Festivals, concerts, plays and more, there are lots of events in the area to keep your calendar booked.
Festival of Lights [Through Jan. 10]
As one of the largest holiday celebrations in the region, Festival of Lights has become a holiday tradition for families and groups alike. Enjoy more than 1 million lights within 100 sound-enhanced animated light displays and nightly live entertainment.
Through Jan. 10, Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Blvd., Galveston, 800.582.4673 or www.moodygardens.com
Ice Land Sculptures [Through Jan. 10]
As the only holiday ice exhibition on the Gulf Coast, a skilled team of more than 20 internationally acclaimed professional ice carvers from Harbin, China, will create majestic marvels carved out of more than 2 million pounds of ice featuring holiday scenes with the beloved characters from Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants.
Nov. 14 to Jan. 10, Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Blvd., Galveston, 800.582.4673 or www.moodygardens.com
‘The Boomerang Effect’ [Through Dec. 12]
‘The Boomerang Effect’ looks into the sex lives of five separate couples. Each of the couples is craftily connected to the other four, sometimes as friends and sometimes as relatives. This adult comedy is actually five short plays with each couple grappling with comedic contemporary dilemmas.
8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 12, Island ETC, 2317 Mechanic St., Galveston, 409.762.3556 or www.islandetc.org
Dickinson Festival of Lights [Through Dec. 31]
Holiday cheer spreads to Dickinson as almost 2 million lights illuminate Paul Hopkins Park for the annual Festival of Lights. The free walk-through event features massive light displays and an appearance from Santa. Concessions are available for purchase.
6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 28 to Dec. 31, weather permitting, Paul Hopkins Park, 1000 FM 517, Dickinson, www.dickinsonfestivaloflights.org
Festival of Trees Gala and Big Band Swing Night [Dec. 3]
The 22nd annual Festival of Trees will feature a live musical performance by The Houstonian Big Band, special guest speakers, dinner, a wine pull, live and silent auctions and more.
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 3, South Shore Harbour Resort, 2500 South Shore Blvd., League City, 281.332.3881, Ext. 1103 or www.icmtx.org
‘Curley McDimple’ [Dec. 3-20]
An amiable spoof of the song-and-dance films of the 1930s when Shirley Temple sang and danced her way into the hearts of everyone.
8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays from Dec. 3-20, Bay Area Harbour Playhouse, 3803 state Highway 3, Dickinson, 281.337.7469 or www.harbourtheater.com
Holiday Handbell Concert [Dec. 4]
The 1859 St. Joseph’s Church, the state’s first wooden-built church and well known for its exceptional acoustics, will host three holiday hand bell concerts.
5:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Dec. 4, 1859 St. Joseph’s Church, 2202 Ave. K, Galveston, 409.765.7834, www.galvestonhistory.org or www.galveston.com
East End Christmas Homes Tour [Dec. 4]
Galveston’s East End will hold its 26th annual “A Victorian Christmas” Homes Tour on Dec. 4. Several homes will be on tour, and holiday music will be provided throughout the tour by Members and Friends of the First Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir and Joyful Noise Children’s Choir. Tickets are $17 at The Grand 1894 Opera House (www.thegrand.com or 800-821-1894).
5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 4, Various locations on the East End, Galveston, www.eastendhistoricaldistrict.org
Dinner with Dickens [Dec. 4]
Guests will be treated to an evening of specially crafted food, storytelling and royal company as Dickens on The Strand’s Queen Victoria makes her entrance.
6:30 p.m. Dec. 4, 1880 Garten Verein, 2704 Ave. O, Galveston, 409.765.7834, www.galvestonhistory.org or www.galveston.com
Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ [Dec. 4]
Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future come together in this delightful performance featuring stunning sets, lush costumes and plenty of music and dance.
8 p.m. Dec. 4, The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St., Galveston, 800.821.1894 or www.thegrand.com
Dickens on The Strand [Dec. 4-6]
The annual holiday street festival, based on 19th-century Victorian London, features parades, nonstop entertainment on six stages, strolling carolers, roving musicians, bagpipers, jugglers and a host of other entertainers. Costumed vendors peddle their wares from street stalls and rolling carts laden with holiday food and drink, Victorian-inspired crafts, clothing, jewelry, holiday decorations and gift items.
Dec. 4-6, Downtown Galveston, www.dickensonthestrand.org
‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ [Dec. 4-20]
The familiar saga of George Bailey, from the small town of Bedford Falls, whose dreams of escape and adventure have been quashed by family obligation and civic duty and whose guardian angel comes to save him from despair on Christmas Eve and to remind him by showing him what the world would have been like had he never been born that his has been, after all, a wonderful life.
8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays from Dec. 4-20, Clear Creek Community Theatre, 18091 Upper Bay Road, Nassau Bay, 281.335.5228 or clearcreekcommunitytheatre.com
Breakfast with Dickens [Dec. 5]
Join Jane Monk, the great-great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens, as she prepares a traditional English breakfast in one of Galveston’s most beloved historic homes, the 1859 Ashton Villa.
8 a.m. Dec. 5, 1859 Ashton Villa, 2328 Broadway, Galveston, 409.765.7834, www.galvestonhistory.org or www.galveston.com
Victorian Pipe Organ Extravaganza [Dec. 5]
A fixture of Galveston’s Christmas celebrations for more than 20 years, the Pipe Organ Extravaganza performances have become an annual tradition celebrating the holiday season. This year’s event will feature internationally acclaimed concert organist Ronald Wyatt.
7:30 p.m. Dec. 5, Trinity Episcopal Church, 2216 Ball Ave., Galveston, 409.765.6317 or www.trinitygalv.org
Sunday Brunch with Santa [Dec. 6, 13, 20]
Sunday Brunch with Santa offers children the opportunity to speak with Kris Kringle and share their Christmas wishes as their families enjoy a grand dining experience at the Hotel Galvez. The hotel’s annual holiday gingerbread display will be in place for guests to view while listening to traditional holiday favorites being played on the lobby piano.
Dec. 6, 13 and 20, Hotel Galvez, 2024 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, 409.765.7721 or www.hotelgalvez.com
Float the Boat [Dec. 11]
Come celebrate the holidays with Artist Boat at Float the Boat where Martha Terrill and Brenda and Mort Voller will be honored for their commitment and work to the organization. The event will feature live music, silent and live auctions, dinner, beer and an Ocean Masquerade Costume Contest.
6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dec. 11, Ashton Villa, 2328 Broadway, Galveston, 409.770.0722 or artistboat.org
Model Train Show [Dec. 12-13]
The Dickinson Historical Society hosts the eighth annual Model Train Show at the Dickinson Historical Railroad Center.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 12 and noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 13, 218 FM 517 W., Dickinson, 281.534.4367
Nutcracker Afternoon Tea [Dec. 12]
Treat your favorite little girl or boy to the Nutcracker Afternoon Tea featuring tea-time fare of finger sandwiches, cookies, punch and, of course, tea.
12:30 p.m. Dec. 12, The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St., Galveston, 800.821.1894 or www.thegrand.com
‘The Nutcracker’ [Dec. 12-13]
An annual holiday favorite, “The Nutcracker” tells the story of a young girl who dreams of a Nutcracker Prince, Sugar Plum Fairy and a fierce battle against a Mouse King.
2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 and 2 p.m. Dec. 13, The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St., Galveston, 800.821.1894 or www.thegrand.com
Crystaland Christmas Parade [Dec. 12]
The Crystaland Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Bolivar Chamber of Commerce, begins at the Courthouse Annex Building, 946 Noble Carl Road, in Crystal Beach. Afterward, Santa will greet all the kids with a gift and picture taking. Hot dogs, cookies and drinks will be served.
6 p.m. Dec. 12, Crystal Beach, www.bolivarchamber.org
Christmas Boat Lane Parade [Dec. 12]
The 54th annual Christmas Boat Lane Parade will feature hundreds of decorated boats. Beginning at South Shore Harbour Resort & Conference Center, the parade is on the League City side of Clear Lake. It will take about 45 minutes for the first boat to make it down to the Kemah Boardwalk, 215 Kipp Ave.
6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 12, Clear Lake, www.kemahboardwalk.com
Holiday Charity Ball [Dec. 12]
The Holiday Charity Ball is the Junior League of Galveston County’s largest annual fundraising event. This year’s gala invites guests on a tropical vacation: Passport to Paradise at The San Luis Convention Center, where they will enjoy live entertainment, fine dining and a unique array of silent and live auction items. This year, the league also selected Libbie Ansell and Joan McLeod as the Holiday Ball honorees.
6 p.m. to midnight Dec. 12, San Luis Convention Center, 5600 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, www.jlgalveston.org
Max at The Witchery [Dec. 18-20]
JoAnn Parks and Max, the ancient crystal skull, will return to The Witchery in downtown Galveston for a weekend-long event, featuring private sessions and a two-hour lecture, both of which must be paid for in advance. Call the shop to reserve your spot.
Dec. 18-20, The Witchery, 2116 Postoffice, Galveston, 409.515.0669
Santa’s Wonderland [Dec. 19]
Come meet Santa and his friends at Santa’s Wonderland at the Butler Longhorn Museum. The event will feature a Christmas Story in the Ole Theater, coloring contest, snacks and music by the H.B. Piano Academy. Santa will arrive in a Wells Fargo stagecoach at noon.
10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 19, Butler Longhorn Museum, 1220 Coryell, League City, 281.332.1393 or www.butlerlonghornmuseum.com
Galveston Island Market [Dec. 19]
The Galveston Island Market offers a festive outdoor event where local artisans, handcrafters and growers can showcase their creations for island residents and visitors.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 19, Mechanic and 23rd streets, Galveston, www.galvestonislandmarket.com
‘Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Musical’ [Dec. 19]
Come see all of your favorite characters from the beloved TV classic, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph.
2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 19, The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St., Galveston, 800.821.1894 or www.thegrand.com
‘Merry Texas Christmas Y’all’ featuring Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel [Dec. 22]
Spice up your Christmas party with a swingin’ slice of holiday cheer. Texas’ premier Western swing band decks the halls with plenty of honky-tonk holiday fun.
8 p.m. Dec. 22, The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St., Galveston, 800.821.1894 or www.thegrand.com
In case of cancellations and changes to events, check with venues for updates. To submit an event, send pertinent information to firstname.lastname@example.org.