The Witte Museum was born from many minds seeking a singular goal: to create a public forum that promoted lifelong learning. From a $65,000 gift bequeathed to the city of San Antonio after Alfred Witte's death in 1921, this museum of science, natural history, and South Texas heritage was built along the San Antonio River and named after the late Witte's parents.
Today, the Witte Museum still pursues this wide range of knowledge with hands-on scientific and historical exhibits. The museum's long-term features portray the natural wonders of southern Texas, including ancient rock art from the lower Pecos, examples of local ecology, and dinosaur fossils found locally while trying to uncover lost time capsules.
Awestrike yourself by strolling through current exhibitions such as An Impressionist Sensibility: The Halff Collection, a rare private collection of period works from artists including John Singer Sargent, William Merritt Chase, and Theodore Robinson; or scratch your beard in the presence of TruthBeauty, an exposition of the pictorialism movement that blended photography with painting and drawing. McNay also preserves a large permanent collection, including local Southwest art and the expansive, unusual, 9,500-piece Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts. After even one visit, you'll become so art knowledgeable that children will run up to you on the street and beg you to join the art history club they started with money they won on TV game shows.
At Soundmaster Tint & Alarm, Inc., a team of technicians installs mobile electronics ranging from GPS devices to car alarms. Request window tinting to keep your auto interior private or install subwoofers to build your own mini earthquake machine. Mobile video systems keep kids entertained on long road trips, and top-of-the-line audio systems soundtrack Sunday drives in cars or serenade mermaids in boats and jet skis.
The San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium has more than 3,500 animals in a variety of realistically themed exhibits. A family membership gives two adults and their kids or grandkids unlimited, express member entry to the zoo for 365 successive days. Tour the African plains and visit the ostriches, antelopes, and baby-lugging Marabou storks as they gather around the water hole to demonstrate the newest Kindle, or brave the tropical mysteries of Amazonia in search of an anteater, macaws, and the giant Andean condor. Membership also includes discounts on programs, special events, gift-shop and concession-stand goodies, and free or discounted access to a lengthy list of zoos and aquariums across the country.
The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo bustles with a variety of vendors, bovine-inspired showcases, and activities for the whole family. Legally eavesdrop on live music, which wafts from five separate areas on the spacious grounds, or draw the fashionable wedge between man and livestock by accessorizing at the three shopping areas and the Texas Experience Pavilion, which comes stuffed with shopping, free samples, and exhibits on beekeeping, winemaking, and dairy farming. Meanwhile, the Family Fair lassos tykes with a petting zoo, pig races, and pony rides. The all-day event runs from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. or midnight (depending on weather conditions), though some exhibit hours may vary. Proceeds from the event go toward the community and raising scholarship and grant money to support agriculturally inclined Texan youth.
The 14th annual San Antonio Homes Tour invites sightseers to gallivant through a sextet of the city’s most innovative private residences in a half-day self-guided tour. Designed by members of The American Institute of Architects, each residence tickles architecture aficionados and domestic laypeople alike with energy-saving additions—including solar power, geothermal energy, and water harvesting—eye-tantalizing historic renovations, and effective poltergeist-control techniques. Throughout the self-navigated journey, tourists will visit locations in Leon Springs, Alamo Heights, Alta Vista II, and King William.