The low-hanging branches of southern live oak trees stretch out over the house and pavilion areas at Don Strange Ranch, dappling parties, weddings, and corporate team gatherings with splashes of sunlight. Since 1952, the 125-acre longhorn ranch in the Texas Hill Country has hosted myriad events, including scenes from the PBS music documentary series Live from the Artists Den and the wedding of country music stars Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton.
More than just a picturesque backdrop, the ranch?s rugged natural surroundings host outdoor activities such as ropes courses and kayak trips down the Guadalupe River. And the friendly staffers who man 350- to 400-foot ziplines work to ease guests out of their comfort zones, like a mother bird pushing her young out of the nest for their first extreme base-jumping lesson.
For more than 130 years, the YMCA has worked to facilitate growth for individuals as well as communities by providing social-enrichment programs that promote honesty, respect, and responsibility. YMCA of Greater San Antonio, which features locations throughout the metropolitan area, helps people improve their lives with healthy living programs that offer inclusive training classes as well as lifelong learning classes. Youth development initiatives and childcare services allow children as well as teens to develop positive behaviors while exploring their interests in a safe, supportive environment. The centers also encourage social responsibility by providing opportunities to support local communities through volunteerism and charitable giving.
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.
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.
Like the intrepid cowboys and pioneers it honors, the Frontier Times Museum boasts a backstory rife with tall tales and valiant triumphs. It all started in the late 1920, when writer and publisher J. Marvin Hunter began selling newspapers and magazines that recounted the sagas of the storied Old West. Readers enthralled by the sagas would send in relics to exemplify these stories, filling Hunter's small office to the brim. By 1933, his publications had brought in just enough funds to build the Frontier Times Museum, which has been properly flaunting the goldmine of baubles at the site ever since. The ensuing decades have yielded thousands of visitors and multiple expansions.
Today, the nonprofit museum pays homage to the fabled pioneer period right down to its very framework, with parts of the building constructed using stones from the surrounding pastures. Iconic histories are illustrated through roughly 40,000 artifacts, which populate a menagerie of display cases, shelves, and rocky walls. A wander through the labyrinth of exhibits reveals frontier-era vestiges such as fireplaces, paintings, phonographs, and fossils, with a smattering of trinkets from Europe, Asia, and South America punctuating the collection. Even J. Marvin Hunter's legacy lives on in an old-fashioned printing press.
Aboard his trusty, bright-red Pitts S-2B biplane, Jordan Schultz, the primary flight instructor at USA Aerobatics, blows loop-de-looping wind beneath the wings of aspiring pilots and whisks thrill seekers into the wide blue yonder for 30-minute heart-pounding rides. The center's menu of services also occupies sky-curious visitors with advanced aerobatics classes, safety training, diagnostics for old or new biplanes, and philosophical discussions on why clouds shape themselves like animals. Thanks to the consistently fine weather of the Texas Hill Country, Jordan and his sturdy craft can keep on flying pretty much all year round.