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UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures: Enjoy Spring Break on the Back 40

By James Benavides
Public Affairs Specialist

(March 13, 2008)--Rather than heading to the beach or amusement park over Spring Break, friends and families can take a trip to the rugged days of the Texas frontier March 18-21 on the Back 40 of UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures.

"Spring Break on the Back 40" will feature a one-room schoolhouse with daily activities, log and adobe houses with views of frontier living, an old barn with roping cowboys, and a frontier fort with lessons from Buffalo Soldiers on proper care and display of the U.S. flag.

A team of costumed docents and junior docents will be on hand to portray historic characters and bring the frontier buildings to life with activities focusing each day on a particular building.

"Spring Break on the Back 40" is included in regular admission -- $7 for adults; $4 for children, seniors and military; free for students, faculty and staff with UTSACard.

From Tuesday through Friday at the schoolhouse, visitors can participate in a class, perfect penmanship on a slate board and play schoolyard games such as marbles, hoop rolling and hopscotch.

  • On Tuesday, the Dog Trot Log House activities include chores that were a part of daily life on the frontier. Guests can experience washing clothes in a washtub with homemade soap and washboard, along with gardening and making braid dolls.
  • On Wednesday, visit the Old Barn and learn to rope like the cowboys and make a frontier toy.
  • On Thursday, visit the Spanish Colonial Adobe House to learn about gardening in the dry West Texas soil and make colorful paper flowers to take home.
  • On Friday, guests will go to the Frontier Fort and learn how to draw and read maps. The Buffalo Soldiers will enlist guests to join the ranks and march in formation. Volunteers will teach the proper care and handling of the U. S. flag and perform ceremonies including the posting and retreat of the colors.

Located at 801 S. Bowie St. at Durango Boulevard in downtown San Antonio, Institute of Texan Cultures hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday, and noon-5 p.m., Sunday.

For more information, visit the Institute of Texan Cultures Web site or call (210) 458-2330.

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UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures is San Antonio's cultural-experience museum. Established in 1968 as the Texas State Exhibits Building for HemisFair and later designated as a campus of The University of Texas at San Antonio, the museum has spent 40 years telling the stories of Texas' diverse citizens and inviting guests to join in the celebration of its multicultural heritage. Home to the Texas Folklife Festival, Asian Festival and a series of engaging exhibits, ITC entertains, informs and inspires those who seek a greater understanding of the influence of multiculturalism in the Lone Star State.

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