Things to do in San Antonio during the Holiday Season


Spending the holiday season away from home can be difficult. To avoid the winter blues, take a trip with your friends to any of San Antonio’s festive exhibits.


The Zoo Lights exhibit at the San Antonio Zoo is open daily until Dec. 31. Take a stroll under long sections of vivid lights while enjoying various cold-weather treats such as hot cocoa or s’mores. During December, the zoo also features camel rides and a Lakeside Lightshow. Although most animal exhibits are closed after 5:00 p.m., there’s still plenty of time during daylight hours to enjoy both the animals and holiday festivities.


In their annual Light the Way display, the University of Incarnate Word (UIW) strings up one million lights in the trees on its campus. The rainbow twinkling lights at UIW can be seen from Broadway and Hildebrand. Take a jog through the campus with a friend to burn off some of those Christmas cookie calories while enjoying the relaxing scenery.


Although it’s definitely difficult to find presents for your closest friends while managing a college budget, San Antonio has a wide array of shopping centers to choose from such as the Pearl, La Cantera and the Quarry.


SeaWorld San Antonio is lighting up the park again for their annual Christmas Celebration, which will be available to the public until Jan. 6, 2019. The park puts on the largest Christmas light display in Texas, covering the area with nine million lights. The park also features special Christmas versions of their regular performances, including the popular sea lion and Shamu shows.


The Natural Bridge Caverns are located about 40 minutes outside of San Antonio, providing a quick road trip opportunity to take with your friends. The park service’s Caroling in the Caverns experience features Christmas songs during an 80-minute tour. The trek is about 0.75 miles and is sure to create a lasting holiday memory. Additionally, Natural Bridge Caverns offers a Christmas Hayride after 6:00 p.m. and a 5000 square foot reindeer maze.


Until Dec. 31, the San Antonio Botanical Gardens hosts their annual Holidays in Bloom event. Enjoy holiday-themed floral displays that feature a 12-foot Christmas tree that welcomes visitors at the entrance of the garden. Holidays in Bloom is a great opportunity to relax within nature and take unique holiday photos. The activity is included with general admission, though members can access the exhibit for free.


Presented by Ballet San Antonio, The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts continues its holiday tradition with this year’s performance of The Nutcracker. The show features live music conducted by Noam Aviel and performed by the San Antonio Symphony. Show times are available for Dec. 1 and 2.