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Your summer guide to things to do in Austin and Central Texas

American-Statesman staff

Wow, we're ready to be out and about and having some fun, and we bet you are, too.

Here are some things to do this summer season, indoors and out, new and classic Austin. This isn't everything that's out there, of course; this is Austin. Stay up to date with the latest things to do at austin360.com.

Peter Pan Mini Golf

Putt-putt is the perfect pace for outdoor fun during a Texas summer, and it's even better with a T-Rex in the middle of the city. The Dismukes family business has been keeping Austin weird and entertained since 1948.

Butler Pitch and Putt

More traditional golf, also in the center of the city, in the form of a nine-hole, par-three course that's been around more than 70 years. This gem was updated and renovated in 2021 by a group of home-grown Austin investors. The charm remains, the greens are restored and there are more food options.

Ready for summer?:Get checked for skin cancer and find the right sunscreen

Kayakers and paddleboarders fill Lady Bird Lake in September 2019. The scene will be repeated all summer long (and into fall).

Some summer shopping

Sure, stroll South Congress and hang out at the Domain. But also, how about some vintage wares for your patio, your summer wardrobe or just for fun? We have a whole guide of suggested places.

Take a hike

We're all about safety first, so please be aware of your fitness level and the temps before striking out into nature. And make sure you have plenty of water. (Same if you bring a four-legged friend; remember, dogs are wearing a fur coat and the heat might hit them, and their bare paws, even harder.) Cautions said, here's a guide to some suggested spots.

Need some snacks for your outing? Learn about Austin-by-way of Canada sisters who created some energy balls now made in Central Texas and available at Central Market and other locations.

Hop on a paddle board (or in a kayak or canoe)

Go early in the morning or in the evening to avoid the sun beating down on your back while you're out there. If you don't have your own, there are places that rent. Find them and other ideas for outdoor fun in our guide.

Go swimming

Yes, there is a lifeguard shortage, and that is affecting openings and hours. Check before you head out to your favorite spot. Here's a list to get you started.

Want to be a tourist in your own town? Grab a day pass for one of Austin's hotel pools. We have a roundup of those, too.

More:Lifeguard shortage could leave nearly 20 of Austin's public pools closed this summer

Support the arts

Black Art WKND: With the theme "All Kinds of Black," more than 40 contemporary and urban artists will showcase their creative works June 10-12 at East Austin's Distribution Hall. Tickets are $35-100.

Starting Sept. 9, "Field of Light" will fill the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. We have all the details for outdoor art that creator Bruce Munro hopes will bring joy to visitors.

Through Aug. 15, see the exhibit "Peace to the Queen" at the Carver Museum. Jamel Shabazz's art is a love poem to women of color and includes a wooden bust of Austin artist Dawn Okoro, whose profile has been steadily rising around the world.

Movies, movies, movies

The Paramount Theatre's Summer Classic Film Series is always packed with gems, themed and otherwise, starting May 26. Check out our suggestions, plus a link to the whole lineup and tickets.

Behind the scenes (get it?), meet an Austin family that has taken care of the marquee and other duties at the Paramount and its sister space, the State for decades.

Austin's Movies in the Park series is back for summer and into fall 2022. Screenings in area parks include "Encanto" in Spanish, "Luca" and "The Mitchells vs. the Machines."

More:The ultimate guide to live Austin music this spring and summer

Read a book

Get in that hammock and stay awhile. We have recommendations for some summer reads, including some for the kids.

Hear some stories

The Austin Storytellers Project, a Statesman joint, is back June 1 for another round of live storytelling. And there are more coming later in the year.

Hear some live music

The live music capital is never quiet. Coming up:

Celebrate Antone's 47th anniversary with a whole month of shows, June 24 to July 23.

Celebrate the Kerrville Folk Festival's 50th anniversary with 18 days of music (and learn more about how it all began).

The Drop-In shows at the Long Center are free on Thursdays all summer long.

Austin City Limits Music Festival is back for two weekends, Oct. 7-9 and 14-16. The lineup is out and tickets are on sale.

Harry Styles is coming round for five nights (five nights!) at Austin's new Moody Center in late September and early October.

Want more? Check out our summer music preview, and go back to Austin360 for recently announced shows, such as Kendrick Lamar, Gorillaz and Carrie Underwood.

See some sights, get out of town

Shipping containers are being used for many things these days, including a hotel in the Texas Hill Country.

Heading to West Texas? Sure there's Marfa, but don't skip the historic gems in some smaller towns.