This weekend: Show your ice cream love in Austin, Texas
The Austin Ice Cream Festival, going on this Saturday, has a simple mission—"to have fun with family and friends while enjoying a variety of wonderful ice cream treats."
Let's break it down:
Fun: Besides ice cream, the festival oversees four contests centered around the sweet confection—ice cream making (contestants bring their own ice cream machines), ice cream eating, screaming for ice cream (open to all ages; screams are judged on decibel level, style, and technique), and a popsicle sculpture competition. There's also live music, a funny-looking ice cream truck, and a sprinkler zone.
Family and Friends: Admission is $5 for adults, but kids under 12 get in free—and attendees are encouraged to bring their pets (because even Spot likes ice cream). Festival organizers expect about 15,000 people.
Wonderful Ice Cream Treats: Vendors sell ice cream tastes for around $1.
Quite a crowd!: Festival organizers expect about 15,000 people.
And a Bonus: Some proceeds go to the local Big Brothers Big Sisters foundation.
And really, you've got to be some kind of summer scrooge to not love ice cream—especially in the throes of August's heat. Austin's Saturday forecast calls for sun, with temperatures topping out at a balmy 101 degrees. Perfect for a frosty sweet treat.
The Details: Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Waterloo Park. See icecreamfestival.org for more info. Admission is $5 for adults, but kids under 12 get in free—and attendees are encouraged to bring their pets (because even Spot likes ice cream).
Worth reading: New paddling adventures for kayakers
Some of our favorite links from around the 'net this week: Many dams are coming down, uncorking rivers for kayakers to explore. [The New York Times] A San Diego luxury hotel discounts rooms to $19 a night—but you have to sleep in a tent. [CNN] Keats House, residence of poet John Keats, re-opens in Hampstead, England, after a two-year renovation. [Wall Street Journal] Gear alert: Incase's new digital camera bags. [Cool Hunting] Adventures in places with unfortunate names. [World Hum] The U.S. House Transportation Committee questions airline fees. [Cheapflights.com] For more travel blogs, go to Alltop.
What's your dream trip?
Going on safari. Spending a week on a private island. Climbing Kilimanjaro, driving cross-country, floating the Grand Canyon… We call them Dream Trips, and every year we publish a special issue dedicated to making them real. As we get ready for the next installment, we'd like to know: What's your dream trip? I'll start: My dream trip is a sea-kayaking excursion in the Galápagos, and I'm hoping to do it in the next year. So share your dreams with us! You may just find the perfect Budget Travel itinerary in an upcoming issue… Also: How long would a trip need to qualify as a dream trip? How would you be willing to sacrifice in order to make your dream trip happen next year?
Rome: August discounts for visitors under 30
The annual summer exodus from Rome is underway, with businesses shuttering and locals braving traffic-clogged roads to get to the surrounding beaches or mountains. But this time, city officials are hard at work to lure tourists with a new Enjoy Rome Low Cost promotion for those 18 to 29. Make the most of being under 30, as the officials say, by stopping at one of the tourist information offices near major sights like the Colosseum and Termini Station to pick up a free promo card. Present the card, along with an ID with your date of birth, to get discounts at participating restaurants, hotels, shops, museums, and even on public transportation. Here's a sampling of the offers available through August 31: double rooms for €60 instead of €100 at the Hotel Montreal; tickets for an open-top bus tour at €15 instead of €20; the Roma Pass for €21 instead of €23, along with 10 percent off all purchases at 12 city-owned museums; and special menus from €5 at 30 restaurants. Get the complete details at en.turismoroma.it or by calling 011-39/06-06-08. [Thanks for the tip, Erica!]
Paris: 3 fun summer art shows
During the hot month of August, the Paris art scene sheds pretension almost as fast as les franaçises shed excess clothing. Summer exhibitions are fun, accessible, and delightfully low-brow. They're also one of the few Parisian spaces (along with supermarkets and movie theaters) where you can be assured of air conditioning. As the temperature rises, the following shows are guaranteed to keep you cool. "Kandinksy" through August 10, 2009 This landmark retrospective provides a coherent introduction to the colorful work of Russian painter Wassily Kandisky. Organizers say the exhibition "goes beyond the narrow posthumous conception of him as "inventor of abstraction." Local blogger John Talbott says, "I found the works in the last room from the 1930s and '40s to be almost playful experiments by an assured mature artist—not needing to sell or please anyone, he seems to be just having fun and I did too, just seeing them." Centre Pompidou, 19 rue Beaubourg, 4th arrondissement, €12 $16. "Planète Parr" (Martin Parr) through September 27 I fell in love with photographer Martin Parr the moment I saw his travel-oriented Small World series. The same sense of humor shines in this exhibition at the Jeu de Paume. Along with his photographs that poke fun at luxury, Parr has also put his personal collection of kitsch collectibles on display. As local art blog The Great Exposition writes, "by displaying these photos alongside his collection of cheap souvenirs (Obama flip-flops, special edition Spice Girl chocolate bars, Saddam Hussein watches), the exhibition reveals Parr's interest in global consumer culture and his subtle satire of modern mores." Jeu de Paume, 1 place de la Concorde, 1st arrondissement, €6, $8.50. "Born in the Streets" through November 29 An exhibition dedicated to graffiti and street art? This could only happen at the über-cool Fondation Cartier. Controversially asserting that this illegal activity has become an accepted art form in design and advertising, this contemporary arts museum has dedicated its entire gallery space to celebrating an artistic movement that was born in the streets of New York. They've also given over the building's façade to graffiti artists who are transforming the walls with new images every day. Fondation Cartier, 261 boulevard Raspail, 14th arrondissement, €5, $7. MORE AFFORDABLE PARIS Museums for free (10+ comments) Restaurants and bars to visit pre- or post-Louvre (10+ comments) Top free events this summer