Our Pick: Brackenridge Park, 3910 N St Mary’s, sanantonio.gov/sapar
Here’s how much San Antonio loves Brackenridge: When city planners last year rolled out a plan that would radically change the nature of the park (namely, building parking garages and closing the streets that wind through the trees), the people revolted. Public pressure ultimately convinced the city to scrap the plan, meaning (for now, at least) Brackenridge will remain what it has been to generations of San Antonians: a place for working class families to cart their coolers, grills and kids for weekend and holiday barbecues underneath a canopy of trees.
Our Pick: Phil Hardberger Park, 8400 NW Military Hwy., (210) 207-3284
For us, the off-leash dog parks at Phil Hardberger Park are just a tiny portion of what makes this sprawling 311-acre park special. But for the pooches, behind those double-entry gates lies paradise. Both fenced-off areas for small and large dogs include space for your pup to run (or sniff the perimeter, if that’s what your dog’s into) in a huge, wooded area. Plus there are platforms and props for your pup to play around on. Hardberger also offers those dog-friendly water fountains and plenty of shade to keep you cool during the summer scorchers. Don’t let Fido play too hard, though – you’ll still want to take a walk around the park’s 1.8-mile Savanna Loop Trail.
OUR PICK: Cornyation
Thanks to Trinity University associate professor Amy Stone’s recently published book, San Antonians can easily dig into the colorful history of Cornyation — from its inception in the 1950s as a family-friendly satire of the notoriously elite Coronation of the Queen of the Order of the Alamo to its current incarnation as a bawdy spoof of local politics and national goings-on. One of the hottest Fiesta tickets in town (as of this writing, all six of this year’s shows were on the brink of selling out), Cornyation extends far beyond costumed mockery to give back to the community via substantial donations to local HIV/AIDS charities (more than $2 million so far) and the Robert Rehm Scholarship (awarded to students pursuing theater arts). Currently reigning as King Anchovy LII, James Lawnmower Sales and Service proprietor Jeffrey James is set to preside over the Court of Insane Privilege for three nights of lampoonery at the Empire Theatre (April 25-27).