For those seeking a fresh way to celebrate the season, look no further than Valencia’s 12 Days of Christmas and these eight events that kick the typical tree lighting up a few notches.

Valencia’s 12 Days of Christmas

December 13–24

Stay at a Valencia Group hotel in the lead up to Christmas, and you’ll be treated to something festive every day. Discover thoughtful signature amenities upon arrival and in your room, and unforgettable holiday memories in every stay.

Because each hotel is uniquely situated within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and more, they make for great getaways to experience the holidays and get your shopping done while having a whole lot more fun than you would at home in front of a computer or battling traffic at the mall.

San Antonio

Ford Fiesta de la Luminarias

December 4–20

A centuries-old tradition meets the modern, strollable Riverwalk with 6,000 warmly lit candles in sand-filled bags that line the five-mile stretch of art studios, fine dining, and bars. Leave Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, and you’re just a few steps away from the shops and the cool breeze off the river every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night, and you’ll have throwback holiday lights accompanying you the entire way. This is a great place to get your holiday shopping done and actually enjoy it.

A Whale of a Holiday

November 21–December 31

SeaWorld might be the last place you think of for holiday bashes, but it’s as festive as any spot on this list, thanks to Christmas-themed killer whale and dolphin shows, and the aptly named SnowWorld, where you can build a snowman, plus a large arena where you can have a snowball fight and go sledding in the heart of Texas.

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk


Caroling with a City

December 5

Stop by the steps of the Texas Capitol building in festive downtown Austin, and sing carols in the traditional holiday style with a crowd of thousands. After the city lights its Christmas tree at 7 p.m., the many shops all along the main drag on Congress Avenue remain open late for some festive browsing and holiday-themed activities, and you’ll hear music from live local bands, including Invincible Czars, Bob Appel, and The Austin School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

Santa’s Ranch

November 6–January 2

If belting out holiday standards isn’t quite your speed, this rural mile-long stretch of a million lights located 40 minutes south of Austin on Interstate 35 might be. Once you purchase your tickets, kettle corn, and hot cocoa at the booth, you’ll never have to leave the car to see dancing reindeer and waving Santas, all of which have the freewheeling feel of your ambitious neighbor’s lawn, but on a much grander scale.

Stay with us: Lone Star Court


Lights on the Water

November 14–January 10

The holidays are bigger in Texas, too. With more than a million lights, a 100-foot-long slide, ice-skating, and holiday-song-playing animated displays lining the island and waters of Galveston an hour and 20 minutes to the south of Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE – not to mention a little man-made snowfall every Friday night – you’ll find plenty of holiday cheer in bayfront Moody Gardens.

A Tree Lighting with Pizzazz

December 4

Few town tree lightings pull off the singing, dancing spectacle you’ll find at the Mayor’s Holiday Celebration in downtown Hermann Square a half hour southeast of Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE. From 6 to 8 p.m., you’ll enjoy a live concert that features holiday staples from a variety of bands and troupes, accompanied by fireworks booming overhead and a terrific view of the luminous tree draped in LED lights.

Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE

San Jose

Wintry Amusement in a Sea of Trees

November 2–January 3

The 500 beautiful community-decorated Christmas trees at Christmas in the Park that line the two-acre Plaza de Cesar Chavez in downtown San Jose offer reason enough to visit, but the free community event is also home to terrific food vendors and a ton of interactive holiday events for families. Right next door, Winter Wonderland delivers what its name promises with a 10-story gondola, festive traditional carousel, and street vendors who hawk Christmas treats.

Stay with us: Hotel Valencia Santana Row