Summer Guide 2012
How to survive the summer: bunkering lessons for locals
Published: June 20, 2012
Why we haven't figured out yet that even with air-conditioned rooms and air-conditioned cars it's just plain whacked to get up with the sun and stay awake through the heat of the summer day is beyond me. If we were a sensible society, we'd use that AC for a long midday nap and move about during the cooler dark hours. This isn't Portland, Oregon (average high in July: 80.6 degrees), or Portland, Maine (average high in August: 76.5 degrees). This is good 'ole SA, TX. And it's going to get warm. The main thing is to survive the sucker. For those of you who don't plan on flinging yourself into a cooling day trip adventure because you fear the wilderness is writhing with poisonous snakes, or because you get carsick, or because you don't have a freakin' car (or can't afford to feed it), never mind. Staycations are still in vogue, but you're going to have to find some chilling stations. Let's check out the urban options.
It's afternoon, and hot as blazes, but somehow you've found a few unbridled hours. In sensible cities there's no need to always stay inside to beat the heat. Restaurants, bars, and even cheap coffee shops have misters — outdoor cooling systems that fill the air with a fog of pulverized, cold water. Mist. But no, not here in Saytown (except at weddings and other functions — go figure). If you're forced to look for AC, but lucky enough to be going for drinks, try the Havana Bar. It's tucked under Hotel Havana (1015 Navarro) and curated to maintain a steady 62 degrees.
Got kids, so you'll have to pass on cocktails? The whole family can avoid heat rash at Ice & Golf Center at Northwoods (17530 Henderson Pass). For the heat-resistant, there's mini-golf outdoors, and adult and youth soccer teams for the physically ambitious. Inside, get chilled with figure skating or join a hockey game.
Got kids, but gonna get a cold one anyhow? Why not a game of beach volleyball with that beer? No, we're not on the ocean here, but there are plenty of spots that sport sand and nets. Fatso's Sport Garden (1704 Bandera) is a family location with some of the best sandpits around. Food tends towards Texas favorites: chicken fried steak, brisket, tacos, pecan pie, and such. SideLiners (15630 Henderson Pass) has sand volleyball and sand soccer leagues to join, both coed.
Rather watch than play? Plenty of games on the tube inside, where you can grab a burger or wings, and cool off with a tall one. The San Antonio Yacht Club (4553 N Loop 1604 W) offers a large patio in an oceanside theme, and a play dock for children, with over 6,000 square-feet of fun, including sand boxes, a bounce house, and jungle gym. If you're going solo, check out the nighttime events for adults.
Sand is nice, but where's the water? Thanks to SA Parks & Recreation, there are 24 swimming pools dotted across town where you can soak your head for free. A few pools offer opportunities for early morning lap swimming (7:30-9:30 a.m.); all are open until either 8 or 9 p.m. Call (210) 207-3299 for individual locations and hours. One of our favorite pools is at San Pedro Park (1415 San Pedro), where you can dry off after a good dunking, and take in a play nearby at the San Pedro Playhouse (800 W Ashby) during selected weekends.