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We Know What You Should Do This Summer

Your guide to beaches, water parks, day trips, festivals and more

In a lot of places, summer is a time to throw open your doors and run outside to play play play the days away. That's not always the case in Houston, as the oppressive heat drives some folks into the air-conditioned comfort of their homes, and maybe to a bar or a Wal-Mart or something.

This summer, however, we're hoping that you'll brave the heat and get some activities in your life: beaches, family-friendly events, arts and culture and, of course, fun. Look no further than Houston. Here are some places to get you started.

June 4 - 20th Annual Heights 5K Fun Run & Walk
Heights Blvd. at 18th St., 713-861-4002, www.houstonheights.org

Runners will start at 7:30 a.m. with walkers just behind at 7:35 a.m. The new Kids 1K will begin around 8:30 a.m. The course starts at Heights and 18th, heads southbound, turns around at Fifth Street, and heads northbound on Heights until participants reach Marmion Park. Celebrate your victory at the post-race party, with breakfast tacos, bagels, fruit and water. Be sure to stick around for some great door prizes. Visit Web site to register, or pick up forms at various Heights locations.

June 5 - Ten Star All Star Basketball Camp
Texas A&M University at Commerce, 704-373-0873, www.tenstarcamp.com

Final applications are now being accepted for the Ten Star All Star Summer Basketball Camp, which runs to June 9. Boys and girls ages ten to 19 are eligible to apply. The camp is invitation-only; players from all 50 states and 11 foreign countries attended the 2003 camp. Past participants include Michael Jordan and Tim Duncan.

June 8 - On the Run Triathlon Training Program
2427 Bay Area Blvd., Clear Lake, 281-480-5388, www.ontheruntx.com

This program is for the beginner athlete who wants to get into triathlons or the new triathlete who wants to improve his or her performance. Sign up by today and begin your training on June 11. This 12-week program is designed to prepare an athlete to complete a middle-distance triathlon, with the goal race being the Cinco Ranch Tri in August. All programs include specific training geared to swimming, biking and running, along with a bike-fit, running-gait analysis and seminars. $125.

June 11 - Texas State Championship Adventure Race Series
Jack Brooks Park, 512-863-3715, www.terrafirmapromo.com

This event is for two-person teams in the coed, male, coed masters and female divisions. Both coed masters team members must be more than 40 years old. Events include a two- to three-mile trail run, a seven- to 15- mile mountain bike ride, a 30- to 40-minute canoe and mystery events. $120 per team for each race site, two weeks in advance. $65 per person after early entry date. 9 a.m.

June 12 - Tejas Triathlon, 2005 USAT National Sprint Course Championship
Pecan Park, Hwy. 99 at Hwy. 90 in Sugar Land, 281-291-7006, www.out-loud.org

The sixth annual Tejas Triathlon will host up to 800 triathletes for an awesome sprint-distance race with a half-mile swim, 13-mile flat-and-fast bike and a shaded three-mile run. $60 to $100.

June 12 - Orange Show Eyeopener Tour
www.orangeshow.org

Join the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art or go along on their Eyeopener Tour, called "Shopping Below the Radar - Places You Won't Find in the Yellow Pages." Join local artists for a tour of the city's most unique shopping areas. The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art has become Houston's hub of folk art activity.

June 19 - Juneteenth Freedom Festival
Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Dr., 713-284-8350

The Juneteenth Freedom Festival commemorates the day Texas slaves learned of President Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. The event includes blues, gospel and jazz performers, as well as groups who raise awareness of African-American heritage.

June 25 - Houston Pride Parade
Westheimer from Woodhead to Whitney,

713-529-6979, www.pridehouston.org

Houston continues to celebrate diversity during the Houston Pride Parade, presented by the Houston gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. As America's original nighttime Pride Parade and the largest annual GLBT event in the Southwest, it holds a unique place in the hearts of Houstonians and visitors from around the country. 8:45 p.m.

June 26 - Buffalo Bayou Canoe Trip
to Rainbow Lodge, www.buffalobayou.org/canoetours.html See Houston from a whole new angle with bayou canoe tours. Buffalo Bayou Partnership is offering waterway getaways. You can paddle down Buffalo Bayou to the charming Rainbow Lodge, where lunch will be provided.

July 4 - Chevy's Freedom Over Texas
Eleanor Tinsley Park, 713-247-3500, www.houstonspecialevents.org

This is Houston's official July Fourth celebration at Eleanor Tinsley Park. This annual event features live entertainment, food booths and fireworks. Four music stages include pop, country, salsa, jazz and R&B shows, as well as performances by Clint Black and LeAnn Rimes. For kids, there will be inflatables, rides and games in Fiesta's All American Kids Zone. And at 9:25 p.m. the fireworks display will come alive to choreographed music.

July 4 - Run Wild 5K
Uptown Park Plaza, 832-457-5254, www.runwildsports.com

Hosted by the Runner's High Club, this is a great race to start off your holiday. Proceeds benefit Special Olympics Texas. The official starter is Lisa Foronda from Channel 11. Run through a beautiful tree-lined neighborhood and then attend Houston's best post-race party with a live band, food, drinks and prize drawings. 7:30 a.m.

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