San Antonio is best known for warm weather, top-notch universities, The Alamo, and historic Spanish colonial missions, but this historic gem is no grinch when it comes to holiday merrymaking. You won’t experience the traditional white Christmas with an average December temperature of 64 degrees, but a plethora of incredible holiday events make San Antonio a winter wonderland in its own special way.
San Antonio constantly has great events happening across the city, and the holiday season holds to that. Check out some local favorites below to plan your holiday itinerary and look forward to spending Christmas 2022 in the Alamo City.
San Antonio Holiday 2022 Events
Light the Way Festival (11/19/22, 3 PM to 9:30PM) – This holiday festival, hosted by the University of the Incarnate Word, is on its 36th annual iteration this year, and it’s still going strong. Light the Way has all the fun and charm of a traditional hometown Christmas jazzed up with San Antonio flare. You’ll experience live music, visits with Santa, kid’s crafts, Christmas shopping, decorations, and some of San Antonio’s most beloved food trucks. Get your camera ready because the magical evening ends with an impressive fireworks display.
Museum Reach River of Lights (12/3/22, 6 PM to 9 PM) – A focal point of Christmas in San Antonio is the city’s iconic riverwalk lights. The Museum Reach River of Lights & Nighttime Kayak event offers an epic light show, visits with Santa, cookie decorating, live music, and delicious food. For a truly unique experience, rave paddlers can set out for an enchanted night time kayak trip.
Christmas at the Caverns (12/3/22 and 12/4/22) – Natural Bridge Caverns is one of the region’s most unique natural attractions. Situated just outside the city, Natural Bridge Caverns is an incredible cave system that the public can visit to learn all sorts of geological and historical lessons. The highlight of the Natural Bridge Caverns’ one-of-a-kind Christmas celebration is the opportunity to hear all your most beloved Christmas songs performed by well-practiced carolers and the effects of the cavern’s natural acoustics. The music alone would be worth it, but there are also many other fun holiday activities in this breathtaking setting. Where else can you visit with a cave-dwelling Santa? The fun and festivity continues above ground with a maze, lighted trail, and giant Christmas tree.
Christmas with C.S. Lewis at the Tobin Center (12/8/22 through 12/11/22) – Christmas with C.S. Lewis is a dramatic portrayal of how C.S. Lewis (of Chronicles of Narnia fame) found the Christmas spirit after a meeting with a friend and fellow legendary author, J.R.R Tolkien. Theatergoers need not be big Lewis or Tolkien fans to enjoy this inspiring tale of friendship, faith, and the annual internal struggle to capture that nebulous Christmas magic. It’s a great show for literature enthusiasts, and anyone who likes holiday storytelling with “fireside” vibes.
Black History Holiday Lights River Boat Tour (12/10/22, 4:30 to 6:30 PM) – The San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum (SAAACAM) is taking us back to the San Antonio River Walk in mid-December for a thoughtful 100-minute riverboat journey. On this journey, you will learn about the legacy of African Americans in San Antonio. Larger groups (up to 30 people) can contact SAAACAM about private charters.
The B!ue Show Comedy Musical “A Holiday to Remember” (12/11/22 and 12/18/22) – For adults who like their holiday fun a little on the naughty side, the top-tier improv crew at ComedySportz San Antonio invites you to their holiday musical extravaganza. With two dates in 2022, you have no excuse not to go laugh and enjoy the naughty tunes. The B!ue Show refers to the comedic term “working blue,” meaning the language used on stage is not appropriate for a younger audience.
Other San Antonio Holiday Traditions
River Walk Christmas Lights – One of the nation’s most beloved and tasteful Christmas light displays follows the waterways in downtown San Antonio. San Antonio’s River Walk is a beautiful stroll any time of the year, but around the holidays, it transforms into something truly special, thanks to over 100,000 lights that remain on from dusk to dawn each night so you can take them in on your own schedule. The River Walk is lit up the day after Thanksgiving and sparkles into the first few nights of the new year. There is no cost to enjoy the lights any night of the week—although you’re sure to be drawn in by some of the great shopping and dining along the River Walk.
Christmas Tamales – Many regions and individual cities have their own special holiday food traditions, and San Antonio is no exception. The city leans into its deep Mexican heritage on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. You can expect to see lines out the door as San Antonians line up for tamales at local favorites like Tellez Tamales & Barbacoa or Delias.
Enchanted Springs Ranch Old West Christmas Light Fest – If you love the simple joy of taking a leisurely drive to take in Christmas lights, you’ll want to make it out to the Enchanted Springs Ranch, about 20 minutes outside of San Antonio. Open on select days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Old West Christmas Light Fest (formerly called the Don Strange Ranch Christmas Light Fest) is a two-mile drive-through experience with over 2 million lights. The halfway point has a “Santa’s Village” set up in a charming rustic barn for those who want to get out, stretch their legs, and replenish their hot cocoa.
San Antonio: An Unlikely Winter Wonderland
Hoping to spend every year in San Antonio for Christmas? Come visit the onsite model homes at VIDA – some homes will be ready for move-in before the end of the year. A short walk/bike ride to Texas A&M San Antonio and the new Madla Greenway trail, visit LiveVIDA.com to learn more about homes, townhomes, duplexes and apartments at VIDA.