Everything You Must Do in San Antonio This Winter

San Antonio’s long, hot summer has finally ceded its grip in favor of cooler climates, and the Alamo City is taking full advantage. As soon as the temperatures drop, San Antonio kicks into full-on party mode -- and the parties don’t stop until the end of February. December features holiday celebrations aplenty with parades and parties popping up all across the city, while January rings in the new year along with the new concert season. Meanwhile, February means only one thing: It’s rodeo time.

While the weather may be cooler, your entertainment options are just warming up. If you’re in San Antonio this winter, you’re going to want to be on the River Walk for the lights and parades -- and you’re definitely going to want to set up shop around Hemisfair Park for New Year’s. After that, make sure to stick around for the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, one of the biggest events of the year. Here’s everything you need to do in San Antonio this winter.

December 9
The Majestic Theatre
Arguably the greatest magician working today, the “Mindfreak” Criss Angel will make his return to San Antonio with his show Criss Angel RAW: The Mindfreak Unplugged. The new performance allows the magician to conduct some of his most celebrated illusions in a raw, unplugged setting.
Cost: $49.50-$300

making tamales
Maria G. Murphy/Shutterstock

December 11
San Antonio Botanical Garden
The simple-looking yet complex tamale is a delicacy unrivaled in all the world. Visitors to the lush San Antonio Botanical Garden will be instructed on the art of making four quintessential tamales: chicken tamales with green chile-tomatillo sauce; pork guajillo tamales; bean, chile and cotija cheese tamales; and dulce (sweet) tamales. The menu will be paired with a mistletoe margaritas.
Cost: $45

December 17
AT&T Center
The legendary diva is back on tour after five years in support of her new album, Dancing Queen. The multi-award winner, along with Nile Rodgers and Chic, are part of the “Here We Go Again” tour. For decades, Cher’s live shows have garnered rave reviews and this event promises to be no different.
Cost: $51 and up

Trans siberian orchestra
Bruce Alan Bennett/Shutterstock

December 23
AT&T Center
The theater and spectacle of Trans-Siberian Orchestra once again returns to the Alamo City this Christmas. The multi-platinum prog rockers return with their holiday show, which has become an annual tradition in San Antonio. The AT&T Center will once again play host to their good-time emotional roller coaster.
Cost: $49.50 and up

December 31
The Alamodome
San Antonio’s annual foray into big-time college football resumes on a new date and time in 2019. The Valero Alamo Bowl will pit the best of the Big 12 and the best of the Pac-12 in the raucous confines of the Alamodome on New Year’s Eve. So yeah, things could get interesting.
Cost: $80-$474

January 4
The Alamodome
The Alamodome will once again be the site for the gathering of the best high school football players in the country with the annual All-American Bowl. Players ranging from Tim Tebow to Odell Beckham, Jr. and Andrew Luck have taken part in the game. This year’s tilt will feature the 100 best prospects in the country, with many announcing live where they will be attending college.
Cost: $6.50-$14.50

The San Antonio River Walk
The San Antonio River Walk

January 25-February 8
San Antonio River Walk
Few places are as magical to be in the state of Texas than San Antonio’s famed River Walk during winter. For two weeks at the start of the year, 10 of the city’s river barges will be decked out at night carrying a wide range of whimsical lanterns (e.g. dragons, panda bears, piñatas, and more) that are sure to delight viewers of all ages.
Cost: Free

January 26
Sunken Garden Theater
Celebrity chef Jason Dady is once again throwing the best damn tailgate party in all of San Antonio. Local chefs will throw down in a battle over who’s the grill master of the city, while those who attend can sample some of the finest grub in town with all proceeds benefiting area culinary education.
Cost: $50-$150

January 27
AT&T Center
The longest-running episodic television show in history, Monday Night Raw will make its return to San Antonio and the AT&T Center in January. WWE superstars Becky Lynch, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Charlotte Flair are all on the bill for what promises to be a night of high action, energy, and over-the-top storytelling.
Cost: $38-$500

January 29
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
Finding Neverland
, the hit Broadway show chronicling author J.M. Barrie’s life leading up to his creation of the beloved story of Peter Pan, will make its debut at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in January. Based on the Academy Award-winning film of the same name, the story has grown into an acclaimed stage musical.
Cost: $43.60-$99.50

UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures

February 1
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
Ring in the Lunar New Year at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures with its annual Asian Festival. The daylong festival showcases authentic food, music, dance, and games along with vendors, martial arts demonstrations, and other entertainment celebrating the rich and diverse cultures of Asia.
Cost: $12-$15 

February 6-23
AT&T Center & Freeman Coliseum
One of the city’s most popular events, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo returns to the grounds of the AT&T Center this February. Annually recognized as one of the best rodeos in the country, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo is more than two weeks worth of rodeo excitement, livestock auctions, carnival rides, food, drink, shopping and, of course, performances. Bookending the professional bull riding, barrel racing, and calf roping are performances by some of the biggest acts in country, pop, rock, and Latin music today. Highlights include: Sammy Hagar & The Circle (February 7), ZZ Top (February 14), Keith Urban (two shows on February 15), Dierks Bentley (February 18), and Brad Paisley (February 21). 
Cost: $10 and up

February 22-23
Arneson River Theatre
All the pomp, circumstance, and flamboyant good times of Mardi Gras once again make their way down to San Antonio’s bustling River Walk. The stage of the Arneson River Theatre marks the focal point for revelers who want to see the decked-out river barges while taking in some world-class live music.
Cost: Free

February 29
Aztec Theatre
Take a trip back in time and bask in the glory of the totally tubular 1980s at the Aztec Theatre. The Motels, When In Rome II, and Bow Wow Wow will bring their signature hits and a heavy dose of nostalgia to this ‘80s-themed rager.
Cost: $15-$69.50

Sign up here for our daily San Antonio email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in the Alamo City.

Eric Moreno is a freelance writer living in San Antonio. He is a chicken fried steak scholar, devoted fan of UTSA Football (Go Runners!), and freelance sports writer. Follow him on Twitter: @EricMoreno6477.