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? Download the Official Holiday Brochure here, and take a look below to view our top reasons to make a Christmas pilgrimage to the island:
- ICE LAND: POLE TO POLE AT MOODY GARDENS: New theme for 2018! A skilled team of master ice carvers has taken 2 million pounds of ice to create your festive journey from the North to South Pole. See polar bears, penguins, humpback whales, snowy owls, walrus and of course reindeer! Glide down the giant glacier slide and enjoy a festive drink inside an igloo at Shivers Ice Bar. (Nov 17 – Jan 6)
- FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AT MOODY GARDENS: Brighten up the holidays with a tradition for families and groups alike! A mile-long trail with more than one million lights and lighted scenes take you around the Moody Gardens property with spectacular views of Galveston Bay. Enjoy the area’s only outdoor skating rink, concession areas with hot chocolate and festive food, holiday buffets, live entertainment and more. (Nov17–Jan6)
- THE GRAND 1894 OPERA HOUSE HOLIDAY SEASON: Celebrate the holidays with Grand entertainment – Asleep at the Wheel – Merry Texas Christmas Y’all, The Priests, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage and The Other Mozart - presented in Galveston’s magnificent, historic theatre. (Nov 24 – Jan 12)
- MIRACLE POP-UP BAR: Miracle, the beloved Christmas-themed pop-up bar launched in 2014 in New York City, will continue spreading holiday cheer around the globe in 2018, as the brand celebrates its five-year anniversary. This year? The concept makes a stop at the Island's DTO.
- DOWNTOWN LANTERNS & LIGHTS: Featuring a magical display of Christmas lights and other artisan pieces as they illuminate Saengerfest Park and historic downtown. The park will also feature an interactive photo frame and giant snow globe on designated weekends. (Nov 24 – Jan 1)
- DOWNTOWN SHOPPING IN GALVESTON'S HISTORIC DOWNTOWN DISTRICT: Find unique holiday gifts at the many boutiques, art galleries, antique shops and more within Galveston’s 36-block historic downtown. (Nov 23 - Dec 24)
- 45TH ANNUAL DICKENS ON THE STRAND: Travel back in time as downtown Galveston’s Strand Street is transformed into the Victorian London of Charles Dickens with this exciting festival. (Nov 30 – Dec 2)
- SANTA TRAIN AT THE GALVESTON RAILROAD MUSEUM: Welcome Santa as he comes to town aboard the Galveston Railroad Museum’s Harborside Express Train. (Dec 15)
- HOLIDAY WITH THE CRANES: Celebrate the magnificent 4-foot-tall Sandhill Cranes that arrive just in time for the holidays, with special events from sunrise to sunset. (Dec 8-9)
- CIRQUE JOYEUX NOEL DINNER AND SHOW AT MOODY GARDENS: Enjoy a spectacular, exhilarating and joyous celebration of the holiday season with an enchanting mix of food, circus and music. (Dec 21- Jan 4)
- SANTA HUSTLE HALF MARATHON AND 5K: Run with thousands of Santas through the streets of Galveston and along the Gulf waters. (Dec 15-16)
From the Blogs
Free Events on Galveston Island this Holiday Season
Published: Thursday, December 06, 2018
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. Read more.
Galveston Island Holiday Gift Guide 2018
Published: Monday, December 03, 2018
In addition to being a great holiday vacation destination, Galveston Island is home to some of the most unique boutiques, shops, restaurants and attractions in the country, making it a perfect place to do some of your holiday shopping! Read more.
Holiday Fun Continues in Galveston with Expanded Downtown Lanterns & Lights
Published: Sunday, November 25, 2018
An expanded Downtown Lanterns and Lights has been illuminated in downtown Galveston. Read more.
The 6 Best Kid-Friendly Holiday Experiences in Galveston
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2018
The holidays are about spending time with your family, and Galveston has no shortage of family-friendly attractions, events and displays! Read more.
Ice Land: Pole-to-Pole Opens November 17
Published: Friday, November 09, 2018
Ring in the holiday season in an ultra-cool way with a trip down a 30-foot tall Glacier Ice Slide completely carved from ice. This is one of many unique experiences visitors can enjoy inside the chilly ICE LAND: Pole-to-Pole, opening Nov. 17 at Moody Gardens. Read more.