Sights & Sounds of Christmas

San Marcos Plaza Park
Nov. 30- Dec. 2 & Dec. 7-9, 2023

It’s the most wonderful time of year – time for Sights & Sounds of Christmas, again! Sights & Sounds is six days full of holiday cheer and merriment. That’s right, six days and a ho-ho-whole lot of fun! (Sorry, we had to…) Carnival rides, petting zoos, concerts, really good food and so much more will kick off your holiday season on a very festive note.


From daring coasters to charming thrills for the little ones, the carnival at Sights & Sounds has lots of options for traditional carnival games, exciting views from above, and adrenaline. The carnival is open nightly Wednesday-Saturday and rides range from $1-$7 through Magic Money wristbands.

Petting Zoo

Who could possibly not enjoy cuddling a baby goat? Not us, that’s for sure. Pet (gently) a variety of animals, including llamas, lambs, goats, bunnies, and more. It couldn’t possibly get any better than that, right? Wrong – it’s FREE! There is feed for the animals available for purchase, which may tempt them into some extra loving…

Food Court and Santa’s Gift Shop

Unique holiday gifts, holiday-themed treats, and classic carnival cuisine – you have to check out the goods, wares, and delicious offerings at the Food Court and Santa’s Gift Shop.

Ice Skating

No, the San Marcos River isn’t frozen over. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t ice skate in San Marcos! The ice-skating rink is highly entertaining whether you plan on strapping some skates on and going for a spin or just watching the action from the sidelines as Texans unfamiliar with the sport give it a go themselves…

Santa Visits

Is it a plane? A firetruck? A motorcycle? Well, it could be any of those things, but the important part is that it’s bringing in the big man himself – Santa! Every night Santa arrives in style before setting up for photos.

Town of Bethlehem

Journey back in time and explore the ancient traditions of old Bethlehem. You can expect live music, candle making, costumes, and more about the history of Bethlehem.

Things To Know Before You Go

Admission is free for kids 12 and under, $5 for nightly admission, and $15 for a 6-day pass. Once you are inside, Magic Money Bands are how you’ll pay for most things at Sights & Sounds. It’s an electronic token system you can load money onto at kiosks around the premises.

To ensure safety at Sights & Sounds, bags should be clear and will need to be smaller than 12”x6”x12”. 

Visit for more information.

Sights & Sounds FAQ's

How much does it cost? 

Kids 12 and under are free. There is a $5 nightly admission fee, or you can buy a 6-day pass for $15. Tickets are available at the gate. Cash is not accepted inside the park except at Santa's Gift Shop. Food, drinks, and more can be purchased via Magic Money. 

The Magic Money Band is a reusable and re-loadable band. You can reload the band using the Magic Money App and Magic Money kiosks and stations around the event. The bands are $2, deducted from the initial purchase amount. Bands can be loaded in increments of $10, $20, $40, $60, $80, or $100. Money loaded onto the wristband can not be refunded, but can be used next year!

What can I bring?

Only clear bags are allowed at the festival. Non-clear bags, regardless of size, will not be allowed in. Weapons of any kind are also not allowed inside the festival. Glass and styrofoam are also not permitted on the parkland. We do recommend wearing your walking shoes and bringing a jacket!

Where can I park?

We highly recommend parking at the Mill Street parking lot (across the street from Bobcat Stadium and behind Bobcat Village Apartments) and riding the free shuttle. Shuttles are handicap accessible. 

There is paid parking available at 304 E San Antonio St and 312 E Hopkins St. Shuttles will not run to the paid parking areas, but the festival grounds are a short walk. 

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