by Alexis McCutchan | Editor-in-Chief
With winter break approaching, the amount of holiday activities is endless here in San Antonio. So for those of you who are staying in town for the holidays, I have created a list of some of the best holiday activities for you!
Christmas at the Caverns: Natural Bridge Caverns transforms for the holidays with caroling in the caverns, Christmas campfires, photos with Spelunker Claus and hayrides (all available weekends through Dec. 23) plus a reindeer Roundup maze and Flying Elf zip lines (open daily). Partial proceeds benefit the San Antonio Food Bank.
Light the way at UIW: This extravagant lighting event will take place at the University of the Incarnate Word. This event will have plenty of holiday activities the family can enjoy and admission is free.
Santa’s Railroad Wonderland: Santa’s Railroad Wonderland is an extravagant of Christmas activities including night time train rides. Just about every part of the forty acre site is decorated, from the historic depot, the trains, the garden railroad, our three other scale model railroad layouts and everything else in between. Bring your camera and make your own Christmas memories. “Our event has been bringing joy to families for 18 years”
Winter Celebrations around the world at the Institute of Texas Cultures: The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures offers a variety of festive activities and charitable efforts for December’s Free Second Sunday.International students participating in the AYUSA Global Exchange program will have displays depicting major holidays in their home countries. Dressed in their native attire, they will be available to discuss holiday traditions and other aspects of life at home and their experiences in the U.S.
Horseshoe Bay Resort: Enjoy a Holiday shopping market with outdoor activities including Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides, Photos with Santa, Letters to Santa, Hot Chocolate, a Holiday laser light show and a performance by Voclaibre (Texas State’s acapella group). As well as a dance party and the legendary walkway of lights!
South Padre Island: Treat yourself to a South Padre Island holiday getaway where twinkling lights reflect on warm, tropical waters and delicious culinary delights and abundant shopping help make for a festive and memorable getaway for all ages.
Christmas at the Pearl: The Pearl is hosting a holiday night market as well as live music, craft vendor and holiday activities! The Pearl is a great spot for family and friends to gather and celebrate the holidays with one another.
Holiday in Gruene: Stroll through Gruene Historic District enjoying complimentary beverages and special offers at many participating shops. As well as participating in all the fun holiday activities available.
The Nutcracker at the Tobin Center: Enjoy watching plays? If so, the legendary holiday spectacular, The Nutcracker, is the one for you. The Nutcracker is a wonderful performance that includes world class professional dancers from Ballet San Antonio and complementary live music from San Antonio Symphony.
Elf Acres: Drive through 15 acres of amazing christmas lights while jamming out to christmas carols and sipping on hot chocolate. Elf Acres is a great family friendly environment, and who knows maybe this could become your next family tradition.
Zoo lights: Thousands of lights illuminate the San Antonio Zoo each night. And while many of the animals are asleep indoors, families can ice skate, ride camels, toast s’mores or reserve a spot for dinner in Mrs. Claus’ Cocina.
Trying to stay fit over the holidays check out some of the free and local holiday workouts they have:
MixFit Sa: Zumba: Postpone the holiday shopping on Saturday mornings and instead get your heart pumping during free outdoor Zumba classes at Hemisfair. Expect plenty of holiday tunes and join participants after class for seasonal drinks at CommonWealth Coffeehouse & Bakery.
Jingle Paws 5k: Bring your four-footed friends and get moving at this race that supports the Helotes Humane Society. The fun begins at 8 a.m. at O.P. Schnabel Park. All dogs must be leashed and vaccinated to participate and awards will be given to the top three fastest dogs plus the fastest male and female adult and youth runners.
Jingle Bell Run : Don your most festive holiday apparel and join the longest running holiday-themed 5k race series in support of the Arthritis Foundation. The run puts the fun in fundraiser and doesn’t require an early wake-up call- a costume contest starts at 2 p.m. while the 5k at Valero begins Energy begins at 2:30 p.m. and a post race fest that includes food.
Fit-Mas in the park: The fun kicks off at 10 a.m. Dec. 15 with a circuit- style class at Woodlawn Lake Park led by Body Architecture Personal Training and Fitness and ends with a celebration class at LBJ Park at 10 a/m/ Dec.22 that includes snacks, raffles and more. Toy donations to benefit the Children’s Shelter are encouraged at those events and at Fitness in the Park classes throughout the week.
Jingle Trails: Lace up your running shoes for this annual 1k and 5k race sponsored by iRun at Eisenhower park. Santa hats, elf suits and holiday-themed gear is encouraged (thought regular running short are also welcomed). Jump ropes and other active gear is being collected for kids with special needs. The race benefits Any Baby Can and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.