Cue the bells and dancing elves because the most wonderful time of the year here in San Antonio is just around the corner! This means it is the season for all things peppermint flavored, hot chocolate, holiday playlists on repeat, tacky sweaters, delicious holiday recipes and tons and tons of twinkling lights.
San Antonio is a city rich in history and traditions, and those qualities are showcased during the holiday season. Whether you’re looking for a fun family night out, a way to entertain friends and relatives or seasonal date night ideas, there is something for everyone! Create unforgettable memories with your loved ones this holiday season by looking through our list of San Antonio Christmas events for 2018 and putting some of these outings on your calendar now.
San Antonio Christmas Shows: Performances To Remember
Many holiday traditions revolve around stories, so it’s not surprising that many dance troupes, theater companies and other groups have performances in November and December to retell classics and put a new spin on these tales. Here are a few of our picks.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
For the first time in Texas, audiences can enjoy the stage adaptation of the popular book at The Magik Theatre downtown. Mr. Popper’s Penguins tells the tale of what happens when a determined penguin with wanderlust meets the spirited Captain Cook. This musical is perfect for kids ages 5 to 10 years old. Ticket prices start at $12, plus fees.
This holiday classic—an annual outing for many San Antonio families—returns to the Tobin Center, starting on November 23, 2018 and running through December 2, 2018. The Nutcracker features the musical talents of the San Antonio Symphony and dancing by Ballet San Antonio. Ticket prices begin at $35, plus fees. A sensory-friendly performance is scheduled for November 23, 2018, and the youth performances will take place on November 29 and 30, 2018.
Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberley
The Classic Theater of San Antonio takes us on a journey to explore what happens after Pride & Prejudice with this play, which follows Mary as she seeks love during the holiday season. Opening night is November 30, 2018, and performances run through December 23, 2018, with a special free student performance scheduled for December 6th. Ticket prices for regular performances start at $18, plus fees.
Austin blues legend Ruthie Foster and singer/songwriter Matt Abler join the Grammy Award-winning choral group for this traditional holiday concert. The Tobin Center hosts this event on December 11, 2018 at 7:30pm, and tickets starts at $20, plus fees.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Reflect on the meaning of the season while you watch A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage at the Tobin Center featuring the Peanuts gang, the music of Vince Guaraldi and Christmas carols. There will only be two matinees on December 22, 2018, so make sure to get your tickets early. Ticket prices start at $29.50, plus fees.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve
Paul O’Neill originally formed this progressive rock band in the 1990s to offer a modern take on the rock opera, with a holiday twist. After selling 100 million albums, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra is now one of the top touring acts in the globe. An all-new production will feature some of the greatest hits in two separate performances on December 23, 2018 at the AT&T Center. Ticket prices begin at $45.75, plus fees.
San Antonio Holiday Special Theme Park Events
Most of us think of theme parks as tourist destinations, but the special events offered during the holiday season are worth checking out. Here are some of the seasonal events at these attractions.
SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration
SeaWorld San Antonio is turning its park into a winter wonderland for the annual Christmas Celebration event November 17, 2018 through January 6, 2019. The theme park will feature Christmas shows, 9 million lights, delicious festive foods and of course, Santa and Rudolph. Explore the 250 acres of Christmas lights with their classic carols and music.
Six Flags Holiday in the Park
Another popular San Antonio holiday theme park is Six Flags Fiesta Texas. From November 17, 2018 through January 7, 2019 you can experience Holiday in the Park. Stroll through the park as it is lit up with colorful twinkling lights, ride the Holiday Express train, watch live musical performances and take photos with Santa and his helpers. Spend the day making memories with your family and friends.
A Wonderland Christmas at Morgan’s Wonderland
On November 30, and then again on December 1, 7, 8 and December 14 through 23, 2018, enjoy the park’s rides, designed with special-needs guests in mind, as well as a petting zoo, free hot chocolate and cookies, skating atop a simulated ice rink, decorations, visits with Santa and more at A Wonderland Christmas. Photos with Santa with be available from 5:30pm until 8:30pm for a small fee. Strolling entertainers and lights will complete the festive scene. Ticket prices are consistent with normal entry fees.
Holiday Events In San Antonio River Walk Area
When’s the last time you spent time along the River Walk, in the heart of our city? Several fun seasonal events will be taking place that you won’t want to miss this year.
Ford Holiday River Parade
Not your typical parade, this boat parade happens all on the water. The Ford Holiday River Parade is a traditional event around the city and great way to fully take in the River Walk and all its beautiful setting. The parade stretches 2 ½ miles long and happens on November 23, 2018 from 6:00 until 9:00pm.
Ford Fiesta De Las Luminarias
Ford Fiesta De Las Luminarias is a great representation of the deep cultural roots in San Antonio and how they still shine through during the holidays. Stroll down the River Walk to enjoy the beautiful lights all around and the 2,000 luminarias along the river. The festivities start November 30 and last until December 16, 2018, on Friday through Sunday evenings only.
Ford Holiday Boat Caroling
Starting November 21 until December 21 you can enjoy the free Christmas caroling while walking through the river or eating outdoors at a restaurant patio. The caroling boats go down the River Walk decorated in lights and holiday bling. You can even book a private one-hour caroling boat for your friends and family for a more personalized experience.
Other San Antonio Events In December
Looking for another way to commemorate the season here in San Antonio? There are many, many other events taking place in and around our city. Here are a few of the local happenings we look forward to every year.
Located in western San Antonio, this drive or walk-through lights attraction features 15 acres of holiday lights, set to music. Open from November 16, 2018 until December 29th, starting at 6:30pm. Hot chocolate, Kettle corn, pictures with Santa and more fun await at this festive destination for family fun.
Light The Way Holiday Festival
The Light The Way Holiday Festival is one of the area’s most beloved Christmas events. Put on by the University of the Incarnate Word for the past 30 years, the celebration offers something for everyone, including a visit to the Food Truck Yard for some tasty treats, a start to your holiday shopping with a variety of local vendors, a chance to listen to live musical entertainment and the opportunity to stick around the Kids’ Corner where your kids can ride the kiddie train, decorate cookies and take photos with Santa. Light The Way takes place November 17, 2018 from 3pm until 9:30pm.
Christmas Light Fest
The Christmas Light Fest is another option just outside of San Antonio and takes place from Thanksgiving until December 30, 2018. Travel back in time and get some Old West family fun at the Enchanted Springs Ranch. Enjoy lights from your vehicle with a dazzling drive-thru, light displays, seasonal treats, holiday movies and games like reindeer roping. The authentic western atmosphere will have you saying howdy, Santa!
Head over to Zoo Lights at the San Antonio Zoo for some animal holiday fun. The zoo will be decorated with lights, filled with fun activities and festive foods. Tell Santa your Christmas wish list, ride a train, go ice skating, ride a camel, take snow globe pictures, roast marshmallows by the fire, or sip some hot cocoa all while exploring your favorite zoo animals! The fun starts November 17 through December 31.
Holidays In Bloom
The San Antonio Botanical Garden invites guests to stroll through seasonal displays from November 23, 2018 until New Year’s Eve. The gardens transform into the perfect place for a family photo opp, thanks to holiday decor and gorgeous colors. The event is free with regular admission.
Have some football fans in the house? This year’s Alamo Bowl is taking place on December 28, 2018 at the Alamodome. Fan Zone fun starts at 2pm, with interactive games, face painting and great food and drink. Kickoff for the game, featuring the #1 teams from the Big 12 and the Pac-12 conferences, is at 8pm. Whichever team wins and loses, the Alamo Bowl is a great time.
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