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.
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 Cinemas Westpointe showers stadium seating with first-run movie action playing across 10 wall-to-wall screens. Two tickets grant moviegoers access to the stadium seating of a film of their choice to have heartstrings plucked by engrossing plots and eye sockets vibrated by the digital projection. A bag of popcorn fuels minds trying to unravel the subtle implications of a Frankenstein fighting and then falling in love with a giant robot. Many films are also shown in RealD 3-D, though a small extra fee applies. View the schedule up to a week in advance to plan theater trips accordingly.
Owners Brian Black and Charlotte Spinks Browning recently reopened the 1947 Longhorn Saloon to host outdoor concerts on the banks of the Medina River. On Saturday, June 18, at 6 p.m., country music veterans Gene Watson, Moe Bandy, and T.G. Sheppard draw on their extensive catalogs of toe-tapping hits to entertain families, friends, and river mermaids with special guest Kevin Black. The Longhorn Saloon's venue seats 1,200 fans in front of the stage and 400 more on stadium-style seats on the hill, and accommodates an additional 2,000 standing concert-goers. Unlike weekend chores, seats are not assigned, so show up at 5 p.m. when the doors open to secure your spot of choice.
The rolling emerald acres of this golfing Valhalla provide fairway-farers with a sweeping spread of short- and long-range training areas to hone ball-launching skills. Club collectors, armed with a day-pass punch card, can crush unlimited edifices of dimpled spheres from the 40,000-square-foot tee line of Zoysia grass without risk of waiting behind sloth-paced practice sessions. Alternatively, stock up for 18-hole outings at the PGA-professional-staffed pro shop, which stocks a variety of golfing shirts, grip-enhancing gloves, and accuracy-boosting Egyptian artifacts. Though not included in the value of this Groupon, you can also take a lesson from the professionals or relax at the Watering Hole for a cold beverage after a rough day on the links.