OK, kids and parents. There are only four more weeks until school starts. Time to fill up on the summer fun before it all goes away.
First stop: It’s hot, so head underground at a local cave. This area is rich with possibilities and last summer we explored five of them. For a history lesson, go to Longhorn Cavern State Park. It’s been used by Comanche Indians, Confederate soldiers and Prohibitionists. 6211 Park Road 4, Burnet, 830-598-2283, www.longhorncaverns.com.
For its beauty and vastness, dip into Natural Bridge Caverns. 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Road, near New Braunfels. 210-651-6101, www.naturalbridgecaverns.com. For an unexpected surprise and a pretty country drive, discover A Cave Without a Name. 325 Kreutzberg Road, Boerne. 830-537-4212, www.cavewithoutaname.com.
And if you need a smaller cave experience closer to home, try Inner Space Cavern (4200 S. Interstate 35, Georgetown. 512-931-2283, www.myinnerspacecavern.com) or Wonder World Park, (1000 Prospect St., San Marcos. 512-392-3760, www.wonderworldpark.com).
For another cool spot, head to a museum. You have only five more weeks to explore the current Austin Children’s Museum before it closes Sept. 1 and opens up again in a new location, with a new name, on Dec. 7. Right now the exhibit “Think.Do.Make.” let’s kids play with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in fun ways by sending Ping-Pong balls up tubes in the walls and floating paper helicopters above them. 201 Colorado St. 472-2499, www.austinkids.org.
Take a family tour of the Blanton Museum of Art, now through Aug. 9. Examine art through children’s stories for ages 4 to 7 at 10:30 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays and for ages 8 to 12 at 11:30 a.m. Thursdays. The museum has art activities for ages 8 and older from 10 a.m. to noon every Thursday and Friday. The Blanton is at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at Congress Avenue. 471-7324, www.blantonmuseum.org.
The Contemporary Austin (formerly AMOA-Arthouse) has a family drop-in tour at 11 a.m. Friday and a Summer Story Series at 1 p.m. Sunday and Aug. 4. They are both free with admission to the Jones Center location, 700 Congress Ave. Over at the Laguna Gloria location, Second Saturdays offers hands-on art projects. On Aug. 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., it’s painting with ice cubes. $5 member families, $10 nonmember families. 3809 W. 35th St. amoa-arthouse.org.
Texplorations Family Story Time happens the first Sunday of every month at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Aug. 4. 1800 N. Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com.
Enjoy theater with the family. First stop, head over to Beverly S. Sheffield Zilker Hillside Theater inside Zilker Park, spread out your blanket starting at 6 p.m. and watch the Zilker Summer Musical, “Little Shop of Horrors.” Thursday-Sundays through Aug. 17 at dusk (approximately 8:30 p.m.) Free, but donations welcome. Beverly S. Sheffield Zilker Hillside Theater inside Zilker Park. www.zilker.org.
Wrap up your theater tour with Summer Stock’s “The Bremen Town Musicians.” Biscuit Brother Allen Robertson created this musical. 10 a.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, and 10 a.m. Aug. 7, through Aug. 11. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. 512-474-5664, www.thelongcenter.org.
Now go cool off in the pool. We have plenty of natural and man-made oases in Central Texas. You could try a different one every day. Make it fun and have the kids research and then rate the ones they try.
One to try is Deep Eddy Pool, where they show movies at dusk on summer Saturdays. This Saturday, it’s “Wreck-It Ralph”; next Saturday, “The Avengers.” $1 ages 1-11, $2 ages 12-17, $3 adults, $1 seniors. 401 Deep Eddy Ave. www.deepeddy.org.
Or take in all the free or $1 kid movies at Alamo Drafthouse locations, Cinemark Theaters and Regal Cinemas. The schedule change weekly, so check their websites to see what’s playing, including times and locations.