Jingle All the Way: 2018 Holiday Activities in the San Antonio Area

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Madeleine Burroughs, 13, a dancer in the Alamo City Dance Company, stands on the Nutcracker barge in preparation for the Ford Holiday River Parade.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

Madeleine Burroughs, 13, a dancer in the Alamo City Dance Company, stands on the Nutcracker barge in preparation for the 2017 Ford Holiday River Parade.

Lights are shimmering on the River Walk and the Christmas tree stands tall in Travis Park – San Antonio is ready for the holidays. For those in need of inspiration for holiday activities this season, the Rivard Report has put together a guide of events around the city.

Check out our map of holiday activities around San Antonio, and let us know if we've missed any. Click on the points on the map for event details or read the full list of events below.

Thursday, Nov. 29

Annual Tree Lighting at La Cantera Resort & Spa: This event features holiday activities for kids, festive cocktails, holiday treats, and The Master of Ceremonies from Whoville. A live jazz performance by Vince Ingala starts at 7 p.m., and SweetFire Kitchen will offer holiday dinners for $24 per adult and $14 per child.
Free
16641 La Cantera Pkwy.
7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

The Pearl's Holiday Night Market: Starting Thursday, Nov. 29, from 4-8 p.m., the popular holiday night market returns to the Pearl. The night market will reappear on Dec. 6, Dec. 13, and Dec. 20, and feature the Farmers Market and other artisan vendors. Shoppers can enjoy live music and holiday eats like tamales and festive chocolates. Vendors will vary each week.
Free
312 Pearl Pkwy.
4-8 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 1

Kwanzaa Market Festival 2018: This years marks the family-friendly festival's ninth year in San Antonio. Head over to the SBC Community Center to browse handmade goods, items for Kwanzaa celebration, and African-inspired clothing and accessories. The official holiday of Kwanzaa runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. For more info, click here.
Free
3310 E. Commerce St.
11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Museum Shop Holiday Fair + San Antonio Potters Guild Clay & Art Festival: The San Antonio Museum of Art's fifth annual holiday fair will feature one-of-a-kind gifts by local artisans at the museum's West Courtyard, including Brass & Glass, O’Day Designs, and St. Sarita Imports. More than 30 Clay and Arts Festival vendors will also showcase their work.
Free
200 W. Jones Ave.
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 3

Chanukah at the Pearl: Young & Jewish San Antonio will return to the Pearl for the fourth year to light the Chanukah Menorah, starting at 6 p.m. The Menorah will be illuminated each evening of Chanukah.
Free
312 Pearl Pkwy.
6 p.m. 

Nutcracker Sweets: Nineteen of San Antonio's best chefs will serve savory and sweet bites at the Mays Family Center at the Witte Museum, while The Children’s Ballet of San Antonio and San Antonio Youth Ballet will perform dances from The Nutcracker. There will also be opportunity to take photos with Santa Claus. Proceeds will benefit the Battered Women and Children's Shelter of Bexar County. Learn more here.
$55 for adults, $25 for ages 13-17, free for children under 12
3801 Broadway S.

6-8 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 6

Midday Noels: First Presbyterian Church in downtown San Antonio will host three free Christmas music concerts on Dec. 6, Dec. 13, and Dec. 20. After each concert, a “Grab and Go” lunch will be offered for $3 and a hot lunch for $9.
Free
404 N. Alamo St.
12:15-12:45 p.m.

The Pearl's Holiday Night Market: The popular holiday night market returns to the Pearl, and will reappear on Dec. 13 and Dec. 20. It features the Farmers Market and other artisan vendors. Shoppers can enjoy live music and holiday eats like tamales and festive chocolates. Vendors will vary each week.
Free
312 Pearl Pkwy.
4-8 p.m.

Temple Hanukkah Party: Enjoy a Hanukkah dinner courtesy of Absolutely Delicious and a night of comedy by ComedySportz. Individual tickets are $72, while sponsorship tables range from $800 to $1,800. More information can be found here.
$72 and up
211 Belknap Pl.
6-10 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 7

First Friday Pub Run: Bad Santa 3: December's First Friday pub run starts at Pat O'Brien's and continues through downtown. Dress up in your best Bad Santa gear and make your way through 11 bars for this holiday-themed pub run. You must be 21 or older to participate, so don't forget your ID. The event page can be found here.
Free
121 Alamo Plaza
7 p.m. -  2 a.m.

Free Outdoor Movie Screening: Instructions Not Included: Slab Cinema brings 2013 Mexican comedy-drama Instructions Not Included (starring Eugenio Derbez) to its outdoor cinema series. Head to Guadalupe Plaza with chairs, blankets, and whatever else you need for a movie outside before the sun sets; screenings start 15 minutes after sundown.
Free
1327 Guadalupe St.
15 minutes after sundown

Fiesta de Navidad: The Guadalupe Dance Company and Mariachi Azteca de America will bring their talents to the Guadalupe Theater this holiday season. They will perform traditional dances and holiday celebrations of Guerrero, Oaxaca, Nuevo Leon, and Sinaloa and put a Mariachi twist on holiday favorites. Buy tickets here.
$10 - $125
1301 Guadalupe St.
8 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 8

La Gran Tamalada: For those who want to learn, this event offers hands-on workshops on how to make tamales and an opportunity to bring the tamales you make home. For those who simply want to eat, tamal vendors will be at Historic Market Square with their goods. There will also be live music and kids activities, including corn husk doll decorating and photos with Pancho Claus. Find out more here.
Free
514 W. Commerce St.
11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

¡Feliz Tamalidad!: Brooks is hosting its second annual ¡Feliz Tamalidad! at the Greenline, promising music, family-friendly fun, and lots of tamales. The event page can be found here.
Free
2532 Sidney Brooks
12-6 p.m.

Coffee & Cordials Festival: Sample coffees and coffee cordials (reserved for those 21 years and older) at Hemisfair and enjoy an art wall, interactive kids activities, and Santa Claus from 1 to 3 p.m. The festival benefits the Hemisfair Conservancy. Find more information here.
$5 - $45
434 S. Alamo St.
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Four Seasons Indian Market — Holiday Edition: Free museum admission and docent-led tours at the Spanish Governor's Palace. The Four Seasons Indian Market is hosted in partnership with American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions, and features artwork by Ramon Sanchez y Vasquez, dance performances by Yanaguana Bird Singers, IndigiNecias and Auburn Sky Hart signing the Leyenda of the Malinche. Bring the family to enjoy music, local vendors, and early Texas history lessons. Food and drink can be purchased at the event.
Free
105 Plaza de Armas
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Holiday Market Day: Head to the base of the Tower of the Americas to shop local vendors and enjoy food, games, music, pictures with Santa, and holiday spirit courtesy of Christmas carolers. Find more information here.
Free
739 E. Cesar Chavez Blvd.
3-8 p.m.

"Bows & Lights" 2018 Windcrest Light Up: The City of Windcrest is celebrating its 60th year Lighting Up the City. Gather at City Hall for hot cocoa, carols ,and pictures with Santa Claus.
Free
8601 Midcrown Dr., Windcrest
6-9 p.m.

Free Outdoor Movie Screening: Santa Buddies: Slab Cinema will bring holiday dog movie Santa Buddies to the Schertz Dog Park as part of its outdoor cinema series. Bring chairs, blankets, and whatever else you need for a movie outside before the sun sets; screenings start 15 minutes after sundown.
Free
940 Community Cir Dr., Schertz
15 minutes after sundown

Yule Ball: The San Antonio Public Library is hosting a Yule Ball straight from the Harry Potter series with games, wand-making, ballroom dancing lessons, and boozy drinks for party-goers 21 and over. Formal dress and costumes are not required, but you'll look great if you come in your best wizard garb. Must be 18 years and older to attend.
Free
600 Soledad St.
6-9 p.m.

Illume: Making Spirits Bright: "Illume" highlights the diversity of San Antonio by bringing cuisines from around the world, a beer and wine garden, cultural performances from Brazil, Spain, and Japan, and music by DJ Steven Lee Moya to San Pedro Creek Culture Park. The event will also show an installation from local artist Ansen Seale to kick off the San Pedro Creek Temporary Art Program. There will be free parking in the lot between Martin and Salinas Streets.
Free
715 Camaron St.
6-9 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 9

Chanukah on the River: For $6 enjoy a boat ride (departs from the Arneson River Theatre at 2:45 p.m) complete with live music, entertainment, and prizes. A Menorah lighting and concert at the Arneson River Theatre will take place at 4 p.m.. Find more information here.
$0 - $6
418 Villita St.
2:45-5:15 p.m.

Doc Watkins' Big Band Holiday Classics Concert: Local San Antonio music acts will join Jazz, TX owner Brent "Doc" Watkins as he brings the holiday spirit to the Pearl on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. with a performance of his upcoming album, Doc Watkins Christmas in Jazz, TX. He will also sing other holiday classics alongside members of the San Antonio Symphony.
Free
312 Pearl Pkwy.
7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 11

Serenata a la Virgen de Guadalupe: Come celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower. Find out more here.
Free
824 Kentucky Ave.
5:30 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Illume: Making Spirits Bright: The San Pedro Creek Culture Park continues its "Illume" holiday festivities with a performance by the Teokalli Aztec Dancers and traditional dishes from the Tehuan Band of Mission Indians. This event will take place at the Plaza de Fundación near the Santa Rosa Street bridge, and parking is available at 201 Piazza Italia. Learn more here.
Free
715 Camaron St.
5:30-7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 13

Midday Noels: First Presbyterian Church in downtown San Antonio will host the second of its three free Christmas music concerts. After each concert, a “Grab and Go” lunch will be offered for $3 and a hot lunch for $9.
Free
404 N. Alamo St.
12:15-12:45 p.m.

The Pearl's Holiday Night Market: The popular holiday night market returns to the Pearl. The night market will reappear on Dec. 20 and feature the Farmers Market and other artisan vendors. Shoppers can enjoy live music and holiday eats like tamales and festive chocolates. Vendors will vary each week.
Free
312 Pearl Pkwy.
4-8 p.m.

Woodlawn Lake Tree Lighting: Join community members for some hot chocolate from Barrio Barista, cookies from Bedoys' Bakery, and holiday carols. The District 7 Council Office event starts at 5 p.m. near the Island House with a performance by the Young Women’s Leadership Academy choir. The tree lighting will take place at 6:15 p.m. District 7 is also collecting new, unwrapped toys for SAPD's Blue Santa drive.
Free
1103 Cincinnati Ave.
5 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 14

Let the Bells Ring! Free Christmas Concert by Fort Sam’s Own Band: The 323rd Army Band (Fort Sam’s Own) and members of the 1st Armored Division Band from Fort Bliss will sing a compilation of holiday classics at this free concert at the Evans Theater on Fort Sam Houston. Members of the public interested in attending the show on base will have to request a pass at the Fort Sam Houston Visitor’s Center on the corner of Walters and Hood St. Find out more here.
Free
JBSA-Fort Sam Houston
7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 15

“A Christmas Carol” at Villa Finale: See Charles Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol" with the Victorian-era Villa Finale house as its backdrop. The production is a collaboration of San Antonio's Classic Theater, the King William Association, Bonham Academy, and G. W. Brackenridge High School. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the production runs from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will be refreshments before and after the play. Tickets cost $20 for members and $25 for non-members, and are non-refundable. Find at tickets VillaFinale.org or call Visitor Services at (210) 223-9800. You can also buy tickets directly here.
$20-$25
401 King William
5:30 p.m.

Burton Fest and Costume Ball & Krampus Parade: A costumed ball in the spooky style of Tim Burton caps off the Victoria's Black Swan Inn's Saturday market, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offers free admission. The market is also open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The costume ball starts at 8 p.m. Saturday, and costs $25 per person.
$25
1006 Holbrook Rd.
8 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Sunday, Dec. 16

Let the Bells Ring! Free Christmas Concert by Fort Sam’s Own Band: The 323rd Army Band (Fort Sam’s Own) and members of the 1st Armored Division Band from Fort Bliss will sing a compilation of holiday classics at this free concert at the Aztec Theatre. Find out more here.
Free
104 N. Saint Mary’s St.
3:30 p.m.

La Gran Posada at the Spanish Governor’s Palace: This year’s San Fernando Cathedral La Gran Posada stops at the Spanish Governor’s Palace. The Posada starts at Milam Park across from Market Square, and crosses the Spanish Governor’s Palace, City Hall and the Courthouse and ends at the cathedral to celebrate with singing. There will be coffee, hot cocoa and light refreshments.
Free
105 Plaza de Armas
6 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 18

Free Outdoor Movie Screening: Nightmare Before Christmas: Slab Cinema will bring the Tim Burton holiday-crossover classic Nightmare Before Christmas to Milam Park as part of its outdoor cinema series. Bring chairs, blankets, and whatever else you need for a movie outside before the sun sets; screenings start 15 minutes after sundown.
Free
500 W. Commerce St.
15 minutes after sundown

Illume: Making Spirits Bright: The San Pedro Creek Culture Park finishes its "Illume" holiday festivities with a free performance from music group Conjunto Puro Corazon and homemade sweet and savory tamales by Granny’s Tamales. This event will take place at the Plaza de Fundación near the Santa Rosa Street bridge, and parking is available at 201 Piazza Italia.
Free
715 Camaron St.
5:30-7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 19

Posada: Father David Garcia and Las Misiones are hosting the second annual Posada at the Pearl. Las Posadas is a nine-day celebration in Mexico and Latin America, focused on the re-enactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for a place to stay in Bethlehem. There will be live music, children’s crafts, piñatas, and food.
Free
312 Pearl Pkwy.
6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 20

Midday Noels: First Presbyterian Church in downtown San Antonio will host the last of its three free Christmas music concerts. After each concert, a “Grab and Go” lunch will be offered for $3 and a hot lunch for $9.
Free
404 N. Alamo St.
12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.

The Pearl's Holiday Night Market: The popular holiday night market returns for the last time this season to the Pearl, and features the Farmers Market and other artisan vendors. Shoppers can enjoy live music and holiday eats like tamales and festive chocolates. Vendors will vary each week.
Free
312 Pearl Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78215
4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 21

Free Outdoor Movie Screening: The Polar Express: Slab Cinema brings the animated Christmas movie The Polar Express to its outdoor cinema series. Head to Guadalupe Plaza with chairs, blankets, and whatever else you need for a movie outside before the sun sets; screenings start 15 minutes after sundown.
Free
1327 Guadalupe St.
15 minutes after sundown

Saturday, Dec. 22

A Charlie Brown Christmas: Adapted from Charles M. Schulz’s timeless story of the spirit of Christmas, the live version of A Charlie Brown Christmas features the unforgettable music of Vince Guaraldi, as well as a concert of holiday carols performed by the Peanuts characters. The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts will be putting on two showings on Dec. 22, one at 1 p.m. and one at 4 p.m.
$29.50 to $65
100 Auditorium Cir.
1 p.m. and 4 p.m. showings

Friday, Dec. 28

Valero Alamo Bowl: On Dec. 28, the No. 2 team in the Pac-12 conference and the No. 2 team in the Big 12 conference meet for the annual Alamo Bowl in downtown San Antonio. Individual tickets start at $79, and doors open at 6 p.m. Head to the Alamodome to see some football or catch the live broadcast a sports bar.
$79 and up
100 Montana St.
6 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 29

Paseo de Chocolate: Take a chocolate tour through La Villita Historic Arts Village before the New Year resolutions kick in. Tickets cost $15, and come with a list and map of participating businesses, a commemorative bag, discounts on purchases, an entry into the Grand Prize Drawing for great gifts, and chocolates offered at each tour stop. Sample local artisanal chocolates and visit local shops, galleries, and restaurants while you're there!
$15
418 Villita St.
2 p.m. t0 6 p.m.

Ongoing holiday activities

Mr. Popper's Penguins: The Magik Theatre has brought the film Mr. Popper’s Penguins to its stage, following the journey of house-painter Mr. Popper and his wife in Stillwater, Minnesota. Mr. Popper uses his winter holiday to daydream of adventuring, while Mrs. Popper must scrimp and save just to put beans on the table. But with the unexpected arrival of a spirited penguin named Captain Cook, new horizons open for the couple. The show runs through Dec. 23. Check the Magik Theatre's website for showtimes and ticket prices.
$0 to $15
420 S. Alamo St.

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley: In this play put on by the Classic Theatre, middle sister Mary Bennet of the Pride and Prejudice Bennet family becomes the center of a holiday story, two years after Pride and Prejudice takes place. When the shy bookworm Arthur de Bourgh turns up unexpectedly at the family celebration, Mary must learn to be the heroine of her own story in order to get the romance she longs for. The show runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 23. Check the Classic Theatre's website for showtimes and ticket prices.
$18 to $33
1924 Fredericksburg Rd.

Holidays in Bloom: The San Antonio Botanical Garden is showcasing the changing seasons with its annual Holidays in Bloom exhibition. The garden will be decorated with red ribbons and garlands, complete with a 12-foot Christmas tree at its entryway. Holidays in Bloom is included with general admission, and free for members. The exhibition runs through Dec. 31. Learn more here.
$0 to $12
555 Funston Pl.

Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban™ in Concert: The San Antonio Symphony is bringing the third volume of the Harry Potter series to life by accompanying the story as it unfolds with a live orchestra at the Majestic Theatre. There are three shows, from Dec. 21 to Dec. 23. Find tickets here.
$27 to $67
224 E Houston St

Santa Claus at the Witte Museum: The Witte Museum is bringing Santa Claus to take pictures with visitors for three weekends in December — Dec. 8-9, Dec. 15-16, and Dec. 22-23. On Saturdays, Santa will be at the Witte from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and on Sundays he'll stop by from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Pictures are included with museum admission.
Free with museum admission
3801 Broadway St

The Nutcracker 2018: Live music performed by the San Antonio Symphony, and a variety of local celebrities will join the dancers of Ballet San Antonio on stage. Shows run from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 and cost between $35 and $114. Check the Tobin Center's website for more information and ticket prices.
$35 to $114
100 Auditorium Cir.

Great Russian Nutcracker: On Dec. 26 and Dec. 27, the Moscow Ballet will bring this holiday classic to San Antonio's Majestic Theatre. Tickets start at $32.50. Check the website for more information and ticket prices.
$32.50 to $179.50
224 E. Houston St.

Flower Vault: Looking for that perfect Instagram backdrop? Need a well-curated environment for your family Christmas photo? From now through Dec. 31, Flower Vault has brought its blooming floral walls and Christmas-themed rooms to the Rim. Tickets for one-hour time slots cost $20 per person, but kids 10 and under are free with a parent. Pets are welcome too, and pet admission costs $10. And the folks behind this project have thought of everything — check their FAQ page for any questions you have about photography settings, changing rooms, props, and more. Reserve spots here.
$20 per person, $10 per pet
17610 La Cantera Pkwy, Ste. 110, San Antonio, TX 78257

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