Since its origins as a converted parking garage, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has ushered film-lovers of all breeds into its auditoriums, even gaining a following among Hollywood legends; Quentin Tarantino has been known to host five-day movie marathons at Alamo. The theater has earned that reputation by making moviegoing a personal experience, from the menu of handcrafted snacks and locally brewed beer to the completely ad-free presentations before shows. The staff enforces a strict no-talking, no-texting policy by kicking out any offenders, falling just short of yanking them from their seats with a giant's shepherd's crook.
Both first-run blockbusters and classics are projected onto Alamo's silver screens in crisp 35-millimeter or digital format. Meanwhile, surround speakers immerse audiences in the cinematic soundscape, whether they're seated in one of the expansive theaters afforded to blockbuster reels or the more intimate spaces reserved for indie films wound around tiny bobbins. Despite Alamo's vow of silence, fan-centric Quote-Along and Sing-Along nights encourage guests to shout their favorite lines, and actors, directors, and other celebrities often attend special screenings to lead in-depth discussions. These exclusive events have led to acclaim for Alamo from publications such as Entertainment Weekly, which called it ?one of America's most fanatically unique moviegoing experiences,? and Wired, which opined that it "might just be the coolest movie theater in the world."
The hilly terrain of Woodlake Golf Club has hosted five PGA Tour events, including the 1973 Texas Open, in which Ben Crenshaw notched his first PGA Tour victory. Built in 1972 by Desmond Muirhead, the par-72 course meanders along slopes spattered with such dangers as water hazards and sand traps, which trap sand as part of a scheme to produce low-cost hourglasses. On the sixth hole, a vast pond maroons all three tees far from the green, the fairway stretching tantalizingly just beyond the boggy, aquatic prison. A pair of water hazards squeezes the par-5 ninth hole, where Crenshaw’s first title ambitions were nearly dashed in the final round of the ’73 Open.
Customers looking to polish their game can work with John Clay, a 35-year PGA professional with 40 years of teaching experience. For one hour, John help pupils identify swing imbalances, bolster consistent muscle memory, and distinguish a pitching wedge from a wheat scythe. Freshly minted techniques find their form with a post-lesson round on the Woodlake Golf Club course and a bucket of range balls at the driving range.
Course at a Glance:
Each of San Antonio Music Academy's professionally trained instructors have the formal education and musical know-how to melodiously mold the minds of their students during one-on-one music lessons. Dulcet disciples can clean out their pipes with voice lessons, get plucky with the guitar, or make the saloon swoon by studying piano. Lessons on orchestra are also included for those that want to sharpen their chops on the violin. Students must supply their own instruments during instruction, but everyone can choose the type of style they want to master, giving students free reign to get schooled in jazz, blues, rock, country, or Gregorian polka chanting. Each lesson at San Antonio Music Academy lasts 30-minutes, and three recitals are held every year to showcase the students' talent.
Rick Martinez began his career as a registered nurse, working in emergency rooms across the country to help patients overcome intense physical traumas. However, it was during an 18-month tour of service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center that Rick encountered the mother of a wounded soldier who changed his aspirations in life. Her indomitable spirit and the bravery with which she supported her son through his pain and recovery inspired Rick. Fully intent on helping people develop the unflinching resolve needed to better their own lives and well-being, he founded Fitness Porvida—Fitness for Life.
The center’s health gurus lead CrossFit and fitness sessions for students of virtually any fitness level, using functional exercises to create challenging, full-body workouts that build the strength and endurance necessary for students to bench-press their bathtubs. Yet physical exercise isn’t the only tool that the trainers employ—they also use nutritional guidance and camaraderie to empower their clients. Rick summarized this approach to the San Antonio Business Journal in 2010, saying, “when we treat the body as a whole the results are fantastic.”
Bikram Yoga San Antonio's instructors like to remind their students that for every expert yogi, there was a first class. They hold on to this humble philosophy at three studios, where high temperatures help both old hands and newcomers stay limber. The staff cautions their students against aiming for perfection during the 90-minute courses; instead maintaining that, by simply trying each of the 26 postures and two breathing exercises, bodies and minds achieve the maximum benefit.
To highlight the value of consistent practice, they encourage visitors to take the 60-day challenge, which charges students to attend one class every day for 60 days. Those who accomplish this task are immortalized by writing their name on the Challenge Wall, which doubles as the police force's superhero directory. The studios also honor individuals in their class community with the yogi of the month feature, a series of interviews with students about their Bikram yoga practice.
Antonio Daniels studied elementary education at Bowling Green State University. But rather than making a career of reading Newbery Award–winning books or conducting science experiments over bunsen burners, he entered the 1997 NBA Draft and was chosen as the fourth overall pick by the Vancouver Grizzlies. However, once he recognized the hollowness of a baller's lifestyle––whose only rewards were a 1999 NBA championship with the San Antonio Spurs and the perk of wearing shorts to work––Antonio atoned by establishing his annual youth summer basketball camp.
For all five days of the camp, Antonio prowls the sidelines, giving kids pointers and boosting their confidence in the game he has now played professionally for 13 years. Coaches from the middle-school through college ranks join him in running the aspiring dunk machines through drills, skill training, and competitive games. At the end of the camp, children will not only have sharpened their hooping tool set, but they will also leave with two of the best souvenirs Antonio can offer other than plaster casts of his hands and feet: a T-shirt and an autographed photo.
When horror movies like the Paranormal Activity franchise need a supernatural adviser and The Atlantic Paranormal Society needs a recruiter, they turn to Robert. A former cast member on SyFy's Ghost Hunters International, he draws on his extensive paranormal know-how to lead 90-minute nighttime treks with Ghost Hunts of San Antonio Texas Tour.
Exploring the dusky streets of downtown San Antonio, the tour stops at more than 10 locations with verified ghost activity, including the Flannery House, the Crockett Hotel, and the Casino Club building, where apparitions can be spotted mulling over the same poker hand they've been holding for more than 100 years. Rob showcases modern ghost-hunting equipment while helping guests detect spirits by seeking out cold spots and snapping photographs. When he's not commanding the hunt, he regales visitors with factual accounts of the deaths of famous San Antonio spirits including Mae West, Davie Crockett, and Roy Rogers.
Dr. Tamyra Rogers could not have predicted how spending time on a Navajo reservation would shape her multifaceted approach to weight loss. After spending a year as chief resident at The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Dr. Rogers directed the metabolic clinic at the Tuba City Indian Medical Center in Arizona. She helped build a wellness center for the Navajo Nation and chaired a program to fight the growing diabetes epidemic. During her time there, she gained an appreciation of the community's holistic health-care philosophy.
Today, Dr. Rogers combines her background in traditional Western medicine with weight-loss strategies that address each person as a whole rather than two children in disguise. Dr. Rogers's team of personal trainers and group fitness instructors complement her own fitness knowledge, which stems from playing college basketball.
The San Antonio Botanical Garden, which rests on 38 acres, not only dazzles visitors with bright sunflowers and roses, aquatic plants, and a glass display case filled with orchids, but it also teaches them about the local and world flora with informative exhibits. Four large, formal beds showcase seasonally rotating displays, and the Texas Native Trail features representative species from Hill Country, East Texas Piney Woods, and South Texas. Encompassing a wider array of biomes, the Lucile Halsell Conservatory boasts collections of tropical fruits and desert cacti housed within glass buildings that surround the sunken tropical lagoon.
Aside from these exhibits, the botanical garden also hosts summer-camp sessions, school-group programs, and classes for adults as well as children. These programs include lectures and hands-on lessons that discuss local plants and which garden insects are helpful and which are harmful.
In 1925, Kiddie Park first opened its doors, and since then, generations of kids have flocked to the park, and its classic rides. After a renovation in 2009, the grounds were augmented with modern facilities such as a new entrance. The revamping efforts proved fruitful, and the San Antonio Current lauded the facility as the Best Kid-friendly Park (& Comeback Story) in 2010.
Now more than 85 years after its opening, Kiddie Park welcomes visitors for days of fun and nostalgia. A train winds through turns, while a ferris wheel proffers elevated views of the historic grounds and lollipops stuck in visitors' hair. Hand-carved in 1918, the park's flagship Herschell Spillman carousel still beckons visitors aboard its decades-old horses. Elsewhere, a snack bar tempts taste buds with classic treats such as funnel cakes and cotton candy.
The finale concert for the symphony's 70th season boasts a rich performance of Beethoven's brief and powerful Overture to Egmont Op. 84, before the esteemed Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg takes to the stage. Backed by the San Antonio Symphony, the spirited violin virtuoso will tackle Bruch's grandiose Violin Concerto, bringing her legendary passion to the concerto's seductive first movement, her tender bowing touch to the sweet melodies of the second, and her unrestrained energy to the score's fiery conclusion. After a brief intermission, the Symphony will personally pamper audience members' ears with a performance of Elgar's Symphony no. 1, a sweeping, cinematic work of robust orchestration and exquisite beauty.
Before rushing into full-fledged competition, players at Oak Hills Lanes hone their craft with pay-as-you-go practice shots. By detecting which pins need to topple, pinsetters enable patrons to score tricky spares as they rehearse for real games or when they must knock down a neighbor's tacky lawn ornaments. Once they've warmed their throwing arms, they face off against comrades during open hours. In addition to bites such as pizza and burgers, the newly remodeled snack bar's cooks sling tacos, enchiladas, and even pancakes. Drinks are also available from a large new bar. Such noshes fuel bowlers of all ages and skill levels at various leagues, but soda and ice cream serve as the main power source during all-inclusive parties.
Monster Mini Golf welcomes guests of all ages with 18 holes of spooky, glow-in-the-dark fun. Fog machines, colorful lasers, and special effects lighting surround the custom-designed indoor course. Meanwhile, an energetic soundtrack of 70s, 80s, and 90s party music keeps spirits high as the visitors conquer each hole’s monster-themed obstacles and hazards. In between songs, the course DJ pumps up the crowds with interactive games and trivia questions, rewarding lucky winners with take-home prizes. Groups of family and friends can visit Monster Mini Golf’s arcade and play on the glowing air hockey tables, skee ball machines, and other games.
Pilates Authentica's Cecilia Dominguez may not have studied Pilates directly under its founder, Joseph Pilates, but she came pretty close. Working at a scant distance of one remove from the legendary exercise engineer, she studied with his former protégé, Romana Kryzanowska and her daughter. Under the two acolytes, Cecilia learned Pilates the way the original plyometric pioneer intended, and she continues that same tradition at her studio, where she leads private and group lessons. She follows his philosophies and exercises to the letter,
helping her students reap the slew of benefits that Pilates has to offer: boosted energy and circulation, increased flexibility, decreased stress, and posture straighter than a protractor that saw a ghost.
After passing through Divine Yoga’s entrance, the hot Texas sun fades into lush, flowery gardens. Inside, a swaying porch swing greets guests before they reach the airy studio, where the earthy aroma of a natural oak floor kindles memories of swimming in a vat of red wine. Seated on a stage framed by lavender walls and wafting white curtains, KRI-certified instructors lead students through Kundalini yoga classes that aim to increase physical and spiritual energy through various postures, breathing techniques, and gong meditation. In Pre-Natal classes, moms-to-be can relax and stretch before their big arrivals, after which Post-Natal classes invite babies to join in and hone the focus, relaxation, and flexibility required to back-flip out of the crib.