Category Archives: Events

San Antonio Filled With Fun And Culture Throughout 300th Anniversary In 2018

As 2018 makes its debut, the city of San Antonio is gearing up for its biggest celebration yet—its 300th anniversary. From unique art exhibitions, culinary events, and festivals to family fun at theme parks and exciting openings, 2018 will be a can’t-miss year for the Alamo City.

San Antonio has received a number of recognitions and accolades, including being selected as one of the “50 Best Places to Travel in 2018” by Travel + Leisure and being named to National Geographic Traveler’s “2018 Best of the World” list, its annual lineup of the 21 must-see destinations to visit in the year ahead. Additional recognitions include Fodor’s “Go List” for 2018, as well as both Conde Nast Traveler and Frommer’s naming the city a must-visit destination.


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The city will celebrate all year long with events, activities, and initiatives that will carry San Antonio into the next 300 years. Unique experiences and celebrations awaiting travelers to San Antonio in 2018 include:

CULINARY

San Antonio Cocktail Conference 2018 (January 10 – 14): San Antonio Cocktail Conference is back for its seventh year with exciting new events and friendly familiar favorites. Guests can look forward to new events like Cocktails Under the Sea on Saturday, January 13 at La Villita Assembly Hall, and the Tasting Suites, now taking place at the beautiful and historic St. Anthony Hotel, also home to Friday night’s Waldorf on the Prairie.

Recent Restaurant Openings:

Boss Bagel and Coffee (August 2017): CIA (Culinary Institute of America) alums Brannon and Christie Soileau opened this specialty bagel shop where bagels are a hybrid of Montreal and New York bagel-making techniques—making their own dough, hand-rolling, boiling in honey water, and baking in a Wood Stone brand oven.

Range (September 2017): The newest restaurant from Chef Jason Dady is a modern American chophouse showcasing the bounty of the Texas Hill Country.

Nonna Osteria (November 2017): The historic Fairmount Hotel debuted its Italian restaurant, Nonna Osteria, in November 2017. The restaurant is led by chef Luca Della Casa and features classic items like pasta bolognese and margherita pizza as well as more progressive dishes like octopus, wild boar and fritters with salt cod.

Burgerteca (December 2017): Developed by renowned Chef Johnny Hernandez, Burgerteca is a never-done-before burger concept that offers custom-made burgers with ingredients and flavors distinct to traditional Mexican food.

Upcoming openings:

Maverick Whiskey (Spring 2018): This brand new specialty bar will feature spirits handmade in San Antonio with limestone purified aquifer water and aged Texas-made Oak barrels in the tradition of the original Alamo Whiskey™ from 1836. Located at the corner of the original Maverick Homestead and steps from The Alamo, Maverick Whiskey will be housed in the restored Historic Lockwood Bank Building (1918) and will feature a one-of-a-kind distillery, tasting saloon, and gathering space that honors the Alamo’s heroes and the rich history of San Antonio’s early settlers.

Villa Rica (early 2018): A brand-new restaurant concept from locally renowned Chef Johnny Hernandez that will open soon in San Antonio’s Riverwalk Mission Reach. The menu will feature fresh Mexican seafood dishes, including coastal inspired tacos and tostadas, all prepared from non-GMO, stone-ground corn. Latin-inspired cocktails will round out the offerings.

FESTIVALS + ENTERTAINMENT EVENTS:

Botanica Music and Arts Festival (March 3 – 4): 2018 will mark the first of the annual Botánica Music & Arts Festival. Featured musical acts include Major Lazer, Logic, Deftones, Alessia Cara, and many more. More than 40 performers will be showcased at the two-day festival at La Cantera in the Six Flags Fiesta Texas parking lot.

NCAA Final Four Weekend (March 31, April 2): The Final Four is returning to San Antonio in 2018 during the city’s 300th anniversary celebration, which will include a three-day NCAA March Madness Music Festival that will be held in San Antonio’s Hemisfair Park beneath the Tower of the Americas. Past performers at the music festival include Aerosmith, Maroon 5, Pitbull, Bruce Springsteen, The Zac Brown Band, Kenny Chesney, Fergie, and Rihanna.

Fiesta (April 19 – 29): April is host to one of the most popular festivals in the Alamo City, when the streets of San Antonio are filled with music, confetti, and fun for Fiesta. Fiesta is one of the nation’s premier festivals with an economic impact of more than $340 million for the city. The week-long festival has grown into a celebration of San Antonio’s rich and diverse cultures with events, concerts, parades, and more.

Maverick Music Festival (April, 2018 dates TBA): San Antonio’s only locally-grown music festival, Maverick Music Festival, will be returning for its sixth year in 2018. Past performances include Bastille, Carla Morrison, The Naked and Famous, De La Soul, and more.

Tricentennial Commemorative Week (May 1 – 6): The joy and pride of San Antonio will vividly come to life during the Tricentennial Commemorative Week. Six solid days will be filled with educational, artistic, and entertaining events that showcase the collective essence of San Antonio.

Mala Luna (October, 2018 date TBA): Mala Luna music festival will expand to its third year in 2018. The two-day hip hop and electronic dance music (EDM) festival combines national headlining music performers with homegrown musicians, artists, and merchants for an exciting cultural experience.

Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival (November, 2018 dates TBA): A free, two-day art, music, and performance festival, Luminaria brings together an inspiring mix of local and international talent of multiple art disciplines to exemplify San Antonio’s more than 300-year history of a being a crossroads between diverse cultures.

Viva Hemisfair! (April 6 – 8): A three-phase renovation project will enhance the downtown San Antonio experience by bringing additional open park space, activities, restaurants, and more to Hemisfair Park, the home of the 1968 World’s Fair. The Viva Hemisfair event on April 6-8, 2018, will mark 50 years to the date since the grand opening of the 1968 World’s Fair. For three days, the district will be filled with cultural zones, music performances, public art, historical exhibits, and throwbacks to the 1968 Fair. For more information, visit www.hemisfair.org.


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CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS

Witte Museum Transformation (March 2017 – Now Open): The Witte Museum recently debuted its once-in-a-century transformation, bringing more than 170-thousand square feet of renovated and expanded exhibition space to the banks of the San Antonio River.

Botanical Garden Major Expansion (October 2017 – Now Open): The 33-acre San Antonio Botanical Garden has added eight acres that will bring dramatic new opportunities for guests to explore and connect with nature and discover the value of plants, water, freshly grown food, and the outdoors. Major additions include a discovery complex, culinary garden and outdoor kitchen, family adventure garden, and more.

San Antonio Museum of Art (February 16 – May 13, 2018): In 2018, the San Antonio Museum of Art will present San Antonio 1718: Art from Viceregal Mexico, which tells the story of the city’s first century through more than one hundred landscapes, portraits, narrative paintings, sculptures, and devotional and decorative objects.

The DoSeum: Set on a 5.5-acre site on Broadway Street in the city’s Broadway Reach district, The DoSeum is a fun and fascinating place where kids can create, make, build, invent, discover, think, dream, and do.

FAMILY FUN

Morgan’s Inspiration Island: On June 2017, San Antonio welcomed Morgan’s Inspiration Island, the world’s first ultra-accessible splash park where guests of all ages and abilities can get wet and have fun together. Located next to Morgan’s Wonderland in what once was a rock quarry, Morgan’s Inspiration Island features five major tropically-themed splash pads, the River Boat Adventure ride and support facilities such as the Wheelchair Valet, where guests can transfer out of their battery-powered wheelchairs into waterproof wheelchairs for maximum aquatic fun. In October, the park was honored with the Leading Edge Award from the World Waterpark Association (WWA).

New Attractions and Events at SeaWorld & Aquatica: A Sesame Street parade, a waterslide, a summer celebration, and a beer festival are among the new experiences coming to SeaWorld and Aquatica San Antonio in 2018. SeaWorld will also expand its existing event offerings, packing in more dates and a lot more fun for 2018, including a Wild Days celebration, the Seven Seas Food & Wine Festival, Howl-O-Scream, Christmas Celebration, and more.

Sea Life Aquarium & LEGOLAND Discovery Center: Two premier family attractions, SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND Discovery Center, are scheduled to open in the Shops at Rivercenter in 2018. SEA LIFE is the world’s biggest aquarium brand and highlights spectacular displays of diverse marine life. LEGOLAND Discovery Center will be the ultimate indoor LEGO® playground and will offer a range of themed LEGO play areas, creative workshops with LEGO Master Model Builders, exciting LEGO-themed rides, party rooms for birthdays and other celebrations, as well as the popular MINILAND exhibit which will reflect the buildings and skyline of San Antonio.


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Six Flags Fiesta Texas: The world’s first single-rail coaster will premiere at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in 2018 as the park completes its DC Super Hero Trilogy of Rides with the first-ever Wonder Woman-themed coaster.

About Visit San Antonio:
Visit San Antonio is a 501(c)6, and serves as the sales and marketing arm of San Antonio as a leading leisure and meetings destination. San Antonio welcomes 20.9 million overnight leisure visitors annually. Hospitality is one of the top five industries in the city, contributing $13.6 billion into the local economy and employing more than 130,000. More information about Visit San Antonio can be found at visitsanantonio.com.


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Fall is for Festivals in New Braunfels!

A festival vacation – colorful, energetic, and culturally immersive – is a terrific way to meet locals and enjoy a new experience. In New Braunfels Fall is festival season and the mild temperatures and scenic Texas Hill Country make it a perfect vacation destination. Get away with your BFF or enjoy a romantic holiday with the love of your life. It’s a vacation to remember!

There are art festivals, craft beer pubs and wineries to visit. There’s outdoor recreation like cycling, running, kayaking and stand-up paddling. It’s often still warm enough to float the two fantastic rivers in a tube. Check some of the “festival” fun you can have in the Fall in New Braunfels:

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New Family Friendly Entertainment Destination to Open July 31

OWA’s 21-ride themed amusement park, The Park at OWA, located in Foley, Alabama, will officially open its doors to the public July 21, 2017. Designed as a family fun destination, The Park at OWA will offer each and every guest a unique adventure.

Beginning opening day, guests will enjoy everything The Park at OWA has to offer: 21 rides (including the Rollin’ Thunder); a variety of midway games; quick service dining options; and the Parkside Gift Shop filled with one-of-a-kind Park at OWA treasures. The Park opens at 10 am daily.

Tickets will be available online at VisitOWA.com beginning July 18, 2017 at 10 am. Tickets may also be purchased on site opening day at The Park at OWA Admissions Office. Group discounts and packages will be available and more details can be found at VisitOWA.com.

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Texas State Aquarium Puts Finishing Touches on Caribbean Journey for Grand Opening

The Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, the Official Aquarium of the State of Texas, is putting finishing touches on its newest experience, Caribbean Journey, in advance of its grand opening May 13. The expansion doubles the size of the existing attraction.

Caribbean Journey’s immersive and interactive exhibits showcase the biodiversity and culture of the Yucatan Peninsula and Caribbean Sea. Guests can expect to see sharks, tropical fishes, birds and reptiles. They can also experience marine themed films in a new, multi-sensory Whataburger 4-D theater.

“Our staff is eagerly waiting to open the doors to Caribbean Journey as we unveil our newest exhibits that bring the world of the Caribbean Sea to life on the Texas Gulf Coast,” said Texas State Aquarium President & CEO Tom Schmid. “We’re looking forward to sharing the highly interactive, educational and action-packed experience with marine life enthusiasts of all ages.”


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The grand opening of Caribbean Journey advances the aquarium’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education programming and conservation and wildlife rehabilitation programs. It features a new Flint Hills Resources Center for Excellence in STEM Education, which promotes discovery-based learning and advanced digital technology to connect guests to STEM professionals.

The expansion also enhances the aquarium’s ability to educate visitors about wildlife ecology and marine life conservation. TSA currently cares for more than 4,000 animals representing more than 380 species. In 2016, it treated more than 340 injured animals through its Second Chances Wildlife Rehabilitation Program.

In 2016, the Texas State Aquarium attracted approximately 520,000 visitors and projects attendance to increase to 600,000 by next year. The Texas State Aquarium summer hours, from March through Labor Day, are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information and admission prices, visit www.texasstateaquarium.org.


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Aquarium of the Pacific Major Expansion Groundbreaking

The Aquarium of the Pacific, in Long Beach, California, one of the nation’s largest and most-visited aquariums, celebrated its future Pacific Visions wing with a groundbreaking ceremony recently. The 29,000-square-foot, two-story sustainable structure is designed by the San Francisco-based architecture and design firm EHDD. The first major expansion project ever undertaken by the nonprofit aquarium, Pacific Visions, slated to open in late 2018/early 2019, will be the new focal point of the institution and will engage the public with epic ocean stories and inspire them to create a better future for our planet. The main Aquarium building will remain operational throughout the construction phase.

Pacific Visions is designed as a biomorphic structure. Complementing the Aquarium’s existing building, Pacific Visions will have a façade made up of more than 800 non-reflective glass panels covering an area of 18,000 square feet. The Pacific Visions project includes the Honda Pacific Visions Theater, new Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg Entrance and front pavilion, changing exhibit gallery with live animals, art gallery, and orientation gallery. The two-story, 300-seat Honda Pacific Visions Theater will include a 32-foot-tall, 130-foot long, 180-degree arc digital projection wall and a 30-foot-diameter floor projection disc to immerse visitors in a virtual ocean environment. The theater will bring to life epic ocean stories, allowing audiences to discover new species, witness the processes and phenomena of Earth’s ecosystems, and grapple with the many challenges facing the natural world. Seats will be wired for interactivity, providing visitors opportunities to explore a range of possible alternative pathways to the future and to discover how our activities will determine the future. All stories will be developed by the Aquarium in partnership with leading scientists, filmmakers, and digital artists.

Pacific Visions will incorporate a range of technologies and media design developed by EMMY award-winning Cortina Productions. Media technology will create rich, dynamic, relevant multi-sensory, multi-dimensional experiences. Interactive technology will create a space where science, art, and nature can blend in a fluid, intuitive way for innovative learning. Digital exhibits using real-time data will enable the Aquarium to address breaking scientific discoveries and current and emerging environmental topics. When visitors leave the Aquarium, they will be able to remain connected and share the experience with friends and family through the Pacific Visions app.


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