Central Texas is home to countless places to explore, wander, eat, and enjoy. In the summertime, the weather may get hotter, but that doesn’t stop matches from spending time together both indoors and outdoors.
Big Sister Catherine and her Little Sister Jenny have been matched for almost four years, and have already spent three summers together. At first, Catherine tried to do extravagant activities with Jenny during the summer months. “The first year it’s like you’re dating, and you want to impress the other person,” Catherine said. They soon realized that the activities they enjoy most tend to be simple and free. “Sometimes we just go to a pet store and pet the dogs,” Jenny said, “or we get coloring books and color at an ice cream shop.”
Diane and her Little Sister Azucena try to avoid the outdoors during the summertime. “We like to bake cookies and cook together,” Diane said. When cooking, Diane often tries to push Azucena out of her comfort zone. “We are always trying new and different foods,” Azucena said. Big Sister Ashley and her Little Charlissa also enjoy cooking together. “The food is probably not the best but Charlissa pretends she likes it,” Ashley joked.
Some matches like to utilize their extra free time in the summer to learn new skills. “I don’t know how to swim,” Charlissa said “so Ashley and I are going to work on that this summer. We’ll start at the pool and work our way up to the Greenbelt eventually.” Other than her time with Ashley, Charlissa doesn’t get out of the house very often. “Ashley really helps to show me new things and prevents me from laying around all day,” she laughed.
Big Brother Kuro and his Little Brother Salvador don’t let the heat stop them pursuing outdoor activities. They often feed the ducks by Lady Bird Lake. But Salvador warned that the geese can get a little vicious at times. “Be careful or they might attack you” he joked. Kuro and Salvador also enjoy tossing a lacrosse ball around and playing other sports together.
With so many different places to enjoy and activities to choose from, it’s often difficult to decide on just one thing. But it turns out that what matches do together isn’t so important. “All that really matters is that you’re making time for someone, and they’re making time for you,” said Diane. “That’s a really great feeling.”
Suggestions For Beating the Heat:
- Cook a fun recipe together
- Buy inexpensive crafts at Wal-Mart and make them together
- Explore The Thinkery, The Bob Bullock Museum or The Blanton Museum
- Play cards or a board game at a coffee shop
- Enjoy a discounted lunch from one of BBBS’ many partners
- Find a free workout or yoga class
- Watch movies in a homemade blanket fort
- Make your own ice cream or popsicles
- Visit an antique store
- Take pictures of the fish at an aquarium
- Draw pictures of each other
Activities For Embracing the Sun:
- Feed the ducks at Lady Bird Lake
- Build a homemade slip n’ slide
- Play with dogs at Zilker Park
- Check out a free festival
- Train for and run a 5k together
- Explore McKinney Park or Sculpture Falls
- Sail across Austin (for free!)
- Hike all 8 miles of the Barton Creek Greenbelt
- Set up a lemonade stand
- Wash the car together
- Explore the Austin Nature Center
Before you head out on your next adventure, check out our list of match discount partners to see if you can do your activity for less or for free! Match discount partners provide BBBS volunteers with affordable options for spending time with their Little. Bigs must present their Match ID Card to receive the discount.
For even more summer activity ideas, click here