As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
The San Antonio Highland Games Association's annual Celtic culture and athletics festival traditionally draws thousands of real and would-be Scots for an action- and bagpipe-packed weekend each year. Male and female athletes grown bored with sports that don't involve lead hammers or young trees have traveled from as far away as Japan and Sweden to test their mettle in the athletic field?s traditional Scottish strength competitions. The association's founders trace their lineage to numerous Scottish clans, and encourage others to explore their Celtic genealogy with festival workshops.
The fourth annual Pumpkin Patch San Antonio celebrates the advent of fall with harvest-themed entertainment, running Friday through Sunday for the entire month of October near Sea World. Traditional hayrides stir the senses with the scent of fresh straw as a seemingly endless plot of pumpkins waits to be turned into fresh pies, pancakes, and sweet bread. While at the festival, kids can ride ponies, pet small farm animals, or defy gravity in the inflatable bounce house and slide.
For United Gymnastics' coaches, gymnastics isn't just about mastering a back handspring or having the flexibility to sink into the splits. In classes, they nurture kids to become more disciplined and confident as they strengthen their bodies and gain coordination. Parents accompany their little ones to toddler classes, which are held in a sectioned-off area with miniature, cushy equipment. Older kids advance through classes that develop tumbling and gymnastics prowess at age-appropriate levels, laying the foundations for a lifetime of physical activity.
The staff members also host birthday parties and summer camps that engage tykes with crafts and open-gym time, in which they will gain enough dexterity and flexibility to build s'mores with their feet.
Though the martial arts programs at Universal Karate Studios are based on the belt system, each student is encouraged to progress at their own pace. The philosophy here is not competitive, instead it is focused on personal growth. At the helm of the Studios is Master R.L. Brown, whose black belt denotes 35 years of experience with Korean and Japanese martial arts. A former karate champion and an NCO in the US Army Reserve, he teaches students as young as 5 years old lessons of discipline and respect on the mat. He and his fellow instructors also host after-school sessions to help kids release energy that builds up after sitting still at a desk for eight hours or standing still on the playground during an eight-hour game of freeze-tag.
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."