11 Memorable Experiences in Galveston This Holiday Season

Mark your calendars for these special events and festivities taking place in Galveston this holiday season.

Whether you’re looking for warm weather and sunny skies, a unique coastal holiday experience, or simply to enjoy time with your family, Galveston Island has all that plus a good dose of the Christmas spirit.

Trees lit up with Christmas lights at Festival of Lights Galveston TX

pictured: Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens

Ongoing Holiday Events
Nov. 11 – Dec. 23

All aboard! Galveston Railroad Museum will offer a magical one-hour journey to the North Pole onboard THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride. While being whisked away on a trip to meet Santa, The Polar Express will be theatrically recreated to immerse passengers in this classic children's tale's sights, sounds and intrigue.

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Nov. 18 – Jan. 7

ICE LAND is back! Celebrate the season with these amazing ice sculptures and a Caribbean Christmas theme with many other delightful holiday attractions at one venue: Stroll through Festival of Lights, a mile-long trail of illuminated holiday displays, music, festive food and more. Enjoy an Arctic Ice Slide, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4D experience, Holiday 3D films, train rides, photos with Santa, Cirque Joyeux Holiday and New Year's Palooza family celebration.

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3. 49th Annual Dickens on The Strand

When: Dec 2-4, 2022

Travel back in time as downtown Galveston's Strand Street is transformed into the Victorian London of Charles Dickens with this beloved festival.

Dickens on The Strand, an annual holiday street festival based on 19th-century Victorian London, features parades, non-stop entertainment on multiple stages, strolling carolers, roving musicians, bagpipers, jugglers, and a host of other entertainers. Costumed vendors peddle their wares from street stalls and rolling carts laden with holiday food and drink, Victorian-inspired crafts, clothing, jewelry, holiday decorations, and gift items.

Event Details Click for Tickets

Dec. 2

Feel nostalgic as you listen to carolers and tour through several Victorian-era homes decked in beautiful holiday décor. You may even catch a glimpse of Santa Claus if you're lucky.

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Dec. 10 – 11

Celebrate the magnificent 4-foot-tall Sandhill Cranes that arrive just in time for the holidays with special events from sunrise to sunset.

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Dec. 18

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!

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Nov. 22 – Dec. 29

Miracle is a Christmas-themed pop-up cocktail bar that serves holiday cocktails in a festive setting. With kitschy holiday décor and professionally-developed cocktails, Miracle will surely get the grouchiest grinch in the holiday spirit.

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FREE Holiday Events
Nov. 25

Experience the magic of Christmas as the Grand Galvez continues its annual Galveston Holiday Lighting Celebration with an appearance from Santa Claus and the lighting of its 35-foot Christmas tree. Following the tree lighting, enjoy the Galveston Ballet performance of a melody of variations from "The Nutcracker" and the Galveston Symphony Brass Ensemble performing holiday classics.

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Nov. 26

Downtown Galveston's Tree Lighting Ceremony will feature a special guest appearance from the famous man in red, Santa Claus. Take advantage of live entertainment and shops, boutiques, and galleries remaining open later for Galveston's ArtWalk.

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Dec. 2

Enjoy an evening of holiday cheer for the whole family! Activities include pictures with and letters to Santa, a petting zoo, an elf hunt, food trucks, crafts, music, free books for kids, a Christmas tree lighting, and there just might be snow! This event is free to the public and includes entry into all the Museum exhibits.

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11. Washed Ashore: Art to Save The Sea

When: Dec 10, 2022 - Mar 5, 2023

Galveston is delighted to partner with Washed Ashore Project to offer 21 larger-than-life exhibits displayed throughout the island for free viewing at all locations for the first time in the US. These intricate, beautifully designed, giant sea life sculptures are made entirely of marine debris collected from beaches.

The Washed Ashore Project creates powerful art that captivates all ages and teaches environmental conservation and sustainability. If you're up for a challenge, visit 15 or more to win a prize.

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Visit Galveston

Visit Galveston is the official destination marketing organization for Galveston Island, Texas.