Winter Wonder Island

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? Take a look below to view our top reasons to make a Christmas pilgrimage to the island below, or click here to download the official Holiday Magic brochure.

  • NEW EVENT! GALVESTON RAILROAD MUSEUM PRESENTS THE POLAR EXPRESS™ TRAIN RIDE
    Galveston Railroad Museum will offer a 60-minute round-trip journey to the North Pole aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride. Once onboard, hot chocolate and treats are served as passengers read along with the classic children’s book, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg. Santa and his helpers greet passengers at the North Pole and then board the train, where each child is given the first gift of Christmas – a silver sleigh bell. Chefs aboard each car lead passengers in singing Christmas carols on the ride back to the museum. (Nov 15 – Dec 29)
  • HOLIDAY IN THE GARDENS
    Eight holiday attractions, one venue at Moody Gardens. Enjoy Festival of Lights, ICE LAND, ice skating, holiday 3D/4D films, Cirque Joyeux and more. Save Big with Value Days. (Nov. 16 – Jan. 12)
  • ICE LAND: CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD AT MOODY GARDENS
    A skilled team of master ice carvers has taken 2 million pounds of ice to create a holiday journey around the world! Travel from Russia and Egypt to China and beyond to see how other cultures celebrate the season. Glide from the top of the Eiffel Tower on the Giant Ice Slide and chill out with a festive drink inside Shiver’s Ice Bar.  (Nov 16 – Jan 12)
  • 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. (Nov 16 – Jan 12)
  • CIRQUE JOYEUX 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 20 – Dec 30)
  • THE GRAND 1894 OPERA HOUSE HOLIDAY SEASON
    Celebrate the holidays with Grand entertainment – Vienna Boys Choir, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Bandstand, Once, Jaston Williams’ Blood and Holly, Jerry Jeff Walker, City Ballet of Houston – The Nutcracker, Nutcracker Afternoon Tea, Holiday Arts Market at ArtWalk, The 5 Browns and The Greatest Love of All: The Whitney Houston Show – presented in Galveston’s magnificent, historic theatre. (Nov 9 – Jan 12)
  • DOWNTOWN LASERS & LIGHTS
    Galveston’s historic downtown district will host Downtown Lasers & Lights featuring new laser shows, a magical display of lights and other holiday-themed attractions in Saengerfest Park – and beyond. Highlights at Saengerfest Park include a 30-feet-tall Christmas tree and a giant snow globe for visitors to enjoy on weekends. In addition, lights will be hung on The Strand from 20th to 25th streets as well as along 23rd and Postoffice streets. New this year, four-hour holiday laser shows synchronized to music will be projected on the American National Insurance Company Building from 6 to 10 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 22. While in the area, visitors can tackle some of their holiday shopping at the district’s many gift shops, boutiques, art galleries and antique shops set among beautiful Victorian architecture. (Nov 22 – Dec 31)
  • GALVESTON HOLIDAY LIGHTING CELEBRATION AT HOTEL GALVEZ
    Hotel Galvez, A Wyndham Grand® Hotel is hosting its Galveston Holiday Lighting Celebration featuring performances from The Nutcracker, area choirs and dance groups and the Galveston Community Band. (Nov 29)
  • MIRACLE POP-UP BAR AT DTO (DAQUIRI TIME OUT)
    Miracle is a Christmas-themed pop-up bar that serves specialty holiday cocktails from locations around the world. With kitschy holiday décor and professionally developed cocktails, Miracle is sure to get even the grouchiest grinch in the holiday spirit. (Nov 29- Dec 25)
  • 46TH 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 beloved festival featuring parades, entertainment, strolling carolers, costumed vendors and more. (Dec 6 – 8)
  • 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 14-15)
  • HOLIDAY DELIGHTS AT THE BRYAN MUSEUM
    All trails will lead to The Bryan Museum and converge under the Lone Star for a day of purely Texas festivities, music, holiday foods and, of course, Santa. And what could be more Texan than Santa’s two lead Longhorns arriving just in time for a few photos before heading back to the Ranch to get ready for the big night? (Dec 15th)
  • VICTORIAN HOLIDAY TOURS AT MOODY MANSION
    Restored to its turn-of-the-century splendor, the 28,000-square-foot Moody Mansion is one of the premier architectural museums in Galveston. During the holidays, guests can tour this home, completed in 1895, while it is dressed up for the season with festive trimmings and elaborately adorned Christmas trees throughout its 20+ rooms. The mansion is open for tours daily except on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. www.moodymansion.org
  • CHEERS ON THE PIER AT GALVESTON HISTORIC PLEASURE PIER
    Spend your Saturdays at the Pleasure Pier and watch holiday movies, enjoy kids’ activities, thrill rides and more. (Dec 7, 14, 21, 28)
  • SANTA HUSTLE HALF MARATHON AND 5K
    Run with thousands of Santas through the streets of Galveston and along the Gulf waters! With festive music, outrageous holiday decorations and awesome swag, this isn’t just a race- it’s a magical experience! Register with code SANTAHUSTLE5 to save $5 off registration. santahustle.com (Dec 15)

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