Best Of 2022

Best Movie Theater

Winner: Alamo Drafthouse Park North

618 NW Loop 410

(210) 677-8500

The Alamo Drafthouse theater chain endured tough times during the pandemic, but it clearly hasn't lost its appeal for San Antonio moviegoers. The Austin-based company filed for bankruptcy protection in March 2021 and permanently closed its Westlakes location a month later. Still, its Park North location is going strong, welcoming back many of the patrons who had stayed away as the COVID-19 crisis was at its worst. In addition to its pre-show reels featuring cheesy movie clips and periodic revival screenings and fests, the theater offers eight auditoriums and boasts 35mm film and digital projection/3D capabilities. A matinee movie ticket runs $8.50. Much of Drafthouse's appeal comes from the ability to nosh and drink during the movies. Try the Royale with Cheese and a Mexican Vanilla Shake.

2. Santikos Palladium

17703 I-10 West

(210) 798-9949

3. EVO Entertainment – Schertz

18658 I-35 North, Schertz

(210) 764-6986

Around Town

Ride, 902 Avenue B. Artist: Los Otros

Winner: Brick at Blue Star

108 Blue Star

(210) 262-8653

Although not an art gallery in the traditional sense, Brick brims with all flavors of visual expression. Billed as a "blank canvas where your ideas and vision will come alive," the warehouse-style space in the Blue Star Arts Complex lights up on the regular for DIY pop-ups, live music, burlesque performances, even life-drawing sessions set to DJ beats. An adaptable, approachable location that's affordable for creatives to rent, Brick has hosted upward of 4,000 events since its inception in 2014. As such, the venue is anything but predictable — save for its signature Sunday Art Market. A beloved Sunday Funday tradition for San Antonio culture seekers, the long-running market brings together a broad assortment of local artists, crafters and makers in a convivial atmosphere complete with a bar.

2. Hopscotch

711 Navarro St., Suite 100

3. Presa House Gallery

725 S. Presa St.

(210) 913-5842

Winner: Smart Barre

Multiple locations

2. Pure Barre Stone Oak

21019 U.S. Highway 281 North, Suite 33

(210) 529-1728

3. Pure Barre Alamo Heights

5500 Broadway

(210) 392-2380

Winner: Bowlero

Multiple locations

2. Bandera Bowling Center

6700 Huebner Road

(210) 523-1716

3. Astro SuperBowl

3203 Harry Wurzbach Road

(210) 824-6348

Winner: Hemisfair

434 S. Alamo St.

(210) 709-4750

Downtown destination Hemisfair has long been popular with locals and tourists alike. Each year, it plays host to major festivals including Día de Los Muertos and the annual contemporary art celebration Luminaria, and it's also home to the Magik Theatre, voted Best Community Theater in this year's readers' poll. Beyond that, the park houses an array of eateries and drinkeries including Box Street Social, CommonWealth Coffeehouse & Bakery, Lick Honest Ice Creams and Dough Pizzeria Napoletana. Hemisfair's Yanaguana Garden, the park's 4.1-acre playground, was opened to the public in 2015. Named after Yanaguana, the Payaya indigenous village of San Antonio's first inhabitants, it's one of downtown's most popular family attractions. The playground includes all the swings and climbable structures a kid could ask for., along with animal-shaped mosaic artwork and other public art to enjoy as well as stone ping-pong tables, a sandbox and a splash pad to keep everyone cool during the hot Texas summer. Events including storytime, fitness classes and arts and crafts activities are also a draw.

2. Phil Hardberger Park

13203 Blanco Road and 8400 NW

Military Highway

(210) 492-7472

3. Brackenridge Park

3700 N. St. Mary's St.

(210) 207-7275

Winner: Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

618 NW Loop 410

(210) 541-8805

North Central San Antonio's Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club is the city's primary stop for touring comedians who aren't among the tiny percentage who can fill arenas and big theaters. Managed by the Improv comedy clubs, LOL recently welcomed standups including Anjelah Johnson-Reyes (MADtv), Mark Curry (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper) and Pauly Shore (Encino Man). This summer's schedule includes Mark Normand (Inside Amy Schumer), Carlos Ballarta (Furia Ñera) and Tony Hinchcliffe (One Shot). Among the bigger names expected later this year are Carlos Mencia (Mind of Mencia), Paul Rodriguez (Clifford the Big Red Dog) and Matthew Broussard (The Mindy Project).

2. Upstage Comedy Lounge

4441 Walzem Road

(210) 231-0474

3. Blind Tiger Comedy Club

902 NE Loop 410

(210) 828-1470

Winner: The Magik Theatre

420 S. Alamo St.

(210) 227-2751

2. Woodlawn Theatre

1920 Fredericksburg Rd.

(210) 267-8388

3. The Public Theater of San Antonio

800 W. Ashby Place

(210) 733-7258

Winner: Phil Hardberger Park

13203 Blanco Road and 8400 NW Military Highway

(210) 492-7472

Live oaks stretch over three-plus acres that comprise Phil Hardberger Park's two off-leash dog parks. The parks feature separate areas for "all dogs" and "small dogs," allowing furry friends to roam and play worry-free. These facilities pull out all the stops, offering dog-friendly water fountains, picnic tables, obstacle courses and even a double-decker doghouse in the east park's small-dog area. If your pup still isn't tuckered out after mixing and mingling with other canines, feel free to hit one of Phil Hardberger Park's pet-friendly nature trails. 

2. Hops & Hounds

13838 Jones Maltsberger Road

(210) 592-9400

3. McAllister Park

13102 Jones Maltsberger Road

(210) 207-7275

Winner: Majestic Theatre

224 E. Houston St.

(210) 226-3333

Given its opulent decor, it stuns some to learn the Majestic Theatre originally opened in 1929 as a movie house. With a capacity of more than 3,700, it was the nation's second largest such venue at the time. Today, the Majestic is recognized as a National Historic Landmark and hosts high-profile touring musicals, concerts and other stage productions. So far this year, the downtown theater has welcomed shows including RuPaul's Drag Race: Werq the World Tour, Tori Amos: Ocean to Ocean Tour and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. Expect it to be sold out for a bevy of other top-notch touring shows, including Mean Girls the Musical, Steve Martin & Martin Short: You Won't Believe What They Look Like Today! and Chris Rock: Ego Death World Tour.

2. Tobin Center

100 Auditorium Circle

(210) 223-8624

3. The Aztec Theatre

104 N. St. Mary's St.

(210) 812-4355

Winner: San Antonio Zoo

3903 N. St. Mary's St.

(210) 734-7184

It isn't just San Antonio families that love our zoo — in addition to winning this category twice in a row, it was named the best zoo in the state by the Texas Travel Awards this year. In operation since 1914, the local attraction is home to hundreds of animal species on its over 50-acre campus. The zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and works with other organizations around the world to conserve wildlife as part of its mission. In the fall of 2021, the zoo opened the new Neotropica realm, which features an updated habitat for endangered jaguars. An overhead catwalk allows the jaguars to traverse between two habitats. Other updates include a new 4D Theater and the renovation of the F.C. Hixon Bird House.

2. Six Flags Fiesta Texas

17000 Interstate 10 West

(210) 697-5050

3. Morgan's Wonderland

5223 David Edwards Drive

(210) 495-5888