Thousands of people surround the 50 foot holiday tree at Travis Park.
Crowds of people surround the holiday tree at the tree lighting at Travis Park in 2018. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Goodbye, November. Hello, December! If the decorations around town mean anything, we’re solidly in the Christmas season, beginning with the Holiday River Parade. Check out events – both holiday and not – that are happening this weekend below.

Travis Park Tree Lighting

Enjoy decorating holiday cookies, write letters to Santa, and try out a new outdoor ice rink as the Christmas season kicks off at Travis Park. The festivities culminate in the lighting of H-E-B’s large Christmas tree at 6 p.m., followed by a screening of the holiday movie classic Home Alone at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, 3 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Travis Park

2019 Ford Holiday River Parade

You can watch the 39th annual holiday river parade from various free seating areas on a first-come-first-serve basis, or buy tickets from hotels and restaurants along the river for guaranteed viewing spots.
Friday, 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Downtown River Walk
$0 and up

30th Annual International Peace Market

The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center is putting on its 30th Peace Market this weekend. Shop from local and international vendors while enjoying live music and snacking on foods ranging from chicken mole to vegan menudo. The market is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, 922 San Pedro Ave.

Get Fit SA 5K

Head over to Lady Bird Johnson Park on Saturday morning to get some running in post-turkey. There is a youth/family 5K run, a standard 5K race, and a competitive walking 5K race. There will also be Zumba at 9:30 a.m., inflatable games, a pre-run warm-up, and post-run yoga. The event is free, but you can register here.
Saturday, 8 a.m.-11 a.m.
Lady Bird Johnson Park, 10700 Nacogdoches Road

Holiday Fair and Clay and Arts Festival

Check out locally made goods and gifts at the sixth annual holiday fair and San Antonio Potters Guild Clay and Arts Festival. There will be music, live performances, and delicious snacks to enjoy while you browse.
Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones Ave.

Celebracion de Santa Cecilia

Market Square is honoring St. Cecilia, patron saint of musicians, with a mariachi procession at 10:45 a.m. Saturday. Visitors are invited to bring their own instruments to be blessed, as a Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Enjoy Market Square while listening to live music for the rest of the afternoon.
Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Historic Market Square, 514 W. Commerce St.

Carmen Tafolla at the DoSeum

San Antonio’s own Carmen Tafolla will read from her book What Can You Do With a Paleta? at the DoSeum’s last author series event of 2019 on Saturday. Kids can also experience reading through other activities. Admission to the author series is included with admission; find tickets here.
Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
The DoSeum, 2800 Broadway
Included with museum admission, $0-$14

YUMiCON 2019

The annual Japanese anime and gaming convention brings game developers and exhibitors to the Henry B. González Convention Center on Saturday. Kids 6 and younger can attend for free, while kids ages 7 to 12 pay $10 for admission. Adults pay $20 for a regular badge. Buy tickets here and pick up badges at the convention center on Saturday. Find more information including rules about costumes and props here.
Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Henry B. González Convention Center, 900 E. Market St.

A Wonderland Christmas

Morgan’s Wonderland has gotten the holiday treatment with decorations and lights covering the whole park. There will be a simulated ice rink, therapy animals, a petting zoo, holiday shows, and complimentary cookies and hot chocolate. Wonderland doors open at 4 p.m., while Christmas activities start at 6 p.m. Find tickets here.
Morgan’s Wonderland, 5223 David Edwards

Martina McBride: The Joy of Christmas 2019

Grammy-nominated and country artist Martina McBride will bring her Christmas tour to San Antonio on Sunday evening. Like many musicians she has her own Christmas album – It’s The Holiday Season – released last year. Tickets start at $49.75 and can be purchased here.
Sunday, 7 p.m.
Majestic Theatre, 224 E. Houston St.
$49.75 and up

UTSA Mariachi Los Paisanos Concert

The University of Texas at San Antonio’s Mariachi Los Paisanos is putting on a free concert at the UTSA Recital Hall on Sunday evening to showcase their hard work and talent.
Sunday, 7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
UTSA Department of Music, 1 UTSA Circle

Photos With Santa

Need a new photo of your kid with Santa to send out to the whole family? The Tower of the Americas is bringing out Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus for your Instagram needs. One 6-inch-by-8-inch photograph costs $15, a photo with a folder costs $22, and two photographs plus a folder cost $33. Walk-ins are welcome.
Friday-Sunday, 5-10 p.m.
Tower of the Americas, 739 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.
$15 and up

A Christmas Carol, The Musical

Charles Dickens’s classic holiday story is transformed into a musical at Woodlawn Theatre this December. The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by – spoiler alert – the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, who show him how he has behaved selfishly in his life. Tickets start at $18 and can be found here.
Woodlawn Theatre, 1920 Fredericksburg Road

The Nutcracker 2019

The traditional holiday ballet performance is back at the Tobin’s H-E-B Performance Hall this weekend. The San Antonio Symphony provides the sounds, while Ballet San Antonio provides the dancers. There is also a meet-and-greet reception with the dancers right after Friday’s performance; tickets cost $40 and include champagne and wine onstage. Find more information and tickets here.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle
$35 and up

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley

Set two years after Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice ends, this play puts the quiet Mary Bennet at the center of its story. Find tickets here.
Classic Theatre of San Antonio, 1924 Fredericksburg Road

Old West Christmas Light Fest 2019

Visit an Old West town with some holiday sparkle. Enchanted Springs Ranch in Boerne is decked out with holiday lights and decorations for people to enjoy. There are holiday escape rooms, a Candyland Instagram room, laser tag, and free pictures with Santa. Tickets are $15 for general admission, and a season pass costs $45. Laser tag and escape rooms cost extra. Find tickets and more information here.
Friday-Sunday, 6-10 p.m.
Enchanted Springs Ranch, 242 Texas Highway 46 W in Boerne

Miracle on Houston St.

It’s a pop-up Christmas bar with lots of holiday cheer. Get a Run Run Rudolph, Jingle Bell Nog, or Christmaspolitan. The Miracle pop-up bar brand has locations all over the world. San Antonio’s holiday bar is open through Dec. 31 at Jet-Setter.
Jet-Setter, 229 E. Houston St.

Jackie Wang covered local government for the San Antonio Report.