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Lights Abound: Where to See Holiday Lights in San Antonio

One of my favorite memories from childhood is getting in the car, cranking up the holiday music, and driving around with my family as we oohed and ahhed over twinkling holiday lights. With the holiday season upon us, I am excited to continue this tradition with my own little family and have done quite a bit of research to find the best holiday lights in San Antonio! There are many great ones, and if I missed any, let me know in the comments. Happy holidays!

Where to See Holiday Lights in San Antonio

lights in san antonio

Christmas Light Fest at the Don Strange Ranch

  • Where: 103 Waring Welfare Rd., Boerne, TX 78006 | (210) 434-2340
  • When: November 27–January 3, Fridays, Saturdays, and holidays, 6:00–10:00 P.M. and Sundays–Thursdays, 6:00–9:00 P.M.
  • Cost: $27 per vehicle or $60 for a season pass
  • There are over two million lights at Don Strange Ranch, making it one of the best displays of holiday lights in South Texas. Located just north of San Antonio in Boerne, Christmas Light Fest is an experience your child won’t forget! Besides admiring the lights, there are plenty of activities and food for both children and adults. Drive-thru or enjoy a hayride under the stars as two miles of holiday lights dazzle and entertain you, then enjoy a stop at Santa’s Village for your fill of holiday flavors and fun.
Photo credit Chidgey Photography

Zoo Lights-Merry & Bright and Wild at Night!

  • Where: San Antonio Zoo3903 N. St. Mary’s St., San Antonio, TX 78212 | (210) 734-7184
  • When: November 18–January 1, 6:00–10:00 P.M. (closed December 24–25)
  • Cost: $14.99 per person; here is a Groupon for $12 per person
  • Thousands of lights adorn the San Antonio Zoo to create a magical holiday experience. There are games and activities for the kids as well as a chance to have your child’s picture taken with Santa and decorate cookies with his significant other, Mrs. Claus. There will also be a Wishing Tree set up inside Beastro Restaurant where you can purchase an ornament for $10 and sponsor a child’s trip to the zoo—a nice way to give back this holiday season!

Ford Fiesta De Las Luminarias

  • Where: The River Walk | (210) 227-4262
  • When: December 2–18, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays only, at dusk
  • Cost: Free
  • Ford Fiesta De Las Luminarias features more than 6,000 luminarias, which are candles in sand-filled bags, along the San Antonio River. These are part of the Mexican Christmas tradition of “lighting the way” for the holy family. Teams of volunteers make this display possible for the citizens of San Antonio to enjoy every holiday season.

Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony

  • Where: The River Walk | (210) 227-4262
  • When: November 25, 6:00–9:00 P.M.
  • Cost: Tickets range from $15–$30 per person; children two and under may sit on the laps of their parents
  • There is something so special about the entire city of San Antonio coming together to celebrate the holiday season through this annual River Parade and lighting of the River Walk. This year’s parade theme is Tinsel and Merriment. A trip downtown to see this parade is a great way to kick off the holiday season. If you can’t make the parade, don’t worry—the lights will be up through December for everyone to enjoy.

Windcrest Light Up: Safari Through Windcrest

  • Where: City of Windcrest8601 Midcrown, Windcrest, TX 78239 | (210) 655-0022
  • When: December 6–31, nightly
  • Cost: Free
  • The Windcrest Light Up holiday light display is truly one of a kind. For 58 years, the residents of Windcrest have been outdoing themselves with intricate and awesome holiday lights and decorations. Houses are decked to the nines, and there are several competitions including “Best Mailbox” and “Most Creative Lighting.” There is an opening ceremony the night of December 8. The theme for this year is “Safari Through Windcrest.”

Light the Way at University of the Incarnate Word

  • Where: University of the Incarnate Word, 4301 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209 | (210) 829-6001
  • When: Nightly through January 6
  • Cost: Free
  • The holiday lights at University of the Incarnate Word are truly stunning. The entire campus is covered in sparkling lights, and the public is free to take a walking tour through the beautiful buildings and trees. If you haven’t been on the campus, it’s a good idea to check out a map before you go.  This 130 year old tradition is worth a trip!

Santa’s Ranch

  • Where: Santa’s Ranch, 9561 I-35 N., New Braunfels, TX 78130 | (830) 743-1293
  • When: November 4–January 1, Sundays–Thursdays, 6:00–10:00 P.M. and Fridays and Saturdays, 6:00–11:00 P.M.
  • Cost: $28 + tax per vehicle or $56 + tax per vehicle for a season pass
  • Located in New Braunfels, Santa’s Ranch is a drive-through holiday light display situated on over a mile of country road. There are lights as well as animated displays. This is a perfect option for a cold winter night! Food and beverages are available for purchase.

Christmas in Cuero

  • Where: 201 Leonard Roy Harmon Dr., Cuero, TX 77954 | (361) 275-8178
  • When: November 21–January 1, nightly from 6:00–10:00 P.M.
  • Cost: Free (donations are accepted)
  • The 16th annual Christmas in Cuero kicks off with an event, Christmas in the Park, on Monday, November 23. The self-guided driving tour features more than 130 holiday light displays! Every Thursday in December is a Free Hot Chocolate night, and there is a live nativity display Thursday, December 17–Sunday, December 20. You can find out more info on the Christmas in Cuero Facebook page.

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2 Responses to Lights Abound: Where to See Holiday Lights in San Antonio

  1. Christabel Cook November 26, 2016 at 10:29 am #

    I heard that Retama Park will have an inaugural holiday magic Festival of Lights beginning Dec 1st.

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