The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Events in San Antonio

The holidays are quickly approaching, and ACMB has compiled all the holiday event info in one place for you. We’ll continue to add to this list as more events pop up, so be sure to check back throughout the holiday season. Our event guide includes holiday musical and theatrical performances, seasonal eats, Hanukkah events, live nativity scenes, downtown festivities, Hill Country happenings, a variety of presentations of The Nutcracker, and more. Plus, given that our winter weather is often pleasant, there are even a few outdoor movie screenings in December. You might want to bookmark this one!

Dates to remember: 
Thanksgiving is Thursday, November 23
Hanukkah is December 12–20
Christmas is Monday, December 25
Kwanzaa is December 26–January 1

Friday, November 24

H-E-B Christmas Tree Lighting, 3:00–7:00 P.M. at Travis Park—This holiday season, the H-E-B Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony moves to its new home at Travis Park. The celebration is combining with Centro San Antonio’s Annual Lighting of Travis Park with 250,000+ holiday lights on display. Festivities begin at 3:00 P.M. The tree-lighting ceremony will take place at 6:00 P.M. This year’s event will feature free photos with Santa, food trucks, local entertainment, free activities, and free festive treats! This event is bike friendly, ADA accessible, and in proximity to multiple VIA & VIVA bus routes/stops. FREE!

Ford Holiday River Parade, 6:00–9:00 P.M. at the San Antonio River Walk—Ring in the holidays with this iconic night parade filled with lights, costumed float riders, and music. Floats depict holiday movie classics for the theme, “Christmas at the Movies.” Christmas music performed at Arneson River Theatre (only for ticket holders in that area). Pre-parade carolers will also sing on four downtown bridges. River Walk Lighting Ceremony on the Arneson River Theatre stage at 7:00 P.M. Parade-goers’ seating at the beginning of the parade route will have the lights on while viewing the parade. Tickets: $15–25. [*Santikos Entertainment has sponsored FREE viewing areas. Simply bring your own chairs. This space is available on a first-come, space-available basis: the north side of the River Walk between Lexington Ave. and Richmond Ave. AND the south side of the River Walk between Richmond Ave. and Navarro St. AND the south side of the River Walk between Navarro St. and N. St. Mary’s St.]

November 24 & 25

Dickens on Main at the Hill Country Mile (Main Street, Boerne)—It’s a celebration full of children’s activities, live performances (including holiday favorite, Bah Humbug: A One Man Christmas Carol), horse-drawn carriages, food merchants, and more. Held every Thanksgiving weekend, Dickens on Main transforms Boerne’s historic Hill Country Mile into a vintage winter wonderland, complete with snow on Main Street, ice sculpture shows, a 60-foot snow slide, photos with Santa, and of course, holiday shopping at the Hill Country’s best shops and boutiques. Each evening is filled with music, food, and fun, and wraps up with an amazing live concert. Food is available for purchase, and some activities charge a separate fee. Admission is FREE!

November 24–26

Mercado de Paz/Peace Market at Esperanza Peace & Justice Center—The annual market brings people together in the tradition of open-air markets found in indigenous communities around the world. More than 100 international and local artists/artisans will offer visitors a variety of artful, beautifully handmade items including rugs, pottery, textiles, hand-embroidered clothing, paintings, sculptures, y más, filling the two-story building, the back patio, and spilling out into the street. The market will also offer live music from local performers and affordable and delicious food options for the weary shopper, from tamales to vegan menudo. Admission is FREE!

Saturday, November 25

Kids Workshop: Christmas Tree Ornament, 9:00 A.M.–12:00 P.M. at area Home Depot stores—A hands-on workshop where you and your child can create a holiday picture frame that doubles as a Christmas ornament. Perfect for gifting or adding to the family’s holiday decor. Once the picture frame is built, your child can decorate it with paint and holiday stickers. All attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All kids get to keep their craft and will receive a free certificate of achievement, a workshop apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last. FREE!

Community Messiah-Sing, 7:00–8:30 P.M. at Travis Park United Methodist Church—For one magical night, hundreds of singers from churches, schools, and the community will come together with the orchestra to perform the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah. The audience is the chorus. Bring your own score or rent one in the lobby that evening for $5. This year’s featured charity will be Child Advocates San Antonio (CASA). Tickets (available online and at the door): $15.

Photos with Darth Santa, Saturday, 10 A.M.–4 P.M. & Sunday 12–5 P.M. at Wonderland of the the Americas—In celebration of Black Friday weekend, Darth Vadar took a weekend off the death star to come play Santa for all fans out there. He invites you to visit the dark side and enjoy a cookie on him. 4X6 photos are $5.00, cash only.

Wednesday, November 29

The Hip Hop Nutcracker, 8:00 P.M. at Majestic Theatre—A contemporary re-imagination of Tchaikovsky’s timeless music, sets out on a third national tour following the success of two previous sold-out tours. The holiday mash-up for the entire family features MC Kurtis Blow. An evening-length production performed by a supercharged cast of a dozen all-star dancers, DJ and violinist. Through the spells cast by the mysterious Drosselmeyer, Maria-Clara and her Nutcracker prince travel back in time to the moment when her parents first meet in a nightclub. Digital scenery transforms E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story of sugarplums into 1980s Brooklyn. The Hip Hop Nutcracker celebrates love, community and the magic of New Year’s Eve. Tickets $39-59.

Thursday, November 30

Hands on Chanukah, 3:00–6:00 P.M. at Barshop Jewish Community Center—This annual family event will include crafts, activities, and snacks, such as latkes and applesauce, that will celebrate Chanukah. Friends from PJ Library will also be in attendance. While the event is free and open to the community, RSVPs are requested to ensure there are plenty of goodies and activities available for all in attendance. To RSVP and for more information, contact Rachel Rustin at (210) 302-6969. FREE!

Saturday, December 2

Kids Workshop: Gingerbread House, 9:00 A.M.–12:00 P.M. at area Home Depot Stores—Build holiday memories in a hands-on workshop where you and your child can put together a wooden gingerbread house that will last year after year. No frosting required! Once the gingerbread house is built, your child can decorate it with paint and stickers. All attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All kids get to keep their craft and will receive a free certificate of achievement, a workshop apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last. FREE!

Kwanzaa Market Festival, 11:00 A.M–5:00 P.M. at Beasley Brown Community Center—An opportunity for people of the African Diaspora to participate in group economics while building connections and community. It is an opportunity to sell and purchase culturally enriching products, handmade goods, items for Kwanzaa celebration, and African-inspired clothing and accessories. If you want to learn more about Kwanzaa—the history and how it is celebrated—then you don’t want to miss this year’s event. FREE!

River of Lights, 4:00–8:00 P.M. at San Antonio Museum of Art—The San Antonio River Authority will throw the switch on the holiday lighting of the Museum Reach. Enjoy live jazz music from the passing river barges plus Santa’s Wonderland and art activities on Brooklyn Avenue near the lock and dam. Bonus: The Museum will be open with free general admission from 4:00–8:00 P.M. FREE!

December 2 & 3

Drive-Thru Nativity at Concordia Lutheran Church—This annual event brings the story of Christmas within reach of each vehicle that comes through, starting from Christmas today, all the way back to the birth of Jesus, and the travels of the wise men. Ten beautifully decorated stations complete with more than 60 actors, angelic choirs, and live animals bring the story to life. FREE!

Sunday, December 3

Family Day: See + Do Celebrations and Inspirations, 1:00–4:00 P.M. at San Antonio Museum of Art—Explore holiday traditions from around the world through art! Craft ornaments, wrapping paper, and pop-up holiday cards inspired by celebrations represented in the museum’s collections. Free with museum admission (children 12 and under are free). FREE admission for all SAISD students and their families. [Pro tip: Enter the museum 10:00 A.M. to noon on Sundays and everyone gets in FREE!]

Holiday Laser Show, 4:00–6:00 P.M. at Lila Cockrell Theatre—URBAN-15’s 14th annual multimedia spectacular of choreographed laser beams, colorful 3-D animation and light effects performed to traditional holiday favorites and experimental electronic composition. For the first time ever, URBAN-15 presents a free matinee performance to the general public. The first half of the show will be holiday-themed and family-oriented, while the second half is for true laser show aficionados, featuring more abstract visual and sonic expressions and a saxophone performance by Tim Walsh. The Holiday Laser Show is a collaborative production of laser artist Tim Walsh and composer George Cisneros, who have worked together on projects in cities all around the United States. FREE!

Peace for All, 7:00 P.M. at Tobin Center for the Performing Arts—The Children’s Chorus of San Antonio offers a gift of peace for all this holiday season! From the tundra of Norway and the bells of the Ukraine to the peaceful silence of a winter night, join all CCSA choirs for a celebration you can take with you into the New Year. Tickets: $8–28.

Tuesday, December 5

Sweets & Stories with Santa, 5:00–7:00 P.M. at The Witte Museum—Join Alamo City Moms Blog for a South Texas Holiday event! Santa will visit for pictures and to read a children’s story. Magik Theater has a special holiday performance planned. You’ll also get a chance to meet some of ACMB’s favorite partners while playing games, doing crafts, and enjoying some sweet treats. Food trucks will be on site if you want to grab some dinner while you’re there. Tickets are $10–15 and will go on sale Thursday, November 16 at 8:00 P.M.

Thursday, December 7

Rabbi Abraham’s Hanukkah Storytime, 4:30–5:30 P.M. at Barnes & Noble La Cantera—All are welcome! Join Rabbi Abraham for his holiday storytelling series. Get ready for Hanukkah and learn more about the holiday through stories and songs, play dreidel games, eat gelt, color special Hanukkah sesame sheets and more. After storytime, stick around and enjoy a no host dinner at Grimaldi’s a few stores down at 5:30 P.M. FREE!

Friday, December 8

H-E-B Cinema on the Plaza: The Polar Express, 8:00–10:00 P.M. at Tobin Center for the Performing Arts—Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest GumpCast Away) reunite for The Polar Express, an inspiring adventure based on the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy the movie on the 32-foot LED screen. No outside food or drinks allowed. Full bar and concessions available for purchase. No pets allowed on the plaza, please. FREE!

December 8 & 9

Cirque Dream Holidaze at Tobin Center for the Performing Arts—Be amazed by this holiday spectacle with more than 300 costumes, 20 acts, and 30 artists from every corner of the globe. Many of these acts have been featured on America’s Got Talent and similar TV shows in other countries. Witness snowmen, penguins, angels, reindeer, toy soldiers, gingerbread men, ornaments, and of course Santa; with soaring acrobatics, gravity-defying feats, elaborate production numbers, imaginative costumes, illusions, and more. The show also celebrates the most wonderful time of the year with singers, original music, and seasonal favorites all performed in a winter wonderland of amazement. Tickets: $38.50–89.50.

Saturday, December 9

Christmas at the Herff Farm, 10:00 A.M.–2:00 P.M. at Herff-Rozelle Farm (Boerne)—Shop the holiday farmers market, stroll the grounds of the farm & get professional photos with Santa for $20 per family by Allison Russell Photography. FREE!

Blessing of the Animals, 12:00–6:00 P.M. at Historic Market Square—Bring your pets to Historic Market Square for a special blessing and procession. Animal parade at 1 P.M. (begins at Ooutdoor stage) and group blessing at 1:30 P.M. Petting zoo from 12 to 3 P.M. Plenty of food booths, live music, original art work, and handmade crafts. *All pets must be leashed and controlled. FREE!

¡Feliz Tamalidad!, 12:00–6:00 P.M. at Hangar 9, Brooks Air Force Base—Celebrate a San Antonio tradition by bringing together live music, tamales, and family fun. Music by Grammy winners Max Baca y Los Texmaniacs, Bombasta and James Keith and the MoonDogs. All proceeds from the holiday event benefit Southside First and Brooks Community Foundation, Inc.

Movies in the Park: How The Grinch Stole Christmas, 5:00–10:00 P.M. at Pickrell Park (Schertz)—Feature film will begin at sundown. The Grinch himself will be making an appearance. Come dressed in your best Cindi Lou or Whoville hairdo! Grinch-themed arts and crafts activities will be included. Popcorn and drinks will be available for purchase. For more information, contact the Schertz Parks and Recreation Department at (210) 619-1850. FREE!

A Rhythmic Christmas!, 6:00–7:30 P.M. at Carver Community Cultural Center—River City Ringers performs a free holiday event for the whole family featuring pieces full of energy and vitality, from asymmetrical rhythms to Christmas swing favorites. The full handbell choir will perform traditional and contemporary holiday favorites, like It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year and God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen. After the show, guests can talk to the musicians and experiment with the instruments. FREE!

Sunday, December 10

La Gran Tamalada, 11:00 A.M.–3:00 P.M. at Historic Market Square—A cultural culinary experience presented by La Familia Cortez of Mi Tierra and Pico de Gallo restaurants. Bring the whole family to learn about the festive tradition of tamales. FREE!

Sunday Masa, a Holiday Tamales Extravaganza, 11:00 A.M.–6:00 P.M. at Alamo Beer—Family friendly (& pup friendly) event that includes build-your-own gingerbread house and cookie decorating corner.   Eat from several local San Antonio tamales vendors. All individual tamales for $1-$3, plus purchase your holiday tamales in bulk from your favorite vendors. Stop by “Made in SA Holiday Market” to shop for holiday gifts from local vendors. Enjoy fresh sweet bread at Pan Dulce Pavilion from local bakeries & sweets purveyors. 20% of profits will go towards the Elf Louise Christmas Project to bring presents to more kids this year. FREE!

Hands On Hanukkah, 12:00–2:00 P.M. at Whole Foods Market (Vineyards)—All are welcome. Bring the kids (of all ages, birth through 7th grade) for a Hanukkah kickoff sure to melt your menorah! Take your picture with Danny the Dreidel and try your hand at lots of different Hanukkah crafts for all ages. Complimentary latkes from Whole Foods made fresh by the gourmet Whole Foods chefs. Hosted by Heintz Preschool at Congregation Agudas Achim in San Antonio and Congregation Agudas Achim SA. FREE!

Winter Celebrations Around the World, 12:00–4:00 P.M. at Institute of Texas Cultures—International students participating in the AYUSA Global Exchange program will have displays depicting major holidays in their home countries. Dressed in their native attire, they will be available to discuss holiday traditions and other aspects of life at home and their experiences in the U.S. Our Lady of Guadalupe Church will perform a traditional pastorela play, a morality tale about shepherds going to visit the Holy Family in Bethlehem and the snares the Devil uses in attempts to dissuade them. The San Antonio Children’s Ballet will have two performances, with suites from their recent rendition of The Nutcracker. The San Antonio Food Bank will be accepting non-perishable food items to assist in this increased time of need. Additionally, the first 100 guests will receive cookbooks from the San Antonio Foodbank. The institute will also accept new, unused blankets for Communities in Schools SA. FREE!

Conspirare Christmas 2017, 7:30 P.M. at Tobin Center for the Performing Arts—Grammy award-winning Conspirare delivers world-class vocal artistry in this celebration of love, connection, and renewal. This unique programming breaks down the conventional boundaries of pop, classical, folk, and seasonal favorites, revealing the music’s essence and embracing our shared humanity. This year’s special guest artist, Carrie Rodriguez, is a singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas, who finds beauty in the cross-pollination of diverse traditions and melds fiery fiddle playing, electrifying vocals, and a fresh interpretation of new and classic songs with an “Ameri-Chicana” attitude. Tickets: $20–75.

Tuesday, December 12

Free Outdoor Movie: Elf, 5:00–9:00 P.M. at Travis Park—Activities will be available 5:00–7:00 P.M. followed by the film screening, beginning at 7:00 P.M. Sponsored by CENTRO and the City of San Antonio. FREE!

December 14 & 15

The Nutcracker, 7:00 P.M. at the Carver Community Cultural Center—Presented by San Antonio Youth Ballet. Be prepared to be swept off your feet with original choreography set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless holiday classic score. Treat your date or bring friends and family to the historic Carver Community Cultural Center’s Jo Long Theatre. Tickets: $20.

December 15 & 16

La Pastorela Folklorica, 6:00 P.M. at Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center—A fun representation of the traditional Shepherds play with a folklorico and flamenco flair. Written by Hiedi Cabral, this version highlights the Guadalupe Dance Academy performing beautiful traditional Mexican Folklorico and Flamenco music and dance throughout the evening. Under the influence of Lucifer, more experienced Academy performers do their best to distract the shepherds from their mission of welcoming the newborn king. Tickets: $10.

Fiesta Navidad, 7:30 P.M. at Lila Cockrell Theatre—Bring the family and celebrate the holidays with a performance by Mariachi Divas and Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Carlos Moreno from California. Both ensembles bring colorful holiday magic to inspire generations with their rich heritage. The two-time Grammy award-winning Mariachi Divas continue to lead the way in the Mariachi genre. Drawing on the artistic variety of Mexico’s different regions, Ballet Folklorico Mexicano has a dance repertory of more than 100 pieces. Tickets: $29–99.

December 15–17

Holiday Pops at Tobin Center for the Performing Arts—Ring in the holidays at the Tobin Center with Conductor Akiko Fujimoto, the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio, the Trinity University Handbell Ensemble, and your San Antonio Symphony in a magical celebration of the season! Join us for an audience sing-along and a program featuring both traditional and popular music to get you in the holiday spirit! Tickets: $25–96 (discounts available for groups of 10 or more).

December 16

Gingerbread House Workshop, 9:00 A.M.–12:00 P.M. at International Folk Culture Center (Our Lady of the Lake University)—Celebrate a favorite holiday tradition by creating your own gingerbread house. The walls, roof and mortar (royal icing) will be provided and you bring whatever kinds of candy you’d like to decorate it! Also, please bring a tray or cakeboard or cutting board on which to build your house. Leave the mess here and go home with a treasured centerpiece/decoration! Online sales will end a week before the workshop on December 9 (to know how many house pieces to bake). If you want to order more after December 9 or for more info, please email Lissa at [email protected] Each house is $10.

Kids Tamalada, 10:00–11:30 A.M. at Pico de Gallo—Chef Carino Cortez will teach children the culinary cultural tradition of tamal-making just in time for the holidays. This class is recommended for children ages 5 and older. Parents can enjoy breakfast at Pico de Gallo while children learn to make yummy tamales. Class includes: storybook reading, tamal lesson, tamales and hot chocolate to eat during class, and tamales to take home. Space is limited. Registration is $29.

Tubameister Christmas, 12:00–1:00 P.M. at Arneson River Theatre—All tuba, euphonium, and baritone horn players are invited to participate in the 39th annual event in downtown San Antonio. FREE!

December 16 & 17

The Nutcracker at McAllister Auditorium, San Antonio College—The Alamo City Dance Company’s production, now in its 25th year and the longest-running Nutcracker in San Antonio, boasts approximately 100 dancers in 160 roles danced by San Antonians with the exception of the guest artists. The 2017 production features guest artists M.L Moscato, Micheal Landez, and Cody Miley. The Nutcracker is a holiday classic of a young girl named Clara who is given a nutcracker and later that evening dreams of encounters with mice and soldiers in a battle. Her nutcracker turns into a prince to save the day, but it is ultimately she who saves him instead. He thanks her with a fantastic journey through the Kingdom of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets. Tickets: $25.

Sunday, December 17

Chanukah on the River, 4:00–6:30 P.M. at Arneson River Theatre—A Chanukah cruise experience. Boat ride departs from Arneson River Theater and includes surprise performers, live music, interactive entertainment, donuts, and prizes. Moshav band concert and menorah lighting, 4:30–5:45 P.M. Presented by Chabad Center for Jewish Life & Learning in cooperation with community synagogues & Jewish organizations. For more info and reservations, visit or call Chabad at (210) 764-0300. Tickets: $6.

Monday, December 18

Donuts and Dreidels, 4:30–6:00 Shipley Donuts (Bitters & Blanco)—All are welcome. Join Agudas Achim for the 7th Night of Hanukkah for sweet sufganiyot fun! Bring your own Hanukkah Menorah to light. We will eat donuts (you get to pick any flavor from the store!), play dreidel, and light the Hanukkah Menorah’s together. FREE!

December 21–23

The Nutcracker at Lila Cockrell Theatre—Performed by Mejia Ballet International (Fort Worth) & San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet. Set to Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, The Nutcracker is, by far, the most widely attended ballet in America. The first American production of the ballet was staged in 1944 by the San Francisco Ballet. Ten years later, the late choreographer George Balanchine introduced his famous production of The Nutcracker at the New York City Ballet, a staging largely responsible for the ballet becoming part of the Christmas tradition in the United States. Tickets: $29–99.

December 22 & 23

Disney in Concert: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, Friday at 7:30 P.M., Saturday at 2:00 P.M., and 7:30 Majestic Theatre—One of Tim Burton’s most celebrated films, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas will be projected on the big screen with dialog and effects accompanied by Danny Elfman’s enigmatic score played live by your San Antonio Symphony. Tickets: $25–65.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical, 2:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M. at Tobin Center for the Performing Arts—The beloved TV classic soars off the screen and onto the stage. Come see all of your favorite characters, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius, and of course, Rudolph, as they come to life. It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special. Don’t miss this wonderful holiday tradition that speaks to the misfit in all of us. Stage production directed and conceived by Jeff Frank and First Stage. Script adaptation by Robert Penola. Arrangements and orchestrations by Timothy Splain. Special sensory-friendly performance on December 23 at 11:00 A.M. Tickets: $23.50–55.00 (discount available with purchase of four tickets).

December 26 & 27

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker, 3:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M. at Majestic Theatre— Marking the 25thAnniversary Tour, the performance features over-the-top production and world class Russian artists. Larger-than-life puppets, nesting dolls, and gloriously hand-crafted costumes bring the Christmas spirit to life. Tickets: $52.25–126.25.

December 27 & 28

Family Film Fest: Holiday Double Feature: The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1:00 P.M. at McNay Art Museum—Stay warm with two chances to enjoy the classic film the week after the holidays. Learn about stop-motion animation on a tour of the exhibition Behind the Screen: Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas (USA, 1993, English, 76 minutes, PG) and enjoy popcorn and hot cocoa as you visit Christmas Town. Free with museum admission. 

Saturday, December 30

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, 3:30 P.M. & 8:00 P.M. at Majestic Theatre—Grammy award-winner Chip Davis has created a show that features Mannheim Steamroller Christmas classics along with a selection of compositions from his groundbreaking Fresh Aire series, which introduced the distinctive Mannheim sound to all of America. Experience the magic as the spirit of the season comes alive with the signature sound. Their holiday CDs have become synonymous with Christmas and continue to occupy top spots on Billboard’s Seasonal Charts every year. Tickets: $45–75.

A Very Electric Christmas, 2:00 P.M. at Tobin Center for the Performing Arts—Since bursting to national acclaim after appearing as semi-finalists on America’s Got Talent and winning the top honors on TRU TV’s Fake Off, Lightwire Theater has gone on to enthrall audiences worldwide with their unique combination of skill and grace as told through the technological innovations of moving light characters. People of all ages will be captivated by the dazzling visuals and unique menagerie of characters that magically appear out of the darkness. Combining the arts of puppetry, theater, and dance with the music of timeless holiday hits, this magical and captivating tale of family, friendship, and hope creates a truly one-of-a-kind, inspired, and exhilarating holiday experience that will be a treasured memory for years to come. Tickets: $32.50–100.

November 21–December 30

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at Magik Theatre—All ages family fun; ideal for ages 5–10. Laughs abound in this bestselling Christmas classic based on the book by Barbara Robinson. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever follows the outrageous shenanigans of the Herdman siblings, or “the worst kids in the history of the world.” The siblings take over the annual Christmas pageant in a hilarious yet heartwarming tale involving the three wise men, a ham, scared shepherds, and six rowdy kids. Tickets: $12–13.50.

November 24–December 3

The Nutcracker at Tobin Center for the Performing Arts—Presented by Ballet San Antonio. Young Clara’s mischievous uncle, Herr Drosselmeyer, concocts a fantasy world for Clara, replete with growing Christmas tree and a nutcracker doll that comes to life and battles a Mouse King. The defeat of the Mouse King brings a fantastic sleigh ride through falling snow and dancing snowflakes. Clara’s visit to the Land of Sweets is a showcase of dancing treats presented by the Sugar Plum Fairy herself. Live music provided by San Antonio Symphony. Sensory friendly performance on December 1 at 10 A.M. Tickets: $35–114 (discount available with purchase of family four-pack).

The Nutcracker Ballet Tea Party on December 3, 4:30 P.M. Enjoy a special performance, photo opportunities with the BSA Dancers, a high tea service of sandwiches, hot tea, coffee, and sweet treats, and The Nutcracker market. Tickets are $60 for adults, $45 for children. [A ticket to the Nutcracker Tea does not include admission to the Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker.]

November 24–December 10

Las Nuevas Tamaleras at Thiry Auditorium, Our Lady of the Lake University—The popular holiday comedy hit, written by Latina playwright Alicia Mena, is considered as much a Christmas tradition as The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, and It’s a Wonderful Life in San Antonio, with people eagerly awaiting its return year after year. It has become a genuine part of the holidays along with the annual tamalada. The play captures three Latinas in an uproariously comical attempt at making tamales for the first time. Things become even more entertaining when the spirits of two seasoned tamaleras appear to help the novices make the perfect tamal. Tickets: $20–25.

December 1–22

Ford Holiday Boat Caroling at San Antonio River Walk—The public is welcome to enjoy the caroling for free from the banks of the River or while seated outdoors on a patio. *To book a private one-hour caroling boat for your friends, family, or group, simply click on the link below ($125 for Tuesday–Thursday, and $150 for Friday–Sunday). Boats are decorated with lights and holiday bling and include a driver, an iPod loaded with popular Christmas music, and binders with music lyrics. Each boat can accommodate a maximum of 15 adults or 20 youth. Caroling boats book quickly—don’t delay in booking yours! Other types of festive holiday music, such as mariachis, bell-ringers, and bands, are also welcome to book boats. FREE!

December 9 & 10, 16 & 17, and 23

Santa’s Railroad Wonderland at Texas Transportation Museum—An extravaganza of Christmas activities including night time train rides. Just about every part of the forty acre site is decorated, from the historic depot, the trains, the garden railroad, the three other scale model railroad layouts and everything else in between. Bring your camera and make your own Christmas memories. Admission is $10 for children (4-12), $12 for adults, children under 4 are free.

December 21–30

A Charlie Brown Christmas at Empire Theatre—The Magik Theatre returns with its 3rd annual production. The classic animated television special comes to life in this faithful stage adaptation, in which Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts Gang discover the true meaning of Christmas. When Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism he sees among everyone during the Christmas season, Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant. Charlie Brown accepts, but this proves to be a frustrating endeavor. When an attempt to restore the proper holiday spirit with a forlorn little Christmas fir tree fails, he needs Linus’s help to discover the real meaning of Christmas. Tickets: $25–35.

Heather was born and raised in San Antonio and became a mom in 2013 and again in 2018. She never imagined she'd be raising two sons but is grateful for the opportunity! Heather enjoys the outdoors and even mowing her own lawn. She and her husband Santiago look forward to raising two feminist boys who will hopefully be better at Spanish than she is. Her professional experience since graduating from Tufts University with a degree in Art History includes working for a variety of arts and cultural nonprofit organizations, from grassroots to governmental. She spent a few years as a stay at home parent and is easing her way back into the workforce. Her dream job would be to work for Sesame Workshop, or President of the United States. In the meantime, Heather enjoys filling her family's weekends with the diversity San Antonio has to offer. Favorite Restaurant: La Tuna Favorite Landmark: Hemisfair Favorite San Antonio Tradition: Breakfast tacos