It’s hard enough to impress a first date, not to mention when you’re on a budget. But don’t worry, we’ve got you – we’ve collected some great arts and culture events around town that are high class and, even better, easy on the wallet.
Nights at the Museum
The San Antonio Museum of Art has free admission every Tuesday from 4-9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. - noon. SAMA’s wide-ranging collection features pieces from ancient Mediterranean cultures, Asia, and Latin America as well as an extensive collection of contemporary art that ranges from the abstract to the hyperrealistic. The museum’s grounds are located right off the River Walk, so you can follow up your visit with a leisurely stroll alongside the river. 200 W. Jones Ave., (210) 978-8100, samuseum.org.
Another great option is the McNay Art Museum, which offers free admission on Thursdays from 4-9 p.m. and on the first Sunday of each month from noon-5 p.m. In 1950, Marion McNay bequeathed 700 works of art and her 24-room Spanish Colonial-Revival home to establish Texas’ first modern art museum. The collection sprawls through the original home and into a contemporary exhibition space as well as a picturesque outdoor sculpture garden. Nineteenth- and 20th- century art buffs will be particularly chuffed, as the collection features pieces by Cézanne, Manet, Rivera, Picasso, O’Keeffe, and more. 6000 N. New Braunfels Ave., (210) 824-5368, mcnayart.org.
Another plus: Several local universities have memberships to SAMA and the McNay, so check their websites to see if you can get in free anytime with your student ID.
Tickets to the San Antonio Symphony are pretty steep, so they may seem out of reach. But if you hop down to the Tobin Center box office two hours prior to any Pops or Classics concerts, you can nab $12 tickets with your student ID. The 2018-2019 season includes Grieg’s Concerto in A minor, Beethoven’s “Pastorale,” and Brahm’s Symphony No. 4, plus more popular fare like the score of Star Wars: A New Hope as well as performances featuring the music of Frank Sinatra and Billy Joel. 100 Auditorium Circle, (210) 223-8624, sasymphony.org.
Catch a Flick for Free
What’s more romantic than an outdoor film that begins at sunset? Slab Cinema hosts free screenings of films in various locales across the city, including Hemisfair Park, the Botanical Garden, and sometimes even the Alamo! Notably, many screenings are held at the historic Mission Marquee Plaza, a drive-in theater that originally opened in 1948 and was recently restored by the city. Whether you want to catch a classic, a cult hit or even a recent blockbuster like Black Panther, Slab Cinema has got you covered with multiple screenings each week. September is ’80s month, so stay tuned for fan favorites like The Blues Brothers, The Breakfast Club, and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Various locations, slabcinema.com.
First Friday & Second Saturday Art Walks
On the first Friday and Second Saturday of each month, artists, musicians and more gather in Southtown for Art Walks. Local galleries take advantage of the crowds to host exhibition openings (and receptions!) each month, so it’s a great chance to see what San Antonio’s independent artists have to offer (and maybe snag some refreshments).
First Friday features an art walk down South Alamo that stretches to the Blue Star Arts Complex. Great spots to hit include Presa House (725 S. Presa St.), FL!GHT (112R Blue Star), and Blue Star galleries Creative Creatures, Cinnabar, Choice Goods, and Flax Studio (1420 S. Alamo St.).
For Second Saturdays, head down South Flores to check out AP Art Lab, SMART Project Space, Studio Fantomas, and Gravelmouth (1906 S. Flores), then hit up Freight nearby (1913 S Flores). Plus, Dorcól Distilling Co. (1902 S. Flores) is right around the corner if you need to whet your whistle.
If you aren’t feeling up for a crowded event but still want to check out independent galleries in town, Artpace’s (445 North Main Ave.) exhibitions and events are free to all, and Blue Star Contemporary (116 Blue Star) offers free admission with student ID during gallery hours.
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