San Antonio offers a great variety of family-friendly activities, and during the holidays it gets even better. Our favorite destinations get even prettier with all the Christmas lights and displays for us to enjoy. But the one thing I love the most is a gorgeous Christmas tree right there in the middle, standing tall and grand. It just transforms any lobby, any plaza, anywhere really, into a magical must-see holiday spot.
We’ll begin our tour on the northwest side of San Antonio.
SeaWorld is known for its amazing light display that covers almost every tree in the park during its Christmas Celebration. But, did you know that they have a Christmas tree made of cowboy boots? For the best experience, visit the park and stay till it’s dark. Enjoy holiday treats, shows, and much more!
Just across the street from SeaWorld, the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa is a great spot to visit during the holidays. Their lobby is not heavily decorated, but they do have a Christmas tree and a cozy fireplace. For $10 you can get s’mores with Santa and Mrs. Claus. For the full list of activities, visit their Instagram account (way easier than their website), @hyatthillcountry.
Let’s continue our tour up north toward 1604, taking a right to head east. We will stop at the charming City of Helotes, just in time for the annual Lighting of the Lights event. Visit on December 3 at 6:00 p.m. to see the city’s Christmas tree lit up! Stay and enjoy performances by the local elementary choirs and the Helotes Area Community Band.
Let’s head east toward 1604 and I-10 to the La Cantera Resort and Spa. This beautiful resort has its Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 2 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Enjoy live music, kids’ activities, and holiday treats. Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for children. Get your tickets here.
Just down the hill from the hotel, Fiesta Texas has been transformed into a winter wonderland for its annual “Holiday in the Park.” Every night their 60-foot tree is illuminated by Santa himself. The park’s rides have a holiday twist, and there are beautiful Christmas lights throughout. Don’t miss the Live Nativity Musical.
Many shops have beautiful holiday décor, but there is one shop at the RIM that stands out from the rest. And lucky for us, we just need to cross I-10 to get there.
If you have ever visited Bass Pro Shops, you know exactly what I mean. As you walk in you are greeted with a “real-antler” Christmas tree beside a very cozy fireplace. Then you have their famous “pictures with Santa set-up.” Even though I am not an outdoorsy person, I truly enjoy walking around this store. Hey! I might actually go camping this year, you never know…
To reserve a spot for your free Santa picture at Bass Pro Shop, click here.
For our next stop, we’ll travel northeast to visit an all-time favorite. Natural Bridge Caverns is a fun destination year-round, but starting December 4, you can experience “Christmas at the Caverns.” They have a beautiful 30-foot tree, a trail of Christmas Lights, and even Caroling in the Caverns. For the full list of activities and ticket information visit their website.
Before heading south, let’s stop at the JW Marriott. This is one of my favorite places to visit this time of year. Their gorgeous lobby is now glittering with Christmas lights. As you step outside onto their patio, you are transported into a holiday wonderland and you can see their giant Christmas tree in the backyard. Their annual “Light Up the Night” event has so many activities, including photos with Santa and live reindeer. In years past, it was open to visitors, but it is now only available for guests staying the night. Since it was such a memorable experience I am really tempted to plan a staycation.
For the last bit of our tour, we will head downtown, stopping at the University of the Incarnate Word on the way. Their light-covered trees are a holiday staple in our city, and strolling through the colorful twinkling lights always brings a smile to my face. You can take the tour in your car or walk around campus. Although these are not technically Christmas trees, it deserves a spot on our tour.
To see a real Christmas tree, head to the main plaza at The Pearl. They have a beautiful tree right there in the middle of the lawn, and you can enjoy a hot sip of something while your kids run around. The shops and restaurants are wrapped in Christmas decorations and lights. The Pearl is always a good idea, in my opinion, and the holiday season only makes it better.
Now that we’ve arrived downtown, we can visit Travis Park where a 50-foot Concolor Fir has made this spot its temporary home for the holidays. Located next to the Rotary Ice Rink, it is a perfect quintessential Christmas experience for your family to enjoy. Click here for tickets to the ice rink.
I wouldn’t be a good Christmas tree tour guide if I didn’t include the one standing gracefully at Alamo Plaza. Enjoy extended hours at the Alamo (until 7:00 p.m.) from now until January 3, 2022. We could end our tour here, but let’s make one last stop at the Menger Hotel located behind the Alamo. This historic hotel has a lovely decorated lobby and… you guessed it, a beautiful Christmas tree!
And that concludes our tour of San Antonio Christmas trees. I hope you have enjoyed our stops! Happy holidays, and may you encounter more Christmas trees for years to come!