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Photo courtesy of Holiday Dreams

The festive holiday weekend promises a ballet performance, a holiday parade, and more in the spirit of the season. Be amazed by spectacular stunts at Holiday Cirque or enjoy the lighting of the River Walk during the Ford Holiday River Parade. Check out the top five things to do in San Antonio on Thanksgiving weekend. For a full listing of events, go to our calendar.

Photo courtesy of Holiday Dreams

Holiday Dreams: A Spectacular Holiday Cirque comes to Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.

Friday, November 25

AT&T Center presents Royal Comedy
Comedic legends join forces at the Freeman Coliseum for an evening of side-splitting humor at the AT&T Center. This special night will feature a packed setlist of stand-up performances by Bruce Bruce, Don Dc Curry, Tony Rock, and others. For seating options, go to the ticketing website.

41st Annual Ford Holiday River Parade
Kick off the holidays at the popular Ford Holiday River Parade. This traditional, family-friendly event commemorates the lighting of the San Antonio River Walk and will feature floats inspired by this year’s "Tastes and Traditions Around the World” theme. Attendees will also be able to spot this year’s Grand Marshal, the Grinch from the Broadway production of the Dr. Seuss classic, as part of the jubilant procession. Get more information here, and check out our top spots to view the parade.

Majestic Theatre presents Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience
Take a sped-up and hilarious journey through all seven Harry Potter books performed by two-time Olivier Award-nominated actors Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner. This 70-minute performance is suitable for audiences of all ages. Shows are scheduled through November 27. Get tickets here.

Saturday, November 26

Holiday Dreams: A Spectacular Holiday Cirque
Experience the wonder of the holidays like never before with acrobatics, specialty acts, and more at Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. Audiences can expect award-winning entertainment, comedy acts, projection mapping, lasers, and more for an immersive and awe-inspiring experience. Select tickets to this one-night extravaganza are still available.

Quenedit Dance Theatre presents The Nutcracker Ballet
Get lost in a world of whimsy and wintery wonder when you enjoy the eighth annual performance of The Nutcracker Ballet by the talented Quenedit Dance Theatre. This production at Lila Cockrell Theatre features a cast of Cincinnati Principal Dancers, Melissa Gelfin De-Poli and Rafael Quenedit. Get tickets here.

Photo by Marty Sohl Photography

10 top holiday happenings in San Antonio to celebrate the spirit of the season

Holiday Event Guide

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. We’ve made our list of can’t-miss celebrations and have checked it twice to ensure optimum joy is had by all. Check out the top 10 things to do in San Antonio this holiday season, and let the merrymaking commence. For a complete listing of holiday-themed and all other events, go to our calendar.

Ford Holiday River ParadeNovember 25
Kick off the holidays at the popular Ford Holiday River Parade. This traditional, family-friendly event commemorates the lighting of the San Antonio River Walk and will feature floats inspired by this year’s "Tastes and Traditions Around the World” theme. Attendees will also be able to spot this year’s Grand Marshal, the Grinch from the Broadway production of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical!, as part of the jubilant procession. Get more information here, and check out our top 7 spots to glimpse the parade.

Broadway in San Antonio: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The MusicalNovember 29 through December 4
The beloved story of Christmas’ furry-green grump comes to life on the stage at Majestic Theatre. Max the Dog narrates how the Grinch plans to steal Christmas from the town of Whoville’s holiday-devoted residents. Audiences can expect a brilliant production of Dr. Seuss' timeless tale featuring hit songs “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” from the original animated special. Tickets for all showtimes are available.

La Cantera Resort & Spa presents Holiday Tree LightingDecember 1
Don’t miss the chance to ring in the holiday season with a local tradition at La Cantera Resort & Spa. Tree lighting highlights include a live jazz performance by Michael Lington and appearances by beloved Christmas characters like Santa, the Grinch, and more. For tickets, click here.

Ballet San Antonio presents The NutcrackerDecember 2 through December 11
Get lost in a world of whimsy and wintery wonder when you enjoy The Nutcracker performed by the talented Ballet San Antonio company. This production at Tobin Center for the Performing Arts features a cast of over 100 child and adult dancers and choreography by Easton and Haley Smith. Following this opening weekend, showtimes are scheduled through December 11. Get tickets here.

Empire Theatre presents Dean Z’s Rockin' Christmas ShowDecember 10
Award-winning entertainer Dean Z comes to San Antonio’s Majestic Theatre for one night of rockin’ holly jolly live music. Guests can groove to a selection of Z’s favorite holiday hit songs featuring his 12-piece band and the Deltatones. Select ticketing options are still available.

The Light ParkNow through January 1, 2023
Cruise into an illuminated wonderland of millions of lights synchronized to holiday music classics with the entire family at Retama Park. The Light Park is a one-mile, drive-thru experience complete with dazzling light displays portraying the magic of the winter holiday season. For more information, visit the park website.

Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter MiracleNow through January 2, 2023
Become a part of the classic holiday production The Nutcracker with the help of multimedia elements at Lighthouse San Antonio. This 30-minute, immersive experience takes guests through the entire famous tale by using over 500,000 cubic feet of projections composed of over 1 million frames of video. Discover what it’s like to be inside memorable scenes and classical scores like “The March of the Toys,” “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” and more. For ticketing information, visit the event website.

Pearl Holiday Night MarketsWeekly from November 30 through December 21
Start your holiday shopping with a little local flair every Wednesday leading up to Christmas at Pearl. In addition to the seasonal shopping opportunities, each evening will feature live music curated by Stable Hall, including Mariachi Las Altenas, Los Callejeros, and Carolers from Conroy Entertainment fully costumed in Victorian attire. Admission is free and open to the public.

City of Boerne presents Dickens on MainNovember 25 and November 26
Venture out to Boerne for the return of Dickens on Main. The two-night event will feature holiday “villages” throughout the Main Street corridor that guests can visit, live music, real snow, ice sculpting shows, visits with Santa, and more. Roving groups of musicians, carolers, and other holiday performers will make their way through the streets to keep spirits bright. Admission to Dickens on Main is free and open to the public.

Miracle on Commerce Street Pop-Up Bar — Now through December 31
Sip and be merry at the newest seasonal cocktail experience by Esquire Tavern. Miracle on Commerce visitors can expect an immersive, Christmas-themed pop-up bar filled with classic holiday tunes, themed drinks, and more. For private party accommodations at the pop-up, go to the ticketing website.

Photo by Marty Sohl Photography

Experience The Nutcracker performed by the talented Ballet San Antonio children's cast and other performers.

Photo by Vladimir Kevorkov

Here are the top 5 things to do in San Antonio this weekend

Weekend Event Guide

The rich culture of Alamo City is on magnificent display, and you don’t want to miss out. Spark your creativity and sense of wonder at the return of the Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival, or get a glimpse into the artistic traditions of Native American communities at the Yanaguana Indian Arts Festival. Check out the top five things to do in San Antonio this weekend. For a full listing of events, go to our calendar.

Thursday, November 17

Copa presents 17th Annual Barbecue & Beaujolais Party
Savor the release of this year’s most anticipated Beaujolais Nouveau wines at Copa Wine Bar & Tasting Room. The three-day bash will allow guests to indulge on a tasting flight along with a paired food special crafted by the Copa kitchen. Get more information here.

Friday, November 18

Coasters and The Platters Holiday Show
Groove into the holiday spirit with the musical stylings of three Rock & Roll Hall of Fame groups at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. The Drifters, The Cornell Gunter Coasters, and The Platters will take the stage to perform a special setlist inspired by the season. Audiences can expect hits like "This Magic Moment," "Charlie Brown," and "Up on the Roof” to fill the room. Tickets to this show are still available here.

Saturday, November 19

Briscoe Western Art Museum presents Yanaguana Indian Arts Festival
Experience the culture and artistic traditions of Native American communities when you attend the Yanaguana Indian Arts Festival. Guests can enjoy pow wow-style drum circles, dancing, storytelling, artist demonstrations, workshops, lectures, pottery, weaving and carving, and much more on The Briscoe Western Art Museum grounds. Traditional Native American-inspired food will also be available to round out this unique day of celebration. Entry is free, and for more information about the festival, check out this story.

Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle
Become a part of the classic holiday production The Nutcracker with the help of multimedia elements at Lighthouse San Antonio. This 30-minute, immersive experience takes guests through the entire tale by using over 500,000 cubic feet of projections composed of over 1 million frames of video. Discover what it’s like to be inside memorable scenes and classical scores like “The March of the Toys,” “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” and more. For ticketing information, visit the event website. Immersive Nutcracker is open through January 2, 2023.

Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival
This celebration of San Antonio arts and artists is back for another year of nocturnal fun at Hemisfair. Highlights of the outdoor festival include large structural installations, in-gallery installations, digital art, performance art, spoken word, music, theater performances, film, and much more. For a full schedule of events and for venue information, go to the festival website. Admission is free and open to the public.

Photo by Vladimir Kevorkov

Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle is open this weekend through January 2, 2023.

Photo courtesy of Lightscape

Here are the top 5 things to do in San Antonio this weekend

Weekend Event Guide

Magic, live music, and merrymaking are on the Alamo City agenda in the days to come. Experience the wonder of the holiday season at the opening of Lightscape, or celebrate our veterans at Hemisfair. Check out the top five things to do in San Antonio this weekend. For a full listing of events, go to our calendar.

Thursday, November 10

Chris Rock: Ego Death World Tour
Legendary comedian and actor Chris Rock brings his signature form of humor to the Majestic Theatre for a full weekend of stand-up shows. Known for his decades on stage as a comedy great and for his hit autobiographical sitcom, Everybody Hates Chris, Rock comes to San Antonio in support of his Ego Death World Tour. Tickets for all three showtimes are still available.

Photo courtesy of Lightscape

Experience the twinkling magic of Lightscape during opening weekend.

Belinda Carlisle in concert
Pop singer Belinda Carlisle performs at Tobin Center for the Performing Arts for one night only. She’s best known for her time in the all-female band the Go-Go's and her enduring solo career that followed. Audiences can expect her distinctive helium-esque soprano to fill the room during this special evening. For ticketing information, go to the Tobin Center website.

Friday, November 11

San Antonio Botanical Garden presents Lightscape
Witness all 38 acres of the San Antonio Botanical Garden light up at Lightscape’s opening weekend. Guests can expect enchanting light displays along an illuminated one-mile path winding through the lush garden. Featured installations include a Winter Cathedral, a display of illuminated bluebonnets, and a reimagined Fire Garden. In addition to the glamour of the lights, visitors can enjoy food, drinks, and even roast s’mores onsite. Lightscape is open through January 8, 2023. Get tickets here.

Saturday, November 12

Veterans Day at Hemisfair
Celebrate and honor military service people with the entire family in tow at Hemisfair. The all-day event includes a vendor market, food and drinks, entertainment activations, and live music by Coffey Anderson. Admission to SA Veterans Day is free and open to the public.

Sunday, November 13

Champions of Magic
Prepare to be amazed by interactive magic and spectacular sleight-of-hand at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. Audiences can expect the entire theater to be filled with magnificent displays of illusions, including predictions, levitation, and even an escape from Houdini’s water torture cell performed by the skilled cast of The Champions Of Magic. Get tickets here.

Photo courtesy of The Light Park

Here are the top 5 things to do in San Antonio this weekend

Weekend Event Guide

Celebrate the start of the holiday season at The Light Park, or catch talent like Ryan Adams and Lewis Black live on stage. Check out the top five things to do in San Antonio this weekend. For a full listing of events, go to our calendar.

Thursday, November 3

Opera San Antonio presents Pagliacci
Channel your cultured side and experience the story behind a traveling acting troupe’s time in a new town. This production of Pagliacci at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts will be performed in Italian with English translations. Tickets for shows on November 3 and November 5 are still available.

Friday, November 4

The Light Park
Cruise into an illuminated wonderland of millions of lights synchronized to holiday music classics with the entire family at Retama Park in Selma. The Light Park is a one-mile, drive-thru experience complete with dazzling light displays portraying the magic of the winter holiday season. For more information, visit the park website. The Light Park is open through January 1, 2023.

Saturday, November 5

Lewis Black: Off The Rails
Comedian and social commentator Lewis Black brings his humor and signature brand of disillusionment to the stage in San Antonio. Known for his “pissed-off optimist” perspectives and his angry delivery, Lewis has made countless appearances in films and television shows like Inside Out and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Visit the ticketing website for seating availability.

Ryan Adams in concert
Rock singer-songwriter Ryan Adams plays Tech Port Center + Arena for one night only. Best known for his time as the frontman of rock/alt-country band Whiskeytown and for his top solo hits like “To Be Without You” and his acoustic remix of “Wonderwall.” Adams comes to San Antonio in support of his new album, FM. To purchase tickets, click here.

Sunday, November 6

Hindes Fine Art presents River Walk Art
Bring a piece of the iconic San Antonio River Walk into your home when you shop for one-of-a-kind pieces at River Walk Art. This exhibit celebrates one of the city’s most iconic destinations through the eyes of invited and gallery artists Patrick Saunders, Richie Vios, Cliff Cavin, Sam Rosenthall, Janice Yow Hindes, and Kyle Ma. Guests to the opening will have the chance to win an original oil painting door prize valued at $850. Following opening weekend, the exhibit will be on display through November 30.

Photo courtesy of The Light Park

Travel through the longest light tunnel in the world beginning this weekend.

Photo courtesy of Once Upon a Party

Here are the top 5 things to do in San Antonio this weekend

Weekend Event Guide

‘Tis the fall festival season in the Alamo City and hot happenings are numerous. Savor the local flavor at Tasting Texas Wine & Food Festival or honor Día de los Muertos at Hemisfair and on the River Walk. Check out the top five things to do in San Antonio this weekend.

For a full listing of events, go to our calendar.

Thursday, October 27

Tasting Texas Wine & Food Festival
Expand your palate and savor the unique flavors of Texas and San Antonio at Travis Park. This four-day culinary experience will center around a Culinary Market, featuring more than 100 award-winning chefs. Guests can also enjoy a top-shelf tasting on the banks of the San Antonio River Walk and more nightly programming featuring curated collaborations by visiting chefs in San Antonio’s top restaurants. For a list of guest chefs and additional festival information, check out our recent story.

Spiritlandia
Experience the largest Day of the Dead celebration in the country for four consecutive days of programming on the San Antonio River Walk. This storied, nighttime river parade is best known for its illuminated and colorful handcrafted barges floating on the river. Additional programming like a music festival lineup and community activations are sure to deliver a memorable and moving experience in honor of ancestors and lost loved ones. Check the Spiritlandia website for more information.

Photo courtesy of Once Upon a Party
Once Upon A Party presents Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo Fest

Make believe and make merry at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo Fest this weekend.

Friday, October 28

Charline McCombs Empire Theatre presents Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story
The story behind music icon Buddy Holly’s rise to fame and his final performance before his untimely death come to life on the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre for two nights only. Audiences can expect a thrilling, two-hour production complete with more than 20 of Buddy Holly’s greatest hits such as “That’ll Be The Day,” “Peggy Sue,” and "Oh Boy." Select tickets are still available.

Saturday, October 29

Once Upon A Party presents Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo Fest
Revel in the magic of fairytales and the spirit of Halloween at the fourth annual Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo Fest. Highlights include live music performances, live animal interactions, and photo opportunities with more than 20 beloved fairytale and villain characters on the beautiful San Antonio Botanical Garden property. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Galaxy Productions presents Día de los Muertos at Hemisfair
Día de los Muertos celebrations continue for the 10th year in family-friendly fashion at Hemisfair. Muertos Fest programming will feature the largest open altar exhibition in the city and a multi-stage lineup of bands, poetry, and dance performances for all ages to enjoy. Additional highlights of the two-day event includes a drum dance and puppet procession, workshops, and an arts market featuring original Day of the Dead crafts and artwork. Admission is free and open to the general public.

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San Antonio Missions hit home run with new owners, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. San Antonio's minor league baseball team scores new owners, including Texas sports legends. San Antonio's minor league baseball team is back to being locally owned — by some big names.

2. H-E-B unveils new line of merchandise for super fans, available exclusively at this store. Kerrville was chosen to launch the company's new line of H-E-B-branded merchandise, in celebration of its 117th anniversary and in honor of its first store.

3. San Antonio market continues to see prices going up and sales going down. San Antonio home sales dropped 19 percent from October 2021.

4. San Antonio Rodeo wrangles even more musical acts for star-studded 2023. Turnpike Troubadours joined the already impressive lineup for the 2023 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.

5. San Antonio children's theater adapts timeless children's book for the holidays. Magik Theatre celebrates The Velveteen Rabbit as a Christmas story, with inclusive special performances.

Steven Spielberg opens up personal history in The Fabelmans

Movie Review

For over 40 years, director Steven Spielberg has been delivering some of the most popular blockbuster movies of all time as well as a bevy of Oscar-quality dramas, a combination that’s unique to him. For his latest, The Fabelmans, he’s decided to go more personal than ever, telling a thinly-veiled version of his own childhood.

Sammy (played mostly by Gabriel LaBelle) is one of four children – and the only son – of Mitzi (Michelle Williams), a concert pianist, and Burt Fabelman (Paul Dano), a computer engineer. From an early age, Sammy is enthralled by the art of filmmaking, first remaking a train crash sequence from The Greatest Show on Earth, and gradually moving on to more adventurous stories.

Burt’s advancing career, which moves the family from New Jersey to Arizona to California, causes stress for various members of the family, most notably Sammy and Mitzi. Sammy must deal with anti-Semitic bullies, while Mitzi falls deeper into a mental health crisis. Sammy’s movies continually offer a respite for the family, though, giving him a creative outlet and the rest of them a chance to forget their troubles for a while.

Written by Spielberg – his first writing effort since 2001’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence – and Tony Kushner, the film is heavy on emotions but presented in a way that those feelings don’t always translate. Spielberg is no stranger to depicting fraught family situations in his long career, but in showing ones from his own family, it feels like he pulled back, not wanting the scenes to be overwrought or schmaltzy.

The result is a story that isn’t as universal as some of his other films. As the film is told from Sammy’s perspective, it’s easy to get caught up in his pursuits and various discoveries as he gets older. The mindsets of the rest of the family are less clear, even though his parents and sisters are ever-present. Mitzi’s state of mind is a concern from the start, but it’s not always treated as such by other important characters.

Just as Sammy’s movies are an escape for his family, so too are they some of the best parts of the film. Sammy figuring out the process and secrets of filmmaking is informative and often thrilling, especially if you’re a cinephile. Spielberg has been considered a master for so long that watching him revisit the days when he was learning as he went is catnip for movie lovers.

In addition to being a dead ringer for a teenage Spielberg, LaBelle is a fantastic actor. It’s no easy feat to carry a movie on your shoulders, and LaBelle makes the assignment look easy. Williams’ performance will likely be more polarizing; she employs a very mannered speech pattern that works in some situations, but not all. The film also includes memorable short appearances by Seth Rogen, Judd Hirsch, and David Lynch.

Spielberg has provided the moviegoing public with such pleasure over the years that he deserves to have a movie that’s mostly for him. The initial viewing of The Fabelmans left this critic wanting, but perhaps it will gain more traction on a second screening.

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The Fabelmans is now playing in theaters.

Photo by Merie Weismuller Wallace/Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment

Gabriel LaBelle in The Fabelmans

New self-guided tour showcases iconic Fort Worth Stockyards' many Hollywood ties

Tinseltown in Cowtown

A new self-guided tour showcasing the Fort Worth Stockyards’ many star-studded appearances in cinema throughout the years recently debuted in time for the 16th annual Lone Star Film Festival, which took place earlier this month in the Stockyards for the first time.

Called Stars of the Stockyards, the eight-stop, go-at-your-own pace walking tour guides folks to famous film sites where celebrities have stepped foot in front of Hollywood cameras. Visitors to the Stockyards can access the PDF tour map on their smart phones via QR codes (no app required) posted throughout the district, namely at hotels and tour kiosks.

"The Stockyards is a historic and celebrated destination for many reasons, but one that may be lesser known is its popularity as a filming location for some of our favorite movies and TV series," said Ethan Cartwright, VP of marketing for Stockyards Heritage Development Co.

The tour and corresponding QR codes are a permanent addition to the district, he said.

Stops on the map include the iconic White Elephant Saloon, a hotbed for Hollywood performances including several by legendary actor and martial artist Chuck Norris in the longtime TV series, Walker, Texas Ranger when the watering hole was portrayed as the fictional CD Bar. The White Elephant was also graced by country music superstar Tim McGraw and Academy Award-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton for their appearances in Paramount Plus’ hit series 1883.

Also in 1883 and featured on the tour is Hookers Grill, hidden in the less flashy West side of Exchange Ave. The burger shack transformed into a gambling den in the show called The Texas House of Liquor & Sport. It’s the only building in the Stockyards that preserved the façade constructed by 1883’s production team. During operating hours, customers can order at the outdoor burger window and dine at patio tables within the two-story structure.

Cowtown Coliseum is marked on the map for its appearances in the 1983 film Tough Enough, where actor Dennis Quaid played an amateur boxer. It’s also the home of the final rodeo scene in the 1992 movie Pure Country starring country music legend George Strait.

Billy Bob’s Texas, the Stockyards Hotel, and even unassuming historic cattle pens also make the list on the tour, along with notations for the Texas Trail of Fame, which features more than 240 bronze markers honoring contributors for preserving and perpetuating the Western way of life.

Veteran actors Sam Elliot and Robert Duvall, both stars in the megahit TV series Yellowstone, are among the most recent Texas Trail of Fame inductees.

For more information and to get started on the tour, go here.