Spring in Galveston to Bring Outdoor Festivals Galore

This spring, pleasant weather in Galveston Island will usher in a plethora of outdoor festivals. History buffs, nature enthusiasts, foodies and families will find their niche at one of the many events taking place in April and May. Here’s what’s in store for spring:

Galveston Steampunk Festival
Date: April 1-2
Time: Times vary
Where: Galveston Railroad Museum, 2602 Santa Fe Place, Galveston, TX
Admission: Day passes for children are $15 and $35 for adults
Info: www.galvestonsteampunk.com

Description: Take a step back in time at the inaugural Galveston Steampunk Festival. Here, visitors can experience machines, performances, music, costumes, lectures and more. Held at the Galveston Railroad Museum, the event will hearken back to a time inspired by 19th century industrial steam-powered machinery. The extensive history of mechanical innovation displayed at the Galveston Railroad Museum embodies the steampunk spirit and is the ideal setting for this event.

Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3

Date: April 2
Time: Times vary
Where: Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Blvd., Galveston, TX
Admission: Free for spectators
Info: www.ironman.com

Description: Galveston will host some of the nation’s finest athletes April 2 as they compete in the annual Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas triathlon. The race will begin with a 1.2-mile saltwater swim in Offats Bayou followed by a 56-mile bike course along the Gulf Coast and a 13.1-mile run that will lead athletes to the finish line at Moody Gardens’ Discovery Pyramid. The Memorial Hermann IRONMAN 70.3 Texas is also a regional IRONMAN TriClub Championship race.

Tall Ships Challenge

Date: April 13-16
Time: Varies
Where: Galveston Harborside
Admission: Adult tickets start at $15
Info: www.galvestonhistory.org

Description: Tall Ships America will bring its TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® series of races and port festivals to the Gulf of Mexico with Tall Ships® Galveston, April 13-16. The event marks the second time this impressive fleet of visiting tall ships will anchor at the island’s historic waterfront. The 2023 series also includes stops in St. Petersburg and Pensacola, Florida. The event, produced in cooperation with Galveston Historical Foundation, will include ship tours, sail-away excursions, music, food, and other special events in a family-friendly environment at Galveston’s Pier 21 and the surrounding area. The festival will feature five visiting ships along with Galveston’s own 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA, the Official Tall Ship of Texas, with an exciting Parade of Sail in the Gulf along Seawall Boulevard on the afternoon of Thursday, April 13. While in port, the ships will be open to the public for viewing, and many will feature dockside exhibits and lively interactions with crew.

FeatherFest & Nature Photo Festival

Date: April 20-23
Time: Varies
Where: Locations vary
Admission: Prices vary
Info: www.galvestonfeatherfest.com

Description: As one of the nation’s top locations for birding, Galveston Island will host the 21st annual FeatherFest birding and nature photography festival April 20-23. FeatherFest is one of the largest birding festivals in Texas, and the only one with a dedicated nature photography track. The event features unique outdoor field trips, workshops and social events for nature enthusiasts of all skill levels. FeatherFest is held during the spring bird migration – the best time to visit world-renowned Galveston area birding hot spots, such as Bolivar Flats and High Island.

The Grand Kids Festival

Date: April 29
Time: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: Postoffice Street from 20th – 23rd streets, Galveston, TX
Admission: Free
Info: www.thegrand.com

Description: Galveston can always rekindle the kid in you, but no event will be more exciting for kids of all ages than The Grand Kids Festival hosted by The Grand 1894 Opera House. Designed to introduce children and families to the arts, this year’s festival marks its 27th anniversary and will take place April 29. The event features three blocks of activities, entertainment areas and vendor booths. Attendees will be able to enjoy live performances, storytellers, arts and crafts, face painting and more.

Galveston Island Rail Fest

Date: April 29-30
Time: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: Galveston Railroad Museum, 2602 Santa Fe Place, Galveston, TX
Admission: Adults $20, Students 16 and under $15, 4 & Under Free. Strollers welcome. Harborside Express Train Rides $8 per person.
Info: www.galvestonrrmuseum.org

Description: Plan to be at the Galveston Railroad Museum as model train collectors and enthusiasts display their train sets. Larger than you can imagine, these spectacular displays come with all the bells and whistles! The two- day event brings train clubs and individuals from across the state who set up and run their large-scale train sets in the historic museum's depot. Train rides on the Harborside Express will run each day of Rail Fest.

49th Annual Historic Homes Tour

Date: May 6-7 & 13-14
Time: Varies
Where: Locations vary
Admission: Tickets start at $35
Info: www.galvestonhistory.org

Description: Rich in history and standing as a testament to survival, the Galveston Historic Homes Tour will return for its 49th year the first two weekends in May. The tour features numerous historical and architecturally significant homes located throughout the island’s vibrant historic neighborhoods. Organized by the Galveston Historical Foundation, the event gives the public a chance to tour the insides of private residences and homes that are not open to the public during the year.

Yaga’s Wild Game & BBQ Cook-off

Date: May 12-13
Time: Varies
Where: Pier 21, Galveston, TX
Admission: Free
Info: www.ycfund.org

Description: Galveston is calling all backyard chefs, sportsmen and women, and outdoor enthusiasts to show off their culinary skills May 12-13 at the 27rd annual Yaga’s Wild Game BBQ Cook-off. The event will feature a wild game cook-off, live entertainment, silent auction, “Run Wild 5K” and children’s activities. This event benefits the Yaga’s Children’s Fund.

About Galveston Island

Galveston Island is a historic beach town located on the Gulf of Mexico just 50 miles from Houston. The island is best known as a vacation destination, offering 32 miles of beaches, a variety of family attractions, Texas’ premier cruise port and one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country, including several National Historic Landmarks. Galveston Island is the birthplace of Juneteenth and home to popular amusements such as Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, as well as a variety of museums and recreational activities from surfing to birding. For more information on Galveston Island go to www.visitgalveston.com or call 1-888-GAL-ISLE.