CommunitySeasonal Fun November 21, 2017

Your Guide to Holiday Cheer in and around San Antonio

Thanksgiving is still a few days away, but the holiday season is kicking off in a big way in San Antonio. From twinkling light displays to caroling on the River Walk, there’s no shortage of cheer in and around the city. Check out these eleven holiday events to help you get into the spirit.

Dickens on Main

When:  Friday, November 24, 2017, 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Get your merry on as the 18th annual Dickens on Main celebration kicks off the holiday season in Boerne on Nov. 24 and 25. Shop for unique holiday gifts along Boerne’s Hill Country Mile while the whole family enjoys live musical entertainment, Dickens-era theatrical performances, a variety of children’s activities including Santa and a 60-foot snow slide, live ice sculpting shows, horse-drawn carriage rides, snow on Main Street and more. See Dickens on Main for a complete schedule.

The Nutcracker

When: Fri., Nov. 24, 7:30 p.m.;  Sat., Nov. 25, 2 & 7:30 p.m.;  Sun., Nov. 26, 2 p.m.;  Thu., Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m.;  Fri., Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m.;   Sat., Dec. 2, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; and Sun., Dec. 3, 2 p.m.

Reconnect to your sense of wonder as San Antonio’s homegrown arts powerhouses, Ballet San Antonio and the San Antonio Symphony, team up to bring The Nutcracker to life on the Tobin Center for Performing Arts stage.  The traditional holiday ballet by Tchaikovsky features immediately recognizable music, over-the-top pantomime and graceful dancers in a package that delights young and old alike.  Tickets from $24.50.  More information at Tobin Nutcracker.

Concert in the Cave-Sounds of the Season

When:  Saturday, November 25, 2017,  7:00 p.m.

Enjoy Tinsel—an a cappella quartet—for sounds of the Christmas Season with contemporary classics and beloved carols.  Tinsel is not your average group of Christmas carolers; their roster includes Grammy® winners and classically trained vocalists.  Tinsel’s original arrangements of holiday favorites sparkle with sophistication, while respecting tradition and cherished memories.  Add a cool cave location with amazing acoustics to Tinsel’s unique sound for an unforgettable addition to your Christmas season.  More information and tickets at Cave Without a Name.

Hands on Chanukah

When: Thursday, November 30, 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Hands on Chanukah is back! This annual free family event will include crafts (dip-dye Chanukah candles!), activities, and snacks including latkes and applesauce, that will celebrate Chanukah.  While the event is free, RSVPs are requested. For more information or to RSVP, contact Rachel at 210-302-6969 or click on Barshop Jewish Community Center.

La Cantera Resort & Spa Holiday Tree Lighting and Free Jazz Concert

When: Thursday, November 30, 7:00 p.m. –9:00 p.m.

La Cantera Resort & Spa hosts a free jazz concert by Paul Taylor, internationally acclaimed jazz saxophonist. The concert coincides with the annual tree lighting ceremony on Plaza San Saba. Guests will enjoy free holiday treats, kids’ activities and photos with Santa. Donations will be accepted and proceeds will benefit a local children’s charity.  More information at La Cantera Resort and Spa Tree Lighting.

Ford Fiesta de Las Luminarias

When: Weekends beginning Friday, Dec. 1 – Sunday December 17 at dusk along 3 miles of the River Walk

Experience the holiday serenity of the River Walk strolling along the lush banks of the San Antonio River, guided by more than 2,000 Luminarias. This centuries-old tradition begins at dusk Friday, Saturday & Sunday only for three weekends in December. Luminarias are a traditional Mexican Christmas lantern, originally consisting of a candle set in sand inside a small bag.   These glow just as bright, but without the fire hazard.

Ford Holiday Boat Caroling

When: Weekends beginning Friday, December 1 – Friday, December 22, 6:15 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.; Tuesday – Thursday, 6:00 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.

Joyous caroling fills the evening air along the San Antonio River Walk as nearly a half dozen boats carry different performing groups along the river.  More than 185 school, church, company, and civic choral groups participate each year. The public is invited to stroll on the banks of the river or sit outdoors in a restaurant to enjoy the caroling.  More information about both events may be found at The San Antonio River Walk.

Gruene Christmas Market Days & Holiday Lighting

When:  Saturday, December 2nd; 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Cowboy Kringle and Lighting 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Get a start on your holiday shopping in Gruene when nearly 100 vendors converge on the downtown area offering Christmas gifts, uniquely crafted items and packaged Texas foods. Photos with Gruene’s own Cowboy Kringle may be taken during the Market Days event, with packages available for purchase. For more information, visit

At 5:00 p.m., watch as Cowboy Kringle rides into town on horseback and lights Gruene for the Holidays. Enjoy live musical performances with festival food and wine available for purchase. Afterwards, get some holiday shopping done at Gruene’s 30+ stores.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze

When:  Friday, December 8 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 9, 2 & 7:30 p.m.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze lights up the holiday season at the Tobin Center for Performing Arts with its critically acclaimed holiday stage extravaganza. It’s a cirque show, Broadway musical, and family Christmas spectacular all in one.  Witness snowmen, penguins, angels, reindeer, toy soldiers, gingerbread men, ornaments and of course Santa; with soaring acrobatics, gravity defying feats, elaborate production numbers, imaginative costumes, illusions and more. The show also celebrates the most wonderful time of the year with singers, original music and seasonal favorites all performed in a winter wonderland of amazement.  Tickets from $38.50.  More information at Tobin Cirque Dreams.

La Gran Tamalada

When:  Sunday, December 10, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m

The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center presents La Gran Tamalada, the annual community workshop that honors the tradition of making tamales on  at the Guadalupe Theater, 1301 Guadalupe St. The free event blends storytelling, the history of the tamalada and promotes cultural pride and lifelong learning. Children and adults participate in this hands-on opportunity to learn about the ingredients, recipes and cooking methods used in making this culturally iconic dish.  The Cortez Family, owners of the popular Mi Tierra restaurant, will share their love of family, tradition, and tamales with the community. More information at La Gran Tamalada.

Holiday Block Party at Quarry Village

When:  Thursday, December 15, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

This free, family-friendly event features a 15 x 15 foot play zone filled with real snow, a gorgeous Christmas tree lighting, live Christmas carolers, a Santa photo station, complimentary bites by area restaurants, wine, cocoa, and a cup of Christmas cheer (beer!) provided by Weathered Souls Brewing Co. A DJ, plus holiday sales and giveaways round out the evening. MBP Photobooth Co. will be providing complimentary photos with a pet-friendly Santa.  Just bring a Toys for Tots donation for your photo print out. More information at Quarry Village Holiday Block Party on Facebook.