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Free Summertime Activities in Galveston

Updated 438 days ago

No more concerns about digging too deep into your wallet for summer fun on Galveston Island. There are many things to do that won’t cost you anything, except maybe your time and with an investment in smiling and laughter!

Some favorite island activities that are never organized and won’t cost you a cent include walking or riding your bike along the Seawall and its beaches, fishing (although you’ll need a fishing license) and birding. Why not check out the architecture or window shop along the Strand. You can also admire the art at the galleries on Post Office Street.

Yet, spending a few dollars or more can provide many more options of affordable things to do like visiting island museums including Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast, the Galveston Railroad MuseumOcean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and MuseumPier 21 TheaterTexas Seaport Museum and the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA. Entry fees range from $2 to $8. However, the Rosenberg Library Museum is  absolutely free.

Sandcastle Building Lessons at Stewart Beach

This summer, Galveston is hosting a free, family-friendly event series to help beachgoers create spectacular sandcastles with tips from the pros. The events will take place each Saturday this summer from June 2 thru August 18. Each event will begin with an instructor building a sandcastle from 8-11 a.m. followed by lessons at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Equipment will be provided on a limited basis and participants are encouraged to bring their own sand buckets and shovels. Registration is not required. The lessons will take place on the sand near the Stewart Beach Pavilion.  

Galveston Island Family Beach Challenge

Giant battleships, 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 giant 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 battleship 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

Family Beach Challenges are free and will take place on March 18, April 22, May 27, June 17, July 22, Aug. 19 and Sept. 16 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Music Nite on the Strand

Music Nite on The Strand takes place on the second Saturday of each month March through October, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. 

2018 Summer Schedule:
•    March 10: A Sure Thing (top 40) popular music
•    April 14: The Samy Jo Band (country, Blues)
•    May 12: Blaggards (Irish Folk Rock)
•    June 9: Donovan Keith (Soul)
•    July 14: Campfire Soul (Blues, Rock)
•    August 11: Dem Roots (reggae)
•    September 8: The Fab 5 (Beatles Tribute)

Movie Nite on the Strand

Grab your chairs, blankets and pillows, and head downtown Galveston for a FREE family-friendly movie under the stars. Held the first Saturday of each month March thru October, films begin at dusk at Saengerfest Park, located at the corner of 23rd and Strand streets.

2018 Summer Schedule:
•    May 5: Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
•    June 2: Dolphin Tale (2011)
•    July 7: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
•    August 4: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
•    September 1: The Neverending Story (1984)

Bucket Brigade Beach Walks

In Galveston, digging in the sand isn't just for building sand castles. Thanks to The Bucket Brigade program, sponsored by Artist Boat and the Galveston Park Board, the beach can be an exciting classroom where participants can learn about the important relationship between the coastal ecosystem and the people who visit it.

The Bucket Brigade tours are offered Saturdays through May. Beginning Memorial Day Weekend tours will be offered Wednesday-Sunday throughout the summer. The 45-minute tours are held at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tours are offered at a variety of locations along Galveston beaches, including Stewart Beach and 61st Street. More locations will be offered in the summer. Those wishing to participate can sign up for a tour near the lifeguard station at the tour location, where you will see our Bucket Brigade Tours sign.


For over 25 years, the Galveston Art Center has produced ArtWalk on Saturday nights in the heart of the historic district. Now spreading to other parts of the Island, ArtWalk occurs approximately every six weeks. Not a street festival, ArtWalk takes place in existing commercial galleries, non-profit arts spaces and what are called "other walls"—restaurants and retail stores. One of the Galveston Arts Center's largest programs, ArtWalk promotes visual art and supports our arts-based community, offering alternative places to see and learn about art.

2018 Summer Schedule:
•    June 2
•    July 14
•    August 25


Article written by Clayton Kolavo

Clayton is the Engagement Strategist for the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau, overseeing the bureau's social media presence and engagement initiatives. He began working in the tourism industry following his graduation from Texas State University with a BS in Public Relations and Mass Communication.