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November 19, 2021 Slideshows » Arts

The 23 best places to see Christmas lights in driving distance of San Antonio this holiday season 

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Looking for some holiday cheer? Even the Grinchiest among us would have to admit there's something heartwarming about twinkling Christmas light displays.

Whether you want to check out a festive attraction that's pulled out the holiday stops or enjoy the simple pleasure of extra AF neighborhood holiday decorations, we've got you covered with this roundup of 23 light displays, all within driving distance of the Alamo City.
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Lightscape at the San Antonio Botanical Garden
555 Funston Place, (210) 536-1400, sabot.org/lightscape
Billed as a "holiday walking trail," Lightscape transforms the grounds of the San Antonio Botanical Garden into a twinkling wonderland that can be explored on select evenings from Nov. 19-Jan. 2. Visitors can enjoy illuminated art pieces including a field of light-up bluebonnets, and amp up their holiday spirit with festive food and drinks.
Photo by Jaime Monzon
Enchanted Springs Ranch
242 State Hwy 46 W Unit C, Boerne, (210) 570-7669, christmaslightfest.com
Just up the road in Boerne you’ll be able to enjoy the Old West Christmas Light Fest. The magic of the holidays will be alive with this Texas-themed light display that’s synchronized to special tunes. This display opens Thanksgiving night and will run through Christmas Eve.
Photo via Instagram / christmaslightfest
San Antonio Zoo
3903 N St Mary's Street, (210) 734-7184, sazoo.org
The year's Whataburger Zoo Lights is full of animal-themed holiday cheer. This year's edition includes the Lakeside Light Show, Starry Safari and a Holiday Sing-a-Long Express train ride. Zoo Lights is open Nov. 19 through Jan. 2, 2022.
Photo Courtesy of San Antonio Zoo
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 10, you can also catch fun events like the Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias on select weekends.
Photo via Instagram / ingridalamode
Marble Falls Walkway of Lights
Lakeside Park, 305 Buena Vista Dr, (844) 635-4448, marblefalls.org
The Marble Falls Walkway of Lights is a great way for locals to take a short drive to get away and enjoy some seasonal goodness. The 31st annual offering of the display, which features two million twinkling lights throughout more than 350 lightedd sculptures, is open nightly from 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 19 through New Year’s Day.
Photo via Instagram / christmasinmarblefalls
Santa’s Ranch
9561 IH 35 North, New Braunfels, (830) 743-1293, santasranch.net
From now through Jan. 2, 2022, you’ll be able to make the quick trip to New Braunfels for this long-running light display. You’ll be able to stay warm in the car as you take a drive through more than a mile of Christmas light displays – which vary from blankets of lights to specialized designs. If you’d like, you can even score treats like hot cocoa and kettle corn on the grounds to enjoy during the ride.
Photo via Instagram / santasranch
Museum Reach River of Lights
It isn't just the downtown portion of the River Walk that gets the holiday treatment. The San Antonio River Authority's annual Museum Reach River of Lights extends the Christmas cheer further down the river, and even features a 30-foot-tall musical Christmas tree at the Museum Reach lock and dam. The lights will be on view through January 3, 2022.
Photo Courtesy of San Antonio River Authority
University of the Incarnate Word
4301 Broadway, uiw.edu/lighttheway
After the opening night festivities of Light The Way on Nov. 20, the beautiful display of lights across the UIW campus remain throughout the holiday season. You’ll find lights nestled on numerous trees that literally light the way across campus.
Photo via Instagram / mallorydavisphotography
Travis Park
301 E Travis St, (210) 207-3677, travisparksa.com
The holiday season in San Antonio officially begins with the lighting ceremony of the city’s 50-foot H-E-B Christmas tree on Friday, Nov. 26. While the lighting won’t take place until 6:20 p.m., all the seasonal activities begin as early as 3 p.m. This year, Rotary Ice Rink is back at the park so you can glide on the ice while you enjoy the holiday lights.
Photo via Instagram / bpiernik
Boerne
The city of Boerne gets even more picturesque during the holiday season. In adddition to cute lights in the city center, Boerne's residents also battle it out for who has the most festive display each year as part of the Boerne Parade of Lights. These houses make for the perfect little spot to enjoy lights without dealing with crowds or entrance fees. Judging will take place on December 14-15.
Photo via Instagram / s.a.foodie
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The Historic Pearl
303 Pearl Pkwy, atpearl.com
In the heart of the Historic Pearl you’ll find a tall, decked out Christmas tree that you’ll definitely want to get a few selfies in front of. Aside from your photoshoot, you may want to make plans to hit up a number of holiday events happening at the hotspot — from Chanukah at Pearl and the Posada at the Pearl to the weekly Holiday Night Markets.
Photo Courtesy of Pearl
SeaWorld
10500 Sea World Dr, (210) 520-4732, seaworld.com
Though folks may stay clear of SeaWorld the rest of the year, the park’s holiday offerings are something special. Now through Jan. 2, 2022, locals will have the chance to check out the park all decked out for its annual Christmas Celebration. SeaWorld is transformed into a wintery, but watery, wonderland with Christmas shows, music performances, Santa Claus appearances, festive foods and, of course, holiday light displays — all of which make up more than nine million lights. Yes, million.
Photo via Instagram / seaworldtexas
Alamo Lights
300 Alamo Plaza, (210) 225-1391, thealamo.org
From Nov. 19-January 3, 2022 the Alamo will have its halls decked for the holiday season, giving San Antonio's famous landmark an extra dose of festive cheer.
Photo Courtesy of Alamo Trust, Inc.
Wimberley’s Trail of Lights
1101 FM 2325, Wimberley, emilyann.org
A short drive away in Wimberley, you’ll be able to enjoy a free light display presented in a trail (though donations will be accepted). There’s also live music and complimentary hot chocolate with marshmallows for you to enjoy while you walk the path and take in all the lights.The attraction is open on select nights through Dec. 26.
Photo via Instagram / bellatasca
Natural Bridge Caverns
26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Road, (210) 651-6101, naturalbridgecaverns.com
Experience Christmas on a whole new level — literally. On weekends in December up until Christmas, you’ll find holiday 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 / azulita__
Don Strange Ranch
103 Waring Welfare Road, Boerne, christmas.donstrangeranch.com
On Fridays-Sundays Nov. 26-Dec. 24, folks will be able to head up to Boerne for the drive-thru Christmas light display at Don Strange Ranch. The Texas-sized display has more than 4.5 million lights and even moving displays that you’ll be able to enjoy from your car.
Photo via Instagram / uglyduckling7.3
Six Flags Fiesta Texas
17000 IH-10 West, sixflags.com
The annual Holiday in the Park is the prime time to visit Fiesta Texas. This enchanting experience brings holiday-themed sights, sounds, tastes and attractions — including Christmas lights — on select nights Nov. 20-Jan. 2, 2022. There’s also the Winter Wonderland, which lets visitors get their fix of snow. If you stop by, make sure to take a ride on the Holiday Express and catch some of the live entertainment perfect for the season.
Photo via Instagram / seki_b
Monte Vista
Residents of Monte Vista tend to deck the halls in a major way. Though not an official display or event, Monte Vista makes for a prime spot for tricked-out displays. Take a drive through the neighborhood and admire these homes that fit the season just right.
Photo via Instagram / abeverman
Elf Acres
1475 Grosenbacher Road, (210) 643-8662, elfacres.com
There’s plenty of fun to be had at this Far West Side attraction, which boasts a 15-acre drive-through trail and thousands of lights that are animated and set to music that plays along. You can get in on the holiday spirit Nov. 19-Jan. 2, 2022.
Photo via Instagram / elfacresvenue
Lights Alive
5931 Roft Road, seelightsalive.com
Remember that Star Wars light show at that house near Dignowity Park a couple of years ago? Well, the folks recognized that the show was so popular that they decided to put together a whole drive-through light display! Venture out to Alamo Ranch and you’ll be able to enjoy this massive display, all with music to complete the show.
Photo via Instagram / seelightsalive
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Morgan’s Wonderland
5223 David Edwards Dr, (210) 495-5888, morganswonderland.com
Head on over to the most inclusive park in Texas for a day of seasonal fun. The Wonderland Christmas will bring twinkling lights, holiday shows, photos with Santa and moe! This holiday attraction is only offered on select nights Nov. 26-Dec. 23, so you may want to plan ahead of time.
Photo via Instagram / morganswonderlandtexas
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. Plenty of Windcrest residents go all out, so you’re bound to see an abundance of over-the-top but absolutely gorgeous displays.
Photo via Instagram / missjenflowers
Trail of Lights
2400 Barton Springs Road, Austin, austintrailoflights.org
From Nov. 27 through Dec. 31, San Antonians can make the trip up to Austin to hit up the famed Trail of Lights. The display, back for a 57th year, brings more than 400,000 visitors each year to take in the 40+ displays and more than 2 million lights. The 2021 event returns as a drive-thru experience, which debuted as a pandemic-safety measure in 2020. Though the event has featured amusement rides in past years, this year they are not available. You are, however, allowed to bring food and non-alcoholic drinks to enjoy in your vehicle, and concessions will be available for purchase as you wait in the queue.
Photo via Instagram / atxlights
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Lightscape at the San Antonio Botanical Garden
555 Funston Place, (210) 536-1400, sabot.org/lightscape
Billed as a "holiday walking trail," Lightscape transforms the grounds of the San Antonio Botanical Garden into a twinkling wonderland that can be explored on select evenings from Nov. 19-Jan. 2. Visitors can enjoy illuminated art pieces including a field of light-up bluebonnets, and amp up their holiday spirit with festive food and drinks.
Photo by Jaime Monzon

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