Galveston Celebrates Christmas with a Few Changes

The holiday season on Galveston Island is full of tradition, but this pandemic year forced the cancellation of such beloved events as Dickens on the Strand and the Santa Hustle. The popular Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens has returned, though, and a few new events have been added to the schedule. Here’s a preview of what is happening on the island throughout the holiday season:

The Bryan Museum is starting a new tradition on December 13. Their Lone Star Christmas Concert invites guests to “tap your toes and sing along to your holiday favorites and gather – six feet apart – on their lawn. Lone Star Christmas features hot chocolate, mulled wine, and even promises snow – yes snow! Musical performers include Galveston’s own Trio Du Jour. The Bryan Museum’s pop-up gift shop will be open, with a variety of unique holiday gifts. Visit for more information.

Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens

Galveston Celebrates Christmas with a Few Changes

Photo: Moody Gardens courtesy GICVB

Moody Garden’s Festival of Lights returned on Nov. 19, kicking off the holiday season for its 19th year. Guests can enjoy festive lights, music, food, and a spacious outdoor setting. The Festival of Lights features a one-mile trail with two million lights, filled with sound enhanced lighted and animated displays themed to holiday music. The festival is open through Jan. 2, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For more information, visit

A Railroad Christmas will take place on weekends from Nov. 27 through Dec. 23 at the Galveston Railroad Museum. Visitors have the opportunity to take a socially distanced photo with Santa, with Mr. Claus standing on a train while families pose below. On Fridays and Saturdays, guests can enjoy Movies at the Museum in the courtyard. Delicious holiday treats are available at the Whistlestop Café. For details, please visit

Shop Galveston’s Historic Downtown District

Galveston Celebrates Christmas with a Few Changes

Photo: Railroad Museum courtesy GICVB

Miracle Pop-Up Bar at Daiquiri Time Out (DTO) returns for its third year in November and December. It’s one of only four Texas venues that are part of the worldwide Christmas-themed cocktail pop-up bar. Miracle locations toast the season with a menu of festive holiday cocktails and a setting with over-the-top décor. DTO will operate at limited capacity according to state and local mandates. For information, visit

Holiday shopping in Galveston’s Historic Downtown District will be especially festive this year. From November through January, the area will be illuminated by an extensive lighting and décor overhaul, from the main corridors of its charming historic downtown district from Strand to Postoffice Streets. It makes a perfect backdrop for a holiday shopping spree and photo ops.

Galveston is located on a prime bird migration route. Among visitors to the island are the majestic Sandhill Cranes who arrive during the fall and winter seasons. The Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council presents Holiday with the Cranes to give bird lovers a chance to learn about them and see them up close. This year’s event will be held Dec. 12, and will consist of an online morning presentation with Houston Audubon’s Glenn Olsen. Self-guided field trips on the island’s West End will follow. More information can be found at

Written by Jo Ann Holt