Jim’s.

graphic by Sarah Garrett

For those who don’t know what Jim-Jim’s is, you’ve never experienced true joy. Jim-Jim’s is a small ‘water-ice’ store on East Sixth but they also have locations at both Deep Eddy and Barton Springs. The amazing icy treat (it’s better than a snow cone, trust me) is perfect after swimming for hours, and it helps to forget about the stench of chlorine that seems to stick to everything. Every summer, Jim-Jim’s is my number one stop. It is a little treat that motivates me to get through each burning day and is maybe just a little better than the feeling of standing in front of the open fridge and facing the full blast of cool air after venturing outside.


The Drag – Norah

Once a substantial portion of University of Texas Austin students file off campus for the summer holiday, a whole new world of possibilities opens. I drudge through the blazing heat with sweat rolling off my face and feet burning in my shoes every summer down to Guadalupe. The temperature that bounces off the scalding pavement is instantly muted once I step foot into an air-conditioned thrift store. The gems are everywhere.

Graphic by Sarah Garrett

Each rack I turn to hasn’t been picked to shreds by vulturous students and boasts a glittering array of items that are actually not horrendously atrocious. Once I’ve left the crisp store with a bag full of finds, I only have to brave the sweltering weather for a few seconds, as I go to the next store with its own trove. And the next. And the next. The process continues and the walk back in the deathly sun becomes worth it when I dump the bags out on my bed and sort through all the things I’ve discovered.