There are few places more beautiful or festive over the holidays than San Antonio. Several San Antonio holiday events taking place throughout the city give individuals and families an opportunity to get in the holiday spirit, and many of them take place this weekend.
San Antonio Zoo Holiday Lights
Starting Saturday, Nov. 18
Love taking the family to the San Antonio Zoo? You’ll love it even more starting this weekend, when “thousands of lights twinkling…illuminated in intricate animal patterns and exotic designs,” said Culture Map San Antonio, turn the zoo into a holiday wonderland.
Alamo Heights Holiday Parade
Saturday, Nov. 18, 5:30pm
The 39th annual Alamo Heights Chamber of Commerce also takes place tomorrow, heading down Broadway, from Ogden Lane to Barilla Place and including local businesses, schools, churches, and organizations in the fun. Planning to attend the 39th holiday parade? Set aside some time for the family-friendly San Antonio event that follows, with a post-parade party held in the parking lot at Broadway and Grove Place.
Light the Way
Saturday, Nov. 18, 7:30pm
Following the Alamo Heights Holiday Parade, The University of the Incarnate Word campus hosts its annual Light the Way event. “Join us on the UIW campus to celebrate one of the most anticipated events of the year! This year’s event marks the 30th anniversary of Light the Way and will officially kick off the holiday season in San Antonio,” they said. “Guests will enjoy an evening filled with performances from fan favorite entertainers, all leading up to the flip of the switch, illuminating UIW's campus with nearly a million twinkling lights.” Admission is free and the lights will remain up for viewing until after the holidays.
Saturday, Nov. 19 from 6–9pm
In Travis Park on Saturday? Their annual Holiday Lighting event includes free hot chocolate, live ice sculpting and performances, local artisan vendors, food trucks, and free family activities including caroling. Be sure to be there at 8:15pm, when the 250,000 Christmas lights are turned on.
Ford Holiday River Parade
Friday, Nov. 25, 6pm
Wrap up your Black Friday shopping and head for the River Walk for one of the favorite San Antonio events. “Perhaps the biggest local holiday event is the Ford Holiday River Parade,” said Culture Map. “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.”
The grand marshal of this year’s parade is Silver & Black Give Back, which is 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.”
Weekends from Saturday, Nov. 25 through Friday, Dec. 23
Morgan’s Wonderland’s “A Wonderland Christmas” will be bigger and better than ever this year, with holiday lights, carolers, Santa Claus, a petting zoo, ice skating, and family fun on the park’s regular attractions and rides. “The colorful mix of lights, decorations, shows, strolling entertainers and holiday traditions will be presented…at the world’s first theme park designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment,” they said.
Alamo Plaza Tree Lighting
Saturday, Nov. 25, 3–6:30pm
The 55-foot spruce white fir Christmas tree arrived in Alamo Plaza this week, and will be lit in the 32nd annual event, which also includes live entertainment, pet adoptions, holiday crafts, cookie-decorating stations, and storytelling. Event sponsor H-E-B called the tree, which will be “adorned with more than 10,000 red and white lights” as well as dozens of handmade gold and silver ornaments, "San Antonio's largest Christmas gift,” said the San Antonio Express-News.
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