In case you’re looking for a family fun idea to make the most of the holiday season, or even a last minute gift idea, this might be it! I’m thankful to Sea World San Antonio for providing tickets for me and my family to visit Sea World San Antonio’s Christmas Celebration and enjoy Dinner with Rudolph! Even if you’ve been to Sea World, just not during the holidays, let me tell you — I was blown away! And I love ALL THINGS CHRISTMAS (which might be part of why I loved it!) As always, this is my honest opinion. I’m just thankful to Sea World for the tickets and the opportunity to visit and share all the fun here on the blog with YOU!
Sea World & Christmas together = MORE FUN!
In case you’re wondering, yes, Sea World fun includes all the penguins, sea lions and whales, oh my! But they also have epic roller coasters, a super cute show with puppies, cats and a pig; Santa’s Village and even a LIVE singing Nativity. Oh! And a GIANT playground called Elmo’s Bay of Play that even my 9 year old daughter, her best friend and my 12 year old son LOVED!
There’s so much more, but I’ll share a few of our highlights here, including Dinner with Rudolph and friends (the food! the character parade! the desserts!) And this is THE largest Christmas light display in Texas! That alone makes it worth checking out. Plus, the photo opps are the BEST!
Read on, or just watch this fun video to really get a feel for Sea World’s Christmas Celebration (and how much we loved it!)
A Holiday Getaway at Sea World San Antonio
A couple of years ago, on a last minute whim, we decided to take a mini Thanksgiving vacation to San Antonio.
It’s just a short road trip from Houston and we were able to spend a day at Sea World! Little did we know, that would become my daughter’s birthday wish this year. She spent months dreaming and asking if we could celebrate her birthday with a friend at Sea World. Once we figured out all the details between our families, we told the girls yes and they were THRILLED! They couldn’t wait!
My daughter’s birthday happens to fall around Thanksgiving, so we figured we could plan the trip for the same time of year. especially because we fell in love with Sea World’s Christmas Celebration.
And if you’re anything like me and you look forward to kicking off the holidays as early as possible, the Christmas Celebration kicks off in mid-November at Sea World San Antonio! You could even make it a Thanksgiving or Christmas weekend holiday trip, and visit Sea World, plus the famous San Antonio Riverwalk or The Alamo (or both!)
Animals, roller coasters, live music, & more!
When you first walk into the park, it’s always a good idea to grab a park map. We asked the birthday girl what she wanted to do first and she picked one of the roller coasters: the Wave Breaker! Both she and her bestie loved it so much, they went on that same ride about 10 times (ok, maybe it was 4 times, but still!)
There was an arcade nearby that lured them in, and who can resist a little skeeball? Plus, my son’s day was made when he found the basketball machine and he had a bit of fun with dad!
At this point, I was thinking we really should find some animals, but on our way to one of the shows, the kids encountered one of the BIGGEST. PLAYGROUNDS. EVER!
Sesame Street Bay of Play at Sea World San Antonio
What was amazing about this was that it’s a Sesame Street themed “Bay of Play” with Elmo singing … and two 9 year olds plus a 12 year old took off running like it was the coolest thing!
Of course, we let them run around as much as they wanted to before we talked them into a “Pets Ahoy” show with dogs, cats, birds, and at least one pig!
Even though, to be honest, the kids groaned about it at first, they ended up loving it! They even got to pet some of the animals at the end! And when we found out that nearly all the pets in the show were adopted from local shelters, we loved it even more! Our family adopted our dog Ella earlier this year. We’re all in favor of adopting furry friends if they’re right for your family!
You can easily get into the Christmas Celebration spirit at Sea World San Antonio when you walk in the doors and everything is beautiful and sparkly and blue!
But I was blown away by the beautiful harmonies coming from the LIVE singing Nativity. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting something so literally Christmas-y in the middle of Sea World! The video has a clip of one of their songs!
There’s so much to do and enjoy at Sea World that you may not get around to all of it in one day! And there are so many surprises, too! Our son’s favorite thing right now is basketball, and wouldn’t you know, they have an AMAZING 3 point shooter experience, right in the middle of Sea World!
Basketball at Sea World San Antonio? Why not?
It was the perfect thing for big brother, since his younger sister was getting all the attention on her birthday. I thought this was a little wink from heaven, saying, hey, this trip is for YOU to enjoy, too! 🙂
Dinner with Rudolph and Friends
One thing that we definitely wanted to check out was Dinner with Rudolph and friends! It was our birthday girl’s special wish. And while I was a bit apprehensive about a buffet with her food allergies, I was quickly set at ease by the chef!
As any food allergy mom would do, I called the parks a few days prior to our trip to ask about food allergy options at this particular dining experience. We were assured over the phone that the chef would have options that would be safe for her. But we were not expecting what we found! The chef had gone out of his way, not just to give us a tour of the buffet, pointing out which foods would be safe, barring cross-contamination, but he also provided a separate dish just for our daughter! He brought it out from the kitchen himself and she was THRILLED that she could enjoy her special dinner.
Plus, any food allergies thought quickly drifted away when Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer himself came out with all his friends! So fun!
Santa’s Village & Snow in San Antonio!
The day could’ve ended after dinner and I think we would’ve been just fine. But there was still more to enjoy! We “frolicked and played the eskimo way” walking thru Santa’s Village into a “Winter Wonderland!” Of course, it’s one of those snow machines, and it might not be super chilly on a November or December night in San Antonio, but my son and I taking “snow selfies” made it totally worth it!
Once we got to pet the reindeer (seriously!), we decided to cross the beautiful Christmas lights tunnel! We took a few more pics (of course) and finally heard that the park was closing. As we made our way back through the park, we enjoyed more beautiful Christmas lights and music! Of course, we also made one final stop at the gift shop.
I hope you get the opportunity to enjoy Sea World’s Christmas Celebration! It’s going on through January 6th (which happens to be another holiday … Three King’s Day!) Makes me want to go back before it’s over until next year!
Laughing (and celebrating Christmas) thru life,
Special Note from Sea World’s website: For more than five decades, the SeaWorld Rescue team has provided a second chance at life to more than 33,000 animals. The goal is always to rehabilitate them and return them to the wild.” Find out more about Sea World’s Park to Planet mission here.
How fun! I had no idea Sea World was open for the holiday season. Definitely something for us to keep in mind for next year
I was surprised, too! And on Thanksgiving Day! It made for fun and out of the ordinary memories for sure! I hope you guys get to go next year! It’s really EXTRA magical during the Holidays!
This is the perfect birthday surprise! I grew up in San Antonio and went to sea world often as a kid!!
Thanks! My daughter and her friend seemed to love it (even though they got a little teenagery at times!) Haha! But how fun that you got to go as a kid! I’m glad we live close enough to visit every so often!
Definitely need to see if I can score maybe some Media Passes to checkout! Even not, haven’t gone in FOREVER, so it would be great to visit again! So glad y’all had a blast!
Yes! We went in 2016 and now went back … and it was like two different trips! So many things to do and enjoy! I hope y’all get to go soon!
That looks like such a fun place to visit during the holiday season! Especially the neat arcade and the snow. It’s also so awesome that they made your daughter feel special by working around her food allergies!
Yes! The chef at Dinner with Rudolph was AMAZING! It really was a fun visit!