2015 Magical Mystery Tour of San Antonio! (Wed/Thurs prePAX adventures) SCHEDULE UP

punziepunzie Cookie PimpRegistered User regular
edited January 2015 in PAX South
2015 Magical Mystery Tour of San Antonio!
Twitter: @PAX_MMT

Who: You! And me. And other PAX peeps. AKA your future friends.
What: Visit interesting places in and around San Antonio.
Where: Schedule will be posted below.
When: The two days before PAX: Wed 1/21 and Thurs 1/22. Traditionally runs from 9am to 5pm but you don't have to do the whole thing. (Follow the twitter feed for live updates of where we are.)
Why: See something of San Antonio other than the convention center and your hotel. And do it with cool people!
How: Walking, San Antonio's public transit, and maybe some carpooling/cabs?

Schedule
Wednesday:
09:30a meetup- Grand Hyatt front doors (600 East Market St)
09:45a travel time- #7 bus
10:30a San Antonio Botanical Gardens $10
11:30a travel time- walk
11:45a lunch- Tomatillos Cafe y Cantina
01:15p travel time- #7 bus
02:00p Alamo
03:00p travel time- walk
03:30p Amazing Mirror Maze $12

Thursday:
09:30a meetup- Grand Hyatt front doors (600 East Market St)
09:45a travel time- walk
10:00a Tower of the Americas $11
11:00a travel time- walk
11:30a lunch- find something on the Riverwalk
01:30p Rio San Antonio River Tour $8.25
02:30p travel time- walk
03:00p Ripley's Believe It or Not $21

Voting
Is all done. Schedule is posted above.

Potential stops:
As new places are suggested, I'll add them here. Read them over, visit the websites, form an opinion, discuss their merits in this thread. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SUGGEST NEW DESTINATIONS! (I'll use them for next year.)
Prices listed are per each adult. Discounts are often given for children, seniors, students, and sometimes military.
Any notes about reservations are for my benefit.
13th Floor
What it is: a haunted house
Price:
Hours: 7pm-10pm
Website: http://www.13thfloorsanantonio.com/index.html
Additional Notes: I expect the usual jump scares. Not recommended for pregnant women or children under 12. Some rooms are able to be bypassed (in case they're too scary).
The Alamo
What it is: A mission and site of a battle between Texans and Santa Anna.
Price: free!
Hours: 9am-5:30pm
Website: http://www.thealamo.org/
Alamo City Ghost Tours
What it is: An hour long walking tour of downtown San Antonio with ghost stories
Price: $15
Hours: 9pm
Website: https://www.alamocityghosttours.com/
Additional Notes: They provide ghost hunting equipment, which is a cool bonus. But their website hurts my eyes and they apparently don't know the difference between "hung" and "hanged." Discounts for groups of 10 or more.
Amazing Mirror Maze
What it is: a mirror maze and laser obstacle course
Price: $11.99 for 1 attraction, $14.99 for both
Hours: 10am-7pm
Website: http://www.amazingmazes.com/index.html
K1 Speed
What it is: indoor go-karting
Price: $19.99 for 1 14-lap race
Hours: 12pm-10pm
Website: http://www.k1speed.com/san-antonio-location.html
McNay Art Museum
What it is: an art museum housed in a Spanish Colonial-Revival house
Price: $10
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Hours: Wed 10am-4pm, Thurs 10am-9pm
Website: http://www.mcnayart.org/
Natural Bridge Caverns
What it is: primarily 2 caverns to explore, this place also has a giant maze, canopy challenge, and some other activities.
Price: Depends on what you do. Most individual activities are around $20.
Hours: 9am-5pm
Website: http://www.naturalbridgecaverns.com/
Additional Notes: this requires some physical activity. Walking, stairs, and reduced lighting are involved.
Rio San Antonio River Tour
What it is: 35-minute boat ride through the Riverwalk area of the San Antonio River
Price: $8.25
Hours: 9am-9pm
Website: http://riosanantonio.com/rivertours/
Ripley's Believe it or Not
What it is: a collection of oddities, wax museum, and a "4D" theater
Price: $20.99 for one attraction, $23.99 for 2, and $28.99 for all 3
Hours: 10am-8pm
Website: http://www.ripleys.com/sanantonio/
Additional Notes: discounts for groups of 12 or more
San Antonio Botanical Gardens
What it is: 38-acres of gardens. Look at the plant life!
Price: $10
Hours: 9am-5pm
Website: http://www.sabot.org/
Sister's Grimm Ghost Tour
What it is: 1.5 hour walking tour of downtown San Antonio, with ghost stories.
Price: $15
Hours: 8:30pm
Website: http://www.sistersgrimmghosttour.com/home.html
Additional Notes: Total walking distance is about 1.5 miles
Spring Loaded
What it is: a trampoline park. bouncy bouncy!
Price: $12 for 2hours
Hours: 3pm-9pm
Website: http://www.springloadedparks.com/
Additional Notes: you have to watch a safety video and sign a waiver before you can play
Tower of the Americas
What it is: 750foot-tall tower with observation deck. Also has a 4d movie
Price: $10.95
Hours: 10am-10pm
Website: http://www.toweroftheamericas.com/
Witte Museum
What it is: a museum about natural history, science, and south Texas
Price: $8
Hours: 10am-5pm
Website: http://www.wittemuseum.org/
Additional Notes: Admission looks to be cheaper right now because of construction. That probably means fewer exhibits than usual.

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Posts

  • punziepunzie Cookie Pimp Registered User regular
    I just wanted to get this thread up. I haven't been to San Antonio in years (and then I let other people do the leading and planning), so I have to do a lot of research on this one (where we can go, what's open that time of year, how good is the transit, etc) and I won't get to most of it until after Prime. In the meantime, if there's somewhere you know of that we might want to visit, please post!

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  • KhaytorKhaytor MassachusettsRegistered User regular
    If I make it to town in time, count me in! I had a blast meeting everyone at the PAX East MMT.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    @clickpictony‌ might be able to help come up with potential destinations

  • punziepunzie Cookie Pimp Registered User regular
    Oh and I am also accepting a local volunteer to help lead us from place to place. It's not strictly necessary, but I prefer to have someone else worrying about directions while I play caboose, make sure we don't lose anyone, update twitter, etc.

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  • chellerschellers New HampshireRegistered User regular
    A-ha! I've already started a list of places I wanted to check out.

    Flea markets - There are a bunch, but most are weekend only. El Mercado is open weekdays, but the reviews say there's more vendors on the weekend (so maybe not so good for the MMT).

    Ghost tours - There are several, but these 2 got lots of good reviews and are affordable (if you skip the dinner). http://www.sistersgrimmghosttour.com/home.html and https://www.alamocityghosttours.com/

    13th Floor - Scary funhouse type thing. Most places have one or 2 around Halloween, but this place does events year-round (like Zombie apocalypse, The Great Escape, Pitch Black). I'm pretty sure they'll do something for PAX, but not positive. http://www.13thfloorsanantonio.com/index.html

    Ripley's Believe It or Not! - They have the traditional Oddities stuff, but also a wax museum and 4D theater (your seat moves). http://www.ripleys.com/sanantonio/

    Spring Loaded - Trampoline park! http://www.springloadedparks.com/

    Laser Legend - Laser tag and indoor minigolf (Laser tag is cool but I'm wary of blacklights. Mustard and certain body fluids glow just the same. Thanks middle school field trip!) http://www.laserlegend.com/

    K1 Speed - Go-karts! http://www.k1speed.com/san-antonio-location.html

    Malibu Grand Prix - I don't know if this place is year-round. They have go-karts, minigolf, a rock wall, bumper boats, batting cages and an arcade. http://www.malibugrandprix.com/site/SanAntonio/attractions.html

    The Amazing Mirror Maze - In addition to the mirror maze, they have a laser vault (think Catherine Zeta-Jones in Entrapment but with actual [non-murdering] lasers). http://www.amazingmazes.com/index.html

    The Witte Museum - Long term exhibits include: interactive Body Adventure, Stories of S Texas, Dinosaurs, Ancient Texans, Mummies, World of Water, and Historic Homes. They'll have a couple feature exhibits, too, but it doesn't say what those will be. http://www.wittemuseum.org

    Natural Bridge Caverns - I will be the first to say "Ewwww, nature!" but this place seems neat. They have cave tours, cave tours by lantern, a giant maze, the Canopy Challenge (wear a harness for an elevated obstacle course. The local YMCA near us has something similar called Ropes but this actually looks challenging), panning for gems/arrowheads/fossils (I know it's for kids, yet I do not care. At all. I wanna pan, damn it!)
    http://www.naturalbridgecaverns.com

    I feel almost obligated to go to one of the four Missions, but it just sounds so boring.

    peetsnackpunzie
  • punziepunzie Cookie Pimp Registered User regular
    Oh caverns! I want to go there! Thanks @chellers‌ this is a great starting list.

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  • DeciusDecius Registered User regular
    There's also that place...where that famous battle was fought...I forget it's name.

    ;)

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  • WickershamWickersham Registered User regular
    I like most of your suggestions, but I'm going to advise against Ripley's. It's pretty much a tourist trap filled with pictures of giant tumors. Some additional ideas:
    • If you're into History and Architecture, There’s an old Spanish mission you might have heard of, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Alamo is actually one of almost a dozen missions that still stand, along with a 300-year-old cathedral.
    • The McNay art museum is a mind-blowing experience. It's an old mansion converted into an art museum, with a fantastic collection.
    • The SA Botanical Gardens
    • The Pearl, the Blue Star, La Villita, Market Square, and of course the Riverwalk all have a great mix of food, drink, art and shopping and are great places to spend some spare time.
    • If you're a sports enthusiast, It so happens that SA is home to the best professional basketball team in the explored universe. Prices are pretty reasonable in general, but if you want you can buy a nosebleed ticket for as little as five dollars, ignore your seat, and spend the game in the FanZone, a large balcony with a commanding view of the court, or in a patio area outside where they show the game on a movie screen and line up food trucks. The season schedule was just released, and there are games on Friday night vs the Lakers, and Sunday night vs the Bucks.

    peetsnackpunziePineappleChuck
  • SamCiceroSamCicero NYCRegistered User regular
    Looking forward as always. I'll be there Thursday at least. I'm always up for museums, and missions. Like was said, there's a string of them, and I imagine seeing them all must get monotonous, but one besides the Alamo might be interesting. The caverns sound cool. I plan on buying a ticket to the Friday night game probably.

  • RavengerRavenger Trolololo Registered User regular
    Is there any wine tasting type stuff in the area, I would be ALL over that

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  • miker525miker525 New YorkRegistered User regular
    I still have to plan my travel and hotel, but assuming I'm in town for the majority of that Thursday I'd be down. Always love seeing my PAX friends/future friends

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  • WickershamWickersham Registered User regular
    Ravenger wrote: »
    Is there any wine tasting type stuff in the area, I would be ALL over that

    There's actually a thriving wine industry in the hill country northwest of SA, and if you want to stay in town there are some top-notch wine bars that do frequent tastings.

  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    Ravenger wrote: »
    Is there any wine tasting type stuff in the area, I would be ALL over that

    I'm not a local, but yes. Wineries and Wine Bars.

  • orthancstoneorthancstone TexasRegistered User regular
    Note that tours mostly take you to the Fredericksburg area, and that will take all day.

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  • KhaytorKhaytor MassachusettsRegistered User regular
    I did Natural Bridge Caverns as a kid and can vouch for how awesome it is. I was looking at the old pictures (yes, actual film based pictures!) the other night and they caught my attention as much now as they did when I was a kid. This would be AWESOME!

  • GhostDanGhostDan Registered User regular
    Looking forward to exploring someplace new with teh punzie.


  • MaggieTheCatMaggieTheCat Registered User regular
    Hey guys, new to PAX and the forums and thought I'd chime in here. I am a San Antonio local, not born and raised but have lived here for about 5 1/2 years now. I think this is a great idea, but a few things to note.

    I hate to burst y'all's bubble but the Natural Bridges Caverns are about 30 miles north of downtown S.A. where the convention center (and probably all of your hotels) are and no public transport like buses are going to run there. To be honest, San Antonio's public transport is pretty crappy. Downtown is pretty condensed so if you stay right in the heart of the city, you can walk to most places, but the rest of the city is really sprawling and it can easily take you 2-3 hours by bus to get somewhere...that's if a bus even runs to where you're going.

    Anyway, that's not to say you couldn't do the caverns (and there are lots of caverns in Hill Country Texas around San Antonio, Cave Without A Name is another one that comes to mind that my husband and I did and enjoyed but it might be even a bit further than Natural Bridges.) Your best bet would probably be to rent and split a van taxi. Or, if you're lucky, find someone local to shuttle you around (and that someone is unfortunately not me. My husband and I only have one vehicle and he is probably going to be working Weds/Thurs. I might be able to convince him to take Thurs off, but even if he does, we can probably only get 2 or maybe 3 other people in our car besides the two of us.)

    Anyway, not much time to post tonight but I will try to think about what else would be interesting to do downtown (there is a pretty nice boat tour of the San Antonio River...assuming it's not completely dried up due to the drought) and what the best ways would be for everyone to get around. We don't live near downtown, so I'm not super familiar with the downtown area myself, hopefully another local who lives or works down there will be able to provide some further input.

  • m0nk33m0nk33 Keeper of the Tubes Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    edited April 2015
    What I imagine when I hear "Magical Mystery Tour"

    youtube.com/watch?v=TICIPRMPhKI

    m0nk33 on
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  • punziepunzie Cookie Pimp Registered User regular
    You folks are gonna carry me on your shoulders and sing. How sweet of you!
    (PS adding the http:// will make your link work correctly)

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    peetsnackGhostDan
  • grrrgrrr TexasRegistered User new member
    chellers wrote: »
    Ghost tours - There are several, but these 2 got lots of good reviews and are affordable (if you skip the dinner). http://www.sistersgrimmghosttour.com/home.html and https://www.alamocityghosttours.com/

    +1 recommendation for the ghost tours - it's one of my favorite ways to see a new place - you get a taste of the history/personality/culture in an entertaining package. The SA ghost tours are at the top of my list - loved it.

    Also - the missions - might be kinda boring if you don't know the history of the area, but they are really beautiful.

  • WickershamWickersham Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    I agree with the ghost tours. I'm going to recommend Sisters Grimm because they're a little more theatrical, but also because Alamo City Ghost Tours stumbled across my biggest pet peeve: There's a photo on their page of "the last man legally hung in San Antonio."

    People are hanged, Alamo City Ghost Tours, and paintings are hung.

    Wickersham on
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  • punziepunzie Cookie Pimp Registered User regular
    edited November 2014
    I started listing places we can go in the OP. Point out any typos or misinformation.
    - I left off Malibu Grand Prix because those kind of arcade/outdoor fun center places are pretty common, I think. (and looks like it'll be tough to get there anyway).
    - 13th Floor has some special event in December and when I look at the pricing page, the info looks to be covered by the ad for the event. I tried to get the price by using the link to buy tickets online and it only gives me options for the fast pass or special event tickets. So I have no idea how much a regular ticket is.
    - The website for the mirror maze place actually says "see 1000's of mirrors" Thousands of mirrors, folks! Thousands! lol

    punzie on
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  • flasheflashe Craft Beer Aficionado US - East CoastRegistered User regular
    I'll be in that Thurs, I'd be interested the events going after noon, prior to the pub crawl at 7ish. Curious what punzie and the locals have in store :biggrin:

  • BIGmogBIGmog Registered User regular
    I've never been to San Antonio so I'm up for nearly anything. Looking WikiVoyage, some places to think about:

    The Alamo might be TOO touristy but it is right downtown and free as well. I'm thinking that this destination is part of one of the suggested ghost tours.

    Tower of the Americas.

    Riverwalk.

    If the MMT goes late, I've had fun with the Geeks Who Drink bar trivia nights.


  • chellerschellers New HampshireRegistered User regular
    Is there going to be a final plan soon?

  • WickershamWickersham Registered User regular
    The Alamo is touristy but is well worth seeing nonetheless. Market Square or La Villita will give you some nice local flavor. The Buckhorn Saloon and Texas Ranger Museum is pretty cool too.

  • GhostDanGhostDan Registered User regular
    Looks like I'll be getting into town earlier than anticipated if you need any help punzie


  • punziepunzie Cookie Pimp Registered User regular
    edited January 2015
    I am probably known at this point for letting things drop until the last second. I've been trying to find the time to update this for a few days now. Maybe tonight will be the night...

    punzie on
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  • punziepunzie Cookie Pimp Registered User regular
    And the answer is, YES! I looked over some more spots, put the info in the OP (the cat had some things to say about the McNay art museum. dunno if it's positive or negative tho), and slapped together a voting form: http://goo.gl/forms/eAHL3tyi3A
    I really want to go to the caverns, y'all. Hopefully we have a couple people with access to vehicles so we can carpool there. *crosses fingers*
    I'll close the voting late either Tuesday or Wednesday so I can put together a schedule by next weekend.

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  • zealezeale Saint LouisRegistered User regular
    Question, I'll be arriving in town Wednesday afternoon, and would like to meet up for some of the festivities. If I want to join up in the middle, is there a twitter or something I can follow, or some other way to find out where the crew is at? Also, are most of the events in the vicinity of the riverwalk area? I'll be walking/ubering around so if it's further away I need to plan on that. Thanks!

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  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
  • punziepunzie Cookie Pimp Registered User regular
    zeale wrote: »
    Question, I'll be arriving in town Wednesday afternoon, and would like to meet up for some of the festivities. If I want to join up in the middle, is there a twitter or something I can follow, or some other way to find out where the crew is at? Also, are most of the events in the vicinity of the riverwalk area? I'll be walking/ubering around so if it's further away I need to plan on that. Thanks!

    The schedule will be posted in the first post of this thread when it is made and the twitter is also linked in that post. I don't know if we'll only be doing things within walking distance because I haven't made the schedule yet. Location voting is active now, so you can vote for the nearby things if you'd like.

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  • boywithstickboywithstick Registered User new member
    Hello all!

    I'm a local San Antonian. If anyone needs some help with information while in town you can call me or text me at 210-748-5600. I would like to recommend some fine eateries in my city. Halcyon is a great place to rest and have some coffee/food/liquor while in San Antonio. It's located at the Blue Star Arts Complex which is in South Town. Nearby you can also find other neat places to eat at like Mad Hatters, The Station, and The Friendly Spot (it's outdoors so if it's cold don't go). The convention center is near the San Antonio river barges that you can take to tour the Riverwalk and see spots you like / would like to explore further like Rivercenter Mall or The Pearl. The Pearl has restaurants like La Gloria and places to shop at as well. At night we have a very cool gay strip of bars and clubs on Main St to get your drink and dance on and they are very straight friendly. Two of those places to drink and dance would be The Heat and Sparkys.
    Please let me know if you have other questions.

  • boywithstickboywithstick Registered User new member
    As far as museums I would recommend the McNay, the San Antonio Museum of Art, and the Witte.

    orthancstone
  • punziepunzie Cookie Pimp Registered User regular
    edited January 2015
    Hey everyone, you have about 24 more hours to vote on where we're going. I plan to pull it down when I get home from work tomorrow. That's usually around 1am eastern.
    People who have expressed interest but not voted include: @ghostdan @chellers‌ @BIGmog‌ @flashe‌ @miker525‌ @Khaytor‌ @SamCicero‌

    punzie on
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  • BrandobarisBrandobaris SeattleRegistered User regular
    My wife and I are interested, and I went ahead and voted. It's getting close and we're getting incredibly excited to head down.

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  • flasheflashe Craft Beer Aficionado US - East CoastRegistered User regular
    Interested in going on Thurs! Voted already, but I won't be landing till 12ish so I'll try to catch up w the group (unless you're in a car and traveling already).

    If anyone who's a lurker is thinking about doing the MMT I highly recommend it! It's a great way to see the city w/ your fellow PAXers!

  • punziepunzie Cookie Pimp Registered User regular
    Schedule posted!
    Wednesday:
    09:30a meetup- Grand Hyatt front doors (600 East Market St)
    09:45a travel time- #7 bus
    10:30a San Antonio Botanical Gardens $10
    11:30a travel time- walk
    11:45a lunch- Tomatillos Cafe y Cantina
    01:15p travel time- #7 bus
    02:00p Alamo
    03:00p travel time- walk
    03:30p Amazing Mirror Maze $12

    Thursday:
    09:30a meetup- Grand Hyatt front doors (600 East Market St)
    09:45a travel time- walk
    10:00a Tower of the Americas $11
    11:00a travel time- walk
    11:30a lunch- find something on the Riverwalk
    01:30p Rio San Antonio River Tour $8.25
    02:30p travel time- walk
    03:00p Ripley's Believe It or Not $21

    Notes:
    - The bus is $1.20. Have cash handy (or a bus pass).
    - Tomatillos was chosen for lunch because a) google showed me it was there when I was looking at the botanical gardens and b) it fits my want for TexMex while I'm there. It looks reasonably priced and is near where we are. If you don't like it, there's also a Whataburger nearby.
    - You don't need to buy any tickets in advance. In fact, I'd advise against it. There's likely to be some wandering and delays while I figure stuff out and some of these places say no refunds or exchanges if you aren't there at the precise right time.
    - I tried to plan for long lunches because margaritas. Many places on the Riverwalk advertise their ginormous margaritas and those take awhile to drink...
    - No caverns because no one has a car and The Internet told me it would cost $75 each way T.T

    Remember to follow the twitter account if you want to meet up with us along the way: @PAX_MMT.
    You might want to also follow my personal account because sometimes I make the mistake of tweeting from the wrong account: @sewingpunzie

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  • GhostDanGhostDan Registered User regular
    punzie wrote: »
    - I tried to plan for long lunches because margaritas. Many places on the Riverwalk advertise their ginormous margaritas and those take awhile to drink...

    Challenge accepted.


  • BrandobarisBrandobaris SeattleRegistered User regular
    We get in too late to do anything for Wednesday, but at least there's Thursday. We're going to grab tickets for the Sisters Grimm Ghost Tour on Wednesday night, maybe we'll see someone there.

    PSN: Brandobaris
    3DS: 0817-4905-9201
    XBL: Brandobaris
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