November 29, 2018 Slideshows » Arts

The 20 Best Christmas Light Displays Within Driving Distance of San Antonio 

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It's the most wonderful time of the year – and mostly because of the beautiful Christmas lights displays! Whether you want to stay in San Antonio or want a reason to drive up to New Braunfels or Austin, here are the absolute best light displays to get you in the holiday spirit.
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Enchanted Springs Ranch
242 State Highway 46 West, Boerne, (830) 249-8222, christmaslightfest.com
Seriously y'all, you should pay a visit to the annual Old West Christmas Lights Fest? It's a fan favorite for a reason – from the old western townscape being adorned in lights to the special seasonal displays. Take a short drive out to Boerne and visit this ranch that brings the Old West to you and lets you be enamored by the Christmas lights (including a whole walkway to completely immerse you in lights). Trust us, this display is mesmerizing and the setting makes it all the more special.
Photo via Instagram / enchantedspringsranch
The River Walk
849 E Commerce Street, (210) 227-4262, thesanantonioriverwalk.com
Want a super romantic date idea that won’t break the bank? Take your boo to the River Walk and fall in love with the lights. While the lights will be on every night through January 6, you can also catch fun events like the Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias on select weekends. There’s also boat caroling on some nights throughout December.
Photo via Instagram / visitsanantonio
Trail of Lights
2400 Barton Springs Road, Austin, austintrailoflights.org
Open for just two weeks in December, Austin’s Trail of Lights brings more than 400,000 visitors each year who are all captivated by the 40+ displays and more than 2 million lights. Be sure to swing by on one of the free nights and fall in love with the walk-through display, and relax toward the end of the trail with food trucks, activities and live entertainment.
Photo via Instagram / michellemckown
San Antonio Zoo
3903 N St Mary's Street, (210) 734-7184, sazoo.org
Take your chance to explore the zoo at night and stop by for the seasonal affair. Whether you love animals or just love holiday events, you can witness this wild display and hang out with these lovable critters (or maybe not, since most will be asleep). Just save some extra bucks for s’mores and hot cocoa (there’s an adult version if you so wish) or maybe even a camel ride. Photo via Instagram / sanantoniozoo
Santa’s Ranch
9561 IH 35 North, New Braunfels, (830) 743-1293, santasranch.net
If you really want to see lights, take the family up to Santa’s Ranch in New Braunfels. You and the family will be able to stay warm in the car as you take a drive through more than a mile of Christmas light display – which vary from blankets of lights to specialized designs.
Photo via Instagram / santas ranch
SeaWorld
10500 Sea World Drive, seaworld.com/san-antonio
Head on over to SeaWorld so you can appreciate the 9 million Christmas lights throughout the park. NINE MILLION! The watery wonderland also has Christmas shows (including a Sesame Christmas parade), festive foods and the opportunity to meet Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.
Photo via Instagram / seaworldtexas
Travis Park
301 E Travis St, (210) 207-3677
Home of the city’s official 50-foot Christmas tree (thanks H-E-B), you can find plenty of lights right here in the heart of downtown. Packed with plenty of history (the park dates back to 1870), Travis Park’s light display features 250,000 lights that you can be amazed by through Christmas.
Photo via Instagram / rey_xcvi
Monte Vista
Christmas lights just look better when they’re carefully placed on beautiful homes. Take a drive through the neighborhood and admire these homes that fit the season just right.
Photo via Instagram / sun_carlos
Circuit of Americas
9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd., Austin, circuitoftheamericas.com
Take a drive up to Austin for a display that’s truly worth the road trip. Back for a second year, this Winter Wonderland lets you feast your eyes on thousands of lights and, new this year, the Chinese Lantern Festival. And that’s not all, there’s also a petting zoo, ice skating, sleigh rides, camel rides, carnival rides, a zip line, a Chinese maze and so much more. Trust us, this will be a day trip that you and the kiddos never forget.
Photo via Instagram / cota_official
Six Flags Fiesta Texas
17000 IH-10 West, sixflags.com/fiestatexas
The annual Holiday in the Park is the prime time to visit Fiesta Texas. This enchanting experience brings holiday-themed sights, sounds, tastes (there’s fire pits especially for s’mores) and attractions – including Christmas lights. There’s also the Winter Wonderland, which lets visitors get their fix of snow. If you stop by, make sure to snap a selfie in front of the giant ornament decked out with lights, and take a ride on the Holiday Express.
Photo via Instagram / sixflagsfiestatexas
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Windcrest
If you’re from the South Side or West Side, you should already know that checking out the Christmas lights in Windcrest is an unofficial tradition for many. Many Windcrest residents go all out, so you’re bound to see plenty of over-the-top but absolutely gorgeous displays.
Photo via Instagram / mrslongoria719
The Historic Pearl
303 Pearl Pkwy., atpearl.com
In the heart of the Pearl you’ll find a tall, decked out Christmas tree. You’re going to the Pearl anyway, so you might as well get a few selfies in front of the tree. You can also catch seasonal events like the Holiday Night Market and Chanukah at Pearl.
Photo via Instagram / historicpearl
Don Strange Ranch
103 Waring Welfare Road, Boerne, christmas.donstrangeranch.com
Just a short drive away in Boerne, Don Strange Ranch hosts a Texas-sized display with more than 3 million that you’ll have to drive through. You can also get out of the car and take another type of ride – either on a hayride or a carriage ride.
Photo via Instagram / henrylee1968
Son's Island
110 Lee St, Seguin, (888) 993-6772, https://christmasontheisland.com/
Back for a second year, Christmas on the Island offers a tropical trail of lights just a short drive away. This twinkling wonderland is made complete with live music, sweet desserts, hot drinks, campfires and live music. You can even take your picture with Santa!
Photo via Instagram / sons.island
Gruene
Take a drive up to Gruene (may we suggest Gruene Hall?) and admire the simple lights in this simple town. And heck, while you’re there you might as well stop in for a beer or two.
Photo via Instagram / tepplerphotography
Morgan’s Wonderland
5223 David Edwards Drive, morganswonderland.com
Head on over to the most inclusive park in Texas for a day of seasonal fun. Over in Sensory Village you’ll see an illuminated Christmas tree and other twinkling lights, plus a simulated ice rink! You’ll also be able to score complimentary hot chocolate and cookies.
Photo via Instagram / morganswonderlandtexas
Elf Acres
1475 Grosenbacher Road, elfacres.com
Whether you choose to drive through the 15-acre trail or walk around to explore the seasonal offerings, there’s plenty fun to be had at this Far West Side spot. With thousands of Christmas lights that are animated and set to music that plays along. Be sure to hit up the concession stand for hot chocolate, popcorn, funnel cakes, and more.
Photo via Instagram / elfacresvenue
La Villita
418 Villita Street, lavillitasanantonio.com
While you’re exploring around downtown, be sure spend some time in La Villita. The historic arts village will definitely have some sights and lights worth seeing.
Photo via Instagram / lavillitaarts
Natural Bridge Caverns
26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Road, naturalbridgecaverns.com
Experience Christmas on a whole new level – literally. You’ll find Christmas lights scattered about the grounds, as well as fun activities like caroling in the caverns, a hayride, campfire and a maze to find Santa’s reindeer.
Photo via Instagram / naturalbridgecaverns
University of the Incarnate Word
4301 Broadway Street, lightthewaysa.com
Though the opening night festivities of Light The Way have since passed, the beautiful display of lights across the UIW campus remain. You’ll find lights nestled on numerous trees that literally light the way across campus.
Photo via Instagram / runjacksrun
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Enchanted Springs Ranch
242 State Highway 46 West, Boerne, (830) 249-8222, christmaslightfest.com
Seriously y'all, you should pay a visit to the annual Old West Christmas Lights Fest? It's a fan favorite for a reason – from the old western townscape being adorned in lights to the special seasonal displays. Take a short drive out to Boerne and visit this ranch that brings the Old West to you and lets you be enamored by the Christmas lights (including a whole walkway to completely immerse you in lights). Trust us, this display is mesmerizing and the setting makes it all the more special.
Photo via Instagram / enchantedspringsranch

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