Activities to take you through the summer

Published 6:50 am Saturday, June 20, 2020

No summer ice, no pool, limited organized recreational activities — what are my kids and I to do?

Ahh, summer, a time when whimsical thoughts and an open schedule make it challenging to stay occupied. Huh?

We’re so accustomed to being programmed to go to school, work, sports practices, fitness classes (insert your habits, routines, and regularly scheduled activities), that we hardly have time to think independent thoughts of our own. And then there are those blasted electronic devices, which keep us in tune with selected segments of society.

Might I suggest that you take some time for you to get away from scheduled activities? Yes, Austin Park and Rec, Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, and your public library are offering activities this summer, but your day doesn’t have to be about structure in order to learn and/or have fun. One can visit any of these spaces and places at your leisure (within reason, of course). You can take a stroll through one of our numerous parks (we’ll be working at opening restrooms soon!), go to the Nature Center, bike on a trail (in, near or not so near town), or check out a good book.

A park adventure can include playground time, trout fishing (exclusive to Todd Park here in Austin), disc golf (Driesner or Todd Park), exercise equipment (Lions Park), a puppet show of your making (on your own stage at the bandshell in Community Park), basketball, some family softball or baseball practice, soccer, a picnic, skipping stones on East Side Lake, and much more!

A Nature Center visit can include a trek to the look-out tower, counting the numerous trails, seeing how far you can walk (on your cell phone or pedometer) whilst staying in the shade, counting the variety of birds (or mammals, trees, wildflowers, etc.) you spot, canoeing on Dobbins Creek, and so forth.

Are you still lacking for ideas? I’m trying hard to NOT refer you to the internet, but rather to our local library. Did you know that our local library is currently open for curbside service, and offers computer times 10 am. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday, and only curbside service on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon? Once you’ve made contact, if you cannot readily think of (or locate) a resource for your area of interest, one of their knowledgeable staff would be delighted to assist you.

COVID-19 will ease at some point, at which time the staff will be excited to return to ‘regular’ library business.

What more could you want? Austin offers learning and fun experiences, at your own pace, and on your own schedule. Check it out today!