20 Actually Fun Holiday Date Ideas for the Broke San Antonian 

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The holiday season is one of the most romantic times of the year, so it's natural to want to wine and dine your one-and-only. Or maybe you're going on chingos of dates because you don't want to be alone and – well, it's cuffing season y'all. Whatever your reason, holiday shopping has left most of us broke or just about. Get some inspiration from our picks on how to have some fun without breaking the bank.
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Get festive at ¡Feliz Tamalidad!
Free, Saturday, December 9, Noon-6pm, Hangar 9, 8081 Inner Circle Road, livebrooks.com
Not only can you and your sweetie pie fill your pansitas with tamales, but also enjoy fun activities and live music from Los Texmaniacs, Bombasta and James Keith & The Moondogs.
Photo via catoskitchenhtx / Instagram
Remember the Alamo: Christmas Edition
Free, Through Saturday, December 23, 5:30-7pm, The Alamo, 300 Alamo Plaza, thealamo.org
Stay true to your Texan roots and remember the Alamo! The prized piece in history will be staying open late during most of December so you and your beloved can take a stroll through the Alamo and enjoy Christmas lights. Have you heard of such a date infused with such Lone Star pride? It’ll be the best way to know whether your date is a keeper.
Photo via fr8ers68 / Instagram
Enjoy a free screening of a holiday movie
Free, Saturday, December 9, 5-8pm, Greenline Park, 2532 Sidney Brooks, livebrooks.com
With ABC Family Freeform cancelling the Harry Potter marathon during the holidays (seriously, a travesty), you’ll have to find another way to get your holiday flicks. Opt for a classic and laugh along to Home Alone. City Base Entertainment will even provide free popcorn! Just remember to bring your own blankets and lawn chairs.
Photo via homealoneofficial / Instagram
Stick to tradition with La Pastorela
$10, Friday, December 8 & Saturday, December 9, 7:30-9pm; Sunday, December 10, 2:30-4pm, San Antonio Mennonite Church, 1433 S. St. Mary's Street, teatroaudaz.com
Your mama might make you go to la posada, but you and your boo can hit up La Pastorela instead. This comedic, bilingual play is inspired by the centuries-old tradition of recreating passages of the bible with a modern twist. Don’t worry, La Pastorela stays true to the themes of hope, joy and peace.
Photo via Teatro Audaz San Antonio / Facebook
Keep up with the culture at Virgen de Fideo Cook Off
$2 samples, Saturday, December 9, 7pm, Brick at Blue Star, 108 Blue Star, facebook.com
It’s no secret that San Antonians love us some fideo. Show your date you really care by taking them to this cook-off that is not only guaranteed to be delicious, but cute AF with a virgen-centric market. Treat you and your boo to some fideo samplings and maybe buy a little gift to show them you care.
Photo via jesselizarraras / Instagram
Overindulge at La Gran Tamalada
Free, Sunday, December 10, 11am-4pm, Historic Market Square, 514 W. Commerce Street, guadalupeculturalarts.org
Learn all about the festive traditions of San Antonio’s holiday staple at this family-friendly event. The tamalada outgrew its former location at Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and is expected to be bigger and better than ever in its first year in Market Square. You and your date will be able to learn how to make tamales and feast on tamales from Mi Tierra (the family behind the event), La Margarita, Los Barrios, Garcia Foods and even Summer Moon Coffee!
Photo by Julian Ledezma
Stroll through the botanical garden for Holidays in Bloom
$9-$12, Through December, San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston, (210) 536-1400, sabot.org
If you and your S.O. are into nature, then this is a must-see for you. The botanical garden will be decked out in special displays just for the holiday season, including garlands, red ribbons and more. Invite a third wheel to snap some disgustingly adorable pics throughout the garden, and just hope that y’all make it through cuffing season.
Photo via courtneylv70 / Instagram
Matt Garza
Be social at the Quarry Village Holiday Block Party
Free, Thursday, December 14, 6-9pm, Quarry Village, 260 E Basse Road, (210) 832-9211, facebook.com
The third annual block party hosted by Quarry Village gives you and your cutie the chance to play in the snow, a Christmas tree lighting, carolers and free printed photos with Santa by Dru Photography. Just bring a toy or gift card donation. And you can enjoy complimentary refreshments, live music, and specials from retailers in the village. Plus the first 150 guests will get a free swag pack.
Get matching ugly sweaters and party it up
Free admission with an ugly sweater ($10 otherwise), Friday, December 15, 6:30pm-2am, 111 W. Crockett, (210) 212-4770, hubs.howlatthemoon.com
What is the holiday season without an ugly sweater party? Get ugly with your cutie at the annual party hosted by Howl at the Moon, which will offer drink specials and live music.
Photo via howlhouston / Instagram
Hit up Betty’s Battalion for the Winter Holiday Meltdown
$3, Friday, December 15, 9pm-1:45am, Betty’s Battalion, 1524 E. Grayson Street, (210) 227-9255
This hidden gem of a dive bar is bringing you a night full of tunes from Snowbyrd, Sweet Charbonneau and the Fur Trappers, Harvey McLaughlin, Fear SnakeFace, the Saturday Night Satellites and DJ Smoove Eggnogg. Plus there will be a Christmas sweater contest, which is always reason enough to leave the house.
Photo via bettysbattalionsatx / Instagram
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Practice your Chewbacca call at the Star Wars Christmas Party
Free, 21+, Saturday, December 16, 9pm, Brass Monkey, 2702 N St. Mary's, (210) 480-4722, facebook.com
This annual favorite at Brass Monkey is one not to be missed for Star Wars fans, or just anyone looking to get lit. Whether you and your boo regularly hit up Comic Con or just like having an excuse to do a little cosplay, this party is the best time to dress up in your best Star Wars gear. Seriously – costumes are encouraged. Plus, there will be $2 cherry vodka sours all night long, so expect to get lit.
Give back at the HEAT Nightclub Christmas party
$5 donation suggestion, Saturday, December 16, 6-10pm, Heat Nightclub, 1500 N. Main Street, (210) 227-2600
Heat Nightclub is giving couples a place to have a holiday dinner, give back to Blue Santa AND the MCC food bank, and have a place to slay. The nightclub’s Christmas party will feature a free dinner (after donating $5, $5 in canned goods, or unwrapped new toys) that includes turkey & gravy, ham, stuffing, potatoes, casseroles and more. There will be a dessert competition, so bring your best family recipe so you can have bragging rights – oh, and impress your date. If food isn’t your thing, enjoy holiday cocktails from the bar and entertainment from Buttercup, Bad Santa and more.
Photo via HEAT Nightclub / Facebook
Follow the lanterns at Ford Fiesta de los Luminarias
Free, Sunday, December 17, 6-7pm, San Antonio River Walk, 200 S Alamo Street, thesanantonioriverwalk.com
Take a romantic stroll along the River Walk with your one and only while more than 3,000 Mexican Christmas lanterns (aka luminarias) flow down the river.
Photo via jdobbers / Instagram
Take a short trip to Austin for Trail of Lights
Free or $3+, Through December 23, 2400 Barton Springs Road, austintrailoflights.org
While most of the big name light displays cost $20+ a vehicle/person, Trail of Lights comes in clutch with free or discounted admission on select nights. There’s also music, fun games and food trucks to be enjoyed, so you and your date will definitely make your time in Austin worthwhile.
Photo via atxlights / Instagram
Dress up and bowl with Santa Claus
Free with costume, Monday, December 18, 11am-midnight, Bowl & Barrel, 17619 La Cantera Pkwy., Ste. 102, (210) 920-1102
You and your one-and-only can dress up as Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, or in ugly Christmas sweaters, to get a free hour of bowling. Splurge on some cocktails and you’ll have an interesting date night to remember.
Photo via quatto35 / Instagram
Make your abuela proud and enjoy the Posada at the Pearl
Free, Tuesday, December 19, 6:30-9pm, Pearl Brewery, 200 E. Grayson, (210) 212-7260, atpearl.com
The Pearl is dishing out plenty of holiday-related events, but the Posada is one that can’t be missed – even your abuela will encourage you to go. You can sing along with Mariachi Mexica and enjoy crafts, buñuelos, tamales, Mexican hot chocolate and piñatas.
Photo via kassihall / Instagram
Celebrate the holiday on the Boardwalk
Free, Open through December 23, times vary, 4001 Broadway Street, (210) 249-8030, facebook.com
This pop-up artisan shop is best for getting shopping done, but also provides live music, jazz to be specific. Plus, there’s a make-and-take bath bomb class. Splurge a little if you can so you and your honey can enjoy some relaxation.
Listen to some caroling on the River Walk
Free, Friday, December 22, 6:15-9:30pm, San Antonio River Walk, 100 Villita Street, thesanantonioriverwalk.com
Go for a cheesy (or pure if you’re not an a**hole like us) date night and enjoy some good ole fashioned caroling on the River Walk. Choose to stroll alongside the river barges carrying the carolers or park yourself for dinner out on the patio, just be sure to sing along if you’re in tune.
Photo via mariaaarl / Instagram
Have an improv date night with some smooth jazz
Free, Saturday, December 23, 6:30-8pm, Rolling Oaks Baptist Church, 6401 Wenzel Road, artistecard.com
Arguably one of the sexiest music genres, jazz will have your and your piece feeling – shall we say – saxy. On that note, Rolling Oaks Baptist Church will offer a free Christmas jazz concert featuring the sounds of Johnny Holliday. If you can’t make it to this show, Johnny will also perform at Market Square on Christmas Eve at 2pm.
Photo via Johnny Holliday / Facebook
Jam out to REO Speedwagon and Pat Benatar at the New Year’s Eve bash/tricentennial kick-off
Free, Sunday, December 31, 6pm-12:30 am, Hemisfair Park, 434 S. Alamo, (210) 260-5678, sanantonio300.org
After a few hours of pregaming, ring in the new year with a free concert and other celebrations brought to you by the City of San Antonio and the Tricentennial Commission. Being in the open space of Hemisfair Park, it’s a great spot to live it up but also enjoy the festivities with your boo.
Photo via REO Speedwagon / Facebook
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Get festive at ¡Feliz Tamalidad!
Free, Saturday, December 9, Noon-6pm, Hangar 9, 8081 Inner Circle Road, livebrooks.com
Not only can you and your sweetie pie fill your pansitas with tamales, but also enjoy fun activities and live music from Los Texmaniacs, Bombasta and James Keith & The Moondogs.
Photo via catoskitchenhtx / Instagram

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