Spring has returned, which means flocks of Texans will be saying goodbye to winter as they head to the beach. Galveston’s beach parks are now open, and that’s just the beginning of what visitors can experience on the island this season.
Galveston Beach Parks Now Open!
While Seawall beaches are open year-round, several of the island’s public beach parks – Stewart Beach, East Beach and West End Pocket Parks 1 and 2 – opened March 10 for the 2018 beach season, offering a variety of special amenities. Visitors to the beach parks can take advantage of 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 www.galvestonbeachinfo.com.
Galveston Family Beach Offers Gigantic Obstacles, Games at Stewart Beach
Giant battle ships, huge bean bags and limbo showdowns are coming to Stewart Beach for the return of the Galveston Family Beach Challenge. The challenge, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will transform a portion of Stewart Beach into a gigantic obstacle course, allowing families to compete in life-size versions of classic games. The course will include 14 stations for kids and adults with eight new stations this year, including a bean bag game, a life-size battle ship game, limbo, volley balloon, “beam” bag, giant Connect Four and more. Classic favorites like giant Jenga and dominoes, sack races and sandcastle building will return this year as well.
The event is free and 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 www.galvestonchallenge.com.
Popular Galveston Attractions Ready to Dazzle
At Moody Gardens, visitors can explore the newly redesigned Aquarium Pyramid (which completed a $37 million renovation last summer. In addition, visitors to Moody Gardens can also check out a returning exhibit at the Discovery Museum, JAM: Journey through Amazing Music, as well as several new films at its 3D and 4D theaters. Schlitterbahn Galveston’s indoor water park will be open weekends thru April, as will the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier amusement park. The island’s many historic mansions and museums, such as Bishop’s Palace and the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum, will also be open daily throughout the season.
Cultural Experiences in Galveston’s Downtown Cultural Arts District
The Galveston Downtown Cultural Arts District, an official cultural district designated by the Texas Commission on the Arts, offers an intriguing selection of theaters, shops, restaurants, and museums that are well worth visiting. The Victorian architecture of Strand Street, widely known as The Strand, makes for a charming stroll as you shop for unique finds or grab sweets at LaKing’s Confectionery. Saengerfest Park at 23rd and Strand is a free family park home to a life-size chessboard and regular live entertainment. Be sure to also check out the district’s 20-plus art galleries, displaying fine art, sculpture and photography in beautifully restored historic buildings. Many can be found on Postoffice Street. For more information, visit www.downtowngalveston.org.
Shows at The Grand 1894 Opera House
The Grand 1894 Opera House has an exciting lineup of performances in store during spring, including Cirque Éloize: "Saloon" (March 24); "An Evening with Sophia Loren" (April 8); "Amazing Grace" (April 14); and"A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" (April 21); For details, or to find more shows happening this season, visit www.thegrand.com.
Spring Activities at the Galveston Island State Park
The Galveston Island State Park offers a wide variety of outdoor activities that are free to participate in. While each person over 12 must pay a $5 entry charge to get into the park, families can enjoy beach combing, geo-caching, kayaking, birding, nature field trips and fishing at no cost. Many activities require advance sign-up. The park’s nature center is open on Saturdays and Sundays March through November showing nature displays and videos pertaining to the park’s plant and marine life. For more information, visit http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/galveston-island.
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 www.galveston.com or call 1-888-GAL-ISLE.