Christmas is coming early this year, with one attraction not far from Austin hosting a whale of a holiday festival.
SeaWorld San Antonio is getting in the festive spirit with its Christmas extravaganza, which the marine life theme park is calling “the largest Christmas event in Texas.” The jolly holiday event returns for 38 days of festivities and fun beginning Thursday, November 11.
The park will magically transform into a Christmas wonderland decked out with millions of sparkling lights and holiday trimmings, and host a variety of yuletide events and serve up some chef-created Christmas-y eats sure to jingle your bells.
New this year for SeaWorld’s festive celebration is Coastal Christmas: Tidings of Joy, which will see the SeaStar Theater restyled into a small coastal village where residents await the arrival of vibrant packages and the start of their holiday gift exchange. The show will include a sackful of cheerful Christmas tunes that visitors may want to add to their own family singalong holiday traditions.
In addition to the new Coastal Christmas show, SeaWorld will share the glad tidings with a variety of other joyous offerings, including:
- The Jingle Belles, an all-female musical group belting out holiday pop, jazz, and soul tunes even Scrooge wouldn’t be able to resist.
- Rudolph’s Brass Band, the spirited marching band that will perform their rendition of songs from the classic Christmas movie Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. SeaWorld guests are encouraged to march and sing along.
- Holiday scavenger hunt, open exclusively to pass members, sends guests on a challenge course around the park. Those who complete all five challenges will get the gift of a limited-edition Coca-Cola beanie.
The holiday celebration also includes some returning faves, like the Christmas Market, the chance to meet Rudolph himself, as well as other holiday characters, and, of course, Santa Claus sightings.
Returning festivities include:
- Yuletide-themed areas like the Christmas Market, featuring a unique and very Texan Christmas tree made entirely of cowboy boots; and Christmas Cove, a strollable 1950s-inspired wonderland; and the whimsical Snowman Village, where guests can pose with life-sized snowmen.
- Holiday shows and festive animal presentations. It wouldn’t be a SeaWorld spectacular with the stars of the park, and this year, visitors can draw some holiday inspiration from presentations like A Beluga Christmas and Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas. Fiesta flare comes alive with the Merry Mariachis, and a touching holiday story told unfolds in the Peace on Earth show.
- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, life-size story book vignettes featuring the classic tale that give guests the chance to meet Rudolph and other cherished holiday characters, like Clarice, Yukon Cornelius, and Bumble.
- The Sesame Street Christmas Parade, featuring festively decorated floats and performances that celebrate the magic of the holiday season. The parade includes Elmo, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, Bert, Ernie, and more. Families are encouraged to sing, dance, and be merry with their favorite furry friends.
Jolly makers can indulge in holiday-inspired treats, like seasonal candies and baked goods, fireside s’mores, hot chocolate and coffee, and winter cocktails, including the new Mistletoe Margarita and Santa’s Night Cap.
Park visitors craving a traditional holiday meal can even join Mrs. Claus in her kitchen for Dinner With Santa as she serves up a Christmas feast, or opt to Dine With Rudolph and Friends.
And, as always, visitors can view, engage with, and learn about SeaWorld’s many marine animals, including orcas, dolphins, belugas, sharks, penguins, tropical fish, sea turtles, and birds.
SeaWorld’s Christmas celebration runs on select days from 1-9 pm from November 11 through January 2, 2022.
A 2022 season pass ($84.99) scores guests daily entry into the Christmas celebration, as well as park entry during the rest of 2021 and all of 2022, free parking, discounts on merch and photos, access to all special events, and rides on SeaWorld’s new Tidal Surge. Tickets are available online.