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Here's What Galveston Has Cooked Up for the Holidays

Events still abound this November through January—is a day trip in order?

Photography by Gwendolyn Knapp October 21, 2020

Festivities are on for 2020.

Image: Galveston CVB

Galveston Island is rolling out its popular seasonal festivities this year...with a bit of social distancing and safety measures in place, of course. 

Here’s what's on tap for those hoping to get a leg up on their holiday planning. And, yes, shops in Galveston’s Historic Downtown District will be open and especially festive this year from Strand to Postoffice Street, in hopes of luring in shoppers.

Holiday in the Gardens 

 Nov 21–Jan 2 | Moody Gardens

The mile-long trail of illuminated holiday displays, live music, and festive food returns for Festival of Lights. Attractions (i.e. the Arctic Ice Slide, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4-D experience, Holiday 3-D films, and train rides) will be open and operating at limited capacity, and masks will be required in public spaces. 

A Railroad Christmas 

Nov 27–Dec 23 | Galveston Railroad Museum

Get a socially distanced photo with Santa, who’s all set to stand on a train while families pose below. On Fridays and Saturdays, you can also head to the courtyard for family friendly movies with snacks available from the Whistlestop Café.

Dickens on the Squares

Dec 5–6, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. | The Strand + elsewhere

The Galveston Historical Foundation’s beloved Victorian holiday festival, Dickens on the Strand, returns for its 46th year. Granted, it's now called Dickens on the Squares, since the shows will happen at various locations with limited capacities (Hendley Green, Old Galveston Square, Saengerfest Park, Galveston Historic Seaport, and Pier 22) instead of on the Strand. Guests in Victorian attire will receive a limited-edition commemorative keepsake, and masks are required.

Holiday with the Cranes 

Dec 12 | West End

Galveston is located on a prime bird migration route, and majestic Sandhill Cranes arrive every winter and fall. Bird lovers can learn more about these incredible flying friends at The Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council's seasonal event—including an online morning presentation with Houston Audubon’s Glenn Olsen and a self-guided field trip on the island’s West End.

The Santa Hustle 

Dec 20 | Location TBD

The festive 5K and marathon are on for 2020 with participants receiving a Santa hoody, hat, beard buff, and medal with festive snacks along the race route. A portion of race registration proceeds will benefit the Galveston County Food Bank.

Miracle Pop-Up Bar 

All November–December |Daiquiri Time Out (DTO) 

The best craft cocktail bar on the island—and really one of the best in the Greater Houston area, too—will host the return of this worldwide Christmas-theme cocktail pop-up for its third year running. Miracle locations toast the season with a menu of festive drinks served amidst over-the-top décor. Expect limited capacity.

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