There’s a reason we like to call Galveston the “Winter Wonder Island” of Texas. It offers more than 50 days of magical activities from November through January. Don’t believe us? Here are our top ten reasons to make a Christmas pilgrimage to the island:
- Downtown Lanterns and Lights will feature a magical display of Christmas trees and other artisan made pieces as they illuminate Saengerfest Park
- Whether you’re looking for a jewel for a special someone or a zany trinket for a friend, the shops along the Historic Downtown Strand offer a trove of treasures—from antiques and other vintage finds to books, jewelry, culinary treats, home furnishings and clothing—that make holiday shopping a cinch.
- The famous pyramid at Moody Gardens looks even cooler when it’s decked out for Festival of Lights, one of the largest holiday celebrations in the country, featuring over a million twinklers and 100 animated light and sound displays, plus live entertainment and the area’s only outdoor ice-skating rink.
- It takes 2 million pounds of ice and 30 internationally acclaimed carvers from Harbin, China, to create Ice Land, the colorful frozen world that features holiday scenes all sculpted out of—you guessed it—ice. It’s a favorite every year, drawing families to Moody Gardens from November to January.
- Celebrate the holidays with Grand entertainment – presented in Galveston’s magnificent, historic performing arts theatre.
- There’s no place for holiday spirit like Christmas on The Strand, the shop that has kept yuletide cheer alive year-round for over 15 years. Pop inside for stunning gifts by Waterford crystal as well as seasonal treats including nativity sets, ornaments, Santa figurines, festive accessories and home decor, and the island’s largest selection of nutcrackers.
Here’s What You Missed Earlier in the Holiday Season:
- The charming world of Victorian England comes to life at Dickens on The Strand, an island tradition for over 40 years. The event is packed with parades, costumed carolers, carts overflowing with holiday food and drink, Victorian-inspired crafts and holiday decorations, and lots of live music.
- The Galveston Holiday Lighting Celebration at Hotel Galvez & Spa features the arrival of Santa Claus via horse-drawn carriage, special holiday performances and, of course, the lighting of the hotel’s 35-foot Christmas tree.
- Not every Santa has a belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly when he laughs. The fittest St. Nicks come out every year for Santa Hustle, a 5K and half marathon featuring red-suited runners plus cookies, candy, holiday music and Christmas decor all along the route, making it a fun, festive experience for participants and observers alike.
- All aboard to the North Pole! Each year, Santa gives the reindeer a break and rides into the Galveston Railroad Museum on the Santa Train. After disembarking from the decked-out Harborside Express, he spends the day in the depot with his elves.
Tip: Tag your photos with #GalvestonChristmas, #ItsIslandTime, #LoveGalveston, and #Galveston to be featured in our Holiday Social Center. Download the Official Galveston Island Holiday Brochure here.
From the Blogs
The Galveston Island Bucket List
Published: Wednesday, June 06, 2018
There is so much you need to do in your lifetime on the island! Here's the ultimate Galveston bucket list: 50 things you need to do before you kick the bucket. Read more.
Why Do Snowbirds Love Galveston So Much?
Published: Monday, November 27, 2017
Is it the warmer island temperatures? The wonderful holiday traditions? Take a look at why so many choose Galveston as their winter getaway! Read more.
What to Wear for This Year's “Dickens on the Strand” Festival
Published: Sunday, December 04, 2016
For many, the big question for the annual “Dickens on the Strand” festival is what to wear. Read more.
Dickens on The Strand: A Discussion with Lucinda Dickens Hawksley
Published: Thursday, December 03, 2015
If you are a descendant of a famous historical figure, going into the same line of work that made your ancestor famous can be a double-edged sword. The same name that can open doors can quite often carry less than realistic expectations. Read more.
Dickens on The Strand: Thoughts from Charles Dickens's Descendants
Published: Monday, November 16, 2015
What might very well give the festival an authentic representation of writer Charles Dickens are his two descendants who will join in the fun. Read more.