10 Musts for Holiday Fun in San Antonio

Looking for something new to do this holiday season? Start a new tradition with these San Antonio holiday events. From lasers to tamales, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, so add a new holiday tradition with these 10 musts for holiday fun in San Antonio.

trees and holiday lights in San Antonio
There’s nothing prettier than San Antonio in holiday lights. Photo credit: Dawn Robinette

River Walk Holiday Lights

lights in trees over the San Antonio River Walk
The magic of the River Walk lights. Photo credit: San Antonio River Walk Association

This year’s fantastic display glows nightly through Jan. 10. If it’s not part of your holiday tradition, make it a must this year. Walk any portion of the River Walk and snap fantastic pictures with lights hanging from the trees. If you want to ride through the lights, GO EARLY, or on a weeknight, and be prepared to wait to hop on a Go Rio river cruise. Insider tip: skip the wait and reserve a narrated cruise, take a downtown cruise, or even cruise the lights of the Museum Reach.

A Wonderland Christmas

During the holiday season, Morgan’s Wonderland transforms into a winter wonderland with holiday shows, Christmas light displays, pictures with Santa, simulated ice skating, an exotic petting zoo, and more. Guests can enjoy hot cocoa and warm cookies as they explore the park and enjoy their favorite rides and attractions.

Christmas at the Caverns

Holiday fun, including storytime with Santa, s’mores by the campfire, caroling in the caverns, a maze hunt for reindeer, and more at Natural Bridge Caverns on select dates during December. A portion of ticket sales benefits the San Antonio Food Bank.

The Children’s Nutcracker

ballet dancers in white tutus on a stageSee the beloved holiday classic presented by the Children’s Ballet of San Antonio at the Lila Cockrell Theater, enjoy holiday goodies, shop a holiday market, and get contactless photos with Santa, Dec. 10 & 11 at 7:00 p.m.; Dec. 11 at 2:00 p.m.

La Gran Tamalada

Christmas is not Christmas in San Antonio without tamales. Enjoy all things tamales at Market Square Dec. 11 & 12 with presentations on the history of tamales and how-to demonstrations, plus live music, kids’ activities, and a visit from Pancho Claus.


lights on the lawn at the San Antonio Botanical GardenLights, lasers, and flames are bringing a new glow to the San Antonio Botanical Garden this season. Through Jan. 2, enjoy a mile-long illuminated trail through the garden that includes 100,000 lights in a cathedral, a field of bluebonnets, lasers sparkling across the pond, and yes, a Fire Garden.

Rotary Ice Rink at Travis Park

Ice skating in San Antonio? Yes! Head downtown to enjoy the official San Antonio Christmas tree in Travis Park and stay for ice skating at the Rotary Ice Rink.


a young boy in an art display that looks like snow

An art-full wonderland, Hopscotch is a great afternoon or evening of fun just off of Travis Park downtown. It’s good for family fun or a date night/girls’ night, and it’s not like anything you’ll find anywhere else. They add festive holiday decorations to the lobby, too.

Holiday Bricktacular at LEGOLAND Discovery Center

a display of legos that look like the Alamo
A snow-covered LEGO Alamo

Build a great holiday adventure at LEGOLAND Discovery Center, where you’ll see San Antonio covered in snow, a life-sized LEGO holiday tree, and enjoy seasonal build activities and holiday décor. You can even meet LEGO Santa on select days, adding even more fun to a LEGOLAND visit.

Johnson City Lights Spectacular

a mother and son under trees wrapped in white holiday lights
Under the lights in Johnson City. Photo credit: Dawn Robinette

Outside of San Antonio but totally worth the drive, Johnson City goes all-out with lights, decorating most every building, park, home, and tree in Blanco County. The collection of light displays is called the “Johnson City Lights Spectacular” and is free. Don’t miss the Pedernales Co-Op Headquarters (201 S. Avenue F) where 1.3 million lights adorn the trees and building that make up the headquarters for the area’s electric provider. And check out Johnson City Memorial Park (located at the corner of US 290 and Avenue G in Johnson City), with multitudes of festive lights that greet visitors as they arrive in Johnson City. Another spot: Blanco County Courthouse (300 Main Street, Blanco), carefully draped in hundreds of thousands of lights while holiday music is piped in, for a full holiday experience. You can park and get out of your car at all of the stops.


Enjoy the lights on the Museum Reach, starting at The Pearl. The trees and light displays at the Pearl are absolutely IG-worthy!

trees in white lights reflecting in a lake
The trees on the Museum Reach at the Pearl. Photo credit: Dawn Robinette


An Army brat who came to Texas for college and ultimately managed to make the Lone Star State her permanent home, Dawn became a mom “AMA” (advanced maternal age), giving her the opportunity to use a stroller vs. a walker as she navigates the world of motherhood. Her growing up way too fast native Texan loves all things Star Wars, Legos, dinosaurs and keeping his parents on their toes. When she’s not busy parenting the original strong-willed child, Dawn runs Tale to Tell Communications, a San Antonio-based PR and marketing agency. An award-winning writer, Dawn also contributes to San Antonio Woman, Rio Magazine and Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She and her family enjoy exploring all that San Antonio has to offer, going on adventures and playing tourist together as much as possible. Favorite Restaurant: Clementine Favorite Landmark: The beauty of the River Walk, especially La Villita Favorite San Antonio Tradition: Celebrating anything and everything with color, music and food