Here’s a preview of what is happening on the island throughout the holiday season.
There’s no shortage of holiday destinations in Texas. Historic Galveston Island is the only one where you can experience tropical weather and a 32-mile-coast with traditional Victorian charm, a lighting display set amid pyramids, Mardi Gras floats on display and visits with Santa aboard a train. This year, the island’s family-friendly festivities will continue with new social distancing guidelines for maximum enjoyment.
pictured: Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens
Fresh fish roasting on a beachfront fire; seagulls nippin' at your nose... Bill B., Galveston Island Facebook Fan
Moody Gardens Holiday in the Gardens continues through Jan. 2. Here, visitors can stroll through Festival of Lights, a mile-long trail of illuminated holiday displays, live music, festive food and more. Other attractions include an Arctic Ice Slide, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4D experience, Holiday 3D films and train rides. Moody Gardens attractions will operate at limited capacity levels as mandated by the State of Texas. And, masks must be worn while in public spaces. Holiday hotel packages are also available.Learn More
A Railroad Christmas will kick off this weekend and will run through Dec. 23 at the Galveston Railroad Museum. Visitors will have the opportunity to get a socially distanced photo with Santa as Mr. Claus will stand on a train while families can pose below. On Fridays and Saturdays, guests can enjoy Movies at the Museum in the courtyard. Treats will be available at the Whistlestop Café.Learn More
This Christmas-themed pop-up Daiquiri Time Out (DTO) will return for its third year Nov. 23 through December. It’s one of only four Texas venues that are part of the worldwide Christmas-themed cocktail pop-up bar. Miracle locations will toast the season with a menu of festive holiday cocktails set amid over-the-top décor. DTO will operate at limited capacity according to state and local mandates.
Galveston’s Historic Downtown District will be especially festive this year. From November through January, the area will be illuminated by an extensive lighting and décor overhaul that will encompass the main corridors of the charming historic downtown district from Strand to Postoffice Streets, making it the perfect backdrop for a holiday shopping spree.
Click here to browse our 'Ultimate Galveston Holiday Shopping Guide."
Holiday music fans are in for a treat. The Bryan Museum presents Holiday Delights: Lone Star Christmas Concert Dec. 13 from 4-6 p.m. Be entertained with Christmas carols, while immersed in the beautiful Museum grounds filled with Christmas lights, and enjoy holiday classics like hot chocolate, spiked cider, and Christmas cookies. Precautions regarding COVID-19 and a limited capacity will be implemented. Guests are encouraged to bring their own towels, blankets and chairs.
Explore Galveston and WIN PRIZES! Join us for this special holiday scavenger hunt by looking for #GalvestonElfie selfie locations around the island for a chance to win great prizes!
The Galveston Elfie Selfie promotion challenges Galveston holiday visitors to seek out Elfie Selfie stickers throughout the island and strike your happiest pose for a chance to win prizes. The promotion runs Dec. 1 through Jan. 3. .Learn More
In addition to enhanced holiday decorations downtown, many shops, galleries and boutiques will participate in the inaugural Galveston Holiday Tree Decorating Contest set to take place from Dec.1 through Jan. 4. This unique holiday lets shoppers admire the creatively decorated trees and gives them the opportunity to vote on their favorite entries. They also make for great holiday photo-ops! Details can be found at participating businesses.Learn More
Galveston is home to the third-largest Mardi Gras in the country. Normally on parade during festival weekends in February and March, several of these colorful floats will be on display in Historic Downtown Galveston two Saturdays in December. Local Mardi Gras krewes have been tasked with decorating the floats with over-the-top holiday themes for the chance to reign supreme! Island visitors are encouraged to view the festive floats on Dec. 12 and Dec. 19 from 5-10 p.m. on Market St. between 24th and 25th Streets and vote for their favorites here on VisitGalveston.com.
Where the Texas Coast begins.
by Visit Galveston
by Samuel Collins III, CTA
by Visit Galveston
by Visit Galveston
by Clayton Kolavo
by Karla Klay
Mary Beth Bassett Director of Public Relations
Mary Beth is the Public Relations Director for the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau and Galveston Park Board. She handles CVB public relations efforts for Galveston and manages the Austin, national and international markets. An Islander by Choice, she and her family moved to Galveston from Colorado in 2005.