Twinkling lights, deep-rooted traditions, cultural events, holiday art markets and lively performances are all on the line-up this holiday season. Events held throughout the city and the winter months provide the perfect opportunity to experience and give the unique gift of San Antonio arts and culture, while supporting the artists and arts organizations who make it happen.
A sample of events for this season include:
Shop Local at Holiday Markets and More
Red Dot Art Sale and Show (now – January 9) by Blue Star Contemporary is both virtual and in-person and offers a chance to snag artworks by emerging and established artists.
ZONARTE Holiday Market (November 19 – 21), hosted by Centro Cultural Aztlan, is a chance to browse handmade gifts, original prints, paintings, sculptures, furniture, jewelry and textiles.
Peace Market/Mercadito de Paz (November 26 – 27) offers a community-centered alternative shopping destination during the busiest corporate shopping days of the year. Organized by the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, it is one of the oldest annual open-air international markets – now in its 32nd year.
Holiday Art Market (November 27) at the Tobin Center for Performing Arts features fine arts and high-end artisan products.
Dellview Music’s Holiday Market (December 11) is an opportunity to enjoy live music by San Antonio musicians while shopping at more than 15 artist, vinyl and vintage vendor booths.
Museum Market (December 11) at the San Antonio Museum of Art is a one-stop shop for unique finds from local artisans, makers, culinary artisans and more. Or the San Antonio Museum of Art’s Museum Store is offering private shopping appointments (now to December 17) for those who want to avoid crowds.
SoFlo Holiday Market (December 11) features handcrafted creations, local homegrown products and special vintage finds by artists and makers.
Museum Gift Shops open year-round are also a perfect place to pick up one-of-a-kind gifts. The Guadalupe Latino Bookstore & Gift Shop, Briscoe Western Art Museum Store, McNay Art Museum Gift Store, San Antonio Art League & Museum’s Small Works Gift Shop and The Witte Museum’s Bolner Family Museum Store are just a few places to find that gifts. Plus, many local organizations have online shops where you can buy merchandise and tickets for the arts and culture enthusiast.
Festivals and Performances
Season’s Greetings from San Antonio (November 19 – December 19) is an original production from The Public Theater featuring a capella performances of holiday pop and seasonal songs from the many cultures that make San Antonio their home.
Ella Enchanted: The Musical (November 19 – December 24) by the Magik Theatre is way for families to celebrate the holidays with this musical twist on Cinderella.
Holiday Market and Tamal Institute (November 20) presented by the City of San Antonio’s World Heritage Office celebrates corn as a traditional ingredient in many local foods and San Antonio as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. Held at Mission Marquee Plaza, the event features food tastings, demonstrations, make-and-take art projects, local pop-up vendors, music and film screenings.
Ford Holiday River Parade (November 26) is a San Antonio tradition celebrating 40 years in 2021. This year’s theme, 40 Years of Magic, features illuminated floats and costumed parade participants.
The Nutcracker (December 3 – 12) performance by Ballet San Antonio at the Tobin Center for Performing Arts will feature a Children’s Cast and seven community frontline workers in some of the lead roles. Another opportunity to take in The Nutcracker (December 17 – 19) is San Antonio Youth Ballet’s performance with the Texas Symphonic Orchestra at the Scottish Rite Theatre.
Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán Concert (December 4) at the Lila Cockrell Theatre is an opportunity to enjoy what is considered one of the best mariachi groups in the world. The concert culminates the weeklong Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, which is the largest gathering of mariachi musicians and vocalists.
Pecan Harvest (December 4), hosted by the American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions, is a celebration of the aboriginal people of this land and their ancestral practice of harvesting pecans in the late fall. Sample a buffet of pecan-themed foods and beverages, indigenous art and performances.
Candlelight Christmas (December 19) will rediscover the wonder and beauty of the season with an exquisite presentation of traditional carols, a candlelight processional and more by the San Antonio Choral Society and Sonido Barroco.
The Light of Hope Returning (December 20) presented by the San Antonio Chamber Choir along with The Children’s Chorus of San Antonio and small ensemble of instrumentalists at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts is a concert-length ceremony of folk carols and newly penned carols by composer Shawn Kirchner.
For full event details, and to find more arts and culture events, visit www.SanAntonio.gov/Arts and or follow the Department of Arts & Culture on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @GetCreativeSA.