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Tis the Season

MAKE YOUR HOLIDAY SWEET

Downtown San Antonio is truly magical during the holidays, from festive trees to dazzling lights, tenured traditions to ice skating, there are truly experiences for ALL.

This year more than ever, it’s important to support our small businesses through your holiday purchases and Centro has your complete local guide to SHOP, CELEBRATE, SIP, SAVOR and SUPPORT Downtown this holiday season.

Rotary Ice Rink

The Rotary Ice Rink presented by Valero will return this fall at Travis Park in downtown San Antonio. Since 2019, nearly 200,000 people have enjoyed the rink and surrounding festivities. The Rink will open the Friday before Thanksgiving and will operate daily through mid-January 2023. #RotaryIceRink

EVENTS & ACTIVATIONS

February 2023
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Celebrate The Season

Downtown is home to a season’s worth of special holiday traditions + experiences for the whole familia to enjoy. From ice skating and snow to holiday lighting and religious services, celebrate the season by creating new memories or honoring existing ones in Downtown.

Do you have a favorite holiday tradition or memory in Downtown? We’d love to hear from you – tag us in your throw backs or FOMO moments on IG @centrosanantonio using the #TistheSeasonSA for exclusive giveaways!

Local Traditions

250k lights adorn the trees surrounding the Rotary Ice Rink presented by Valero and 50 ft H-E-B Holiday tree. The community can also enjoy 30+ FREE community programming events including live music and ice sculpting, movie nights and food vendors, as well as Centro’s signature snow flurries! 

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Experience the spectacular display of over 100,000 lights (2,250 strings of light) draped over the towering bald cypress trees that line the River Walk 

 

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Each year during the holidays, the Alamo is decorated with festive lights and holiday tree in the plaza. Visitors can enjoy extended hours with the grounds open until 7 pm.   

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A stroll on Historic Houston Street is not complete without a visit to the Bohanan’s tree adorning the courtyard  

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Head to the world-class linear park and admire the lights as well as the public art and native landscaping.  

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The historic hotel has their annual spectacular tree lit up near the Colonial room restaurant! Stop by for the perfect photo opportunity and stay for lunch and dinner!  

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San Antonio’s outdoor cultural space in the Heart of the City will feature lights and tree. Stay and enjoy The Saga, a video art projection depicting the history of San Antonio or grab a local beer or wine from the kiosk!  

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Enjoy the lights and pageantry as you meander the North stretch of the San Antonio River passing San Antonio Museum of Art and ending at the Historic Pearl brewery.  

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Enjoy the lights at the largest and oldest continuously operated historic courthouse in Texas just across from Main Plaza and San Fernando Cathedral.  

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Throughout the holiday season, Legacy Park sparkles with over 150,000 lights surrounding a lush lawn. Stop by for dinner at nearby Pinkerton’s Barbecue, warm up with a beverage, or simply spend time relaxing bathed in a twinkling, holiday glow.

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Holiday Lighting

Explore and enjoy festive lights and holiday pageantry available along the River walk and in our treasured cultural and historical center city spaces. Click To learn more.

250k lights adorn the trees surrounding the Rotary Ice Rink presented by Valero and 50 ft H-E-B Holiday tree. The community can also enjoy 30+ FREE community programming events including live music and ice sculpting, movie nights and food vendors, as well as Centro’s signature snow flurries! 

Learn More

 

Experience the spectacular display of over 100,000 lights (2,250 strings of light) draped over the towering bald cypress trees that line the River Walk 

 

Learn More

Each year during the holidays, the Alamo is decorated with festive lights and holiday tree in the plaza. Visitors can enjoy extended hours with the grounds open until 7 pm.   

Learn More

A stroll on Historic Houston Street is not complete without a visit to the Bohanan’s tree adorning the courtyard  

Learn More

Head to the world-class linear park and admire the lights as well as the public art and native landscaping.  

Learn More

The historic hotel has their annual spectacular tree lit up near the Colonial room restaurant! Stop by for the perfect photo opportunity and stay for lunch and dinner!  

Learn More

San Antonio’s outdoor cultural space in the Heart of the City will feature lights and tree. Stay and enjoy The Saga, a video art projection depicting the history of San Antonio or grab a local beer or wine from the kiosk!  

Learn More

Enjoy the lights and pageantry as you meander the North stretch of the San Antonio River passing San Antonio Museum of Art and ending at the Historic Pearl brewery.  

Learn More

Enjoy the lights at the largest and oldest continuously operated historic courthouse in Texas just across from Main Plaza and San Fernando Cathedral.  

Learn More

Holidays on Houston Street

A retail incubator and pop-up experience in downtown San Antonio

Holidays on Houston Street is a retail incubator program that connects small businesses, creatives, makers, and entrepreneurs with short-term ready-to-lease retail opportunities in downtown San Antonio.

Image Of Women in Front Of A Holiday On Houston Street Graphic Pop Up

Entertainment & Experiences

San Antonio has a rich history of telling our stories and sharing our culture. Art Everywhere celebrates art and artists by incorporating this art into the public realm. Use our map to connect and create your own walking or bike tour. 

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Upcoming UTSA football games, WWE Royal Rumble and San Antonio Spurs

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This theater has hosted historic performances since 1926!

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Visit the non-profit residency program and gallery supporting regional, national and international artists in the creation of new art. 

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Perfect for cocktail enthusiasts, foodies and history junkies looking for an exclusive insider’s look at the most storied bars in Texas. 

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Enjoy the world-class museum devoted to art, history and culture of the American West. 

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Established in 1881, the Buckhorn features one-of-a-kind animal exhibits, historic saloon, Café, Gift shop and The Texas Ranger Museum. 

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For 20 years this cultural hub and intimate social venue has offered global food and beverage pairings with worldly live music performances including Flamenco. 

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Make plans to visit the immersive art gallery featuring 14 installations from over 40 artists across 20,000 square feet and full bar, food truck and gift shop.  

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San Antonio’s oldest and largest atmospheric theatre and home to the best of Broadway in San Antonio, national touring concerts, comedy shows, and live events.

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Visit the museum inspired to collect, maintain, disseminate, and interpret authentic African American artifacts related to San Antonio history in a community-based digital archive. SAAACAM is reclaiming San Antonio’s Black history by empowering individuals to curate their own archives and cultivate a community-driven museum of digitized, audiovisual exhibits. 

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Shops at Rivercenter Mall: featuring more than 100 retailers including 14 restaurants, IMAX, AMC Theatres and entertainment options Dave and Busters, and Legoland Discovery Center.  

Selfie Museum: Here you can take photos to an entirely new level of awesomeness. Enjoy yourselfie! 

Tobin Center for the Performing Arts:Situated along the banks of the San Antonio River, the historic Municipal Auditorium, with its original facade preserved, has been transformed into this world-class venue which plays host to Ballet, Opera and other local art residencies.   

Sip & Savor

Bohanan’s: Old-World steakhouse charm with a modern attention to detail 

Bar 414: honors legendary blues master Robert Johnson with classic cocktails tucked into the Sheraton Gunter.  

Back Unturned: Offering amazing craft beer on tap and to-go, brewed on site at the brewpub. They also have a full menu of the best pizza, shareable appetizers, salad and desserts! 

Café Azteca: A community-oriented coffee shop offering drinks and recipes that have been in the family for decades, including Champurrado.   

Commonwealth Coffee: An uncommon San Antonio coffeehouse dedicated to brewing the best coffee while serving the most delicious French-inspired pastries. 

Devils River Whiskey: Crafted with the pure, limestone filtered water of a legendary Texas force of nature. 

Double Standard: American tavern fare, with strong drinks and fun vibes 

Domingo + Otro: at Canopy Hotel Offering flavors of South Texas & agave-forward cocktails on the San Antonio River Walk. 

Kapej: means coffee in Mayan language and owner/artist Laura welcomes customers with international treats and coffee offerings while also playing host to an art gallery in the café.  

Maddy O’Murphy’s: Not so Average Irish Sports Bar where everyone is welcome 

Maverick Whiskey: Named as a nod to the Maverick family’s Texas roots, owner and native son, Kenneth Maverick opened the doors to Maverick Whiskey just steps away from the Alamo on the original homestead. You can find spirits distilled on site, a brewery and tasting room complete with amazing regional culinary pairings.  

Moses Roses Hideout:  a dive bar with a crafty edge in favored Texas craft beers and whiskeys.  

Rathskeller Bar: inside the stained-glass covered building from 1890’s is the recreational meeting house, bowling alley, and bar in possession of the longest running Texas Alcoholic Beverage and Liquor License in Bexar County, 1937! 

Rerooted 210 Urban Winery: brings the Texas wine country to tge urban oasis of Hemisfair. Reeducate your palate with wines for the uncommon connoisseur.  

Revolucion: Whole foods plant-based coffee and juice shop offers coffee, cold pressed juice, homemade nut milks, acai/pitaya bowls and other healthy food and beverage options.  

Royal Blue Grocery: Called a bodega by some, a corner store by others, Royal Blue is a modern urban grocery store that has just what you need, where you need it, and when you need it. From wine to greeting cards grab your office secret santa from this dynamic space.  

Sojourn Trading Co. Spirits & Provisions: a staycation-inspired establishment offering dreamy cocktails , interior design and delicious bites such as citrusy aguachile and ceviche. 

Roadmap Brewing: Probably the most commonly asked question is where the name comes from… As we sat down to chase the dream of opening our brewery, it became clear that no matter how much we wanted one, there wasn’t a “ROADMAP” to this crazy adventure.  All we knew was that “all roads lead to beer,” and with that in mind Roadmap Brewing Co. was born

Box Street Social: Serving up great views of Hemisfair & even better brunch “all day” with coffee & donuts, or even a morning cocktail, as you enjoy brunch on our beautiful patio.  

Bohanans: Prime Steaks & Seafood Like the great old bars of the past, Bohanans dispenses classic cocktails, exotic beverages, good cheer in a civilized setting. Drink and hor’doeuvres downstairs, then head upstairs for the best steak you’ve ever had 

Broadway Delicatessan: New York style delicatessen featuring build your own and signature sandwiches, pizza by the slice, hot dogs, soups, salads, and desserts. 

Bunz Handcrafted Burgers:

“Fresh and from scratch” is their motto. Nothing compares with fresh daily baked Bunz made with local rich flour from local mill. 

Domingo: A tribute to South Texas cuisine along the historic San Antonio River Walk. 

Dough Pizzeria: Neopolitan-style Pizzeria, with a wood-burning oven that cooks your pizza at 900 degrees in 90 secs! House made mozzarella and an all Italian wine list.  

Esquire Tavern: more than just a bar that serves luscious libations and tasty elevated American fare, it’s a scintillating slice of San Antonio’s history. This Downtown tavern has been serving drinks to locals, drifters, celebrities, and all walks of life for over 80 years.  

Flourish Goods: Offering simple quality coffee, breakfast and lunch in Travis Park plaza. 

La Villita Cafe: Local, fresh breakfast, lunch, and coffee bar in San Antonio’s first neighborhood, La Villita.  

Landrace: Honoring the pastoral beauty of foods that can be traced back to the land where they are naturally shepherded over time and offering seasonal menus that celebrate regional Texas ingredients and heritage growers close to home. 

NONNA Osteria: Chef Luca Della Casa’s authentic Northern Italian Osteria. 

Pinkertons: Craft Barbecue celebrated in Texas Monthly Top 50, Forbes Best Young Chef in America, Memphis in May – World Championship Cookoff Beef Champion, these quality eats are made from scratch and fresh daily! Come and Eat It! 

Poblano’s Mexican Restaurant: Experience the true taste of San Antonio, hecho en Downtown.  

Rebelle: Downtown SA’s premier seafood destination located inside the historic St. Anthony Hotel. Free valet parking is always provided with dinner! 

Schilos: Known for its root beer, split pea soup, reuben sandwiches and hot mustard, Schilos has been a landmark German tradition since 1917! 

Texan Sizzle: carb-dense comfort foods from breakfast tacos to BLTs 

Thai Lao Orchid: Loation restaurant offering a variety of spicy and savory dishes great for lunch + dinner! 

The Palm: Known as the go-to place for great steaks, craft cocktails and fresh jump lump Nova Scotia Lobster since 1926, The Palm is both sophisticated and welcoming to generations of guests, all of whom are treated like family from the moment they walk in the door.   

Alfredo’s Gelatos, Pizza, Cannoli & Caffe: offering homemade Italian delicacies gelato, cannoli and cheesecake, in addition to their pizza pies.  

La Boulangerie: the best little boulangerie in Texas offers authentic French pastries, bread and quiches in addition to macarons and buche de noels during the holidays.  

La Panaderia: Bread cultura authorities offering long-cultured bread, desserts, cakes and croncha -signature hybrid mashup of the croissant and concha with a signature vanilla topping.  

Mi Tierra Bakery: A San Antonio institution since its opening in 1941, the bakery offers seasonal gems such as orejas, pan de huevo, churros, yoyo de fresa or pecan pralines to be the hit of the season.  

Schakolad: This local candy store and chocolate shop offers custom made chocolates made on premise! 

ShoP The Season

Shop and patronize our beloved and resilient small businesses and seasonal pop-up markets offering multi-generational artisan makers found only in the heart of our city! 

Are you a small business or hosting a market in the Public Improvement District? We’d love to hear from you – tag us in your seasonal offerings on IG @centrosanantonio using the #TistheSeasonSA or email

lburt@centrosa.org  

Holiday Markets

Downtown Gift Guide

Here’s a few hyper local ideas for the special people in your life!

Do you have a suggestion? We’d love to hear your gift ideas – tag us in your gift ideas or purchases on IG @centrosanantonio using the #TistheSeasonSA for exclusive giveaways!

Support The Season

Whether donating cold-weather items, canned goods, volunteering, sponsorship, or attending charitable events there are many ways to give back during the holidays.

Do you have an opportunity or need support in the Public Improvement District? We’d love to hear from you – contact lburt@centrosa.org

Donate + Volunteer

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Connie Garza

TACTICAL PLANNING COORDINATOR

Connie is a native San Antonian with roots planted deeply on San Antonio’s Southside. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Global Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Passionate about building strong communities, Connie loves acting as a connector to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and people to help each other reach their goals and work together. She works inbetween the Cultural Placemaking team and the Mainstreet Economic Development team, bringing vibrancy and support to urban core businesses to make downtown the place to be. When not at work, you can usually find her at the local plant nursery buying another plant, exploring new cafes/breweries, and spending time with family.

Priscilla Lopez

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Priscilla or “P.Lo” as her teammates affectionately call her, has 20 years of corporate administrative experience. Priscilla attended The University of San Antonio with a focus on Business Administration. In her role as office “fixer,” she handles everything from communications and relationship management to IT sleuthing. On weekends you can find her enjoying a Truly poolside. She lives the vegan lifestyle and is  a proud member of the Peleton community.

Michael Cirlos

JEDI CAMERAMAN

Michael began his studies and volunteer work at Webster University Thailand with a focus on international relations and Buddhism. After returning to San Antonio and graduating from UTSA, Michael began photographing and telling the stories of people in Downtown San Antonio to help connect and increase awareness of our vibrant urban culture. Michael’s work has appeared in several news media organizations, and has produced digital content for small- and large-scale marketing campaigns for Red Bull, COSA Department of Arts and Culture, World Heritage Office, National Park Service, and others. Michael is a former Pecha Kucha San Antonio Speaker, best-selling author at Trinity University Press, entrepreneur, and adventurer.

JanIe Garza

OFFICE MANAGER

Janie is a native of Corpus Christi, TX and has made San Antonio her home since 2012. Her 15+ years’ experience allows her to serve a broad range of functions that allow the organization to operate efficiently, including, accounts receivable/payable, record management, information technology, office management, and assisting with human resources. Outside of the office she enjoys spending time with her family, visiting local art museums, and enjoying a German beer in Southtown.

Matt Sirgo

DIRECTOR OF STORYTELLING

Matt graduated from Texas Tech University in 2016 with a Dual Major in Media Strategies and Honors Arts & Letters with a minor in Italian (Benvenuto a tutti!). Matt oversees the marketing, public relations, and digital content for Centro. After sharing the story of Downtown San Antonio on digital channels, he enjoys creating TikToks about LGBTQ+ media. His mug graces a Fiesta Mural on the St. Mary’s Strip just north of Downtown. You can’t miss it. 

Elizabeth Burt

DIRECTOR OF URBAN ACTIVATION + PLAY

Liz is a passionate underutilized space evangelist known for collaboration matchmaking + play based troublemaking (snow, pumpkins, and Parisian mimes included). She graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio College of Public Policy studying Public Administration (#BirdsUp)! More recently, she oversaw the award winning Activate Houston Street Initiative, a placemaking action plan to reinvigorate the historic pedestrian corridor in the heart of Downtown, which is recognized as a Best Practice in Public Space Management by the International Downtown Association, for which she is also a proud Emerging Leader Fellow.

Jacqueline Lucio

DIRECTOR OF PID OPERATIONS

Jacque is a longtime downtowner with a deep passion for community service. She oversees Centro’s Clean & Safe and Homeless Outreach services, which aim to create a more beautiful, welcoming, inclusive, and hospitable downtown. For nearly two decades, Jacque has lived in downtown San Antonio and has been actively involved in the transformation of the urban core. Through her work with nonprofits, local government, and news media, she’s continually focused on championing more sustainable, diverse, and equitable communities. Jacque has led efforts to support asylum seekers, served as communications director for City Council District 5, and served in public affairs role for Clear Channel Outdoor San Antonio. Jacque studied Mass Communications and Mexican-American Studies at UTSA.

Sarah Esserlieu Khalil

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Sarah is a passionate urbanist who has spent the majority of her career on downtown revitalization efforts. Downtown is the best part of any city where you can find the finest history, culture, life, and beauty. Sarah has a Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of California, San DiegoSarah enjoys visiting small local businesses, enjoying foodie culture, cooking, hiking, and visiting the cities of the world. 

Andi Rodriguez

VICE PRESIDENT OF CULTURAL PLACEMAKING

Andi is a long-time urban champion and leads Centro ‘people projects which tell our stories and bring us joy, such as Centro’s Art Everywhere and Zona Cultural. Serving on the Leadership Council of Urban Land Institute, she is a former city Planning Commissioner, Founding Chair of the Hemisfair Conservancy, Co-founder of Power of Preservation/PROM, former Chair of the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women and immediate past Chair of Leadership San Antonio. Andi considers herself a servant leader; she has an MS in Architecture/Urban Planning, and enjoys advocating for the unifying power of art, history, and public space.

KANDICE PERKINS

FINANCIAL DIRECTOR

Kandice is a Sunnyvale, CA native and has made San Antonio her home since 2014She graduated from University of Argosy in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and continued to complete her Master’s in Business Administration from University of Phoenix 2020. She has worked in downtown San Antonio for years, bringing 15+ years of accounting experience to the organization and has been tasked with promoting and developing the city’s urban core. When not at the office, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, managing her family’s businesses, and enjoys cooking and baking.  

The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs 

MATT BROWN

PRESIDENT AND CEO

Matt is the lucky guy that gets to lead a team of passionate placemakers who work every day to make downtown San Antonio more beautiful, playful, prosperous, and welcoming. Since starting his career as an attorney, Matt accumulated 25+ years’ worth of experience in the private sector by founding play and creative companies; consulting for start-ups and Fortune 500s in strategy, innovation, and leadership; and serving as president and C-level executive for Scholastic, Klutz and LeapFrog, among others. Directly prior to moving to San Antonio, he was the Economic Development Director and Interim Land Use Director for Santa Fe, NM.  He and his daughter have visited 15 state capitals on their way to all 50!