Holiday Spirit

7 festive San Antonio events to get into the holiday spirit

7 festive San Antonio events to get into the holiday spirit

San Antonio River Walk Christmas Lights
Get into the holiday spirit in Alamo City.  San Antonio River Walk/Facebook

It may not necessarily feel like the end of year, even for San Antonio, but there’s no shortage of events designed to get locals and visitors into the holiday spirit.

Perhaps the biggest local holiday event is the Ford Holiday River Parade. The annual parade is set for 6 pm on November 25. It takes up more than 2 miles along the River Walk and involves a variety of floats. Admission is free to almost all parts of the River Walk, but reserved seating at the Arneson River Theatre is available. Several restaurants and hotels along the route offer dinner and viewing packages.  

This year’s grand marshal is Silver & Black Give Back, the nonprofit partner of the Spurs Sports & Entertainment group. The parade also kicks off the annual lighting of thousands of Christmas lights strung up and down the River Walk.

Can’t wait to get into the holiday spirit? There’s plenty to do.

Alamo Heights holiday parade
On November 19, Alamo Heights Chamber of Commerce holds its 39th holiday parade on Broadway, from Ogden Lane to Barilla Place. The parade includes entries from local businesses, schools, churches, and organizations. Anyone can attend the family-friendly post-parade party in the parking lot at Broadway and Grove Place.

Pro tip: Park safely in the Incarnate Word campus area and walk to the Alamo Heights parade, then Light the Way.

Light the Way
The University of the Incarnate Word hosts its annual Light the Way event. With the theme “A Cardinal Christmas,” the event — starting at 7:30 pm on November 19 on campus — will involve carolers, university spirit teams, and a performance from UIW alum Patsy Torres. 

It all culminates in the illumination of nearly 1 million lights strung across the campus. It’s tradition for people to walk, bike, or drive onto the campus and tour the lights, which stay up through early January. Admission is free for the kickoff event.

San Antonio Zoo
The San Antonio Zoo will have thousands of lights twinkling each night, beginning November 19. The colorful lights will be illuminated in intricate animal patterns and exotic designs.

Travis Park
Visit Travis Park for its annual Christmas light-up, beginning November 19. There will be caroling, refreshments, and more from 6-9 pm. Admission is free. 

Morgan's Wonderland
Morgan’s Wonderland hosts A Wonderland Christmas, starting November 25. It will boast lights, carolers, Santa Claus, and different shows each evening. 

Alamo Plaza tree lighting
Also on Nov. 25, H-E-B will sponsor its 32nd annual tree-lighting celebration in Alamo Plaza. The free, public event includes live entertainment, pet adoptions, holiday crafts, cookie-decorating stations, and storytelling from 3 to 6:30 pm.