A crackling fire warms guests perched at white-draped tables in the candlelit wine cellar. Upstairs, diners marvel at the picturesque views of the vineyard and rose garden filling the glass-enclosed patio's windows or deeply inhale the aroma of wildflowers drifting onto the vine-covered porch. It's against these intimate backdrops that servers at The Vineyards Restaurant deliver steak, seafood, and other upscale dishes to tables, which come aglow with candlelight as dusk falls.
The chefs work hard to make each bite as special as the surroundings. They age beef-tenderloin fillets for 45 days before plating them atop garlic-and-mushroom sauce and slowly marinate chicken in a spicy chipotle-garlic oil before nestling it in a bed of pasta covered in cilantro cream sauce.
With such food in such a setting, a regular night out at The Vineyards is one to remember, but a special occasion there is truly magical. For marriage proposals, anniversaries, and the reunions of long-lost pairs of socks, staffers lead guests down a candle-strewn path to a private table set for dessert among the vineyard's rows of grapevines. The Vineyards has held more than 500 weddings in its open-air pavilion, and its on-staff wedding coordinator and floral designer help plan picture-perfect ceremonies.
Jonathan Acosta lifted his first weight in sixth grade. He was scrawny but loved sports, so he started lifting weights to bulk up. Eventually he gained the muscle mass to out-do athletes much bigger than him, and he’s been hooked on fitness ever since. After his own success, he was dismayed to learn that the typical gym experience didn’t seem to be doing much for his female friends. They wanted toned and lean muscles rather than bulk, but weren't seeing results. With their sentiments in mind, he opened Get Sexy San Antonio Bootcamps, striving to help ladies break through their fitness and weight-loss barriers.
In intense 45-minute sessions, Jonathan leads small groups through fat-burning exercises tailored to individual weight-loss goals. He throws himself into every session, motivating guests with boundless energy and enthusiastic moral support, shouting encouraging phrases such as, "You can't not do it!" To complement his intense exercise regimens, Jonathan also equips guests with nutritional plans.
Miriam Figueroa, a holistic wellness counselor, licensed massage therapist, and aesthetician, spent more than 20 years in the health and beauty industry, staffing five-star hotel spas and then founding her own luxurious center, Spatini Holistic Health. Her spa specializes in M’lis wellness programs, treatment packages that reduce stress and target specific ailments—from cellulite to arthritis—by drawing on the interrelations between mind, body, and soul.
A suite of traditional spa treatments flanks the holistic programs. Facials run the gamut from deep cleanses to nonsurgical face-lifts. Seven available styles of massage encompass the gliding strokes of Swedish and hot-stone massage, which the ancients discovered using stones warmed by confused mother chickens. Body polishes exfoliate away dry skin, an ideal prep for a botanical Bronze Biologic formula that leaves behind sunless, natural-looking tans.
In 1925, Kiddie Park first opened its doors, and since then, generations of kids have flocked to the park, and its classic rides. After a renovation in 2009, the grounds were augmented with modern facilities such as a new entrance. The revamping efforts proved fruitful, and the San Antonio Current lauded the facility as the Best Kid-friendly Park (& Comeback Story) in 2010.
Now more than 85 years after its opening, Kiddie Park welcomes visitors for days of fun and nostalgia. A train winds through turns, while a ferris wheel proffers elevated views of the historic grounds and lollipops stuck in visitors' hair. Hand-carved in 1918, the park's flagship Herschell Spillman carousel still beckons visitors aboard its decades-old horses. Elsewhere, a snack bar tempts taste buds with classic treats such as funnel cakes and cotton candy.
Serving central Texas for more than 25 years, Bridal Extravaganza simplifies shopping for brides and grooms by collecting more than 200 vendors under one roof. The booths of experienced wedding professionals lure in couples to sample their wares, from planners showing off their color-coded to-do lists to caterers doling out tastes of cakes, dinner dishes, and champagne. Fashion shows give onlookers a taste of the latest dress fashions for brides and bridesmaids and the latest developments in the world of cummerbunds for grooms. By the day's end, lucky ticket holders win prizes for a free wedding gown, bridal pictures, and cash. Each bride who attends the Bridal Extravaganza will receive $500 in free Bridal Bucks to spend on select exhibitors or a fairy godmother.
San Antonio native Jim Landers has spent a lifetime behind the lens. After graduating from Sam Houston State with a degree in photography, he started Landers Photography School. Jim's work has appeared everywhere from the pages of The Knot, advertisements for Mercedes and Whataburger, and even the galleries of Smithsonian Institution. The team of Instructors at Landers is no less impressive. Jim Binegar is one of the few PPA master photographers in the area, and Jack Braden brings more than 24 years of experience to the team and has photographed assignments worldwide capturing images of ordinary people, celebrities, and world leaders.