Water Spots in Central Texas + Ways to Keep Cool AND Have Fun This Summer


It’s getting hot, hot, hot. And even though the outside temperature is rising, your body temperature doesn’t have to, with these fun, water-based ways for you, your friends and the kids to keep cool in the out-of-doors.

Central Texas is one of the most water-replete areas of the state, and with all the rivers and lakes in and around the Hill Country, there are countless watering holes to explore. In Wimberley, Jacob’s Well is one of our favorites. One of the longest underwater caves in Texas and an artesian spring, Jacob’s Well has been a beloved swimming hole for generations, and is a source of water for recharging the Edwards Aquifer. The water stays at a constant 68 degrees throughout the year, so it’s a wonderful place to cool down in the summer, too. There isn’t too much room for wading or actual swimming, but there is a rock face on the side of the well that makes a great diving board. And the hole goes 30 feet deep, so there’s no chance of diving too far.

Plum Creek, TX

Photo courtesy of Visit Wimberley

Also in Wimberley is Blue Hole, a more traditional swimming hole with changing rooms and restrooms, stone walkways in and out of the pool, and ladders for the deeper areas. The hole is shaded by mature Cypress trees, and there is a nice, grassy area across from the water that is perfect for a family picnic or for drying off in the sun. There’s a $7 entry fee – but it’s well worth it. Both Jacob’s Well and Blue Hole are less than 20 minutes away from Kyle, making them a perfect afternoon excursion for cooling off with the family or friends.

Up north in Austin, there’s the Barton Creek Greenbelt, an urban oasis of trails for running or biking and great watering spots like Campbell’s Hole, Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls. They’re really popular places for Austinites to explore, and some of them are a bit of a hike, but they’re magical natural spaces, and are great for people watching. Here’s a PDF map of the Greenbelt with details about trails, water spots and access points, courtesy of the Austin Parks & Recreation Department.

Plum Creek, TX

Photo of Sculpture Falls courtesy of Flickr

For at-home water fun for the family, there’s a lot that can be done with sprinklers, ice and the outdoor hose. Games like water limbo, splash tag and musical sprinkler freeze are great games for a crew of kids, and there’s always a traditional water balloon or water gun fight. Here’s a pretty robust list of some great water-based outdoor games for summer parties or those afternoons where your house is the place to be.

You can also have your kids play outside with ice to keep cool in the summer. Freeze action figures in blocks of ice for an icy excavation game, or make an art craft out of ice by sprinkling salt in a block of ice to melt the cracks and tunnels. Then drip liquid watercolor paint into the tunnels and see the beautiful patterns that the salt created.

Plum Creek, TX

 

Then there’s always the traditional pool action. Plum Creek has two in the neighborhood – Fergus and McNaughton – each with their own distinct personalities, and the City of Kyle’s public pool is open throughout the summer. Plus they have fun programming going on this summer, too.

So whether you want to stay in the neighborhood, in the city, or do some exploring, there’s so much to do to keep cool this summer in Central Texas. For more watering holes in the area, check out some of our past posts here.

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Summer Crafts for Kids


A few months without school can be trying for little minds and no one wants zombie children wasting hours in front of the television. To keep those munchkins stimulated and having fun, bust out the craft supplies and charge your creative side! We’ve got a few ideas to get your juices flowing.

Secret Gardens

Plum Creek, Homes for Sale in Kyle TX

(Credit: Richard Shilling)

You’ll need:

  • Fallen leaves
  • Thin sticks or string/thread

Here’s how:

  • Gather a variety of leaves – larger sizes work well.
  • Thread them onto a thin stick to create a little totem pole of different backyard leaves – create several and you’ll have a little fort or large work of art!
  • Or thread them onto a string and create a garland to hang indoors or outdoors for a little garden party or backyard affair.

Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Fun

Plum Creek, Homes for Sale in Kyle TX

(Credit: Ben Partridge)

You’ll need:

  • Cotton or polyester batting (quilting kind)
  • Pliers
  • Heavy-duty scissors or wire cutters
  • Scissors
  • Clear fishing line or thin string
  • Paperclips or pliable wire
  • Scotch tape
  • Pencil or pen

Here’s how:

  • Tear away a section of batting roughly the size of the cloud you’d like to make.
  • Pinch and pull at the batting to stretch out the material, and create a billowy effect by patting and rolling around the batting between your hands until you’ve gotten a shape you’re happy with. Cloud sculpting is an imperfect process and an ideal activity for munchkins.
  • Snip a short length of paperclip and wrap it around a small dowel or pencil to create a spiral shape.
  • Use the pliers to form a small loop at one end of the wire for attaching your fishing line.
  • Press and twist your spiraled wire into the batting, securing it as you would a corkscrew.
  • Fasten your clouds to the ceiling with a piece of Scotch tape.
  • Get creative on where you hang your cloud collection!

The Monster of Plum Creek Lagoon

Plum Creek, Homes for Sale in Kyle TX

(Credit: a bird and a bean)

You’ll need:

  • Empty tissue boxes
  • Duct tape
  • Paint, tissue paper, glitter, or any other decoration item you desire
  • Sponge(s) or cardboard
  • Glue – hot glue is recommended
  • Scissors

Here’s how:

  • Adjust the tissue box opening to your desired size and use the duct tape to reinforce the opening.
  • Decorate as desired and leave to dry.
  • Cut triangles out of the sponge or cardboard material to glue to one end of the tissue boxes.
  • Have fun!

Brighter Than Batman

Plum Creek, Homes for Sale in Kyle TX

(Credit: Belinda Graham)

You’ll need:

  • Paper
  • Toilet paper roll
  • Piece of thin cardboard
  • Plastic cling wrap
  • Rubber band
  • Scissors
  • Sticky tape
  • Flashlight

Here’s how:

  • Design a symbol (it could be your initials, favorite shape, etc.) in the paper making sure it’s no larger than the circumference of the toilet paper roll. Cut out your design.
  • Glue your symbol to the back of the thin cardboard and cut it out. If using letters, remember to glue them backwards!
  • Stick your superhero symbol onto a piece of plastic wrap.
  • Place the symbol (with the plastic wrap on the outside) onto the end of the toilet paper roll and pull the plastic wrap tightly around the roll. Secure it with the rubber band.
  • Trim the plastic wrap close to the rubber band and secure it down by winding on a piece of tape around the role, covering both the plastic wrap and the toilet paper roll.
  • Find a blank wall to begin marketing yourself as the new superhero in town!

If you’ve got more ideas, we’d love to hear them! Share your favorite kid craft here and if you can, include a picture of your little one with the finished product. Happy crafting!