10 festive holiday happenings outside the San Antonio city limits
Visiting the San Antonio area this holiday season, but want to see more than the River Walk lights? Or the Travis Park Christmas tree and the surrounding holiday wonderland?
Several suburbs and towns surrounding the Alamo City have their own Christmas events. Some are a few years old, others date back decades, but each offers a taste of the community's holiday spirit. Check out 10 holiday happenings outside the San Antonio city limits.
Boerne: Old West Christmas Light Fest — Now through December 24
Enchanted Springs Ranch in Boerne is the place to be as the ranch is transformed into an Old West town. Guests may come during most any evening now through December 24 and get into the holiday spirit, aided by millions of twinkling Christmas lights, live music, and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. There's even a chance to see Santa’s herd of ... longhorns. Organizers said this year’s additions included extended Saturday hours, an interactive petting zoo, an inflatable jumping pad for children, and more illuminated tunnels through which to walk. Prices start at $20 for general admission before discounts.
Selma: The Light Park — Now through January 1
Drive out to Selma’s Retama Park and ride around pathways, figures and structures lined with millions of Christmas lights, while enjoying festive holiday music. The Light Park has food and drinks, and is pet friendly. Prices start at $39 per car. Visit from 5:30-10 pm from Monday to Thursday; 5:30-11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Seguin: Lighted Holiday Parade — December 1
Seguin’s annual Christmas parade features more than 70 entries around the city’s historic downtown. The parade starts at the intersection of Austin and College streets at 6:30 pm, and ends at Central Park, where the mayor will flip the switch and turn on the Christmas lights hung around downtown. Attendees may also get a photo with Santa Claus. Admission is free. Stick around for other holiday events in Seguin from December 2-4.
Hondo: A Night in Bethlehem — December 2 and 3
First Baptist Church of Hondo organizes a drive-through live nativity scene outside the church, with a 120-person cast and crew. The "story of Jesus Christ’s life" will be told with live animals and historically accurate costumes. The drive-through starts at 6 pm on both days at 2400 Avenue P. The event is free, and donations are appreciated.
Castroville: Old-Fashioned Christmas Celebration and Market — December 2 and 3
Medina County’s biggest arts and craft show features artisan vendors from around South Texas, gathered in Houston Square from 6-10 pm on December 2, and 9 am to 4 pm on December 3. It offers a variety of handmade crafts, gift items, home decorations, candles, jewelry, and more. There will also be children’s activities, a visit with Santa Claus, and other entertainment. Admission is free.
Schertz: Holidazzle — December 3
Holidazzle is Schertz’s annual day and evening of Christmas celebrations, starting with a breakfast with Santa, followed by the Kris Kringle Market featuring handmade crafts, specialty foods, and more. Then, the Holiday Hoopla offers snow, a temporary ice skating rink, entertainment, and a chance for fireside roasting and toasting of food for all ages. The Festival of Angels Parade, held at night, concludes the event as local schools, clubs, and merchants travel Schertz’s main roads between Pickerel Park and Community Circle Drive. All festivities take place between 8 am and 8 pm.
Windcrest: Light-Up — December 3
Windcrest’s annual holiday event is one of the more renowned activities of its kind in the San Antonio area. Dozens of households decorate their front windows, doors, porches, and lawns in fantastical ways with lights and elaborate designs according to each year’s theme; this year’s theme is Fiesta de Navidad. Members of the public are invited to use a map from the city showing them participating decorated homes and businesses to judge the best decorations. The December 3 kickoff ceremony includes entertainment, a market, and a visit from Santa. Anyone can drive through Windcrest and check out decorated, illuminate homes nightly through December 31, starting at 6 pm.
New Braunfels: Old Town Christmas Market — December 8
The New Braunfels Conservation Society puts on a market fundraiser at Conservation Plaza, filled with gift baskets, refreshments, and unique, handmade crafts and other products. The one-day event runs from 2-8 pm. Admission is free.
Helotes: Hill Country Christmas Parade — December 10
The Hill Country Christmas Parade includes many local individuals, businesses, schools, churches, and civic groups marching or traveling through “old town Helotes.” The procession starts at 13715 Riggs Road near Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church at 7:30 pm; it ends at First Baptist Church of Helotes. Admission is free.
Bandera: Sunday Funday Christmas Ride — December 18
Head out to Bandera in the Texas Hill Country, mount a rescued horse (or "mule/donkey/zebra/camel," according to the cheeky event description) and enjoy a Sunday Funday Christmas Ride by Major Hope Corral. Visitors may see Bandera’s historic downtown, hit the trails going through the city park and past Medina River, go to the Cowboy Bar, and return to the ranch; there they can gather around campfire with chili and mulled wine. The ride starts at 11 am at the corral and concludes at 4 pm.