Some of my fondest memories of the holiday season throughout the years include some kind of takeout (Taco Bell cinnamon churros when I was a child and the family was budgeting, and coffee and a sweet as my palette has refined), listening to the jazz station that plays Christmas music after Thanksgiving, and looking at holiday lights in San Antonio.
If you’re wondering where to find the best holiday lights San Antonio has to offer—look no further! Some of these recommendations are more time and date specific, but you do not want to miss the neighborhood-specific locations, as they are the wild cards of what you are going to see on your holiday light adventures.
Museum Reach Lock & Dam | 510 Brooklyn Ave. and 715 Camaron St.
Showing 6:00–9:30 p.m. daily through January 3, 2023.
A 30-foot-tall musical tree light show at the Museum Reach Lock & Dam will return this year. For more information about the Museum Reach River of Lights, follow the River Authority social media channels at @sanantonioriver and San Pedro Creek Culture Park at @sanpedrocreek.
Travis Park | 301 East Travis St. | 210.207.3677
Open daily through January 3, 2023.
Free admission! Winter wonderland kicks off at Travis Park on November 19 with ice skating hosted by the Rotary Club of San Antonio. Tickets are on sale now. The fun continues on November 26 at 6:00 p.m. with the lighting of the 50-foot tree gifted by H-E-B.
The River Walk
Open daily through January 3, 2023.
Free admission! Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the season on the River Walk where 100,000 lights shine. The official kick-off of the holiday season happens November 26 with the Ford Holiday River Parade. The fun does not stop there. Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias will be held on weekends from December 2–18, and Holiday Boat Caroling on December 1–23. Truly the center point of holiday lights in San Antonio.
Lightscape | San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston Place | 210.536.1400
Open November 11, 2022–January 8, 2023.
Prices vary, based on day of the week and date selected. Additional service fees apply.
A one-mile path winds through the Botanical Garden boasting a field of Texas bluebonnets and a show-stopping Cathedral of Light. Festive foods, s’mores, and drinks are available for purchase.
Zoo Lights | San Antonio Zoo, 3903 N. St. Mary’s Street | 210.734.7184
Open daily, November 19, 2022–January 1, 2023.
This is a family favorite because it allows you to view lights while also learning about nocturnal animals. It may not be hump day, but you can take a ride on a camel.
Light the Way | University of the Incarnate Word, 4301 Broadway
Join the UIW family for their 36th annual Light the Way holiday festival on Saturday, November 19, 2022. Drive through campus nightly starting November 20!
Shavano Park | Enter off of Northwest Military between Huebner and DeZavala
Dates vary. The best time frame is during the two weeks before December 25.
FREE! This is a residential neighborhood (and a personal fave) that does not have a set deadline or contest but has always put the best on display: a full-size ice rink, large animal silhouettes, and a Snoopy scene are some of the usual highlights.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas | 17000 IH-10 West
Open November 19–December 23, weekends and select dates.
Holiday In the Park and Taste of Holiday In the Park engage all of your senses under a sky of glittering lights. Park tickets start at $44.99.
Old West Christmas Light Fest | Enchanted Springs Ranch, 242 State Hwy 46 W, Boerne 78006 | 830.249.8222
Open November 24–December 24, 2022.
Admission is $20 per person, six years or older, with a discount for Military/First Responders.
Ticket includes onsite parking and event admission to Old West Christmas Light Fest for one night. “Travel back in time and enjoy a glimpse of Christmas inside an authentic western town with more than 40 buildings brought to life. Our rustic Old West town and beautiful scenery are the perfect backdrop for memory-making holiday fun!”
The South Pole SA | 5135 North Loop 1604 East San Antonio 78247
Open through January 8, 2023
Tickets and availability on Eventbrite. “A 1 mile holiday light drive thru in San Antonio! Located of 1604/Judson rd! light displays for the whole family to enjoy!”
Santa’s Ranch | 9561 I-35 North, New Braunfels, TX
Open November 11, 2022–January 1, 2023.
Tickets are $35 per vehicle or $70 for a season pass.
You cannot miss the 50-foot Christmas tree donning the access road of I-35, marking the entrance to this family-friendly drive-through experience.
The Light Park | Retama Park, 1 Retama Pkwy, Selma, TX | 830.310.3962
Open daily through January 1, 2023.
A drive-through “sights and sounds of the holiday season” experience. Ticket discounts are available when purchasing online, as well as a crowd calendar.
Windcrest Light Up | Windcrest City Hall, 8601 Midcrown Dr., Windcrest, TX
December 3–31, 2022
Join in the decades-old tradition of driving through the streets of Windcrest to see the neighborhood lights. This year’s theme is “Fiesta de Navidad.” Maps are available nightly at City Hall. Make sure to cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award through December 31.
Sights and Sounds of Christmas | 401 E Hopkins St., San Marcos, TX 78666
December 1–3 & 8–10, 2022
A family-friendly Christmas festival. Tickets are $5 per person over 13 years of age, and free for 12 and under. Purchase a six-day pass for only $15.
SeaWorld | 10500 SeaWorld Dr. | 210.520.4732
November 10, 2022–January 2, 2023
Tickets start at $45.99 during the Black Friday Sale.
Nine million twinkling lights fill the 250-acre park, with exciting pop-up shows and meet and greets (available for an extra fee).
Lights Alive! | 5931 Roft Rd.
Open November 18, 2022–January 1, 2023.
More than a drive-through light show now with their Winter Wonderland addition: An indoor/outdoor pavilion packed full of activities, food, entertainment, exhibits, and fun! As you conclude the drive-thru portion of the light show you have the option to park your car and experience all the park-and-play has to offer. Ticket pricing includes exploring Winter Wonderland and the drive-through lights.
Elf Acres | 1475 Grosenbacher Rd. | 210.643.8662
Open November 18, 2022–January 8, 2023.
Per-vehicle season passes are available for $70, and single-day passes start at $40 for peak days and $35 for non-peak days. “Get ready to experience the magic of the holiday season as you wind your way through our one-mile trail of lights and animated displays and sing along to your favorite Christmas music on our Elf Acres radio station!”
Winter Wonderland | Palo Alto College, 1400 W. Villaret Blvd.
Open daily, December 3–22, 2022.
The drive-through experience is a $15 per vehicle donation, and funds raised will go toward the PAC Foundation. Admission can be purchased upon arrival.
Kick-off event on Facebook Live December 2. Visitors will enjoy thousands of lights across a variety of magical light displays through the Palo Alto College campus. Enter from Villaret Blvd. The kick-off celebration and lighting will take place on Friday, December 2 at 5:00 p.m.
BONUS: OUTSIDE OF SAN ANTONIO
Austin Trail of Lights | Zilker Park: 2100 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, TX 78704
Open December 8–23, 2022. “Produced by the Trail of Lights Foundation, the annual event in Zilker Park celebrates the unique spirit and people of Austin. Visit with friends, families, and neighbors while enjoying more than 2 million lights, 70 displays, lighted tunnels, 90 lighted holiday trees, nightly entertainment, Austin’s famous food trucks, and magical holiday activities!” Ticket prices vary by date.
Peppermint Parkway | Circuit of the Americas, 9201 Circuit of The Americas Blvd., Austin 78617
Open November 25–December 30, 2022.
Experience a drive-through holiday spectacular with a mile of holiday displays, lights, dancing characters, and a plaza full of food, rides, activities, and more. Starting at $40 per vehicle.
Lights Spectacular | Johnson City, TX
Open November 25, 2022–January 8, 2023—6:00 p.m.–12:00 a.m.
The twinkliest town in the hill country celebrates the holidays! Check out the Lighted Hooves and Wheels Parade on November 26, or The Living Story of Christmas on December 2, 3, 9, and 10.
The Walkway of Lights | Lakeside Park, 305 Buena Vista Dr., Marble Falls 78654
Open November 18–December 31, 2022.
“Open nightly from 6:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. till December 31st, The Walkway of Lights displays 2 million lights in Lakeside Park and over 350+ lighted sculptures. It is FREE to the public and is entirely funded by donations.”
Cuero’s Christmas in the Park | Cuero Municipal Park, US Hwy 87 S, Cuero, TX
Open November 21–December 31, 2022.
Donning special events including Hot Chocolate Nights and a Live Nativity, Cuero is known for its “Hundreds of scenes, thousands of LEDs” mantra.
Comment below if you visit one of the holiday lights displays on our list, and let us know if we missed any of your holiday faves. Check out “Que Pasa San Antonio” for up-to-date events happening in and around San Antonio.