New coaster rolling in
at San Antonio’s Fiesta
Rollercoaster fans, there’s a new beast on the way. Workers at San Antonio’s Six Flags Fiesta Texas are putting up the new Iron Rattler coaster, which will debut this summer with a classic wooden coaster support and a modern steel track. Workers have already completed a 171-foot first drop and a zero-G barrel roll.
There’s also a new ride called Slingshot that’s a sort of two-person bungee (an extra $20 in addition to your ticket price). New shows at Fiesta Texas this year include Rockin’ at Rockville High, featuring 1950s music, and Country Chart Toppers, with current favorites.
Find out more at sixflags.com/fiestaTexas, where you also can buy daily tickets through May 27 for $51.39 including taxes and fees. After May 27, prices go up $20. Parking is $17 with tax. There are also season passes and a season dining pass option.
Here’s what’s happening in Texas in April
April 6: Frühlingsfest Spring Celebration, Comfort. German food and polka music celebrating the wildflowers. Free. More at comfortchamberofcommerce.com.
April 11-14: Featherfest, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, 4700 Broadway St., Galveston. Photo and birding workshops, field trips. Various prices for various events. Find out more at galvestonfeatherfest.com.
April 13: The Fab 5, Beatles tribute band, at Saengerfest Park, Galveston from 6 to 9 p.m. Free.
April 15-May 15: Great Texas Birding Classic. Bird-watching tournament throughout Texas. Register by April 1 and find out more at birdingclassic.org.
April 19-21 and 26-28: Texas Crawfish and Music Festival, Old Town, Spring. Tickets ($10 to $14) at texascrawfishfestival.com.
April 20: Made in Texas Family Day, Institute of Texan Cultures, HemisFair Park, San Antonio. Hands-on crafts, quilting, painting and more. $8 adult, $7 senior, $6 child. More at texancultures.com.
April 20: Wine Fest, Brenner’s on the Bayou, 1 Birdsall St., Houston. Wine, food and music. Tickets $65 in advance; $75 at the door. More at brennersfest.com.
April 20: Party on the Pier, Pier 21, 21st Street and Harborside, Galveston, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Music by Kevin Anthony & G Town. Free.
April 21: Dance Party with Al Dressen and his Super Swing Revue Band, 3 to 6:30 p.m., Geronimo VFW Post 8456, 6808 N. Texas 123, Geronimo. $7. More at 830-303-9903
April 24-28: Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair, Sugar Land. Five days of food and wine events at various prices. More at sugarlandwineandfoodaffair.com.
April 26-27: Texas Food Truckin’ Fest, Rangers Ballpark, Arlington. Fifty food trucks. Adults $10 a day, $12 for two days; kids 12 and younger $5; under 32 inches free. Free parking. More at txfoodtruckinfest.com.
April 25-27: Granbury Wine Walk, Historic Square Plaza, Granbury. Wine and food tastings at various prices. More at granburywinewalk.com.
April 27: Dance Party with Sam Bentley Band, 8 p.m. to midnight. VFW Post 3413, 1701 Hunter Road, San Marcos. $8. More at 512-754-6086.
Whale of an exhibit opens
at New York’s AMNH
A new traveling exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York takes you (figuratively) under the sea with sperm whale in search of a nice meal of giant squid. That’s just one of the interactive experiences in “Whales: Giants of the Deep,” which opened last week and will remain through Jan. 5.
The exhibit delves into the latest whale research and explains how whales affect the lives of human cultures. You’ll listen to whale songs, too. The Museum is at 79th Street and Central Park West (take the B train). There are a lot of admissions options. General Admission Plus One gets you into the museum, Rose Center for Earth and Space plus one special exhibition, film or planetarium show for $25 adult, $14.50 child and $19 senior. Find out more at amnh.org.
Hot-air balloon festival
at Horseshoe Bay Resort
The skies will get a little brighter on April 20 when Balloons Over Horseshoe Bay sends more than 20 hot-air balloons into the sky at Horseshoe Bay Resort near Marble Falls. Unlike some of the resort’s other events during the weekend, this Saturday event is open to the public and includes a 5:30 a.m. sunrise glow before the balloons take to the skies. There’ll also be a parachute performance and helicopter rides. Saturday evening will bring a performance by Sixpence None the Richer. Tickets are $15. Learn more at balloonsoverhsbresort.com.The resort has some room packages during the event, too, and those include some extra VIP events. Check them out at hsbresort.com.
What’s this? An affordable
hotel in New York City?
When I wrote about Hotel Belleclaire on New York’s Upper West Side in 2006, I touted it as a bargain find, with rooms with shared baths starting at $119. Scratch all that. The 100-year-old Belleclaire just underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation. Every room has a private bath. And the starting rate is just $129.
The stately hotel, which has housed the likes of Babe Ruth and Mark Twain, is at 77th Street and Broadway, a good residential neighborhood with restaurants and bars. It’s close to the subway, too. Find out more at hotelbelleclaire.com. That rate surely won’t last long.
Dallas’ Westin Galleria
caters to your daughter
Looking for a getaway trip with your young daughter? Check out the Westin Galleria’s American Girl Package. For rates starting at $150, you get a room, a welcome note for your little girl, an American Girl doll bed (BYO doll) and a turn-down service with cupcakes and milk. The deal’s good only on weekends. The hotel’s at 13340 Dallas Parkway at the Galleria mall, where you can hone the shopping prowess of your daughter. Find out more and book at thewestingalleriadallas.com using code AGTRPK.