Embracing the Spirit of the Season: San Antonio Holiday Events on the Southside

As we rush through November and another holiday season fast approaches us, our beloved city of San Antonio once again comes alive with festive cheer, those vibrant San Antonio Christmas lights, and a sense of community-wide spirit that is truly unique to the heart of Texas. This year, immerse yourself and your family in the magic of the holidays by exploring the array of San Antonio holiday events in the area. With so many great events going on, there’s something to put a little jingle in anyone’s bells.

8th Annual Lights of Esperanza

In the past decade, one of the most anticipated annual events for residents on San Antonio’s Southside has become the breathtaking Lights of Esperanza event. Hosted at Texas A&M University-San Antonio and known for spilling cheer over into nearby communities like VIDA San Antonio, this annual celebration transforms the entire area into a veritable winter wonderland. Thousands of twinkling lights adorn the already beautiful San Antonio landscape, creating a magical atmosphere that exemplifies the spirit of the season.

Visitors can take a stroll through the free event filled with games, delicious food and magical light displays, even go sledding or participate in a snowball fight. The Lights of Esperanza is more than another “hometown holiday” event; it’s fast becoming a cherished local tradition that brings together families, friends, and neighbors in the heart of San Antonio’s Southside.

This year’s Lights of Esperanza took place on November 28 and the community lit up the night.

A family poses for a photo wearing VIDA t-shirts.

SeaWorld San Antonio Christmas Celebration

Open through January 2, 2024, one of San Antonio’s most well-known tourist destinations also throws a month-and-a-half-long holiday bash that’s not to be missed. If the Lights of Esperanza didn’t give you your fill of twinkling magic, note that SeaWorld San Antonio’s Christmas festivities include the largest light display in all of Texas, with over a million bulbs on the premises!

Competing Nutcrackers

For those who just don’t feel like it’s Christmas without taking in a performance of the Nutcracker, San Antonio in 2023 offers two quite different options. Both are very much worth your time.

First up is a traditional performance of The Nutcracker by the amazingly talented, world-renowned group over at Ballet San Antonio, which will run December 1st through 10th at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. Taking in The Nutcracker each year has become a beloved holiday tradition for many folks the world over, including right here in San Antonio.

Those looking for an alternative take on The Nutcracker are beckoned to the First Annual Nutcracker Spectacular at Peacock Alley, located at 100 Auditorium Circle, on December 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. There, you’ll find an innovative nutcracker art installation unlike any other, presented by the Network for Young Artists. In addition to immersing yourself in a one-of-a-kind nutcracker fantasy, you can sip hot chocolate and hear your favorite Christmas carols. The First Annual Nutcracker Spectacular is being put on as part of that weekend’s Holidays on Houston Street celebration, and–unlike ballet tickets–The Nutcracker Spectacular is totally free!

Creepmas Photos With Krampus Claws

The team over at Retro Fun Store & Museum on Hildebrand Ave. is here for all the alt-Christmas freaks who want to take things up a notch from the typical photo with Santa. On Saturdays and Sundays throughout November and December, you can get your picture taken with everyone’s favorite Bavarian Christmas devil, Krampus. While you’re there, take in the Haunted Dollhouse Museum for a discounted price of $3 per ticket and cook up your very own “Nightmare Before Christmas” type vibes.

Sips for the Season/Sippin’ Santa

Starting November 24 and running until December 31, Hugman’s Oasis at 155 East Commerce will host their fun pop-up Sippin’ Santa event. Make your reservations now and stop in to enjoy a festive ambiance, themed craft cocktails, and a magical, tropical-tinged Christmas.

Alternatively–if you prefer your Christmas cheer with a nice glass of red instead of an exotic cocktail–head to Sojourn Trading Company on West Houston Street from November 24 to December 2 for their “Sips for the Season” sale. Chat with staff to learn about some of the area’s best wines, as well as some great imports, and go home with a bottle of your favorite at half price!

Christmas at the Caverns

Another unquestionably iconic annual San Antonio area holiday event is held throughout December at the breathtaking Natural Bridge Caverns within the nearby Texas Hill Country. This is truly a holiday celebration unlike any other, where you can hear your favorite carols reverberating through a real underground cavern, then take it outside to marvel at the 30-foot tall Christmas tree or try your luck inside a holiday maze that covers over 5,000 square feet.

VIDA – Your Home for Holiday Fun

These are just a few of our favorite holiday activities happening around VIDA and the greater San Antonio area this year. There is so much more going on everywhere you look in our vibrant community, from community-wide Thanksgiving dinners to rocking New Year’s parties. For more can’t-miss info about living on San Antonio’s Southside, be sure to follow the VIDA Community News page year-round.


792 528 VIDA
Keep In Touch
Learn More About Living Here
Search for...
Our website uses cookies, mainly from 3rd party services. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.