Galveston Island is a beautiful, historic beach destination where you can get your toes in the sand, take a leisurely stroll through the Historic Downtown District, or catch a Happy Hour at a cool bar. But if you’re looking for group activities, there’s plenty of things to on our charming little island.
Here are some fun group activities to check out:
Escape the Island
Escape the Island at 910 21st St. is a live escape room experience where people can work together, find clues and solve puzzles in order to escape from a themed room in 60 minutes. It requires out of the box thinking, observational skills and teamwork to beat the clock. Everyone contributes to the process with the variety of skills and background that they bring. It is fast paced and demanding but great fun when the "aha" moments that lead to progress prove to be correct. Come join the fun and book your escape room today. Remember, in order to Escape the Island.....you must first escape the room. For more details, call (832) 221-8080.
Galveston is home to many affordable museums that highlight science as well as Galveston's unique history. A pirate museum, Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast, recently opened on The Strand. Downtown is also home to the Galveston Railroad Museum, Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum, Texas Seaport Museum and the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA. Be sure to check out The Bryan Museum not far downtown Galveston. These museums range in price from $2 to $8. The Rosenberg Library Museum on Sealy Street is free!
La King’s Confectionery
La King's Confectionery is your connection to a bygone era, dating back to the 1920s when James H King began learning the candymaking art as an apprentice at the St. Regis Confectionery in Houston. La King's features a 1920s soda fountain, serving malts, shakes, ice cream sodas, sundaes, splits and floats.
La King's master candymaker will delight you with his old-time specialties – peanut brittle, divinity, pecan pralines, hand-dipped chocolates, fudges, and famous salt water taffy made right before your eyes on antique equipment. They make more than 40 candies from traditional recipes, just waiting for you! La King’s is located at 2323 Strand. For more information, call 409-762-6100.
Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
For decades, the historic Pleasure Pier served as a tourism catalyst for Galveston's Seawall Boulevard and the Texas Gulf Coast. Originally built in the late 1940s as a recreational facility for the military, the Pier was turned over to the city after World War II and named Pleasure Pier and it operated as an iconic family destination until 1961, when Hurricane Carla hit Texas.
In 1965, the Flagship Hotel opened on the site, but was severely damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2008 and was demolished. The Galveston Island Pleasure Pier opened in 2012. The 1,130-foot pier extends over the Gulf of Mexico at 25th Street and Seawall Boulevard, and boasts entertainment midway games and 16 rides, along with shops and Texas' first Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant. For more details, call 855-789-7437.
Board Game Island
Board Game Island at 213 23rd St. has a library of over 500 board games, card games, and puzzles that are open and ready for play. The friendly staff of gametenders can help you select and learn a game before taking your order for food and drinks.
Board Game Island also serves good food, as well as domestic and craft beers, and wines. They offer a café style menu with a variety of soft drinks, coffee and espresso, smoothies, hot and cold sandwiches, pizzas, and baked goods. Board Game Island also has a retail section with popular boxed games, gift quality classic games, and an assortment of puzzles and brain teasers.
Enjoy Live Music
Be sure to check out the Galveston.com Calendar of Events for the latest music schedules and events. Various bars offer live entertainment through the week. Local favorites include Club 21 at 21st and Postoffice, Yaga’s at 23rd and Strand, and Old Quarter Acoustic Café.
Old Quarter is a premiere spot for live entertainment downtown, and hosts musicians who play original music. During summer months, you can catch live music at Saengerfest Park. It’s completely free and great opportunity to bring a chair and relax, or kick up your heels and dance.
Take a Tour
For groups that like to move, there’s several ghost tours that will guide you through the haunted corners of downtown Galveston. A city that survived the country’s deadliest natural disaster more than 100 years ago – The 1900 Storm – is bound to have a few ghosts. Galveston Island Historic Tours is an excellent tour of Galveston’s history. The proprietor is a part-time history professor who will share his knowledge of the Galveston area with the humor and insight that only a local with a graduate degree in history could. Oh, and he does it all in a multi-row golf cart.
Harbor Boat Tour
There are three boat tours to choose from at Pier 21 – Galveston Historical Foundation Harbour Tours, Galveston Water Adventures and Baywatch Dolphin Tours. You’re likely to see dolphins on any one of the tours, and all offer a full glimpse of the bustle along the waterfront. Galveston’s harbor is the reason the island was an economic powerhouse in the early 19th century, and it still hosts a busy port and cruise terminal today.
Held every six weeks, ArtWalk is a free event where Galveston's downtown art galleries open their doors to the public for an evening of art viewing, live entertainment and refreshments from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturdays. The Galveston Arts Center hosts this event March through November. For a schedule, vist our interactive ArtWalk section.
If you’re fond of unique and interesting gift items, others, downtown Galveston is where you need to spend some time with Hendley Market as your first stop. The market has a spectacular collection of unusual items, including items from Latin America. There’s toys, soaps, books, gifts and much more. The Strand Emporium offers an array of Go Texan products – food items made in Texas. On Postoffice Street, you’ll find The Witchery, which is the place to be for all things mystical. From crystals to candles to books to psychic and Tarot card readings on weekends, you’ll want to stop by The Witchery for curiosity alone.
There’s plenty of cool jewelry and clothing shops on The Strand and Postoffice Street. Be sure to venture down those side streets where you’ll find Fit Tri Run, a full-service boutique running and triathlete store; The Kitchen Chick for things kitcheny; and Nautical Antiques and Décor, which is like a museum for nautical salvage that you get to buy. If you can find it on a boat, you’re likely to find it here repurposed for something wonderful in your house.