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It's oppressively hot in Austin right now. Here's where you can cool off.

A tree next to a swimming pool.
Gabriel C. Pérez
Big Stacy in South Austin is one of the city's year-round pools.

With triple-digit temperatures in the forecast for (at least) the rest of the week, Austin and Travis County are opening up cooling centers for people trying to get out of the stifling heat.

On top of that, Austin reopened 10 pools this week — and brought Barton Springs Pool back to its normal operating hours — amid a lifeguard shortage.

Here's a rundown of where to go to escape the Texas heat.

Cooling Centers

The City of Austin is opening libraries, as well as recreation and senior centers for folks looking to cool down. All public libraries except for the St. John branch are open during business hours.

All Austin Parks and Recreation community and senior centers are open as well.

The Asian American Resource Center, the George Washington Carver Museum, the Dougherty Arts Centerand the Mexican American Cultural Center will also be open as cooling centers during business hours.

Travis County's Health and Human Services is opening all of its community centers from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. as cooling centers. Below is a map of the community centers.

For Austinites living outdoors in the city’s central core, the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless is open for anyone who needs water or a break from the sun. People do not need to be a client of the city-owned shelter to receive services. Caritas across the street is also distributing water and allowing people to cool off at their site.


Austin has a perennial problem attracting lifeguards at its public pools. This year's been no different. After straining to hire qualified lifeguards, the city opened 10 pools earlier this week. Still, roughly 20 pools and splashpads remain closed because of the worker shortage.

Barton Springs Pool is now operating normally, but other pools have been forced to throttle back their hours of operation as a result of the lifeguard shortage.

You can find out which pools and splashpads are open (and when) on the city's website.

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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