Galveston is Texas' "Winter Wonder Island." and offers 50 days of holiday events. Holiday lights, ice sculptures, holiday shows and Santa are all on the calendar. Here are our top five picks for your "Must Do" for the holiday season in Galveston. Tip: Events like Downtown Lantern & Lights, Moody Gardens Festival of Lights and Magical Winter Lights are available daily.
1. Downtown Lantern & Lights, Downtown Galveston, Nov. 24 to Jan. 2. Downtown Galveston will sparkle for the holidays during Downtown Lanterns & Lights. Take pictures with a 30 foot replica of Mr. Marley's Accounting Office, AKA Scrooge, from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol at Saengerfest Park and enjoy holiday decorations throughout The Strand and Postoffice Streets. This is a "must see" during the holiday season and it's all free.
2. Holiday Shows at The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice. Did you know that no seat at The Grand 1894 Opera House is further than 70 feet from the stage? It is truly an intimate and elegant venue to see a show. This year's holiday shows are Asleep at The Wheel Merry Christmas Y'all (Nov. 24), The Priests (Nov. 25), Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (Nov. 30 & Dec. 1), Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis (Dec. 2), Jerry Jeff Walker (Dec. 8), All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 (Dec. 9), and A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage (Dec. 23). For tickets, visit www.thegrand.com
3. Moody Gardens Festival of Lights, Open Daily Nov. 17 to Jan. 6, 6 to 10 p.m., One Hope Blvd. Wander through more than a million holiday lights while enjoying holiday music during this annual event. Tickets: $10.95/pp. And, don't miss Moody Gardens Ice Land: Ice Sculptures, Open Daily, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. & Christmas Day 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. One Hope Blvd. Moody Gardens is a definite "must do" during the holiday season. It doesn't matter how old you are; you'll be amazed. Nationally acclaimed ice carvers from China create an amazing experience visualized in 2 million pounds of ice. Tickets: $26.95 adults; $21.95 for seniors and children (4-12)
4. Brunch with Santa... Hotel Galvez hosts its annual Sunday Brunch with Santa on Nov. 25, Dec. 2, 9, 16 & 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children can visit with Santa, take pictures and leave with their own holiday gift. The hotel is also taking reservations for its amazing Christmas Day Brunch and Christmas Dinner. Reservations for Christmas are only available by calling 409.765.7721.
5. Magical Winter Lights Houston at Gulf Greyhound Park, Nov 16 to Jan. 6, 5 to 10 p.m. Sun-Thu and 5 to 11 p.m. Fri-Sat, 1000 FM 2004 in LaMarque. The Festival features Chinese lanterns and holiday lights over 20 acres. Themes include Magical Wonderland, Mystical Forest, The Lone Star State, Santa's Christmas Village, Mystery of the East and Landmarks of the World. Guests will also be entertained with cultural performances, carnival rides and Chinese arts and crafts.
Other suggestions for holiday fun:
- Galveston Holiday Lighting Celebration at Hotel Galvez, 2024 Seawall Blvd., (Friday, Nov. 23)
- 45th Annual Dickens on The Strand, Historic Strand District (Nov. 30 - Dec. 2)
- 1895 Moody Mansion Victorian Christmas, 2618 Broadway
- 1892 Bishop's Palace Tours, 1402 Broadway
- Santa Train at the Galveston Railroad Museum (Saturday, Dec. 15), 25th & Strand
- The Bryan Museum, 1315 21st Street
Where to Stay:
For a beach view with history, stay at Hotel Galvez & Spa. The hotel provides a courtesy shuttle to transport hotel guests downtown.
For a stay in The Historic Strand District, book your stay at The Tremont House.
Or if you want to enjoy of view of the harbor and walk to the festival, consider Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21.