‘Winter Wonder Island’ of Texas to Feature 1,000+ Holiday Events
Visitors to Galveston can experience the largest holiday lighting festival along the Gulf Coast, ice skating, snow tubing, Victorian Christmas celebrations and more.
Here’s a look at what to expect in Galveston this holiday season:
Pole to Pole Ice Sculpture Exhibit at Moody Gardens
A skilled team of master ice carvers has taken 2 million pounds of ice to create your festive journey from the North to South Pole. See polar bears, penguins, humpback whales, snowy owls, walrus and of course reindeer! Glide down the giant glacier slide and enjoy a festive drink inside an igloo at Shiver’s Ice Bar.
Festival of Lights, Ice Skating & Snow Tubing
Brighten up the wintry season at the 16th annual Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens. Open Nov. 17 through Jan. 6, 2019, guests will enjoy the largest holiday lighting event on the Gulf Coast, featuring a mile-long trail of more than 100 sound-enhanced animated light displays. Visitors to the festival can also go ice skating at the Moody Gardens outdoor ice rink or snow tubing on the Arctic Ice Slide. Santa will parachute in on opening day to kick off festivities.
Victorian Christmas Attractions
With one of the largest collections of Victorian architecture in the country, Galveston offers the charm of a traditional Christmas with the benefit of island weather. Visitors to Galveston will be amazed by the beauty of historic mansions Bishop’s Palace and Moody Mansion, which will be decked in elaborate holiday décor and open for tours daily.
Dickens on The Strand
The first weekend in December, don’t miss Dickens on The Strand. The festival transforms Galveston historic Strand Street into the Victorian London of Charles Dickens Nov. 30 – Dec 2. Characters from Dickens novels walk the streets and 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 gifts. Strolling carolers and roving musicians will fill the area with enchanting sounds from another era as “steam punks” entertain the crowds.
Nutcracker Afternoon Tea
An annual tradition at the Grand! Treat your favorite little girl or boy to the Nutcracker Afternoon Tea. This delightful event features tea-time fare of finger sandwiches, cookies, punch and tea. You’ll want to be sure to get your photo with our Nutcracker dancers. Make this your new family holiday tradition.
Holiday Entertainment in Downtown Galveston
Lanterns and Lights in the Park, Galveston’s historic downtown will sparkle with fun as Saengerfest Park is transformed into a holiday spectacle Nov. 24 through Jan. 1. Visitors to downtown will be able to enjoy holiday lights, carolers and weekend visits with Santa. Designated weekends will feature an interactive photo frame and giant snow globe. All activities will be free and open to the public. Downtown Galveston is also a popular destination for boutique shopping and live holiday shows at The Grand 1894 Opera House.
Experience the magic at Moody Gardens this holiday season as it hosts Cirque Joyeux which is directed by Lone Star Circus Founder and Creative Director Fanny Kerwich, an eighth-generation circus performer who has performed throughout North America, Russia, South America, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Kerwich will be bringing to Galveston breathtaking acts that defy the boundaries of the imagination.