Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio has classical music in her blood. The one-time concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony descends from a line of concert pianists and symphony violists, and her sister Sara plays the cello in the award-winning ensemble Eroica Trio. One summer evening in 1996, Stephanie was feeling deprived during the symphony's seasonal hiatus when inspiration struck: why not found a new festival all her own? Going strong 17 years later, the Cactus Pear Music Festival sprawls out with five concert programs scheduled in three cities over the course of two weeks.
Founded by cellist Kenneth Freudigman and violist Emily Watkins Freudigman in 2004, Camerata San Antonio brings together a symphonic roster composed of several of the San Antonio Symphony's principal players and more than a few internationally recognized musicians. More than a dozen acclaimed artists might be on-call for a concert during any given season, and the entourage's diverse concert schedule consequently offers plenty of strikingly different small-ensemble performances.
Starplex Boerne Cinemas 11 adds a little extra shine to every screening with modern technology and screening rooms. Viewers are thrust right into the action of the film by 3D projectors, and 100% digital systems create crystal-clear views of the movie industry’s dazzling special effects. Luxury leather chairs—stacked stadium style—envelope audience members in plush comfort while also providing them with the unobstructed sightline required to see every production assistant’s name in the credits. Other welcome amenities include automated box-office kiosks, an onsite specialty café, and an expanded concession stand that serves the theater’s signature $1 hot dogs.
The seasoned performers of Piccadilly Circus dazzle audiences of all ages with 90 minutes of acrobatics, comedic high jinks, and trained animals beneath the big top. Audiences gasp at high-flying trapeze artists swooping through the air with the confidence of a kite in a wind tunnel, as well as contortionists able to bend themselves into human bonsai trees. Death-defying motorcyclists roar into a caged globe to perform a 360-degree display of vehicular mastery. Gaggles of clowns coax out chuckles, and a trained elephant parades around the ring, occasionally stopping to memorize an audience member's phone number. General-admission seating surrounds the ring, allowing ample viewpoints from which to observe the boisterous spectacle.
Strings of multicolored lights twinkle above Mi Casa Tamales' three spacious acres, which are home to an intimate dining room, a cantina, a breezy, tree-shaded patio, and a kid-friendly play area. Known for their Texas-sized tamales that weigh more than 3 pounds per dozen, Mi Casa's chefs ably combine Texan and Mexican cuisines into appetizing dishes accented with house-made sauces including avocado salsa, cowboy stew, and tomatillo sauce. Music floats on the air during warm summer nights, serenading diners with guitars, piano, and tacos thumped rhythmically on drumheads.
Since 1920, the expansive fields of San Antonio Polo Club have hosted scores of dignified clients as they’ve learned and mastered the noble sport of polo atop equally noble steeds. The club’s staff inducts newbies into the elite ranks with beginner polo lessons, hosts more experienced players in open-play sessions, and challenges advanced patrons to compete in tournaments or to learn to play the horse’s role. Due to the club’s history and commitment to introducing polo to new generations, it has been featured in the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame.