Summer has officially ended, but there is no shortage of great reasons to spend the fall or winter on Galveston Island! In no particular order, here are a few of our favorites:
Fishing – #1
Surf fishing, wade fishing, deep sea fishing, fishing from the dock, warm weather fishing, cool weather fishing…well, you get the idea 😉 Enjoy great fishing of every kind when you visit Galveston Island during the winter! This year, there are 2 inaugural fishing tournaments (the Galveston Fishing Rodeo & Fall Flounder Classic, with prizes!) to lure you in as well!
Birding – #2 Check out our previous post for some hints about the best birds to look for at this time of year! We love the huge Sandhill Cranes that migrate to Galveston for the winter – you can find them strolling the pastures throughout the West End. Don’t miss the Holiday with the Cranes event put on the by GINTC (Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council), December 8 – 9 (more info coming soon to their webpage).
Beaches – #3
Galveston’s 32 miles of beaches are perfect no matter the weather, but beachcombing gets even better as short winter storms move through, and seasonal currents bring new creatures up from the depths of the Gulf. Plus, the weather can be beautiful & there are fewer people sharing the sand with you during winter on Galveston Island!
The Grand 1894 Opera House – #5
Constructed in – you guessed it! – 1894, “The Official Opera House of Texas” plays an important role in supporting the arts, with award-winning dramas, Broadway musicals, internationally-acclaimed musicians & the Serious Fun Children’s Series gracing the stage every season!
Need more ideas (aka excuses) for getting away to Galveston this winter? Check out our full local events calendar and follow us on Facebook! Want to be the first to hear about our winter rental specials? Sign up for our emails!
Friday night’s FREE kick-off festival takes place from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Fezziwig’s Beer Hall features live entertainment, hearty ales and a specialty drink. According to the Galveston Historical Foundation, “Mr. Fezziwig was everything that Ebenezer wasn’t and this is sure to be a fun and lively start to the weekend’s activities.” – Count us in!
Saturday & Sunday bring costume contests, delicious food from period-themed vendors, a screening of the Muppet’s Christmas Carol, Victorian Bed Races, The Queen’s Parade and a variety of live performances by local and regional artists and performers.
For the kiddos – don’t miss Oliver’s Alley! At 24th Street you’ll find specialty programs, events and more on Saturday & Sunday. This fun area is presented by the Galveston Children’s Museum, so it’s sure to be a blast!
To download a full schedule of events, click here.
If you’re anything like us, by now you’re on your 6th iteration of “The Holiday Menu” – complete with vegan options, too-many-pies-to-count, and a growing confusion about how “gluten free”stuffing could possibly be a thing.
Once the post-turkey/tofurkey fervor has died down next week, escape the confines of the kitchen and enjoy one of these fun, family-friendly activities happening here on Galveston Island:
Friday, November 24 – Hotel Galvez Tree Lighting Celebration festivities begin at 6 p.m. and include a special appearance by Santa Claus, live holiday entertainment including the Galveston Ballet, and the lighting of the hotel’s 35-foot Christmas Tree on the front lawn. During the event, the hotel collects donations for the Salvation Army of Galveston County.
Saturday, November 25, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. – ArtWalk takes place inside existing art galleries (both commercial and non-profit) and other spaces such as cafes and shops that showcase rotating art exhibits in the heart of Galveston’s historic district.
Moody Garden’s Festival of Lights is a mile-long walking trail with more than one million lights and lighted scenes. Enjoy the area’s only outdoor skating rink, concession areas with hot chocolate and festive food, holiday buffets, live entertainment and more. (Through January 7, 2018)
ICE LAND: Rainforest Holiday showcases the work of a skilled team of master ice carvers. Journey through the rainforests of the world to see monkeys, beautiful birds, incredible butterflies, colorful orchids and more! A giant ice slide takes you from the tree tops through to the forest floor, ancient ruins and rivers edge. (Through January 7, 2018)
It’s FINALLY here! Check out what’s going on this week:
March 11 – Family Day at the Ocean Star Drilling Rig & Museum Children 18 years and younger are FREE with a paying adult! This month it’s “Derrick of Distinction” – build your own oil derrick!
March 11 & 18- Beach Exploration Guided Tour Get a close-up look at the many critters and birds that inhabit the sand, surf and seaweed. Tour activities include hands-on seining, searching for ghost crabs and beachcombing under the guidance of Friends of Galveston Island State Park (FoGISP) volunteers.
March 12 & 19 – Bay Exploration Guided Tour Discover the wetlands with a close-up look at the critters, grasses and birds that inhabit the marshland and bay. Tour activities include hands-on-seining, fiddler crab sightings and more under the guidance of FoGISP volunteers.
There’s even more beach to enjoy this Spring Break on Galveston Island!Check out this great new video from the Galveston Park Board that talks about what’s been happening along the Seawall! Phase III is underway and we can’t wait to see it finished!
Galveston is full of fun holiday events this winter – and there are some you definitely shouldn’t miss! A few of our favorites are coming up this week:
Dec. 2 – 4: Dickens on the Strand This family-friendly Victorian holiday festival is an annual favorite full of period costumes, parades, live music, themed food & drink vendors, a great selection of Victorian-inspired shopping stops, and more! Check out the newly expanded Oliver’s Alley hosted by the Galveston Children’s Museum.
Dec. 2 & 3: Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Performed at the historic The Grand 1894 Opera House, this fresh adaptation includes stunning sets, traditional carols, and a timeless message. Tickets available now.
Through Jan. 8: Festival ofLights Enjoy more than one million lights within 100 sound enhanced animated displays, plus nightly live entertainment! Don’t miss the ice rink (skate rentals available), the Arctic Slide, or photo ops with Santa. Full schedule and ticket information available here.
We hope to see you out enjoying all that our Winter Wonder Island has to offer during your Sand `N Sea vacation!
Did you miss it? (How COULD you!!) 😉 Don’t worry! The party continues through February 9, and there are still plenty of festivities for you to take part in. Our “Must Attends” for the second weekend are:
February 6 @ 9:00 a.m. & 11 a.m.: Krewe d’Espirit Rosaire Battle of the Bands* (9 a.m.) & Parade* (11 a.m.) – Marching bands from the Houston-Galveston area will perform and compete for the coveted trophy during the Battle of the Bands. The parade starts at 11:00 a.m., and includes Krewe royalty, motorcycle groups, drill teams, boats, and more! Immediately following the parade, the “Yard Party” at Jack Johnson Park begins! More bead throwing, more music and food and drinks for sale and plenty of FUN!
February 7 @ 1:00 p.m.: Krewe of Barkus & Meow Parade* – The Galveston Island Humane Society hosts this a-meow-zing parade full of pets decked out in their Mardi Gras finest! Registration details and forms can be found online – this is a great one to participate in!
February 7 @ 2:00 p.m.: Children’s Parade* – the Firefighters Local 571 hosts this parade with costumed kids and decorated floats.
*Family Friendly for All Ages
DON’T FORGET….we have a rental special going on! Book a getaway of a minimum stay of 2 nights for any time before March 7, 2016, and get an extra night at the beach for FREE – call us at 409.797.5500 to book today!
Now we just need to figure out what we’re going to do with all of these beads…
Laissez lesbons temps rouler! The 115th Mardi Gras! Galveston celebration is kicking off this weekend, and we are SO ready!
Rumor has it there’s going to be more than 3 million beads, 22 parades, 20 balcony parties, 5 masked balls, and more than 30 live concerts over the course of the celebration (January 29 – February 9, 2016) on Galveston Island. Headliners this year include Collective Soul, Cory Morrow, and Candyland & Fightclvb.
Some of our “Must Attends” for the first weekend include:
January 29 @ 8 p.m.: Funky Uptown Umbrella Brigade Parade – Dance and twirl your way along this fun parade route. This free event is the perfect excuse to have a lot of fun and get down with your friends, family, coworkers, or whoever! Reserve your spot soon.
January 30 @ 11 a.m.: Mardi Gras! Galveston Official 5K – Grab your posse and enjoy a leisurely crawl or an intense run along this course through Downtown Galveston. Open to all ages and levels. Register online.
January 30 @ 1 p.m: 5th Annual Zaniest Golf Cart Parade – Roll your way through Historic Downtown Galveston with your friends and family on your glammed out golf cart! Register your stunning ride today.
AND….we have a rental special going on! (as though you needed another excuse to take off for the weekend!) Book a Mardi Gras getaway in one of our vacation rentals. Book a minimum stay of 2 nights for anytime January 19 – March 7, 2016, and get an extra night at the beach for FREE – call us at 409.797.5500 to book today!
It’s Fall!! Don’t get us wrong – we love summers on the island. However, if pressed, we might admit to loving October/November even more (shhhhh!). There’s something about a steady forecast of 80 – 90 degrees with a cool breeze, endless blue skies, and the less-busy beaches that really speaks to us. Plus, it seems like there’s a festival (and festival food!) almost every weekend!