The earliest museums had little actual history to draw on, and instead padded exhibits with wildly speculative displays about how dinosaurs would be elected to Congress by the year 2000. Marvel at cultural advancements with today’s Groupon: for $25, you get a one-year E-Member membership to the Institute of Texan Cultures (up to a $50 value). The E-Member membership includes:
- One year of free admission for two people
- Email updates on events, exhibits, and programs
- Discounts in the museum store
A Smithsonian Affiliate and a component of the University of Texas at San Antonio, the Institute of Texan Cultures illuminates Texas’ kaleidoscopic cultural mosaic through long-term cultural exhibits, rotating in-depth exhibits on aspects of life in Texas, and a 26-screen theater. Gaze at the flag-filled plaza flying the symbols of more than 20 nations that have influenced the Lone Star State, or peruse traveling exhibits, such as Griff Smith’s Texas: A Retrospective through the Lens & Images from Texas Highways for iconic photographs of Texas-highway scenes including the perennial hitchhiking tumbleweed. In The Back 40, costumed instructors beckon families into a 19th-century one-room schoolhouse, frontier army fort, and West Texas adobe home. Carrying on the theme of old-fashioned self-reliance, Timeless Texas Toys, a temporary exhibit, helps youngsters craft their own playthings from materials such as wood, cloth, cornhusks, or happiness. Currently, the giant, 360-degree screens of the Dome Theater light up daily with La Fuente de Una Gran Tierra, a panoramic whirlwind tour of 150 years of state history.
Though the Institute of Texan Cultures sometimes offers a discounted price, this Groupon still offers the best deal available.
Institute of Texan Cultures
“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.