Tips For Planning Your December Visit For Galveston

Say Hello to Holidays in Galveston, Texas

Tips For Planning Your December Visit For Galveston

One of the things you’ll love about Galveston Island in December is often; you can still wear shorts in the winter months. Plus, Galveston offers holiday cheer with events all over the island to enjoy. Here are some tips for planning your December visit for Galveston.

December Events to Add to Your Calendar

Shows at The Grand 1894 Opera House.

There’s nothing better than dinner and a show. And, The Grand 1894 Opera House is a “must.” Buy your tickets early for these two December shows at The Grand:

  • Friday, Dec. 3, 8 p.m. & Saturday, Dec. 4, 3 p.m. – Dicken’s A Christmas Carol
  • Friday, Dec. 17, 8 p.m. & Saturday, Dec. 18, 8 p.m., The Temptations

Dickens on the Strand, December 3-5

Let’s travel back to the time of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Christmas Present. They’ll all make an appearance at this annual holiday street festival, based on 19th-century Victorian London. New this year is Tiny Tim’s Play Land and the Shopkeeper Skills Village. Other events that you’ll want to plan for include the Holiday Handbell Concerts at the 1859 St. Joseph’s Church, The Dickens Soiree at the 1892 Bishop’s Palace, and the St. Arnold’s Strand Walking Tours, a favorite of beer lovers.

Moody Gardens’ Holiday in the Gardens, Ongoing thru January 2

Picture walking through a mile-long path filled with more than two million lights and lighted holiday scenes. Plus, you’ll enjoy 3D holiday films, an arctic slide, train rides, nightly fireside s’mores, and Santa Claus. Moody Gardens’ Holiday in the Gardens is a family must during the holiday season.

East End Holiday Tours, December 3

Add the East End Historic District Association Holiday Homes Tour to your calendar and purchase your tickets early if you love historic homes. You’ll be able to tour privately owned Victorian-era homes decorated for the holidays. Plus, enjoy Christmas carolers, and you may run into Santa Claus along the way. The tour is from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Holiday with the Cranes, December 11 & December 12

Birders and nature lovers love Galveston’s Holiday with the Cranes event hosted by the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council. Weekend activities include outdoor tours and birding excursions, and speakers. Bring your binoculars and your birding life list.

Santa Hustle, December 19

Have you ever seen Santa Claus running a 5K? During the Santa Hustle, you can join thousands of Santas as they run a 5K, Half Marathon, and Kids Dash on the island. It’s fun to watch, and it’s even better to participate. The race offers all runners a Full-Zip jacket, a Santa Beard, Santa Hat, and a Finisher Medal.

Where to Shop and Where to Eat

Every trip to Galveston should include time for shopping and dining. And, since it’s the season for holiday cheer, here are some ideas.

Here are some unique shops that you’ll love for December:

Amy Lane, 2029 Strand, specializes in inspirational and faith gifts. And, what you’ll really love is they have their own product line. They offer jams, salsa, pickles, syrups, honey, and more. Plus, their holiday decorations are so fun.

Peanut Butter Warehouse Boutiques, 2115 Strand, is filled with specialty boutiques and artists’ studios. Plus, you may be able to find that perfect addition to your Dickens on the Strand costume. Tip: They’re hosting a Holiday Market on Saturday, December 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Maceo’s Spice and Import Co, 2706 Market, is known for its blend of spices and herbs, making it an excellent stop for gift sets. They offer spice box sets, tomato gravy box sets, and other specialty items for the holidays. Also, check out their olive salad spread used on their muffuletta sandwiches.

Texas Haberdashery, 2125 Church Street, is a new addition to downtown Galveston. They describe their style as “an old-school gentleman’s store with a Texas twist.” They offer Texas brands catered to outdoorsmen as well as island living.

If you just need the perfect dessert:

Gaido’s Seafood Restaurant, 3828 Seawall Blvd., is known for more than just its seafood. It’s also widely known for its Pecan Crunch Pie. Picture this. This pie is covered from top to bottom in Texas pecans. Order with dinner or place an order for a Texas-shaped pie or round pie.

La King’s Confectionery, 2323 Strand, has been a mainstay in Galveston, serving generations of families since the 1970s. But did you know this is the only time of year you can purchase their ribbon candy? Their ribbon candy is colorful and tasty.

Gypsy Joynt, 2711 Market, is another family-owned and operated restaurant that you’ll just have to see. Their desserts change regularly, but you’ll always find cakes, cookies, and pies on their menu. And, their cinnamon rolls are amazing.

We hope you enjoy these tips for planning Your December visit for Galveston. Remember, Ryson Vacation Rentals is ready to help you make the most of your vacation rental. The island is ideal for a weekend stay, weekly rental, or month-long getaway.

Ryson Vacation Rentals offers more than 250 properties across the island that provide plenty of reasons to visit Galveston this year. If you need tips for planning your December visit for Galveston, Gulf Coast Concierge is available to assist.

Book Your Galveston Vacation Now


Christine Hopkins is a proud BOI, meaning she was “Born on the Island.” She is the co-author of the newly released “100 Things to Do in Galveston Before You Die,” published by Reedy Press. Before the book, she wrote more than 300 blogs on Galveston offering travel tips on what to see and do. Over the years, she’s given hundreds of tours for visiting travel writers showcasing the sites on the island. Currently, she’s a Galveston guide for