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    12 Holiday Events in the San Antonio Area

    If you’re stationed at Joint Base San Antonio or traveling to the San Antonio area over the holidays, start planning your calendar now! With all the events and attractions, the Alamo City may just overwhelm you with all the things to see, do, and taste. 

    All of the following activities and events are either in San Antonio or just a short drive away. Of course, we can’t possibly cover all the holiday happenings in the San Antonio area, but you can start with these 12 events to get you in the holiday spirit. Your very own 12 Days of Christmas, Texas style!

    12 Holiday Events in San Antonio

    1) Holiday Lights On The San Antonio River Walk

    November 24 - January 7

    It’s not the holidays without a visit to the River Walk! A tradition since 1975, you’ll be treated to a spectacular light display of over 100,000 lights. Enjoy dinner at one of the many Riverwalk restaurants and cafes, stroll along the walkway, and take in the beautiful sights from downtown to the Pearl District one mile north. 

    Holiday lights on the San Antonio River WalkImage from Canva

    2) Christmas at the Caverns

    Various dates throughout December

    Not your typical Christmas! At Natural Bridge Caverns, you’ll hear carols echoing through the vast caverns, listen to live music, visit with Santa  Claus, enjoy an expanded trail of lights, and find your way through a 5,000-square-foot "Reindeer Roundup" outdoor maze. There's even an ice skating rink!

    3) Lightscape at the San Antonio Botanical Garden

    November 17 - January 1 

    This don't-miss event is back. Walk through a landscape filled with over one million lights and displays along the one-mile path of the beautiful gardens while listening to seasonal music.

    Enjoy light displays unique to Texas, such as the Bluebonnet Field, and then take a break to roast s'mores or purchase snacks and drinks. This event sells out at times, so it's recommended to buy tickets online beofre you go. 

    4) Old West Christmas Light Fest At Enchanted Springs Ranch

    Select dates from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve

    Just a few miles outside San Antonio in the Hill Country, visit the Old West Christmas Light Fest in Boerne. You'll experience 40 buildings brought to life as a rustic Old West town.  Walk through the light displays and experience delicious food and family activities like the light show, laser tag, mechanical bull rides, Santa's Holly Jolly Herd of longhorns, and of course, Santa Claus!

    5) The South Pole Holiday Lights Drive-Through

    Through January 8

    Located on Loop 1604 and Judson Road, bring the whole family for this drive-through light experience, which features traditional light displays as well as the latest technology. Tune into the special holiday playlist to enhance the journey. 

    christmas lights on riverImage from Canva

    6) Holidays on Houston Street

    November 24 - January 2

    Get ready to be enchanted by the holiday spirit in downtown San Antonio with a new tradition that will surely become a timeless favorite. Take a stroll along Houston Street, from Legacy Park to the Alamo, and immerse yourself in the glow of twinkling lights and holiday decorations. Be captivated by live entertainment and enjoy special offerings from the local restaurants, shops, and partners. 

    7) Gruene, Texas, Holiday Events

    Various events from November 19 - December 31

    About a half hour north of San Antonio, you’ll find the historic community of Gruene. Holiday events are happening throughout November and December, including the Gruene town lighting, Annual Pony Express Ride, and Gruene Market Days. And don’t miss Cowboy Kringle!

    8) Fiesta de las Luminarias

    Weekends, December 2 - 17

    The Fiesta de las Luminarias takes place along the River Walk, where the riverbank comes alive with two thousand luminarias each night, transforming the already beautiful river into an enchanting display of Christmas lights. These traditional Mexican lanterns add a touch of magic to the holiday season. 

    9) Alamo Lights

    November 24 - January 2

    Experience the magic of the holidays at the iconic Alamo with this after-hours stroll through the  Alamo grounds, which are adorned with festive lights for the holiday season, as well as the Christmas tree in Alamo Plaza.

    This display also features decorated figures of larger-than-life Alamo Defenders along with some other new additions. It's recommended to buy your tickets in advance. 

    10) Holiday Events at the Tobin Center

    Throughout December

    Visit the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts this holiday season, and you'll find concerts, ballet, and even a Holiday Happy Hour. Some events and performers slated for 2023: Il Divo, Cirque Musica, the Nutcracker Ballet, and a Merry-achi Christmas. 

    Check out these holiday markets near military bases.

    mother and daughter at Christmas marketImage from Canva

    11) Six Flags Holiday in the Park

    November 19 - December 31

    Holiday in the Park is back! Six Flags Fiesta Texas will don its winter apparel and feature millions of lights, holiday entertainment and shows, the Holiday Express Train, the Taste of Holiday in the Park Food Festival, and themed holiday zones (including falling snow—a rarity in South Texas!).  

    12) Frostival at the Doseum

    November 18 - January 7

    You'll find a world of wonder at Frostival at the Doseum, where you can explore all your beloved exhibits while discovering exciting new additions. Kids will be thrilled by the opportunity to glide across a sock-skating rink, and the whole family can look forward to an array of family-friendly events and countless other surprises that await! 

    There's so many things to do in Military City, USA, that we've only scratched the surface here. Please tell us about your favorite holiday happenings in the San Antonio area!

    Moving to San Antonio? Download MilitaryByOwner's free guide to your military life at Joint Base San Antonio. 

    Military Family Guide to Joint Base San Antonio


    Jen McDonald


    Jen McDonald

    Jen McDonald is the Content Editor for MilitaryByOwner Advertising. She's a longtime writer, the author of the books You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse and Milspouse Matters: Sharing Strength Through Our Stories. Jen is also the host of the Milspouse Matters podcast, and has written hundreds of articles and essays which have been published in other books and numerous publications. She was a military spouse for 30 years and is the mom of four, including one son in the military. One of her happiest roles now is being a grandmother. She and her veteran Air Force husband have been stationed all around the world from Europe to the Pacific and won’t count how many houses they’ve lived in because that would be too depressing. Her passion is encouraging young military spouses and regularly sharing about topics like military life, parenting, homeschooling...and now grandparenting! See more from Jen at her site, Jen McDonald and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram , and Pinterest.

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