Winter Wonder Island

Galveston Island offers a wide range of Christmas and holiday activities!

Escape the cold and dreary weather and spend your winter holidays on island time. Whether you’re looking for warm weather and sunny skies, a unique coastal holiday experience, or simply to enjoy time with your family, this beach destination has all that plus a good dose of the Christmas spirit.

Christmas decorations in downtown Galveston
Holiday Events in Galveston
Winter Wonder Island

During this holiday event at Moody Gardens from November to January, visitors can stroll through the Festival of Lights, a mile-long trail of illuminated holiday displays, plus experience live music, festive food and so much more.

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Winter Wonder Island

All aboard! Galveston will welcome the POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride to its lineup of holiday attractions in 2021. Set to the soundtrack of the motion picture, The Polar Express will be theatrically recreated to immerse passengers in the sights, sounds and intrigue of this classic children’s tale while they are whisked away for a magical one-hour trip to meet Santa.

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Winter Wonder Island

Experience a taste of the Victorian lifestyle by attending the historical Dickens on the Strand festival. This festival has been inspiring locals for generations with the sights and sounds of an authentic Victorian holiday. Guests are encouraged to dress in their best costumes to really get the full experience!

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Winter Wonder Island

If you’re a runner or just like to dress up, you’ll get a kick out of the Santa Hustle, one of Galveston’s wackiest events. More than 5,000 half-marathon and 5K runners are expected to convene in Galveston for this jolly race where participants are provided Santa attire – including a Santa suit shirt, Santa hat and beard – to wear along their journey. The route is lined with speakers playing holiday tunes and fuel-up stations serving cookies and candy. Yum!

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Winter Wonder Island
Miracle Pop Up Bar at Daiquiri Time Out

Miracle! is a Christmas-themed pop-up cocktail bar that serves holiday cocktails in a festive setting. With kitschy holiday décor, professionally-developed cocktails and the nostalgic energy of the best office party you’ve ever been to. The pop-up will serve up imaginative craft cocktails using fresh-squeezed juice and house-made spirits.

Winter Wonder Island

Celebrate the arrival of these 3-4 foot tall, red-capped visitors, as we invite you to join Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council in what’s been dubbed by the New York Times as “one of the quirkiest events in Texas” – Holiday with the Cranes!

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Things to Do

Arts & Culture

Galveston boasts a range of art galleries, antique shops, and cultural venues that offer visitors a delightful sampling of local culture.

Why not enjoy a show at the Grand 1894 Opera House, take in a performance by the Galveston Symphony Orchestra or visit a local museum, such as Galveston Railroad Museum or Galveston Children’s Museum?

For a festival performance that packs in the holiday spirit, visit The Bryan Museum for one of their fantastic Christmas concerts. Delight in the Christmas lights that twinkle across the museum grounds, treat yourself to hot chocolate and spiked cider, and indulge in a few Christmas cookies before listening to some soul-stirring Christmas carols.

Holiday Shopping

Those who want to grab a last-minute Christmas gift or treat themselves to a souvenir can head to the historical downtown for vintage boutique shops and some major retailers. The Strand is Galveston’s main shopping area, with highlights that include the old-fashioned candy shop La King's Confectionery or Gracie’s whimsical gift boutique. The young, surfer crows will love Surf Styles.

Winter Wonder Island

With balmy temperatures that usually hit 68°F (20°C) in December, you can pack your bucket and spade and head to the beach, or stroll along the famous Pleasure Pier. Although some days might feel too chilly to swim or partake in Galveston water sports, you’ll still have a chance to unwind, read a book to the sound of the sea, make sandcastles and top up your vitamin D.

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Other Galveston Special Events