galveston christmas

There’s no shortage of holiday cheer in Galveston this December with tons of activities for the whole family. Just take a look at some of the best holiday activities taking place on the “Winter Wonder Island” this December!


1) Polar Express

New to town this year is a Polar Express train ride put on by the Galveston Railroad Museum. This 60-minute ride depicts a round-trip journey to the North Pole and back. Once aboard, you’ll have hot chocolate and plenty of tasty treats. The Polar Express is now running through Dec. 29 at 2602 Santa Fe Place. For more information on tickets, click here.


2) Ice Land: Christmas Around the World at Moody Gardens

Moody Gardens is home to eight separate holiday attractions through Jan. 12, including Ice Land. A skilled team of ice carvers has transformed 2 million pounds of ice into an incredible journey around the world. Features in the Eiffel Tower and a giant ice slide — plus an icy bar where you can grab a festive drink.


3) Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens

This annual tradition is guaranteed to make your holidays a little brighter. More than 1 million lights and lighted scenes make up this mile-long trail around the Moody Gardens property, which is paired with incredible views of Galveston Bay.


4) Cirque Joyeux Dinner and a show at Moody Gardens

This fancy circus is paired with food and live music. It runs Dec. 20 through Dec. 30, so buy your tickets now!


5) The Grand 1984 Opera House Holiday Season

The Grand is offering an unbelievable lineup of performers this holiday season, including the Vienna Boys Choir, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. On top of that, there’s a showing of The Nutcracker and a Whitney Houston tribute show! All of these shows and more run through Jan. 12.


6) Downtown Lasers & Lights

Galveston’s historic downtown hosts a special “Downtown Lasers & Lights” feature every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 31. This magical display of lights and other holiday-themed attractions takes place in Saengerfest Park, which includes a 30-foot Christmas tree this year and a giant snow globe for visitors to snap photos in front of. In addition to this show, lights will be hung on The Strand from 20th to 25th streets.


7) Miracle Pop-Up Bar at DTO

Miracle is a Christmas-themed pop-up bar that’s going to serve up only the best holiday-themed cocktails using recipes from around the globe. Complete with kitschy decor and professionally-developed cocktails, this pop up is located at Daiquiri Time Out, 2701 Market St. in Galveston now through Dec. 25.


8) 46th annual Dickens on the Strand

Now in its 46th year, Dickens on the Strand is an event you absolutely cannot miss. The annual event celebrates the life of literary genius Charles Dickens and all that is good about the Victorian era during the holiday season. The event takes place Dec. 6-8 on downtown Galveston’s Strand street.


9) Holiday with the Cranes

Celebrate the return of the island’s wintering Sandhill Cranes at Holiday with the Cranes, Dec. 14-15. It’s the ultimate birding experience during the winter. For more information call 409-789-8125.


10) Holiday delights at the Bryan Museum

Get ready for a day of Texas history and holiday fun at the Bryan Museum, 1315 21st St. This special event takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. Here’s something that’s extra Texas: Santa will be leading a pack of Longhorns, making for some great photos. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for those 15 and under.


11) Victorian Holiday Tours at Moody Mansion

Tour the restored, turn-of-the-century Moody Mansion — one of the premiere architectural museums in Galveston and the country. During the holiday season, you can tour this 1895-home while it’s dressed up for Christmas. Christmas trees are present in its 20-plus rooms. The mansion is open for tours daily, except on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.


12) Cheers on the Pier at Galveston Historic Pleasure Pier

Spend each Saturday now through New Year’s Day at the Pleasure Pier to enjoy holiday movies, kids activities and thrill rides!


13) Santa Hustle Half-Marathon and 5k

Work off all of those holiday sweets with the Santa Hustle and Half Marathon and 5K on Dec. 15. Learn more about the route here, and use the promo code SantaHustle5 to save $5 on your registration fee.


For more info on these and other holiday activities, visit Galveston Island’s official website.


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