Support Local Journalism, Join the SA Current Press Club.

17 Family-friendly Christmas Activities 

click image The UIW campus, illuminated by nearly a million Christmas lights. - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • The UIW campus, illuminated by nearly a million Christmas lights.

Christmas is fast approaching, and kids are going to be out of school soon for Winter break—cue the groans of stay-at-home moms everywhere as they anticipate the inevitable whines of "I'm bored" from their hyperactive children. Anticipating Santa's arrival makes otherwise normal kids lose their shit. Combine that anticipation with the stir-crazy effects of a routine driven child who suddenly finds himself stuck at home all day, and you've got a real problem on your hands.

But never fear! We've compiled a list of activities to get you through the holiday season without turning into a Scrooge McDuck. Take your family out to see some pretty Christmas lights, or go check out one of SA's theme parks which have recently transformed into magical Winter wonderlands. You could even adopt a puppy together (just don't go "look" at the puppies with no plan to adopt, because you will leave with a Christmas puppy).

Whatever activity your family chooses to enjoy together, it will stop that dreaded "I'm bored" before it even dares to leave your child's mouth. Instead, your darling cherubic child will probably be moved to quote the sweetest Christmas boy himself (not including baby JC, of course), Tiny Tim, and say "God bless us, everyone." He'll whisper it quietly to himself before falling into a deep candy cane coma, only to reawaken promptly on Christmas morning. Yup. Trust me on this. 

Here are some Christmas light displays to start off the list:

Light the Way
University of Incarnate Word invites you to enjoy its 28th annual Light the Way Christmas display. Every night the campus is lit up by nearly a million sparkling lights, transforming UIW into a Cardinal Christmas wonderland. The lights will be on display through January 6. Free, University of Incarnate Word, 4301 Broadway St, (210) 829-6000,

Santa’s Ranch
If looking at your neighbor’s tacky inflatable snowman every day just isn’t doing it for you, then round up your kids and drive them over to Santa’s Ranch for a spectacular drive-through experience. The ranch is decked out in lights and features secular Santa themed displays as well as biblical scenes. $28 per vehicle, Sunday-Thursday 6pm-10pm, Friday-Saturday 6pm-11pm, Santa’s Ranch, 9561 I-35 N, (830) 743-1293,

Santa’s Railroad Wonderland
The forty acre site of the Texas Transportation Museum is decked out with twinkling Christmas lights and railroad themed holiday displays. There will be nighttime train and hay rides through the site so you can enjoy the cool weather without having to walk around (which is a major plus if you have rowdy little ones). Don’t forget to meet Choo Choo Claus while you’re there! $7-$10, Saturdays and Sundays, 6pm-9pm, Texas Transportation Museum, 11731 Wetmore Rd, (210) 490-3554.

Museum Reach River of Lights
The San Antonio River Authority is making sure your holiday season is merry and bright by covering the stretch of river between Grayson Street and Lexington Avenue with a dazzling arrangement of lights. The river will remain decorated through the New Year. Free, Wyndham Garden River Walk Museum Reach, 103 9th St, (210) 515-4555.

Christmas Lights Fest
With nearly two million lights strung along a two mile stretch of Don Strange Ranch, the Christmas Lights Fest is an attraction that is sure to impress even the Scroogiest of Scrooges. Take your kids in their pajamas and, if you’re lucky, they’ll fall right to sleep on the way home. $20-$25 per vehicle, 6pm-10pm, Don Strange Ranch, 103 Waring Welfare Rd, (210) 434-2340,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


Join SA Current Newsletters

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation