Explore a spectacular rainforest made of ice or celebrate the holidays at the “Official Opera House of Texas.” This is just a taste of all the things you can do during the holidays in Galveston. From November through January, Galveston is transformed from a vibrant beachside getaway into the “Winter Wonder Island” of Texas. With more than 50 days of special holiday events, the island is filled with the kind of festive fun that you won’t find anywhere else. Here are just five of these unique things to see and do.
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Chill Out in a Rainforest of Ice
Ice Land at Moody Gardens: Nov. 11 – Jan. 7
Admire larger-than-life statues of birds, butterflies, monkeys and more as you explore Ice Land at Moody Gardens, a wintery wonderland carved from two million pounds of ice. Crafted by a team of 25 master ice carvers from Harbin, China, this year’s version of Ice Land features a rainforest theme inspired by Moody Gardens’ own Rainforest Pyramid. Along with admiring all the intricate sculptures of plants and animals, you’ll soar down the 36-foot-tall Giant Ruins Ice Slide and stop for a drink at Shivers Ice Bar. Covering 28,000 square feet and kept at a chilly nine degrees, Ice Land is one of the coolest attractions on the Texas Gulf Coast.
Stroll a Trail Illuminated by One Million Lights
Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens: Nov. 11 – Jan. 7
There’s nothing that better represents the festive nature of the holidays than vibrant Christmas lights brightening the dark of night. In true Texas style, where everything has to be bigger, Moody Gardens delivers the largest holiday lighting event on the Gulf Coast. Now in its 16th year, Festival of Lights features a one-mile-long trail with more than 100 sound-enhanced animated light displays and one million lights. In addition to taking in all the lights, show off your balance on the outdoor ice-skating rink or get some thrills snow tubing down the Arctic Ice Slide. Fun for the whole family, you won’t find anything else like the Festival of Lights here in the Lone Star State.
Catch a Holiday-Themed Show at The Grand 1894 Opera House
Nov. 12 – Jan. 13
What do Willie Nelson, STOMP and A Christmas Carol have in common? They’re all part of the holiday lineup at The Grand 1894 Opera House. This magnificent and historic venue, known as the “Official Opera House of Texas,” boasts a full stocking’s worth of holiday shows beyond those mentioned above. Watch Santa and his merry helpers treat you to all the festive cheer you can handle in Christmas Wonderland Holiday Spectacular and catch performances of timeless classics like A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker. For some live music, get your tickets for The Texas Tenors or Country music icons Jerry Jeff Walker and Lyle Lovett.