“It’s the rare visitor who won't discover here that his or her ethnic group has contributed to the history of Texas,” noted the New York Times in its description of the Institute of Texan Cultures. The 26 different ethnic and cultural groups represented at the educational center incline one to agree with the Times. The article went on to list the institute as a top San Antonio attraction due to its “imaginative, hands-on displays” and kid-friendly features, including an adobe home and one-room schoolhouse. Along with heritage festivals and other events, the institute features both long-term and rotating exhibits, as well as a photo archive with more than three million images.
Even if you don't find yourself routinely challenged to duels, you can still benefit from a fencing class. Aside from building speed and agility, fencing requires sharp mental focus and creative problem-solving skills, making it a sport that challenges both body and mind. At Alamo Fencing Academy, a team of medal-winning fencing coaches?led by US Fencing Coaches Association Vice-President Andrei Samorodov?leads lessons in foil, epee, and saber fencing. Classes can be tailored to those headed for the competitive circuit, those who want to fence for fun, or those looking for a more stylish way to open mail, while summer camps are also available for kids looking for some fun out of the sun.
Sponsored by Texans Archery Club, the non-profit indoor Texas Archery Academy promotes the art of safe arrow-shooting for all skill levels. The academy hosts multiple levels of archery lessons, among a variety of other programs, with limited public access. Lessons held at Gass Rd. are located within the 671 acre National Shooting Complex.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 600 calories with each go-round.
If there was a single store that housed all the boats and campers of 50 companies, it would need to be the size of Arkansas. The Austin Boat and Travel Trailer Show precludes the task of building such a titanic edifice by bringing together more than 50 exhibitors—among them Austin Canoe & Kayak and Shoreline Boat & RV Repair—at the Austin Convention Center in mid-January. Here, the exhibitors display myriad pontoons, fishing boats, and truck campers—which are more comfortable than a tent pitched in the trunk of a Pontiac sedan. Area dealers such as Sail and Ski Center and Crestview RV Center join them, flaunting the latest boat and camper models. In addition to hands-on displays, the show hosts seminars that teach students how to properly dock their boats or use marine GPS (seminars are an additional fee).
Founded with the goal of outfitting its pupils with the skills necessary to excel in the spa and salon industries, Milan Institute of Cosmetology deploys a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes professionalism and hands-on learning to train fledgling cosmetologists and aestheticians around the country. As the most important aspect of the course of study, student salons and spas serve as a real-world classroom wherein nascent beauticians—under the careful supervision of their instructors—can practice their newly minted skills on humans or sentient mannequins. The beauty apprentices gussy up patrons head to toe via sundry lavish salon and spa services—specific to each location—that may include nail services, haircare, facials therapeutic massages, or nourishing body wraps.