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Christmas in San Antonio: 11 Fun Things to Do!

While destinations further north may be characterized by cold weather or snowy experiences in the winter months, visiting San Antonio in winter is dominated by a very different kind of change in weather: it’s simply not hot outside!

For a Texas-ified Christmas getaway in December, you can’t go wrong with a trip to the Lone Star State’s most visited city.

While most of San Antonio’s most popular tourist attractions are open year-round, winter does bring some fun festivities to the city.

Here are the best things to do around Christmas in San Antonio!

Front door of Mission Espada in San Antonio with Christmas decorations in front

Typical Weather During Winter in San Antonio

Winter in San Antonio is generally short and very mild, with average temperatures in January reaching 63° for a high and 41° for a low. January is typically the coldest month of the year.

December temperatures are similar, with an average high of 64° and low of 42°.

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November still sees average high temperatures in the low 70s, and by March, average temperatures reach the mid-70s again.

It doesn’t generally snow in San Antonio (not since that one storm in the 80s, anyway), and winter days can frequently be sunny, making San Antonio in winter an often delightful travel experience!

San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio during the holidays with a Christmas tree out front

Fun Things to Do Around Christmas in San Antonio

Admire the Riverwalk Christmas Lights.

San Antonio’s Riverwalk Christmas lights–all 100,000 of them–are among the most popular and celebrated Christmas displays in Texas!

If you’re visiting San Antonio in December (or even in late November or early January), don’t miss the stunning light display along the Riverwalk!

The lights stay up through January 6 each year, so if you happen to be traveling after the New Year, you still have a small window to see them.

San Antonio Riverwalk with a bridge in the center of the shot and Christmas lights hanging from trees

Bike the Mission Trail.

San Antonio is well known for its historic missions, including the Alamo, all five of which are recognized together as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

One of the best ways to visit is to bike the beautiful trail between each mission–they’re each about two and a half miles apart–but San Antonio’s oppressively hot and humid summer weather makes the experience fairly miserable during much of the year!

During a sunny day near Christmas in San Antonio, though, it’s just about perfect.

The front facade of the Alamo in San Antonio Texas as seen from the ridge side of the building

Attend the Light the Way Festival.

Each Christmas season, San Antonio’s University of the Incarnate Word puts on the fantastic Light the Way Festival, complete with food trucks, holiday shopping, visits from Santa, and of course, lots and lots of lights.

Fill up on TexMex.

Whether it’s breakfast tacos in the morning or a hearty plate of cheese enchiladas at night (or even better, both), there’s no better time to indulge in a gigantic TexMex meal than during winter in San Antonio!

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… and tamales!

Tamales are traditionally eaten for large celebrations in Mexico, Christmas included, and the tradition is also well-rooted in San Antonio (unsurprisingly, given that the population of San Antonio is more than 50% Latino).

Tamales are practically synonymous with Christmas in San Antonio, so if you’re visiting during the holiday season, don’t miss the excuse to indulge!

Plate of tamales. Tamales are a traditional food during Christmas in San Antonio Texas

Visit Natural Bridge Caverns. 

Regardless of the weather outside, Natural Bridge Caverns is always a steady 70° inside, making it the perfect year-round San Antonio travel destination!

If you’re visiting San Antonio in winter, though, you may find far more than just the cave itself: Christmas at the Caverns is a popular holiday event in San Antonio, and involves everything from a 30-foot Christmas tree to ice skating to opportunities to go caroling in the Caverns!

Interior of Natural Bridge Caverns in Texas

Take a day trip to the Hill Country.

Much like taking a hike or biking the Mission Trail, a visit to the Texas Hill Country is a year-round possibility that can be even more fun in winter–and that goes double for the Christmas season!

The Texas Hill Country has quite a bit of German heritage tucked into various corners, which during December, translates into German-inspired Christmas markets!

The town of Fredericksburg in particular is a fantastic place to grab some German food, hit up a Christmas market, and pretend you’ve hopped across the Atlantic for the day (but with a Texas twist, of course).

Crafted snowmen ornaments for sale at a Christmas market

Hit up Six Flags.

San Antonio’s own Six Flags Fiesta Texas puts on a great Holiday in the Park event each year, complete with trees, plenty of lights, holiday-themed shows, and even holiday-themed food on offer (maple bacon cinnamon roll, anyone?).

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Ride Santa’s Railroad.

All aboard: kids will love Santa’s Railroad at the San Antonio Transportation Museum, a nighttime ride past 40 acres of decorations on an also-decorated train!

Santa's Railroad at the San Antonio Transporation Museum at night. The train is lit up by Christmas lights

Go for a hike (without getting hot).

Government Canyon, Friedrich Wilderness Park, or even a simple stroll around the San Antonio Botanical Garden: one of the best things about visiting San Antonio in winter is that it’s still pleasant to be outside–frankly, often more pleasant than during the summer!

Make the most of the mild winter weather by getting outside and enjoying some sunshine during your Christmas trip to San Antonio.

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Photo of the Riverwalk during Christmas in San Antonio at night with lights lit. Black and red text on a white background reads "San Antonio winter guide"

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