Free Events on Galveston Island this Holiday Season

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Free Events on Galveston Island this Holiday Season

Updated 9 days ago

When planning your holiday adventures, you will not want to miss out on what Galveston Island has in store this season. The island transforms into a “Winter Wonder Island,” as the store-fronts of downtown get blanketed in wreaths, lanterns and, of course, lights. Galveston also hosts several free and discounted events including Santa sightings, public art displays and more:

Holiday in the Park (Dec. 8)

Join us this holiday season for Galveston Holiday in the Park. Bring out the whole family for a day filled with festive holiday tunes from local and area school choirs, bands and amazing church choirs during this free event. Performances will be held in Saengerfest Park at 23rd & Strand from 10:45 am to 6:00 pm on Saturday, December 8.


  • 10:45 am – Galveston Community Band
  • 12:00 pm – Clear Falls Troubadours
  • 1:15 pm – Galveston Homeschool Choirs and Orchestras
  • 2:30 pm – Trinity Episcopal School Choir
  • 3:45 pm – Fanfare! Singers and From Bach to Rock Band
  • 5:00 pm – Galveston Ballet

Spend some time shopping for those last minute gifts at your favorite Galveston Strand shops as well as festive vendors located on 23rd Street. Children will also be able to visit and take pictures with Santa in the Park.

Holiday Delights at The Bryan Museum (Dec. 9)

You and your family are cordially invited to join us for Holiday Delights at The Bryan Museum presented by Moody National Bank!

Wander through the Museum galleries and enjoy displays and information about Christmas traditions in Mexico, Spain, France, England and Germany and the holiday celebrations of Hanukkah and Kwanza.

Enjoy a delicious array of holiday cookies and pastries representing countries from around the world accompanied by hot wassail and Mexican hot chocolate.

  • 11:00 am - 4:00 pm: Sit on Santa’s lap and share your secret wishes for Christmas morning
  • 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm: Get in the mood for the season with holiday musical entertainment and MUCH MORE!


Downtown Lanterns & Lights (Thru Jan. 1, 2019)

This holiday season, historic downtown Galveston will be illuminated by lighting and decor encompassing the main corridors of this charming 36-block district.

Downtown Lanterns & Lights will feature a magical display of lights and other holiday-themed attractions in Saengerfest Park and beyond, including an interactive photo frame and a giant snow globe for visitors to enjoy on designated weekends.

Lights will stretch throughout downtown from 20th to 25th streets on The Strand as well as along 23rd and Postoffice streets.

In addition, visitors will find unique holiday gifts at the district’s many boutiques, art galleries and antique shops set among beautiful Victorian architecture.

Christmas Countdown with a Story at Rosenberg Library (Thru Dec. 22)

Every day, November 24 to December 22, at 4 pm stop in the Rosenberg Library with your family for a 'Christmas Countdown with Stories.' Enjoy a festive story in the expansive Children’s Department as we begin counting down the days until Santa makes his rounds!

Stick around after storytime for a free tour of the Rosenberg Museum, which exhibits so much great history and artifacts from Galveston and beyond.


Santa on the Strand (Dec. 8, 15, 22)

Come say hello to Santa at Saengerfest Park from 1 pm to 4 pm on December 8th, 15th and 22nd and find out if you’ve been naughty or nice. Bring the family and get your picture taken with Santa, and make those special Christmas gift requests in before it's too late!

Other great photo opportunities include stepping inside a giant blow-up snow globe, gathering under a beautiful interactive photo frame or posing in front of Scrooge's house -- all right in Saengerfest Park!



Family Day at The Ocean Star Drilling Rig Museum (Dec. 8)

The term “Christmas Tree” means something very different in the Oil and Gas Industry. Come find out what it is while learning about polymer chains. Create a model of a simple carbon chain, using red and green construction paper—fit for your very own holiday tree.

About Ocean Star Family Days:
On the second Saturday of every month from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the Ocean Star celebrates Family Day.  Each Family Day focuses on a different theme that relates to the offshore industry. The information is presented at a student’s level using activities or experiments. We encourage parents to bring their children aboard and experience family learning and quality time at a reduced cost.


Sip N' Stroll (Dec. 13)

Come stroll Downtown Galveston's Historic Strand and find unique and wonderful gifts for everyone on your list, including yourself. While shopping, relax and enjoy a sip of wine. Join us!

The following shops will be offering refreshments, specials and some gift wrapping:

  • The Admiralty
  • Christmas on The Strand
  • Gracie's
  • Head to Footsies
  • Jewel Gardens
  • Strand Brass
  • Tina's on The Strand
  • Dorothy May's
  • Play on The Strand
  • Pardon My French
  • And several more….

12th Night Celebration at Moody Mansion (Jan. 6)

Moody Mansion will celebrate the 12th Night of Christmas with a free open house and holiday music at 6:00 pm Sunday, January 6. 

Historically, the 12 days of Christmas are the time between the birth of Jesus and the arrival of three magi – the “Wise Men” also knows as the “Three Kings.” According to the Gospel of Matthew, the magi followed the Star to Bethlehem across the desert to pay tribute with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The Twelfth Night is celebrated as the day they arrived, the official end to the Christmas season.

Most 12th Night traditions featured unique food – the French and English celebrated with a King’s Cake, which has become part of Mardi Gras in the Southern U.S. The free public event is at Moody Mansion, 2618 Broadway. For additional information, call Moody Mansion at (409) 762-7668 or visit

If you are looking for additional deals this holiday season, check out the discounts below that Galveston Island is offering!


BOGO Food Drive Thursdays at Moody Gardens Festival of Lights

Guests who bring a non-perishable food item to Moody Gardens will receive two-for-one admission to Festival of Lights. The food drive program benefits Galveston County and Houston Food Banks. The mile-long Festival of Lights trail, featuring more than 100 lighted displays and the area’s only outdoor ice skating rink, is one of the eight-holiday attractions open through Jan. 6 at Moody Gardens.

Admission to Festival of Lights on Value Days, Sunday-Thursday excluding Thanksgiving, is $10.95 per person. Admission to Festival of Lights Friday-Saturday is $15.95 per person. Tickets include ice skating admission. Guests can bring their own ice skates or rent them at the rink.

Galveston Island Pass

With so much to see and do in Galveston, there’s an easy way to visit attractions and save money too. Whether you’d like to kayak on Galveston Bay, visit the Railroad Museum or watch the sharks at Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid, the Galveston Island Pass is your ticket to island adventures.

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.