Outdoors newsletter: Where to see holiday lights in San Antonio and surrounding areas

Holidays at the Pearl. (The Pearl)

Happy Friday and Happy Holidays!

I hope this December has been treating you well. We’re about to be in the thick of the holiday shopping season, so I hope you’re taking time off for your health and wellness.

Recommended Videos

That involves spending time outdoors — and the good thing is that the weather is going to be stunning this weekend.

So if you need to take a pre-Christmas hike, or want to take a walk or drive through holiday lights, now is the time! 🎄 Just make sure to take a light jacket.

Feeling festive? Here are some lights displays

It doesn’t matter how old or young you are — sparkling lights are always a treat for the holidays.

Many attractions in the San Antonio area have holiday lights on display for the season. Some even have activities for kids, food and drinks, and meet-and-greet opportunities with Santa.

Below is a list of San Antonio attractions with Christmas displays:

  • Houston Street in downtown San Antonio - Holidays on Houston, a new holiday spectacle that will feature twinkling lights, festive decorations, live entertainment, and special offerings from local businesses, kicked off on Nov. 24. Through Jan. 2, Houston Street between Legacy Park and Alamo Street will be dazzled with holiday lights and oversized ornaments and wreaths.
  • Palo Alto College - The annual Winter Wonderland will be open daily between 6-9 p.m. from Nov. 30 to Dec. 22. It is free and open to the public.
  • San Antonio Botanical Garden - Lightscape returned to the Botanical Garden on Nov. 17. Lightscape has five new installations and discounted nights that fans can look forward to, though fan favorites like the winter cathedral and illuminated bluebonnets have returned. It will be open on select dates through Jan. 1.
  • San Antonio River Walk - The famous River Walk holiday lights returned on Nov. 24. There are more than 2,250 strings with 100,000 lights that line the River Walk each year for the holidays. This holiday season, the lights will stay up until dawn on Jan. 7.
  • San Antonio Zoo - Zoo Lights returned on Nov. 18. Zoo Lights is included with standard zoo admission and will be available through Dec. 31. Zoo Lights includes the new Lakeside Laser Lightshow, plus themed areas called Cowboy’s Yuletide Trail, Polar Playground, Water Wonderland, Starry Safari, Candy Lane and Peppermint Path.
  • SeaWorld San Antonio - The annual Christmas celebration at SeaWorld San Antonio returned on Nov. 9. Referred to as the “largest light display in Texas,” SeaWorld San Antonio will be lit up through Jan. 2. There will also be opportunities to see Santa and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
  • Six Flags Fiesta Texas - Holiday in the Park kicked off on Nov. 18. Fiesta Texas will be open on select days through Jan. 7. During this time, the park transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with lights and activities.
  • Texas A&M University-San Antonio - The 8th annual Lights of Esperanza includes more than 40,000 lights throughout the campus. The lights will be available to view all season long. It is free and open to the public.
  • The Alamo - The Alamo was illuminated on Nov. 24. The lights will be located throughout the Alamo grounds and there will also be installations and light-decorated figures of the Alamo Defenders in the Alamo gardens. They will stay up through Jan. 2.
  • The Pearl - The Pearl will have several festive events for the season, like movie nights and photos with Santa. During this time, the district will be illuminated with holiday lights and a 30-foot Fraser Pine from Michigan will be placed in the park.
  • Travis Park - The Rotary Ice Rink presented by Valero opened on Nov. 17 at San Antonio’s Travis Park. There will be more than 350,000 lights illuminating the park and the rink. The City of San Antonio Christmas tree will also light up the park. The rink will be open daily through Jan. 15.
  • University of the Incarnate Word - The 37th annual Light the Way festival kicked off on Nov. 18. The tradition includes hundreds of lights available to view for free throughout the UIW campus. The lights will stay on through Jan. 6.

Click here for an expanded list of displays outside San Antonio and in the Hill Country.

More Outdoors content:

You can also follow our daily coverage by clicking on our Outdoors page on KSAT.com. If you have questions or comments about the newsletter, reach out at rsalinas@ksat.com.

Have a great weekend,

Rebecca Salinas

About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

Recommended Videos