The holidays will be an exciting time to be in Galveston! Every year, the city becomes the largest holiday destination in Southwest Texas. There is a lot going on this year, with something of interest for even the toughest of Scrooges. So put on your ugly Christmas sweater and join the festivities!
Christmas always shines bright here, with eight-holiday attractions in one venue! The Festival of Lights starts things off with the mile-long trail featuring more than two million lights and holiday scenes set to festive music and awesome views of the bay. Along the way, there are stops for hot chocolate, festive foods, and Star, the Dancing Tree of Light.
But that’s only the beginning! Celebrate with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4D, an animated classic as the magic of 4D brings him and all of his pals to life. The kids will love the arctic slide, while adults and kids will love watching holiday 3D films. And as if that weren’t enough, there will be train rides, evening cruises, and the Cirque Joyeaux Holiday Show on select dates throughout the season. The finale? The annual New Year’s Palooza: an action-packed two-night adventure. It’s the end of the year bash starting on December 31 with exciting activities for the entire family.
Dash away with holiday spirit to the annual Bolivar holiday market from 10 am – 5 pm. Come on down to the Pavilion at Festival Park for arts and crafts, furniture, Christmas décor, clothing, jewelry, and more. Holiday-themed musical performances will entertain, and a special appearance will be made by Santa!
Celebrate the holidays on the water at the 60th annual Christmas Boat Lane Parade. Hundreds of boats will be anchored on the lake as spectators enjoy the parade from both land and water. In honor of the 60th, 60 gorgeously decorated sailboats and powerboats will make their way down the Clear Lake channel to Galveston Bay.
Holiday with the Cranes – December 11 and 12
Celebrate with our special winter residents, the majestic Sandhill Cranes. These amazing birds grow up to 4 feet tall and are gorgeous additions to our winter family in Galveston. Join the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council for a unique holiday experience honoring the returns of these wonderful wintering birds. The event includes lots of both indoor and outdoor nature activities.
The charm of downtown’s Victorian-era buildings blend perfectly with the festive nature of the season. Shoppers from all over the country come here every year to shop 100 unique shops, attractions, restaurants, and art galleries. Enjoy the downtown district’s prime location nestled along Galveston Harbor at The Strand, with its beautiful iron-front buildings which was at one time deemed the “Wall Street of the South.”
Calling all runners and enthusiastic spectators! This is not just a race – it is a magical journey. Held at San Luis Resort, there will be a Kids’ Dash kicking things off early, with the regular half marathon to start shortly after. See the website above for the latest. As this is for charity, all proceeds go to the Galveston County Food Bank. Participants will get their chance to pick up some Santa Swag: a women’s or unisex cut full zip jacket, Santa beard, Santa hat, and finisher medal.