The list of what makes San Antonio a great place to live/thrive is long, but always near the top of my list is the awesome number of things to see and do. In spite of masks, social distancing, and restrictions, there are great places just waiting to be explored. And spots that let you escape close to home, all while surrounded by art with a sense of adventure. Cue a spot that works for families, girls’ nights, and date nights (or days!): Hopscotch.
If you’ve seen wild pictures with a light show dancing across someone’s face, then you’ve seen a glimpse of the fun that awaits at Hopscotch. So what is San Antonio’s newest attraction that combines art and fun? When you read, “An immersive and experiential brand that brings together artists in collaborative environments to create distinctive shared experiences,” Hopscotch sounds intimidating. But step into Hopscotch and you’re in a wonderland of fun.
In the simplest of terms, Hopscotch is a playground where local, national, and international artists experiment with a spectrum of mediums and technology, creating joy, wonder, and reflection. It goes beyond an art exhibition and is certainly not a museum. It’s art that engages you, makes you laugh, challenges you, and fills you with wonder. In other words, it’s a great playground for kids and adults to see art in a different way. That said, it’s also for kids who will understand how to behave. Having watched kids engage with the exhibitions, I’d say 7 or 8 is the youngest age that will truly “get” Hopscotch and behave in a way that respects the exhibitions. In other words, they’ll follow the few rules that Hopscotch has to protect the exhibitions and fellow patrons.
Museums can be scary for parents, but they shouldn’t be. All of the fantastic museums we’re lucky to have in San Antonio welcome families and even the littlest of kids. To me, they’re a great way to foster creativity and maybe learn a little bit along the way. Hopscotch provides a great contemporary art learning experience that’s sure to spark creativity and fun conversations.
While the exhibitions at Hopscotch will rotate every three to six months, right now, you can see how technology and light react to your body in “Symbiosis” and “Quantum Space,” installations from Kuflex, a Russian studio of interactive digital art. Kids of all ages will delight in moving and watching the light show react. Artist Matt Elson’s “Infinity Boxes” create optical illusions that draw you in and make you wonder how such a tiny space creates so much to see.
Other kid favorites: paint digital graffiti, VJ yourself in a music video, and roam through a rainbow cave. Parents and kids can switch places—and get a glimpse of the future—in a mind-bending installation that makes you and your kids shrink and grow before your eyes. No two installations are alike, giving kids the opportunity to see that the word “art” has many definitions. And it really is OK to color outside of the lines.
Note: While Hopscotch welcomes all ages during the day, all spaces are 18+ after 7 p.m. (last available children’s ticket is 5:30 p.m.). And of course, adults with children are responsible for their children’s supervision, conduct, and safety. Strollers are not allowed in the exhibition, but storage is available.
As far as adults go, jumping into Hopscotch automatically makes you feel as if you’re in the cool kids club. You don’t have to be an art connoisseur to enjoy the experience. All you need is a sense of adventure and the willingness to forget the crazy world outside.
Want a fun evening with friends or a date night that is definitely different? Hopscotch has a terrific lounge that offers specialty cocktails and seasonal drinks. On the patio, you’ll find Smack’s Chicken Shack. With Nashville hot chicken sandwiches and more, the lounge and patio are a destination to enjoy even if you’re not diving into the art. And keep an eye out for Hopscotch’s monthly brunch events with live DJ sets, as well as specialty brunch items from Smack’s and loaded Bloody Marys and Micheladas.
You’re allowed to enjoy your beverages as you roam through Hopscotch, making it easy to both enjoy a happy hour and see the installations at the same time. Warning: you get so entranced with each installation, it’s easy to forget your drink or where you were in your conversation because there’s always something catching your attention. Honestly, you could visit multiple times and notice something new with each visit.
Good to know: Hopscotch opened in the midst of COVID, so to make sure the experience is safe for both staff and guests, they have checked all of the boxes, including mandatory masks and temperature checks, as well as limited venue hours and strict capacity limits. Thanks to those limits, it can sell out, so be sure to book ahead (you’ll also save as advance tickets are cheaper than buying at the door). Also, Hopscotch is cashless, so make sure you have your credit/debit card with you. Hopscotch also offers three-hour complimentary parking in the Travis Park Plaza Garage, making it easy to pop in and immerse yourself without parking stress.