Press Room

Who We Are

The Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization of Galveston Island, Texas... Read more.


Media Contacts

Leah Cast
Director of Communications
Office: (409)797-5152
lcast@galvestoncvb.com

Ivette Wilhelm
Public Relations Manager
Office: (409)797-5124
iwilhelm@galvestoncvb.com

Mary Beth Bassett
Public Affairs Manager
Office: (409)797-5121
mbassett@galvestoncvb.com

Sarah Kinsler
Social Media Manager
Office: (409)797-5120
skinsler@galvestoncvb.com


Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau Press Room
Media Contact
Ivette Wilhelm
Public Relations Manager
Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
Office(409)797-5124
Email: iwilhelm@galvestoncvb.com

Galveston Holiday Fun Comes with Lights, Ice and Victorian Christmas Charm

 
GALVESTON, Texas (Aug. 23, 2017) – Galveston hasn’t been dubbed the “Winter Wonder Island” of Texas without reason. Although tropical and unconventional as one might think for a holiday escape, Galveston is surprisingly full of tradition.

From Victorian Christmas celebrations to the largest holiday lighting festival on the Gulf Coast, Galveston offers all the cheer the winter season brings. Plus, one of the island’s most popular holiday attractions, ICE LAND, will return to Moody Gardens for its fourth year in 2017 with a brand new “Rainforest Holiday” theme. Also at the Moody Gardens Hotel & Spa this holiday season will be the Cirque Joyeux Noel Dinner and Show — a one-hour Christmas spectacular featuring a performance from international circus and variety acts coupled with a sumptuous holiday dinner.

While Moody Gardens has plenty of exciting attractions, the entire island will offer holiday cheer with eight weeks of “Winter Wonder Island” events and festivities. Here’s a preview of what is happening in Galveston this holiday season:
 
 “ICE LAND” at Moody Gardens
Date: Nov. 11 – Jan. 7 
Time: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily
Where: Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Blvd., Galveston, TX
Admission: $26.95 adults; $21.95 seniors; $21.95 children
Info: www.moodygardens.org/holiday_season
 
Description: This holiday season, Moody Gardens will be home to the coolest experience on the Gulf Coast, where visitors can explore a 28,000-square-foot “ice land” with a new Rainforest Holiday theme for 2017. Professional ice carvers will use 2 million pounds of ice to create this amazing exhibit featuring majestic rainforest themed ice sculptures, slides and even a Shivers Ice Bar serving cool libations for adults.
 
Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens
Date: Nov. 11 – Jan. 7
Time: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. nightly
Where: Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Blvd., Galveston, TX
Admission: $10.95
Info: www.moodygardens.org/holiday_season
 
Description: Brighten up the wintry season at the 16th annual Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens taking place Nov. 11 through Jan. 7. Here, guests can 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.
 
Holiday Performances at The Grand 1894 Opera House
Date: Nov. 12 – Jan. 13
Time: Varies
Where: The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St., Galveston, TX
Admission: Varies
Info: www.thegrand.com
 
Description: The Grand 1894 Opera House will kick off the holiday season with a variety of exciting performances, including An Evening with Sophia Loren at 4 p.m. Nov. 12, Willie Nelson & Family at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13, STOMP at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Nov. 18, Christmas Wonderland Holiday Spectacular at 8 p.m. Nov. 24 and 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Nov. 25, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at 8 p.m. Dec. 1 and 3 p.m. Dec. 2, The City Ballet of Houston Presents The Nutcracker Dec. 9 and 10, The Texas Tenors: Deep in the Heart of Christmas at 8p.m. Dec. 15,  Jerry Jeff Walker at 8 p.m. Dec. 16, and The Official Blues Brother’s Revue at 8 p.m. Jan. 13
 
Hotel Galvez Holiday Lighting Celebration
Date:  Nov. 24
Time: 6 p.m.
Where: Hotel Galvez, 2024 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, TX
Admission: Free
Info: www.hotelgalvez.com
 
Description: The historic Hotel Galvez & Spa invites guests to celebrate the start of the holidays Nov. 24 with the official City of Galveston Holiday Lighting Celebration. This free event includes a special appearance by Santa Claus, live holiday entertainment by local performers, including the Galveston Ballet, and the lighting of the hotel’s 35-foot Christmas tree. The hotel will offer a special weekend package as part of the event.
 
Holiday Shopping Amid the Victorian Charm of Galveston’s Historic Downtown
Date: Nov. 24 – Dec.24
Time: Varies
Where: Downtown Historic Strand District
Admission: Free
Info: www.galveston.com/holidaymagic
 
Description: Nothing says holiday like the Victorian charm of Galveston’s 36-block Downtown Historic Strand District. Kick off your holiday shopping amid the district’s charming Victorian architecture for unique gift options at the many boutiques, art galleries, antique shops and other novelty stores. Some festive favorites include Christmas on the Strand, Hendley Market, Eighteen Seventy One, Visker and Scriveners and more.
 
Holiday Splash at Schlitterbahn
Date: Nov. 24 – Dec. 31
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Indoor Waterpark, 2026 Lockheed Rd., Galveston, TX
Admission: $27.99 adults; $22.99 children and seniors
Info: www.schlitterbahn.com/gal
 
Description: Visit Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Indoor Waterpark this holiday season for Holiday Splash. From Nov. 25 through Dec. 31 visitors to the water can enjoy a sprinkle of holiday cheer while making a splash at one of Texas’ only year-round water parks. See Surfing Santa appearances, Bahn Borealis light shows, float through a giant “snow globe” and more. Kids can also take part in ornament-making contests each day. During Holiday Splash, the park is decked with lights, holiday décor and friendly costumed holiday characters are on hand to greet children.
 
Hendley Green Holiday Kickoff and Tree Lighting
Date: Nov. 26
Time: 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Hendley Green Park & Eighteen Seventy One gift shop
Admission: Free
Info: www.galvestonhistory.org/events
 
Description: Hendley Green Park and specialty gift shop Eighteen Seventy One are coming together to offer a day of family-friendly fun. Children of all ages are encouraged to bring their letters to Santa for mailing off before the holidays in a specially crafted mailbox. Eighteen Seventy One, located adjacent to Hendley Green Park, will welcome guests with special discounts, refreshments, popcorn and more from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. A special prize wheel will be available for a chance to win tickets to Dickens on The Strand, the Galveston Historic Homes Tour and more. Hendley Green Park will offer craft beer from 2 to 7 p.m., a visit with Santa from 3 to 5 p.m., family-friendly games throughout the afternoon and a special Christmas tree lighting at 6:30 p.m.
Victorian Holiday Homes Tour
Date: Dec. 1
Time: 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Where: East End Historical District
Admission: $20
Info: www.eastendhistoricdistrict.org
 
Description: The island’s East End Historical District will hosts its annual Victorian Holiday Homes Tour featuring a variety of private historic homes. The public will be able to explore several private historic homes all decked out for the holidays.
 
44th Annual Dickens on the Strand
Date: Dec. 1 – 3
Time: Varies
Where: Strand St., Historic Downtown Galveston, Galveston, TX
Admission: Friday admission is free. For Saturday/Sunday early bird tickets (purchased before Dec. 1): adults $13; children $7. At the gate: adults $15, children $9  
Info: www.dickensonthestrand.org
 
Description: The first weekend in December, don’t miss Dickens on The Strand. The festival transforms Galveston’s historic Strand Street into the Victorian London of Charles Dickens Dec. 1-3. Enjoy libations at Fezziwig’s Beer Hall on Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday admission is free. On Saturday, festival goers will see 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. Attendees in Victorian costume are admitted for half price.
 
Cheer on the Pier!
Date: Dec. 2, 9, 16 and 23 
Time: Varies
Where: Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier (25th Street and Seawall Boulevard)
Admission: Varies
Info: www.pleasurepier.com/stage25.html
 
Description: Spend Saturdays in December at the Pleasure Pier with Santa! Families can watch holiday movies; enjoy fun festivities and rides! Activities at Santa’s Workshop are from 12. to 4 p.m. and include photos with Santa, letters to Santa and cookie decorating. Holiday movies will take place from 7 to 9 p.m.
 
Sunday Brunch with Santa at Hotel Galvez
Date: Dec. 3, 10, 17, 24
Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Hotel Galvez, 2024 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, TX
Admission: Adults $42.99; children $26.99; seniors $37.99
Info: www.hotelgalvez.com
  
Description: Hotel Galvez’ famous Sunday brunch will be full of cheer this holiday season with visits from Santa Dec. 3, 10, 17 and 24. Brunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and children are invited to visit with Santa to share their Christmas wish list. Advance reservations are recommended. For more information and to make a reservation, call 409-765-7721.
 
Holiday in the Park
Date: December 9, 2017
Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Saengerfest Park, 2302 Strand St., Galveston, TX
Admission: Free
Info: www.galvestonholidayinthepark.com
 
Description: Bring the family to downtown Galveston’s Saengerfest Park for a day of holiday tunes from area school choirs, bands and church choirs at the annual Holiday in the Park. Children will also be able to visit and take pictures with Santa.
 
Santa on the Strand and other Santa Sightings
Date: Dec. 9, 16 and 23
Time: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Saengerfest Park, 2302 Strand St., Galveston, TX
Admission: Free
Info: www.galveseton.com/holidaymagic
 
Description: Visitors to downtown Galveston can take part in free festivities held at Saengerfest Park this December. Santa will make a special appearance from 1 to 4 p.m. and will take photos with children in front of the downtown Christmas tree. Be sure to also catch island-wide Santa Sightings throughout the season including photos with Santa at Moody Gardens daily Dec. 15-23, Santa at The Grand 1894 Opera House Nov. 25, Breakfast with Santa at Rainforest Café Dec. 16 and 23, and Breakfast with Santa at The San Luis Resort Blake’s Bistro Dec. 17.
 
Holiday with the Cranes
Date: Dec. 9-10
Time: Varies
Where: Locations vary
Admission: From $25 to $60
Info: www.galvestonnaturetourism.org.
 
Description: For a unique holiday experience, join the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council for “Holiday with the Cranes.” This annual birding event will be held Dec. 9-10 as outdoor enthusiasts celebrate the arrival of these large, majestic birds of ancient origin. Events include indoor and outdoor nature activities and presentations combined with the ambiance of historical Galveston Island.
 
Cirque Joyeux Noel Dinner and Show at Moody Gardens
Date: Dec. 15-25
Time: 7:45 p.m.
Where: Moody Gardens Convention Center, 7 Hope Blvd., Galveston, TX
Admission: Prices start at $39 for children and $59 for adults
Info: www.moodychristmasshow.com
 
Description: Experience the magnificent and the impossible at Moody Gardens this holiday season as it hosts Cirque Joyeux Noel Dinner and Show. The show features a stellar cast of international performers from all over the world and includes amazing acrobatics, mesmerizing illusions, hilarious comedy and more. This year’s holiday show features all-new acts including The Pompeyo Family and their amazing rescue dogs featured on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Tickets to the show include a holiday buffet dinner and admission to Festival of Lights.
 
Santa Train at the Galveston Railroad Museum
Date: Dec. 16
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Galveston Railroad Museum, 2602 Santa Fe Place, Galveston, TX
Admission: $12 adults (ages 13+); $5 train rides (ages 2+)
Info: www.galvestonrrmuseum.com
 
Description: Santa is coming to town aboard the Galveston Railroad Museum’s Harborside Express train! The museum’s annual Santa Train event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 16. Bring your wish list to visit with Santa, stroll through the museum’s Garden of Steam and enjoy festive holiday lights, decorations and crafts.
 
Santa Hustle Half Marathon & 5K
Date: Dec. 17
Time: 8 a.m.
Where: Downtown Historic Galveston
Admission: Varies
Info: www.santahustle.com
 
Description: Runners will have a “jolly good time” Dec. 17 in Galveston at the annual Santa Hustle! This wacky event will feature thousands of “Santas” along the gorgeous Gulf waters for half marathon and 5K races. All event participants will receive a Santa suit long sleeve t-shirt, a free Santa hat and beard to wear while running, and will be able to stop at cookie and candy stations along their routes.
 
Christmas Day Brunch at Hotel Galvez
Date: Dec. 25
Time: 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Where: Hotel Galvez, 2024 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, TX
Admission: Adults $42.99; children $26.99; seniors $37.99
Info: www.hotelgalvez.com
  
Description: Hotel Galvez is widely known for its Sunday Brunch, but the hotel brunch on Christmas Day is an even grander affair. The hotel features all the traditional entrees along with special features created by the executive chef. Seating times are from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Advance reservations are required and must be made directly with the hotel by calling 409.765.7721. Reservations will be accepted beginning Tuesday, Nov. 28.
 
About Galveston Island
Galveston Island is the “Winter Wonder Island” of Texas, featuring more than 50 days of holiday festivities and more than 1,000 holiday events during the winter season. The island is home to the largest holiday lighting event on the Gulf Coast, Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens, as well as the nationally known Victorian Christmas festival Dickens on The Strand among many other attractions. For more information on holiday activities in Galveston, visit www.galveston.com/holidaymagic.
 
MEDIA RESOURCES
To download Galveston holiday photos, click here.
To download Galveston holiday video footage, click here.
 

© 2013 Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
601 Tremont Street | Galveston TX 77550 | (409)797-5145 | (866)505-4456