Taking time out of the NBA season to inspire young athletes, the San Antonio Spurs organization’s annual holiday basketball clinic uses basketball as a vehicle to teach the values of sportsmanship and leading a healthy lifestyle. During single-day sessions, former and current Spurs players and coaches swing by to alley-oop advice into the ears of boys and girls aged 7–18, leading practice drills and competitions in which coaches emphasize core principles and training techniques, such as how young players should react when college recruiters start replacing the prizes in cereal boxes with letters of intent. Afterward, kids head home with signed souvenirs and a better overall understanding of the game, both on the court and off.
Greek immigrant Louis Santikos founded his first movie theater in San Antonio in 1911, when silent moving pictures of train robberies and slapstick comedy were an exciting novelty. Today, the thriving regional theater empire continues the family tradition of dazzling audiences with attractions such as IMAX sensory journeys.
Santikos's expansive theaters house up to 19 screens of first-run cinematic entertainment at some locations. Equipped with popcorn and sodas, moviegoers can nervously munch and sip their way through every pulse-pounding car chase, tragic missed connection, or gripping montage of drying paint. Screenings in 3-D of select films are brought to life by the gloriously immersive illuminations of Xpand 3-D projectors.
Floats last between one and four hours each, and the short, one-hour route can be repeated. Gather a team of water-drawn hooligans for a relaxing journey that takes you around the famous Horseshoe Loop. The river is flush with Momma Nature's finest currents and rushing at its highest level in three years, so there's no better time to propel yourself and your professional water Marco Polo team down a living waterslide. Choose the route that will satisfy your inner sundial and outer sunsoaker.
A buoyant fleet of inflatable rafts and tubes drifts lazily down two sprawling rivers populated with exciting rapids and falls. During 1.5- to 5-hour treks, guests can traverse the Comal or Guadalupe River in an inner tube, relax with a partner in a two-seater raft, or host a regulation poker game with friends inside a raft that holds up to six. Trip durations and age cutoffs may change on a daily basis depending on current river flow.
Texas Ski Ranch sends wakeboarders, kneeboarders, and water-skiers skimming across the placid surface of a cable lake—all without the use of a boat. Ropes connected to a circulating cable high above the water pull up to six athletes at a time around the lake, with kickers and sliders stationed throughout to provide opportunities for big air, and a Little Bro cable system is available for beginners. Aside from the cable park, the 70-acre action-filled sports wonderland also boasts a 15,000-square-foot city-style skate park, as well as an indoor trampoline park, beach area, portable rock wall, and Wahoo's Fish Taco restaurant. A staff of coaches and a fully stocked board shop help visitors explore other adrenaline sports, such as wake surfing and extreme sunburning.
Since sprouting into existence in 2006, Ideal Tennis Academy has fostered future stars by offering training programs throughout the year for all ages and skill levels. The toddler program, for instance, puts rackets in the hands of kids as young as aged two-and-a-half years and strives to develop important motor skills on miniature courts. The academy provides a junior-varsity program for adolescent players, which preps teens and preteens for higher levels of competition. Aside from offering programs at its facility, Ideal Tennis Academy hits the road with Tennis Delivery, a mobile program that teaches tennis by launching coaches from high-powered ball machines to locations across San Antonio.