24 Cheap Holiday Date Ideas for the Broke San Antonian 

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We know you're probably broke after all of that Christmas shopping that you definitely still aren't procrastinating on, as if you weren't broke before. Here are some cheap date ideas under $25 to take your sweetheart on this holiday season, including live performances, events on the River Walk, a few short day trips to nearby cities, and even drinking (hot chocolate, of course).
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Go see the Christmas lights on the River Walk
From dusk til dawn now through Jan. 6, thesanantonioriverwalk.com
This date can be as cheap or, of course, as expensive as you want it to be. We recommend taking your lovely significant other on a stroll down the River Walk to admire the over 100,000 lights. We’re sure you’ll be able to find a mistletoe somewhere.
Photo via Instagram / sariverwalkfun
Hit up the Historic Pearl for holiday events
303 Pearl Pkwy, atpearl.com
The Holiday Night Market, live music, and Posada are all event going on at the Pearl this holiday season. They’re all great opportunities to experience the culture of San Antonio with the ones you love the most – and maybe get a little bit of holiday shopping in as well.
Photo via Instagram / historicpearl
Explore nature at Holidays in Bloom
General admission, now through Dec. 30, 9am-5pm, sabot.org
While this is more of a daytime date, experiencing the peace and calmness of nature to slow down this busy holiday season with your beloved is probably much-needed. Whether you’re hosting the holidays, trying to keep track of the kids during their break, or having the in-laws over, everyone who’s feeling stressed out needs a relaxing walk through the Botanical Gardens this year.
Photo via Instagram / sabotgarden
Take a picture in front of the city’s official Christmas tree at Travis Park
301 E Travis St, (210) 207-3677, travisparksa.com
With choices like pho and pretzels, it’s worth stopping off at Travis Park for a selfie next to the city’s official Christmas tree and some snacks with your date-mate afterwards. Be sure to check the website for a look at which food trucks will be attending and which movies will be showing. A little birdie told us that they’ll be showing The Nightmare Before Christmas this year, so be sure to grab your favorite person to snuggle up with.
Photo via Instagram / travisparksa
Drive through Windcrest and appreciate the Christmas lights
windcrest-tx.gov
This beautiful city tradition goes back around six decades. For all you know, your parents were also doing this when they were broke and first in love. Keep the love and the tradition alive by driving through this part of San Antonio to admire the over-the-top Christmas lights.
Photo via Instagram / 09crg
Enjoy carolers on the RiverWalk
From 6:15-9pm Tuesday through Sunday, now through Dec. 21, thesanantonioriverwalk.com
Mariachis, bell-ringers, and singers are all welcome! Take a stroll down the River Walk during any of the times listed above for a chance to hear some Christmas carolers. Help them spread cheer by singing or humming along with your better half.
Photo via Instagram / sariverwalkfun
Take a quick trip to Austin for Trail of Lights
2100 Barton Springs Road, austintrailoflights.org
Even though Austin is a short hour or so away (depending, of course, on traffic), you probably don’t get away enough to explore our hipster neighbor. With free general admission some nights, be sure to check their calendar for more information. Even if you miss that, general admission is only $3.
Photo via Instagram / zilkerofficial
Follow the lanterns at Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias
Friday through Sunday, starting at dusk through Dec. 16, thesanantonioriverwalk.com
Something about twinkling and flickering lights at night can be so dazzling and romantic –or is it just the chilly air and your one-and-only under your arm making you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Either way, if you’re down on the River Walk one of these weekends, be sure to enjoy las luminarias lining the sidewalk.
Photo via The San Antonio River Walk Gallery
Suit up in your Christmas pajamas for a special HEAT Nightclub party
Sat Dec. 22, 9pm-3am, 1500 N Main Ave, (210) 227-2600, heatsa.com
With no cover before 11pm and various drink specials, this is the place that you would least expect to hang out with your sweetie in your jammies. And yet, here we are. Can you say YAS QUEEN to going clubbing in your PJs? Because we can.
Photo via HEAT Nightclub / Facebook
Ring in the new year together at Hemisfair
434 S Alamo St, Mon Dec. 31, 6pm-2am, visitsanantonio.com
Everyone’s looking forward to getting that midnight kiss at the start of the new year. Be sure to kick off 2019 right with a sweet kiss from your cupcake. With bands, DJs, and even a former Spur partying with all night long, 2019 will be a year you won’t forget.
Photo via Instagram / visitsanantonio
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Get festive at Steel City Pop’s Christmas Ornament Party
Sat Dec. 15, 3-5pm, 812 S Alamo St, (210) 963-6540, facebook.com
Not only will the ~$8/ticket price catch your eye, so all of the perks that come with it: each ticket includes a pop (duh), free samples of other pops, an ornament creation kit, cider/hot cocoa, and a photo.
Photo via Instagram / steelcitypops
Go play bingo for that extra cash for the holidays
Various locations, goldenbingofamily.com
There are plenty of perks to playing bingo over the holidays. Not only can bingo earn you some extra cash to spend on your turtle dove, but many of the Golden Bingo Family halls are BYOB-friendly. If you need to escape the in-laws, this could be the perfect getaway.
Photo via Instagram / homielane
Get your last-minute holiday shopping done at Brickmas (or at least look around)
1414 S Alamo #105, Sat Dec. 22 from 6pm-9pm, Sun Dec. 23 from 10am-6pm, bluestarartscomplex.com
We know you definitely didn’t procrastinate on getting Christmas gifts for your loved ones this year. Check out Brickmas anyway -– with your favorite vendors such as Very That and BarbacoApparel. It would be a shame to miss out on absolutely unique and puro San Antonio gifts. Maybe you can even spend some of that jingle you got playing bingo.
Photo via Instagram / bluestarartscomplex
Catch a performance of the Holiday Pops at the Tobin
Fri Dec. 14 and Sat Dec. 15 8pm, Sun Dec. 16 2pm, tobincenter.org
This is an audience interactive sing-along with holiday hits both new and old. So, basically, it’s kind of like caroling without the dangers of going door-to-door or the cold. How could it get any better?
Photo via Instagram / sasymphony
Enjoy a cocktail at the Brooklynite after opening presents
516 Brooklyn Ave, (210) 444-0707, thebrooklynitesa.com
The Brooklynite will take you straight back to a speakeasy on a cold street in New York during the winter. Voted San Antonio’s best cocktails multiple times, don’t miss stopping in to try December’s drink of the month - the Egg Shen. You might just get one drink each to keep it cheap, but sip slowly and you'll get boozy enough.
Photo via Instagram / brooklynite_sa
Explore the wonder of trains in this winter wonderland
11731 Wetmore Rd, (210) 490-3554, weekends through Dec. 23, 6pm to 9pm, txtransportationmuseum.org
With just about every corner of the nearly 40-acre museum decorated festively, this even will certainly get you in the Christmas mood with your lover. Located in New Braunfels, just a short drive north on IH 35, you can enjoy all that the full-size railroad has to offer.
Photo via Facebook / Texas Transportation Museum
Get your fill of tuba at the annual TubaMeister Christmas concert
Sat Dec.15, noon, Arneson River Theater, thetubameisters.com
A forty-year long San Antonio tradition, we just feel like you’re missing out if you’ve never been to a TubaMeister Christmas. It’s worth noting that, while rehearsal takes place an hour and a half before the performance, the show itself is fun to watch.
Photo via Instagram / utsa_boomsquad
Enjoy a cup of Abuelita and some pan dulce from La Panaderia
Multiple locations, lapanaderia.com
There may be nothing wiser than taking your hottie out to enjoy some spicy Mexican hot cocoa from La Panaderia on a chilly day. With two locations in San Antonio, we’re sure that you can take some time out of the busy holiday season to enjoy the little things.
Photo via Instagram / lapanaderia
Take your holiday picture with Darth Vader Santa Claus
4522 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 300-7237, facebook.com
Photos with Darth Vader Santa cost $10, but seeing the joy on your significant other’s face as you pretend to be Force-choked by him is priceless. Even better is the fact that you’ll be helping Nerds with a Cause’s yearly fundraiser.
Photo via Wikimedia
Make ugly holiday sweaters together
At home, wikihow.com
Making ugly holiday sweaters with your heartthrob is not only the perfect way to support your local thrift shops, but it’s also a great way to stay warm during this frigid Texas winter. Once you see what your sweetheart considers “ugly,” it might even help you better understand why they’re with you.
Photo via Instagram / cavalier.chloe
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Enjoy a wind ensemble performance of Christmas Through the Looking Glass
Sun Dec. 16, 7pm, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, One University Way, facebook.com
While this show will feature many of your traditional favorite Christmas tunes, there will also be some unexpected twists. If you think that this is something that you might want to do with your favorite person, we highly encourage going to support the musicians and to watch a fun and fantastic show.
Photo via Instagram / sanantoniochamberwinds
Hit up the annual Star Wars Christmas party at Brass Monkey
2702 N St. Mary’s St, (210) 480-4722, facebook.com/BrassMonkeyTX
Taking place on December 22, the 6th Annual Star Wars Christmas Party is the perfect date that you and your special friend will appreciate even if you’re not Star Wars fans. With no cover charge and $2 cherry sours all night, your holidays are sure to be lit up.
Photo via Instagram / simon_trent608
Enjoy a free screening of a holiday movie
Various locations, starting at dusk, slabcinema.com
Possibly the most classic way to spend time with a romantic partner, it’s a great idea to catch a free holiday (or otherwise) movie put on by Slab Cinema. Showings begin at dusk at various signature places around town, so be sure to grab a blanket, your sweetheart, and check the schedule for your favorites.
Photo via Instagram / slabcinema
Stretch your legs at the Downtown Holiday Lights Run Tour
301 E Travis St, Tue Dec. 18, 6:30pm to 9:30pm, sanantonio.gov
At $10 per person, this date is one of the cheaper things you can do with your partner. The best part is that you will be touring San Antonio’s historic district, so you can learn a little bit more about this special city on the way.
Photo via Instagram / sapreservation
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Go see the Christmas lights on the River Walk
From dusk til dawn now through Jan. 6, thesanantonioriverwalk.com
This date can be as cheap or, of course, as expensive as you want it to be. We recommend taking your lovely significant other on a stroll down the River Walk to admire the over 100,000 lights. We’re sure you’ll be able to find a mistletoe somewhere.
Photo via Instagram / sariverwalkfun