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    12 Holiday Events in the San Antonio Area

    If you’re stationed at Joint Base San Antonio or traveling to San Antonio over the holidays, start planning your calendar now! With events and venues opening back up since the 2020 holiday season, 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 here are 12 events (plus a couple of bonus ones) to get you in the holiday spirit. Your very own “12 Days of Christmas,” Texas style!

    Holiday lights on the San Antonio River WalkImage from Canva


    1) Holiday Lights On The San Antonio River Walk

    November 12- 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. Enjoy dinner, stroll along the walkway, and take in the beautiful sights from downtown to the Pearl District one mile north. 

    2) 32nd Annual Peace Market Mercadito De Paz

    November 26-27

    Family-friendly environment featuring artisans offering handmade items, including local vendors. Their goal is to combine the arts with economic sustainability, international exchange, and social consciousness.

    3) Lightscape at the San Antonio Botanical Garden

    November 19- January 2 (closed on certain days--check site for updates)

    Revel in the gorgeous holiday light displays put on by Lightscape along a one-mile path, with displays unique to Texas. This event sells out in other cities, so it's recommended you buy tickets early. 

    4) Old West Christmas Light Fest At Enchanted Springs Ranch

    Dates from November 25- December 24 (check site for specific days)

    Just a few miles outside San Antonio in the Hill Country, stroll through the holiday lights and enjoy food and family activities, including an interactive scavenger hunt and oversized lawn games, and visit Santa, of course!

    5)  Ford Holiday River Parade

    November 26, 6-8 p.m.

    Back again for 2021, Santa and Mrs. Claus will ring in the Christmas season at the iconic Holiday River Parade, along with other 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. 

    San Antonio holiday eventsImage from Canva


    6)  Homemade Christmas at the Alamo

    December 4, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Go back in time and see how Texans celebrated Christmas in the 1800s through historical crafts and trades, all while listening to Christmas carols. 

    7) Visit Gruene, Texas

    Holiday events from November 20- 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-Christmas Eve & Other Stories

    December 10, 8 p.m. 

    The exciting and popular Trans-Siberian Orchestra is back, and San Antonio is on their winter tour. 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

    December 11-12

    Of course, there’s plenty of holiday shopping in the San Antonio area. 30 vendors are set to offer their holiday wares, food, and unique gifts at the La Cantera Mall. 

    10) San Antonio Holiday Market Extravaganza

    Weekends Friday-Sunday from November 26 through December 19

    Local vendors, giveaways, holiday music, and pictures with Santa may just be the ticket to put you in the holiday spirit at this holiday marketplace held at the Rolling Oaks Mall. 

    Check out these other holiday markets near military bases.

    Christmas markets near military bases 7Image from Canva

    11) Six Flags Holiday in the Park

    November 20- January 2

    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!). 

    12) Posada at the Pearl

    December 16, 6- 7:30 p.m.

    Honoring the traditional Latin American Christmas celebration, the Mission Concepcion choir brings a night of Christmas carols to the Pearl Park. The evening will include a procession that represents the journey of Mary and Joseph. 

    We also want to mention: 

    Christmas at the Caverns

    Various dates in December (visit site)

    Not your typical Christmas! At Natural Bridge Caverns, you’ll hear carols echoing through the caverns, visit with Santa “Spelunker” Claus, and find your way through a gigantic outdoor maze. 

    SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration

    November 11 through January 2

    Enjoy a wintery, watery wonderland! Sip hot chocolate, watch Christmas shows, see the Sesame Street parade, visit with Santa, and sing carols, all under the blanket of 9 million twinkling lights.

    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

    12 Holiday Events in San Antonio


    Jen McDonald


    Jen McDonald

    Jen McDonald is the Content Editor for MilitaryByOwner Advertising. She's a longtime writer, the author of the book You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse, the host of the Milspouse Matters podcast, and has been published in several books and numerous national publications. She was a military spouse for nearly 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 newly retired 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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