January 13, 2016 Slideshows » Arts

25 Things You Have to Do Before You’re An Official San Antonian 

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Relocated residents and hometown heroes alike, the diverse citizens of San Antonio take great pride in their multi-faceted city. Here is a selection of just a few places and events for the committed locals of San Antonio.
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Check out First Friday at the Blue Star Arts Complex.
First Friday has evolved from a grassroots gallery crawl to a full-blown monthly affair. Start at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, observing plenty of visual art as you amble through the Blue Star Arts Complex, to experience a San Anto tradition that originated back in 1986.
Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, 116 Blue Star, (210) 227-6960, bluestarart.org.

Photo via San Antonio Current
Get raunchy at Cornyation.
Cornyation started back in 1951 as part of A Night in Old San Antonio. Today, this spoof on the Fiesta Coronation brings together hundreds of volunteers including politicians, business owners and restaurateurs, for three elaborately costumed nights of tacky troubles and campy politics. You need to visit "the raunchiest, cheapest event of Fiesta" to boast a legit status as a local.
Charline McCombs Empire Theatre, 226 N. St. Mary's St., (210) 226-3333, fiestacornyation.org.

Photo via San Antonio Current
Attend a gallery opening (or openings) during Contemporary Art Month.
Launched in response to a canceled exhibition back in 1986, Contemporary Art Month continues to bring San Antonio's creative community together with tireless fanfare. Prove your dedication to the growing art scene in Alamo City by showing up to a highlighted event during the month-long celebration.
See event schedule at contemporaryartmonth.com.

Photo via Facebook (Contemporary Art Month)
Devour a massive burger at Chris Madrid's.
Gorge on a macho from local institution Chris Madrid's, which was first opened in 1977.
Chris Madrid's, 1900 Blanco Rd., (210) 735-3552, chrismadrids.com.

Photo via Facebook (Chris Madrid's)
Catch a show at the Carver Community Cultural Center.
Come to this East Side jewel for the heavy hitters of jazz, contemporary dance troupes and more.
Carver Community Cultural Center, 226 N. Hackberry St., (210) 207-7211, thecarver.org.

Photo via Facebook (Carver Community Cultural Center)
Consume your weight in breakfast tacos.
The popularity of breakfast tacos in San Anto verges on the cliché. It is a fact universally acknowledged that you cannot claim be a legit San Antonian until you learn to love the fatty, greasy joy of a good breakfast taco.
El Milagrito Mexican Restaurant, 521 E. Woodlawn Ave., (210) 737-8646, elmilagritocafe.com.

Photo via San Antonio Current
Be a rebel cowboy at the Buckhorn Saloon & Museum.
The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum houses exotic taxidermy, oddities, wildlife displays and a "Ranger Town" exhibit complete with a saloon. Pull up a seat at the original cherry-wood bar for nostalgia's sake.
318 E. Houston St., (210) 247-4000, buckhornmuseum.com.

Photo via San Antonio Current
Revisit some old school spots.
Cozy up with a cold stein of beer at the home to one of the oldest German singing societies in Texas, The Beethoven Halle und Garden, the perfect mix of history and German kitsch. Also consider Tip Top Café (2814 Fredericksburg Rd.) and Earl Abel's (1201 Austin Hwy.) for a healthy dose of old school charm. Beethoven Maennerchor Halle, 422 Pereida St., (210) 222-1521, beethovenmaennerchor.com.

Photo via San Antonio Current
Stroll around the Botanical Garden.
Unwinding in the endless supply of flora at the San Antonio Botanical Garden is a distinctly local pleasure.
The Botanical Garden, 555 Funston Pl., (210) 207-3250, www.sabot.org.

Photo via San Antonio Current
Brave the crowds at the Alamodome.
With 1.6 million square feet and 130-145 events each year, the Alamodome offers no shortage of events that galvanize people of all ages and backgrounds in San Antonio.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St., (210) 207-3663, alamodome.com.

Photo via San Antonio Current
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Rock out at the Arneson River Theatre.
The open-air theater plays host to many festivals and concerts. Grab a seat on the grassy steps that serve as benches and enjoy the view.
Arneson River Theatre, 418 Villita St., (210) 207-8614, visitsanantonio.com.

Photo via Facebook (Isabel Marie Sanchez)
Smash cascarones on an unsuspecting victim.
In San Antonio, cascarones are synonymous with Easter and Fiesta. "It's a fun, easy tradition," said Kristelle Aly, administrative assistant at The Fiesta Store, which sells cascarones with every other thing one would need to adequately celebrate Fiesta.
The Fiesta Store, 2611 Broadway, (210) 227-5191, fiesta-sa.org.

Photo via Facebook (ABQ Newscastic)
Get a little buzzed while spinning 750 feet above downtown.
The Tower of the Americas is a San Antonio icon and every local must take the elevator ride up to the top at least once. Take advantage of happy hour (4:30-7:30 p.m. Monday-Friday) in the bar area of the Tower's Chart House Restaurant while you're there.
Tower of the Americas, 739 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., (210) 223-3101, toweroftheamericas.com.

Photo via Facbook (Wes Twomey)
Split a bucket of beer at the VFW Post 76.
Make use of the breezy, San Antonio River-adjacent patio filled with wooden picnic tables and patrons that span the gamut from World War II veterans and families to 20-something hipsters taking in cold brewskies en route to the Pearl.
VFW Post 76, 10 Tenth St., (210) 223-4581, vfwpost76ontheriverwalk.org.

Photo via Instagram (Svpeimann)
Take a class at the Southwest School of Art.
Beyond offering everything from weaving and glassblowing to digital imaging and jewelry making, the Lone Star State's first and only independent art college hosts workshops and lectures with experts in such specialized fields as itajime shibori (clamp-resist dyeing) and experimental drawing.
Southwest School of Art, 300 Augusta, (210) 224-1848, swschool.org.

Photo via San Antonio Current
Participate in an intramural sports team.
San Antonio Sports and Social Club offers a variety of team sports — including kickball, flag football and more — for you and your pals who want to get active in the city.
See schedule of events at sanantoniossc.com.

Photo via Facebook (San Antonio Sports and Social Club)
Encounter a Spurs player in the wild.
The San Antonio Spurs — they're just like us, apart from being incredibly tall, athletic men. Spot a Spur such as 7'3" Serbian import Boban Marjanovic while out and about in Alamo City. Boban occasionally visits the Historic Pearl Brewery, but please refrain from stalking him.
Bakery Lorraine, 306 Pearl Pkwy #110, (210) 862-5582, bakerylorraine.com.

Photo via Imgur
Learn something new at PechaKucha.
PechaKucha (Japanese for "chit chat") nights have become a worldwide phenomenon since 2003, and San Anto is no exception. Check out these fast-paced, funny and unpredictable happenings.
See a schedule of events at pechakucha.org/cities/san-antonio.

Photo via Facebook (Joe Ely)
Kayak down the Mission Reach.
Float down the Mission Reach, the stretch of the San Antonio River just south of downtown and the Alamo that connects four historic missions that flourished in the 1700s during Spanish exploration.
Mission Kayak, 330 Mission Pkwy., missionkayak.com.

Photo via Facebook (My San Antonio)
Experience San Antonio's cocktail renaissance.
The cocktail lounge has made its presence known in the past five years, starting with a small group of downtown establishments that's ballooned to more than a dozen bars, each offering something different to the imbibing set. Visit destinations such as The Last Word (229 E. Houston St.), Park Social (224 E. Olmos Dr.), Stay Golden Social House (401 Pearl Pkwy.) and industry-favorite TBA (2801 N. St. Mary's St.).

Photo via Facbook (Park Social)
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Read a book at the Enchilada Red.
The "Enchilada Red" six-story building encompassing San Antonio's Central Library was designed by Ricardo Legorreta, the famous Mexican architect who won a design competition in 1991. Put your tech gadgets away and read a book at this historic location.
San Antonio Central Library, 600 Soledad St., (210) 207-2500, mysapl.org.

Photo via San Antonio Current
Dress up your pup for Fiesta.
The Fiesta Pooch Parade is the only place where Fido can strut his stuff in a costume contest and enjoy a 5K jaunt through Alamo Heights. Celebrate the city with your four-legged friend.
See schedule of events at fiesta-sa.org.

Photo via San Antonio Current
Endure the Magic Time Machine.
Take the kiddos to the Magic Time Machine for a dinner delivered by costume-clad servers dressed as popular Disney characters, superheroes and sci-fi favorites. No babies? Wait until families exit during the late evening, and order a no-nonsense cocktail in the adults-only Mine Shaft Saloon.
Magic Time Machine, 902 NE Loop 410, (210) 828-1470, magictimemachine.com.

Photo via San Antonio Current
Roadtrip to Gruene, Texas.
Visit the Grist Mill, a sprawling eatery perched high above the Guadalupe River, and rock over to 150-year-old honky-tonk institution Gruene Hall for some prototypically Texan tunes.
Gruene Hall, 1281 Gruene Rd., (830) 606-1281, gruenehall.com.

Photo via San Antonio Current
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Check out First Friday at the Blue Star Arts Complex.
First Friday has evolved from a grassroots gallery crawl to a full-blown monthly affair. Start at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, observing plenty of visual art as you amble through the Blue Star Arts Complex, to experience a San Anto tradition that originated back in 1986.
Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, 116 Blue Star, (210) 227-6960, bluestarart.org.

Photo via San Antonio Current

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