Where to see holiday lights in San Antonio and surrounding areas

Feeling festive? These light displays turn up the holiday cheer

The immersive holiday light display Lightscape will return to the San Antonio Botanical Garden this November. (Richard Haughton, San Antonio Botanical Garden)

Viewing sparkly lights is a favorite holiday pastime for many and the recent cold weather has me feeling festive.

I’ve already been able to check out a few of these attractions and they do not disappoint.

If you’re ready to get in the holiday spirit, I’ve curated a list of places where you can see holiday lights. Some locations even have meet-and-greet opportunities with Santa. 🎅

From drive-thru light parks to an old Hollywood film set in Boerne, here are some of the places you can check out lights in San Antonio and the surrounding areas:

  • The Light Park in Selma - The drive-thru holiday light display known as the Light Park is returning to the San Antonio area for a second year. A 700-foot animated LED tunnel will be one of the park’s main features. There will also be a light show synced and choreographed to holiday music on a music station explicitly designated for the Light Park. The shows started Nov. 4 and run through Jan. 1.
The Light Park will open in Selma on Nov. 3. (The Light Park)
  • SeaWorld San Antonio - The annual Christmas celebration at SeaWorld San Antonio returned on Nov. 10. 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.
  • Lightscape - You can light up your holiday season with kinetic hues and a flower forest — two new immersive installations that will be at the Lightscape holiday light display at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. The one-mile walking trail will be illuminated with hundreds of thousands of lights and various art displays from Nov. 11 to Jan. 8.
  • Santa’s Ranch in New Braunfels - This family-friendly drive-through takes guests through more than a mile of winding country roads lit up with holiday lights and Christmas displays. Santa’s Ranch is already open and will be available through Jan. 1.
  • Travis Park - The Rotary Ice Rink presented by Valero will open on Nov. 18 at San Antonio’s Travis Park. There will be more than 350,000 lights illuminating the park and the rink, which will be nearly double the size from previous years at 5,000 square feet. The City of San Antonio Christmas tree will also light up the park.
  • Walkway of Lights in Marble Falls - The 32nd annual holiday celebration will be open nightly starting at 6 p.m. from Nov. 18 to Dec. 31 at Lakeside Park, located at 305 Buena Vista Drive in Marble Falls. Attendance is always free, however, visitors are encouraged to give monetary donations to help support the event and local nonprofits.
Marble Falls Walkway of Lights (Look Think Make)
  • Crumbling Castle Lights - This mile-long drive-thru light display is located in Comfort, just north of Boerne. Crumbling Castle will be open from 6-10 p.m. nightly from Nov. 18 through Jan. 1.
  • Lights Alive! in Alamo Ranch - This immersive light experience opens Nov. 18 and will be open through Christmas night. It’s a drive-thru event at 5931 Roft Road, two miles outside Loop 1604 and Culebra. Entry fees are priced per vehicle. At the end of the drive, there is a Park & Play Wonderland where you can exit your car and enjoy Christmas confections, create holiday crafts, take photos with Santa or program your own light show on a 50-foot animated light show tree.
  • Elf Acres - This one-mile trail of lights at 1475 Grosenbacher Rd. will open on Nov. 18 and be up until Jan. 8, 2023. Animated displays will light up the night and guests can also visit Santa’s Village, a walkable area where you can see a synchronized light show on 3 mega trees, take a photo with Santa and eat sweet treats.
  • Light the Way - The University of the Incarnate Word will celebrate its 36th annual Light the Way festival on Nov. 19 from 3-9:30 p.m. KSAT anchor Steve Spriester will emcee the event, which includes a display of one million holiday lights and a fireworks show. There will also be live music, food trucks, vendors, children’s activities and meet and greet opportunities with Santa.

  • San Antonio Zoo - The San Antonio Zoo’s annual Zoo Lights displays will return on Nov. 19. Zoo Lights is included with standard zoo admission and will be available through Jan. 1. There will be a 124-foot light tunnel, 32-foot LED tree and opportunities to meet Santa.
  • Old West Christmas Light Fest in Boerne - You can visit with jolly ol’ Saint Nick while exploring an old Western town decked out with twinkling lights. The annual event is returning from 6 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 24 through Dec. 24 on select dates. The old west town is actually part of an old Hollywood film set on Enchanted Springs Ranch which is typically closed to the public.
  • Ford Holiday River Parade - The Ford Holiday River Parade is set to take place on Nov. 25 along the San Antonio River Walk. The theme for the 41st annual parade is “Tastes and Traditions Around the World.” Tickets for the parade are now on sale exclusively online at SanAntonioRiverWalk.com.
  • San Antonio River Walk - The famous River Walk holiday lights will return nightly starting at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 25. 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. 9.
Christmas lights on the San Antonio River Walk. (KSAT)
  • Alamo Lights - The Alamo will light up from 6-8 p.m. Nov. 25 through Jan. 2. The lights will be located throughout the Alamo grounds and there will also be installations including David Crockett, Juan Seguin riding on horseback and a few other surprises.
  • Fiesta de Navidad in Windcrest - The city of Windcrest is lighting up for a decades-old tradition on Dec. 3. A contest is held to pick the most beautifully decorated homes in various judging categories and the public is invited to drive along neighborhood streets to view the brightly-lit displays. The event runs through Dec. 31.
  • Trail of Lights in Austin - This year’s Trail of Lights in Austin will light up Zilker Park from Dec. 8-23, excluding Mondays. The Trail of Lights will showcase more than 2 million lights, 90 lighted holiday trees and more than 70 other displays and tunnels.
Austin Trail of Lights. (Courtesy, Austin Trail of Lights)

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.