Dec 5, 2022 - Things to Do

A travel guide to holiday fun in San Antonio

San Antonio's River Walk at night, decorated for the holidays with lights draped over trees lining the water.

Visiting San Antonio's River Walk during December is like living in a holiday postcard. Photo: MyLoupe/UIG/Getty Images

For a holiday getaway without the airport hassle, San Antonio is home to postcard-worthy Christmas scenes that are just a road trip away.

Driving the news: Now that the Thanksgiving leftovers are finished, the most wonderful time of the year is underway.

What to do: San Antonio's famous River Walk is a must-see during the holidays, when more than 100,000 lights are draped over the cypress trees that line the waterway.

  • The lights, which are free to see, stay on until Jan. 9.
  • Narrated river barge cruises are also available. Tour prices range from $8.50 to $32.

For the 21-and-up crowd: Snowbound and Miracle, two national Christmas cocktail pop-up bars, have returned to San Antonio.

  • Snowbound — Chicken N Pickle's onsite pop-up — is a ski lodge-themed bar trimmed with tinsel and offers a menu of coordinated drinks.
  • After a three-year hiatus, Miracle is back at Esquire Tavern.
  • Esquire is known as the oldest bar on the Riverwalk and it has transformed into "Miracle on Commerce Street" for the holidays. The menu includes drinks like Grandma Got Run Over by a T-Rex and Jingle Balls Nog.

Where to stay: A place in the downtown area or Southtown would be ideal for holiday shopping.

Yes, but: The festive focus isn't solely on downtown. For more than 60 years, residents of Windcrest, a municipality within Bexar County, have elaborately decorated their homes with Christmas lights for the public to enjoy for free.

  • The light switches flip on Dec. 3.
  • This year's theme is Fiesta Navidad.

The bottom line: Whether you're traveling with kids, trying to save money or are looking for a night out with kitschy cocktails, San Antonio has a bit of everything.


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