Holiday Magic Festival of Lights
December 1 to January 8, 5:30 PM until 11 PM
Holiday Magic Festival of Lights is the first-ever Chinese lantern festival in San Antonio. The amazing event will you allow you, your friends and family to be a part of an East Meets West cultural festival that truly comes to life through the mesmerizing lanterns, beautiful displays, and out-of-this-world experiences! Coming Dec. 1, 2016 – Jan. 8, 2017 to Retama Park. Come enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas throughout the entire holiday season with these beautiful lanterns, tons of entertainment, delectable food, drinks and unending fun. Open daily 5:30-11 p.m. $21 For Children Ages 4-12; Free for kids under 3; $26 For Adults
The Nutcracker Ballet
December 3rd & 4th, Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
Ballet San Antonio’s presentation of this holiday classic has been revamped from years past. Expect new choreography by Artistic Director Willy Shives and scenes with choreography by the late renowned Joffrey Ballet co-founder, Gerald Arpino. The production also features dozens of area children alongside the professional cast. During opening night, former Spur Bruce Bowen will appear in a celebrity guest role. Can’t attend this weekend? The Nutcracker returns Dec. 1-4. Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle, 210-223-8624, tobincenter.org
La Gran Tamalada
December 10th, 11 to 1 pm, The Guadalupe Center for the Arts
The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center presents La Gran Tamalada, the annual community workshop that honors the tradition of making tamales on Saturday, December 10, 11am to 1pm, in the Guadalupe Theater, 1301 Guadalupe St. The free event blends storytelling, the history of the tamalada and promotes cultural pride and lifelong learning. Children and adults participate in this hands-on opportunity to learn about the ingredients, recipes and cooking methods used in making this culturally iconic dish. Participants take home both knowledge of and appreciation for the techniques that have been passed from generation to generation for many years. For the second year, the Cortez Family, owners of the popular Mi Tierra restaurant, will share their love of family, tradition, and tamales with the community.
Holiday Home Tour
December 17th & 18th, 12 to 5 PM, The Alteza Residences above the Grand Hyatt
Located on the top ten floors of the Grand Hyatt Riverwalk, this private residential community opens its doors to the public to showcase its newly released designer decorated models that have been decorated for the holidays. Traditional holiday beverages and sweets are served to Guests who can bring a gift for the children of the San Antonio Children’s Hospital. Visitors also have the opportunity to see the San Antonio skyline from the rooftop pool deck during the event. For those who may be considering a move to downtown San Antonio, the residences are priced from the $500s and special incentives are offered throughout the event. To learn more, click here.
Valero Alamo Bowl
December 29th, 8 p.m., The Alamodome
The 2016 Valero Alamo Bowl will kick off on Thursday, December 29th at 8 p.m. CST in a nationally televised game on ESPN unopposed from any other college or NFL football games on network television. Last year’s Valero Alamo Bowl was the second of a six-year agreement to match up the #1 teams from the Big 12 and Pac-12 conferences after the College Football Playoff. Both years have delivered Top 15 match-ups and competitive games highlighted by TCU’s record comeback to beat Oregon 47-41 in triple overtime. In addition to a capacity crowd, last year’s game featured a bowl record peak viewership of 10.9 million and a $45.8 million total economic impact on San Antonio.
Living in downtown San Antonio comes with the benefit of a never ending calendar of fun and activities for the entire family. We hope to see you enjoying the rich cultural traditions of Downtown San Antonio this year!