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. Check with each venue for cost, directions, and more information.
Of course, we can’t possibly cover all the holiday happenings in the San Antonio area, but you can start with these 12 events (plus a couple of bonus ones) to get you in the holiday spirit. Your very own 12 Days of Christmas, Texas style!
1) Holiday Lights On The San Antonio River Walk
November 25- January 9
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 with this free event. Enjoy dinner, stroll along the walkway, and take in the beautiful sights from downtown to the Pearl District one mile north.
The official televised lighting ceremony in the Arneson River Theatre happens on Friday, November 25, 2022.
Image from Canva
2) Mercado De Paz / Annual Peace Market
The Peace Market is San Antonio’s oldest annual open-air international artisan market. The family-friendly environment features over 60 artists and artisans offering handmade items, including local vendors. Their goal is to combine the arts with economic sustainability, international exchange, and social consciousness. With themes of peace, justice, diversity, and cultural and environmental preservation, you'll find a selection of goods along with food, prizes, and live performances.
3) Lightscape at the San Antonio Botanical Garden
November 11- January 8
This don't-miss event is back. Walk through over one million lights and displays along the one-mile path of the beautiful gardens while listening to seasonal music. Enjoy displays unique to Texas, such as the Bluebonnets, and take a break to roast s'mores or purchase snacks and drinks. This event sold out several times last season, so it's recommended to buy tickets early.
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) Ford Holiday River Parade
Santa and Mrs. Claus will once again ring in the Christmas season at the annual Holiday River Parade, along with 28 illuminated floats winding their way down the San Antonio River. You can buy tickets or take advantage of one of the several free viewing areas along the River Walk (bring your own chairs) on a first come-first serve basis.
Image from Canva
6) Homemade Christmas at the Alamo
Travel back in time and learn how Texans celebrated Christmas in the 1800s at the historic Alamo mission, a global cultural icon and beloved Texas landmark. You'll view historical crafts and trades, all while listening to Christmas carols.
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) Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve
The exciting and popular multi-platinum Trans-Siberian Orchestra has announced its winter tour, and San Antonio is again on their schedule. Classical music scores, heavy metal, and a high-tech light and pyrotechnics show all combine to create an unforgettable experience.
9) Holiday Showcase at La Cantera Mall
There's no lack of holiday shopping in the San Antonio area. Add to your outing this list of 30 curated vendors set to offer their holiday wares, food, and unique gifts at the La Cantera Mall.
10) Holiday Art Market at the Tobin Center
Visit the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts this holiday season, and you may find that hand-crafted items, home decor, gourmet food, and gifts are just the ticket to put you in the holiday spirit. The whole family can enjoy live music and treats while you shop.
Check out these other holiday markets near military bases.
Image from Canva
11) Six Flags Holiday in the Park
November 19- December 23
Holiday in the Park is back! Six Flags Fiesta Texas will don its winter apparel and feature millions of lights, 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!). Don't miss the popular show, The Majesty of Christmas.
12) Beyond Limits: Winter Wonderland
With reduced capacity and modified exhibits, the DoSeum is hosting a special sensory-friendly holiday evening so that every child can play and learn. The winter themed Beyond Limits program celebrates the season with activities like sock skating and making snow. Pre-register or buy tickets at the door.
Other San Antonio holiday events worth noting:
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, visit with Santa “Spelunker” Claus, and find your way through a gigantic outdoor maze.
SeaWorld Christmas Celebration
November 10 through January 2
Enjoy a wintery, watery wonderland! Sip hot chocolate, watch Christmas shows, visit with Santa, and sing carols, all under the blanket of millions of twinkling lights. Touted as the "biggest Christmas celebration in Texas."
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.