Looking for a beach-inspired Christmas celebration in Texas?
Head over to Galveston Island, the historic seaside town on the Gulf Coast!
Christmas in Galveston, Texas is a special time. The island comes alive with holiday festivals, twinkling lights, and unique events.
And of course, there are the Galveston beaches when you want to soak up the sun!
Also Read: 24 Best Texas Christmas towns to visit now
Best Things to do for Christmas in Galveston, TX
From festive light displays to holiday markets and more, the coastal town of Galveston comes alive during the holidays.
A variety of holiday festivals take place throughout December, the highlight being Dickens on the Strand!
Here are the best things to do in Galveston at Christmas.
Also Read: 26 Best Things to do in Galveston, Texas
Attend the Dickens on the Strand Festival
One of Galveston’s most popular annual events, Dickens on The Strand is a Victorian-themed festival that celebrates the works of Charles Dickens.
The festival features parades, carolers, performances, vendors selling Victorian-inspired goods, and more!
Held annually on the first full weekend in December, Dickens on The Strand is a must-attend event for anyone who loves all things Christmas.
Attend in costumes and sing a Christmas carol or two to have more fun at the event.
View the Holiday Lights at Moody Gardens
Moody Gardens is transformed into a winter wonderland during the holidays!
It is home to several unique holiday attractions including the Festival of Lights, an outdoor ice skating rink, the arctic slide, and more holiday events.
The Festival of Lights is a must-see with over one million lights on display throughout the park.
Visitors walk over a mile-long trail through gorgeous lit-up tunnels to see magnificent lighted scenes.
It’s open nightly from mid-November through early January.
Get the chills at Iceland
Also located at Moody Gardens, Iceland is a popular ice festival that’s coming back in 2022 after a long break!
The event features fantastic ice sculptures that will leave you mesmerized.
Visitors can marvel at the intricate details of the sculptures and even take photos with them.
In addition to the sculptures, the Ice Land festival also offers a variety of other activities, including the Shivers Ice Bar and an arctic slide.
Ride the Galveston Polar Express
The Galveston Polar Express train ride is a holiday tradition for many families.
The one-hour ride takes passengers on a magical journey to the North Pole, complete with holiday music, hot chocolate, and a visit from Santa Claus.
The train departs from the historic Galveston Railroad Museum, and passengers are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride.
Tickets can be purchased online or at the museum, and reservations are strongly recommended – especially for popular days such as Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
Check out The Strand all decked out in holiday lights
The Galveston Strand is a historic district that is known for its Victorian-style architecture and Christmas lights.
During the Christmas season, the entire Strand is illuminated with twinkling lights, making it a truly magical place to visit.
Visitors can stroll down the street and admire the brightly decorated buildings, or take a horse-drawn carriage ride to see the sights in style.
The cafes, shops, and boutiques here are perfect for getting gifts, buying kitschy holiday décor, and enjoying festive food.
Also Read: 18 Best Restaurants in Galveston, Texas
Stroll through the mansions in East End Historic District
The Galveston East End is a wonderful place to see Christmas decorations.
The historic homes and mansions in the neighborhood are decked out with lights, wreaths, and other holiday décor.
The streets are lined with trees that are also adorned with lights and decorations.
It is a beautiful sight to see and get into the holiday spirit.
Make sure to see the popular buildings including the Bryan Museum and Moody Mansion while you’re here.
Run the Santa Hustle Half Marathon
The Santa Hustle Half Marathon is a fun and festive race that takes place on the first Saturday in December.
Participants are encouraged to dress up in their best Santa or Christmas-themed costume for the race.
The course takes runners through downtown Galveston and past many of the city’s most popular attractions.
Participate and enjoy the run amidst lots of holiday cheer!
See the sandhill cranes
Every winter, thousands of sandhill cranes migrate to the Gulf Coast to escape the cold weather.
They can be seen all along the coast, but one of the best places to see them is in Galveston during the Holidays with the Cranes event.
The birds congregate in large flocks on the beach near the West End area.
Attend a show at the Grand Opera House
The Grand Opera House is one of Galveston’s most popular attractions, and it’s especially festive during the holidays.
The opera house puts on a variety of shows throughout December, including The Nutcracker, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and more.
Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office.
Enjoy the Christmas Boat Lane Parade on Galveston Bay
One of the most popular holiday events near Galveston is the Christmas Boat Lane Parade.
The parade features boats of all sizes and shapes decorated with lights and Christmas decorations.
It’s a fun and festive event that takes place on the Saturday before Christmas.
You can watch it from several places in the Clear Lake area including the Kemah Boardwalk.
Also Read: 20 Best Things to do at Christmas in Houston
There’s no place like Galveston for Christmas!
With its myriad of festive activities and attractions, this coastal town is the perfect place to get into the Christmas spirit.
Whether you’re looking for enchanting light displays, charming horse-drawn carriage rides…
…. or festive markets brimming with locally made goods, you’ll find it all here for Christmas in Galveston, Texas.
Which is your favorite Texas destination for the holiday season?
Let us know below.