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Galveston Offers Expanded Lineup of Free Summer Beach Events

Updated 20 days ago

Summer is in full swing in Galveston, and the island’s number one amenity – its 32 miles of sandy beaches— will be home to a variety of free activities and special events for visitors to explore throughout the remainder of beach season.

New this summer, and by popular demand, the island’s “Sandcastle Days” will now be offered at the West End beaches. Just like there is a beach park to suit every visitor, the following lineup offers events and activities for any beachgoer looking to spice up their summer vacation without breaking the bank.

Sandcastle Days at Stewart Beach and West End Beaches

Visitors to Stewart Beach and West End beaches can participate in “Sandcastle Days.” This free, family-friendly event series teaches beachgoers how to create spectacular sandcastles with building lessons instructed by professional sandcastle builders. The Stewart Beach lessons will take place from 8-11 a.m. every Saturday through August 10th at the water’s edge directly in front of the pavilion. West End lessons will take place every Friday in July with times and locations varying each weekend. Registration is not required for the lessons and equipment will be provided on a limited basis. Participants are encouraged to bring their own sand buckets and shovels.

Galveston Family Beach Challenge at Stewart Beach

Giant battleships, huge bean bags and limbo showdowns are all part of the Galveston Family Beach Challenge offered July 21, Aug. 18 and Sept. 22 at Stewart Beach. The challenges, which take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., transform a portion of Stewart Beach into a gigantic obstacle course, allowing families to compete in life-size versions of classic favorites like giant Jenga and dominoes, sack races and sandcastle building. Participants will have the chance to win the grand prize of a $500 gift card plus tickets to popular Galveston attractions. For rules and to register in advance, visit

The Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau is sponsoring free sandcastle building lessons every Friday in July at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm at the following west end locations:

July 5 – Pirates Beach West (AP #16 13 Mile Road)

July 12 – Jamaica Beach (AP #17 15 Mile Road)

July 19 – Sea Isle (AP #26 San Jacinto Blvd.)

July 26 – Point West (AP #36 Salt Cedar Ave)

Free Activities at East End Lagoon Nature Preserve and Galveston Island State Park

Galveston is known as a nature and bird-lovers paradise, and this summer visitors can experience new ways to explore the island’s 32 miles of coastline. The East End Lagoon Nature Preserve recently opened a new nature trail, complete with interpretive signage. The trail, which is ADA-compliant, allows visitors to better explore the lagoon’s 684 acres of coastal prairie – a prime location to kayak or spot some of the 200-plus species of birds that travel through or reside on the island throughout the year. The Galveston Island State Park also offers a wide variety of outdoor activities that are free to participants. While each person over 12 must pay a $5 entry charge to get into the park, families can enjoy beachcombing, geocaching, kayaking, birding, nature field trips and fishing at no cost. Plus, the park is hosting new beach and bay exploration hikes and turtle patrols led by a state park naturalist on select dates throughout the summer. For more information, visit

Visitors are also encouraged to explore the expanded shoreline along the seawall from 61st to 83rd streets and take advantage of new amenities like free sunscreen stations at Stewart Beach, East Beach and Dellanera. At beaches along the seawall, public restrooms and two pay stations are open to allow cash payments for parking. The pay stations are located at 61st Street and 89th Street piers. Visitors to the beach parks have access to restrooms, showers, beach chair rentals, volleyball courts, snack bars and other concessions, including horseback riding and helicopter tours. For details on the beach parks, visit


Article written by & Company, Inc. specializes in online lodging, cruise, parking, and transportation reservations; and event ticketing.