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Nine essential things to do in Glasgow this summer

Get the most out of Glasgow's gigs, bars and general goings-on with this guide to fun in the (possible) sun

Summer's here, so it's time to get out there and start making the most of the city. Grab yourself a beer at one of Glasgow's many great beer gardens, check out one of the outdoor gigs in August or simply get away from it all by taking one of several day trips beyond the city limits. The choise is yours.

Sunbathe in the park
Charles Clegg, via Flickr
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Sunbathe in the park

They don’t call Glasgow the dear green place for nothing - though, admittedly, it’s not because it’s got loads of parks. But it should be, damnit. Keep an eye on the weather forecast (or this handy website) for indications of when it’s time to go taps aff.

Go to: Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow Green, Bellahouston Park, Pollok Park, Queen’s Park

Eat an ice-cream
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Eat an ice-cream

Given Glasgow's year-round climate, you wouldn't think a bespoke ice-cream parlour would flourish. Crolla's Gelateria, however, has a unique selling point that remains a draw even when it's snowing: the coldstone, where custom ice cream flavours are created in front of your very eyes. If you don't want to join the inevitable queue on sunny days though (or simply can't be bothered hoofing out to the West End), you're more than welcome to lick a more mass-produced lolly instead - just make sure to check with our infallible ice cream ranking system first.

See more cafes and restaurants on Time Out Glasgow.

Do something sporty
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Do something sporty

We may not have the Commonwealth Games this year, but that doesn’t mean Glasgow’s lost its sporting edge – highlights this year include Cyclehack (SWG3, Jun 19-21), urban assault course Adrenaline Rush (Pollok Park, Jun 25) and – at the very tail-end of summer – Scotland’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Germany. You know, the current world champs. So… that’ll be fun.

See more things to do on Time Out Glasgow.

Catch a summer blockbuster
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Catch a summer blockbuster

It's the last thing you want to hear, but there'll be at least one or two days over the summer months where - brace yourselves - it might be a teensy bit cloudy. Thankfully, the movie industry has invented the concept of 'summer blockbusters' to come in handy on just such days, and this summer's no different, with 'Despicable Me' spin-off 'Minions', Disney-Pixar's 'Inside Out', superhero adventure 'Ant-Man' and sequels to 'Magic Mike', 'Terminator', 'Ted' and 'Mission: Impossible' all in the pipeline.

See more film on Time Out Glasgow.

Eat (and drink) al fresco
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Eat (and drink) al fresco

Eating and drinking indoors? Pah – that’s not how we roll in the sweltering 12 degree heat of an Glasgow summer. Sarcasm aside, Glesga’s blessed with an abundance of beer gardens and al fresco dining locations – and many of them even have umbrellas, heaters and the like. You know, just in case.

See more bars and restaurants on Time Out Glasgow.

Visit Edinburgh
Paul Hudson flickr.com/photos/pahudson/
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Visit Edinburgh

Not a popular suggestion, but hear us out – what’s the one thing that all Glaswegians say is great about Edinburgh? That’s right: the train back to Glasgow. Think about it – those poor suckers have to stand there and take it while millions of tourists descend on their city, every year, for an entire month. Glaswegians, meanwhile, can buy a day return, sample their fill of the Fringe, then happily trundle back through to the (relative) peace of their hometown. Best of both worlds, innit?

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Escape the city
Shawn Spencer-Smith, via Flickr
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Escape the city

In the unlikely event you get bored of Glasgow this summer, the city’s convenient location means you’ll never struggle for a good day trip. Explore some less familiar environs a stone’s throw from greater Glasgow – and if you feel so inclined, double up your trip to visit some nearby whisky distilleries while you’re at it.

Go to a gig outdoors
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Go to a gig outdoors

Kelvingrove Bandstand and Bellahouston Park are the venues for this year’s large-scale outdoor gig happenings. The former features appearances from King Creosote, Roddy Frame, Glasvegas, Joan Armatrading, Ben Folds and Echo and the Bunnymen, while Paolo Nutini, Calvin Harris and a host of special guests apiece are commandeering the latter. 

Check out more gigs on Time Out Glasgow.

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Appreciate some art
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Appreciate some art

In spite of the spirit of overwhelming optimism we’ve managed to maintain over the course of this article, we’re forced to admit now that there probably will be at least one or two less-than-scorching days (or weeks, or months) over the course of the summer. Thank heavens then that there’s still a tonne of indoor art events to enjoy, with exhibitions exploring industrial photography and comic art as well as a new project by Glasgow film artist Phil Collins to explore.

Check out more art exhibitions on Time Out Glasgow.

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