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The Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau invites you to Head South for the Winter!

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2015 Galveston Island Holiday Events Guide

The Perfect Destination for the Holidays

Galveston is the “Winter Wonder Island” of Texas and this season the island will offer visitors a more than 1,000 magical holiday events, including an ice sculpture exhibit featuring nearly 2 million pounds of ice.

In addition, visitors to Galveston can experience the largest holiday lighting festival along the Gulf Coast, ice skating, snow tubing, Victorian Christmas celebrations and more.

Here's a preview of what to expect in Galveston this holiday season:

Holiday Lighting Celebration
November 27, 2015
Performances from The Nutcracker, handbells, bagpipes and Christmas carols will entertain guests at the Galveston Holiday Lighting Celebration at Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Hotel, on Friday, Nov. 27. This free family event begins at 6 p.m. and marks the start of the holiday season in Galveston.

Holiday Half Marathon
November 22, 2015
Outloud! Productions announces the inaugural Holiday Half Marathon at Moody Gardens scheduled to start at 8:00 a.m. at beautiful Moody Gardens property and Scholes International Airport. Also partnering with the event is R2R (Reason to Race) which encourages athletes to race for a charity of their choice.

Shopping in the Historic Downtown Strand Seaport
Downtown Galveston has all the charm of a traditional holiday destination while offering the benefits of tropical weather and outdoor shopping. This 36-block district boasts beautiful Victorian ironfront buildings filled with boutique shops, antique stores, unique art galleries, and some of the finest cuisine on the island.

Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens
November 14, 2015 – January 4, 2015
Moody Gardens lights up the season in Galveston with its annual Festival of Lights - the largest holiday lighting celebration on the Gulf Coast. This magical festival includes a milelong trail of sparking lights and light displays synchronized to music, carolers, hot chocolate stations, ice skating and other holiday activities wrapped around the breathtaking Moody Gardens pyramids. For details, visit

Ice Sculptures
November 14, 2015– January 4, 2015
A skilled team of professional ice carvers will take 6,000 300 pound ice blocks and transform them into majestic displays ranging from holiday-themed sculptures to undersea characters from SpongeBob SquarePants. Chilled and held at a temperature of 15 degrees, you can witness these works of art as Galveston makes its holiday transformation into a Winter Wonder Island. For details, visit

Holiday Performances at The Grand
Throughout November & December
The Grand 1894 Opera House presents a holiday season filled with live entertainment - Broadway musicals, iconic stars, comedy and lots of music will ring in the season! For details, visit

Dickens on the Strand
December 4, 5, & 6, 2015
The 42nd Anniversary of Dickens on The Strand takes visitors on an enchanted journey through history with an exciting festival that transforms Galveston's historic Strand into the Victorian London of Charles Dickens. Characters from Dickens' novels walk the streets while live entertainment, food and vendors fill the area with sights and smells from another era. As a special treat, the event features an appearance from real descendants of Charles Dickens! For details, visit

Santa Hustle
December 20, 2015
Runners have a "jolly good time" in Galveston for the annual Santa Hustle! At this event, half marathon and 5K runners compete in Santa suits and beards in a race that takes them along the island's gorgeous Gulf waters and historic downtown streets. Along the route, participants can stop at cookie and candy stations while enjoying holiday music.

About Galveston Island
Galveston Island is a historic beach town located on the Gulf of Mexico just 50 miles from Houston. The island is best known as a vacation destination, offering 32 miles of beaches, a variety of family attractions, Texas’ premier cruise port and one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country, including several National Historic Landmarks. Galveston Island is home to popular amusements, such as Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, as well as a variety of museums and recreational activities from surfing to birding. For more information on Galveston Island visit or call 1-888-GAL-ISLE.

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