Festivals, concerts, plays and more, there are lots of events in the area to keep your calendar booked.
Dickinson Festival of Lights [Through Dec. 30]
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 8:30 p.m. through Dec. 30, weather permitting; Paul Hopkins Park, 1000 FM 517, Dickinson; www.dickinsonfestivaloflights.org
Magical Winter Lights [Through Jan. 8]
This year’s festival will feature six-themed sections, including Magical Wonderland, Holiday Market Square, Dinosaur Land, Mystery of the East, Man and Nature and Landmarks of the World. There will be an expanded interactive dinosaur exhibit complete with dinosaur rides, a 3-D art installation, daily acrobatic performances, authentic arts and crafts created by skilled Chinese artisans, amusement rides and games and live entertainment.
Through Jan. 8; Gulf Greyhound Park, 1000 FM 2004, La Marque;
Ice Land: Ice Sculptures, Caribbean Christmas [Through Jan. 8]
Guests will embark on an underwater journey from the shores of Galveston Island through the Gulf of Mexico. They’ll dive for sunken treasure and see Christmas surprises along the way. An ice slide takes the form of a towering oil rig and an opportunity to venture through the Flower Garden Banks for encounters with spectacular schools of colorful tropical fish, eagle rays, turtles, dolphins, hammerhead sharks and more.
Through Jan. 8; Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Blvd., Galveston; 800.582.4673 or www.moodygardens.com
Festival of Lights [Through Jan. 8]
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.
6 p.m. to 10 p.m. through Jan. 8; Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Blvd., Galveston; 800.582.4673 or www.moodygardens.com
Texas City Christmas Parade [Dec. 1]
The city of Texas City will celebrate the holiday season with a parade beginning at the corner of Palmer Highway and Phoenix Lane (Nessler Park Complex) and travel east down Palmer Highway to Sixth Street and end on Fifth Avenue North. After the parade in front of the Showboat Pavilion, there will be a visit with Santa, awards presentation and entertainment.
5:30 p.m. Dec. 1, Texas City, 409.643.5990 or www.texas-city-tx.org
Festival of Trees on Broadway [Dec. 1]
The 23rd annual Festival of Trees gala, benefiting Interfaith Caring Ministries, will feature a Broadway theme with special guest speakers, dinner, live and silent auctions and more.
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 1; South Shore Harbour Resort, 2500 South Shore Blvd., League City; 281.332.3881, Ext. 1103 or www.icmtx.org
‘Winter Wonderettes’ [Dec. 1-3, 8-10]
This seasonal celebration finds those Marvelous Wonderettes entertaining at the annual Harper’s Hardware Holiday Party. When Santa turns up missing, the girls use their talent and creative ingenuity to save the day.
8 p.m. Dec. 1-3, 8-10; Island ETC, 2317 Mechanic St., Galveston; 409.762.3556, islandetc.org
‘Nutcracker, the Musical’ [Dec. 1-18]
This delightful musical, with music by Tchaikovsky, has limited ballet and showcases a large cast of actors, singers and dancers. The Dickinson Chamber of Commerce is co-hosting a fundraising event with the Bay Area Harbour Playhouse on opening night. Proceeds will benefit chamber activities and the fund to install a much-needed elevator at the playhouse. Tickets for the fundraiser will include an informal reception with wine and hors d’oeuvres and a seat for the opening of the musical.
Fundraising event, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 1; regular performances, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays from Dec. 1-18; Bay Area Harbour Playhouse, 3803 state Highway 3, Dickinson; 281.337.7469 or www.harbourtheater.com
Galveston Art League Membership Show [Dec. 1-24; Dec. 8 to Jan. 5]
The Galveston Art League’s Membership Show includes a selection of quality artworks from $25 to $100. The show also will be displayed at the league’s Texas City gallery.
Galveston, noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays from Dec. 1-24; Texas City, noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays from Dec. 8 to Jan. 5; 2117 Postoffice St., Galveston and 611 Sixth St. N., Texas City; www.galveston
Holiday Homes Tour [Dec. 2]
The 27th annual “A Victorian Christmas” Holiday Homes Tour will feature three East End neighborhood homes and a neighborhood bed-and-breakfast, all decorated for the holiday season. The East End Historical District Association cottage will be open for light refreshments, and guests will enjoy a variety of holiday music at the association’s Darragh Park and at some of the residential locations.
5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 2; various locations; East End Historical District Association cottage, 1501 Postoffice St., Galveston; 409.765.1894 or www.thegrand.com
Holiday Handbell Concert [Dec. 2]
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. 2; 1859 St. Joseph’s Church, 2202 Ave. K, Galveston; www.galvestonhistory.org
WinterFest [Dec. 2-3]
The fourth annual Galveston County Fair & Rodeo WinterFest is jammed-packed with events for all ages. Dec. 2 festivities include a tree-lighting ceremony, Christmas movie, hayrides and Santa’s Barnyard. On Dec. 3, there will be a 5K Jingle Bell Fun Run, Magical Sleigh and Pet Parade, Winter Snow Land, Mutton Bustin, Pee Wee Reindeer games and a washer tournament. Attendees are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items. Collected canned goods and other items will be donated to local charities. In addition, military holiday cards and care package supplies will be collected.
Dec. 2-3; Galveston County Fair & Rodeo Fairgrounds, Jack Brooks Park, state Highway 6, Hitchcock; 409.986.6010 or galvestoncountyfair.com
Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ [Dec. 2-3]
A timeless tale of hope and redemption, “A Christmas Carol” has enchanted audiences around the world since it was first published in 1843. The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, his overworked-underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit, the angelic Tiny Tim, and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future come together in a highly entertaining theatrical performance.
8 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3 p.m. Dec. 3; The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St.; 409.765.1894 or www.thegrand.com
Holiday in the Park [Dec. 2-4]
Presented by League City Proud, Holiday in the Park is the highlight of the holiday season. This year’s theme encourages parade participants, vendors and attendees to find a way to show off their favorite holiday movie. Festivities include three parades — a children’s parade at 10 a.m. Dec. 3, The Grand Night Parade at 6 p.m. Dec. 3 and the Costume Contest and Pet Parade at 1 p.m. Dec. 4.
Dec. 2-4; League Park, 512 Second St., League City; www.leaguecityproud.com
Dickens on The Strand [Dec. 2-4]
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. The festival weekend also features crowd-pleasing favorites like the Whimsical Whisker Revue, a facial hair contest for the bearded and the dandy; the Dickens Victorian Bed Races; Victorian Costume Contest; and daily parades through the Historic Strand District.
Dec. 2-4, downtown Galveston, www.dickensonthestrand.org
Dickens Champagne Reception [Dec. 1]
Join the Galveston Historical Foundation as it welcomes Charles Dickens’ descendants Lucinda Dickens Hawksley and Jane Dickens Monk to the island for the annual Dickens on The Strand festival. Guests will have the opportunity to purchase the women’s new books and have them signed.
6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 1; Bishop’s Palace, 1402 Broadway, Galveston
A Grand Strand Soirée [Dec. 2]
This special event gives participants an opportunity to mingle with Charles Dickens’ descendants while enjoying food and drink from stations throughout Hendley Green.
6:30 p.m. Dec. 2; Hendley Green, 2028 Strand, Galveston
Saint Arnold’s Strand Walking Tour [Dec. 2-4]
Learn about the history of The Strand National Historic Landmark District and enjoy some of Saint Arnold Brewing Company’s signature ales during this tour. You’ll stop at three festival pubs as you walk through the festival grounds with your guide, learning about the people and places of early Galveston.
7 p.m. Dec. 2, 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Dec. 3; 3 p.m. Dec. 4; Dec. 2, Windsor Castle Stage (next to Fezziwig’s Beer Hall), 22nd and Strand streets; Dec. 3-4, Queen’s Christmas Tree, Hendley Green, 2028 Strand, Galveston
Breakfast with Dickens [Dec. 3]
Join Jane Dickens Monk, the great-great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens, and Chef Mary Bass as they prepare a traditional English breakfast in the historic 1859 Ashton Villa.
8 a.m. Dec. 3; 1859 Ashton Villa, 2328 Broadway, Galveston
Salute to Sunset on the Elissa [Dec. 3]
The Galveston Historic Seaport will transform to a London wharf for this toast to the end of the day and beginning of the evening. Participants are invited aboard the tall ship Elissa for heavy appetizers, cocktails, cannon fire and special guests leading up to Pickwicks’s Lanternlight Parade.
4:30 p.m. Dec. 3; Texas Seaport Museum, 2200 Harborside Drive, Galveston
‘A Christmas Story’ [Dec. 2-18]
Humorist Jean Shepherd’s memoir of growing up in the Midwest in the 1940s follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas. Ralphie pleads his case before his mother, his teacher and even Santa Claus himself at Higbee’s Department Store. The consistent response: “You’ll shoot your eye out!”
8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays from Dec. 2-18; Clear Creek Community Theatre, 18091 Upper Bay Road, Nassau Bay; 281.335.5228 or clearcreekcommunitytheatre.com
Custom Specialists Toy Run [Dec. 3]
Custom Specialists will have its 24th annual Toy Run benefiting Shriners Hospitals for Children – Galveston. Toys can be dropped off in advance at Custom Specialists’ motorcycle shop in La Marque. Sign up for the Toy Run starts at noon. Motorcycles will pull out at 2 p.m., rain or shine, with a police escort to the hospital.
Noon Dec. 3; Custom Specialists, 1010 Yupon St., La Marque; 409.935.9873
Victorian Pipe Organ Extravaganza [Dec. 3]
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. 3; Trinity Episcopal Church, 2216 Ball Ave., Galveston; 409.765.6317 or www.trinitygalv.org
Kendra Scott Trunk Show [Dec. 3]
Do some holiday shopping at the Kendra Scott Trunk Show and benefit a charity at the same time. The Hotel Galvez is hosting a Kendra Scott Trunk Show with 20 percent of sales benefiting the Galveston Island Meals on Wheels. Kendra Scott Friendswood will sell items directly to customers in the lobby of the hotel.
4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 3; Hotel Galvez, 2024 Seawall Blvd., Galveston; 409.765.7721 or www.hotelgalvez.com
Sunday Brunch with Santa [Dec. 4, 11, 18]
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. 4, 11 and 18; Hotel Galvez, 2024 Seawall Blvd., Galveston; 409.765.7721 or www.hotelgalvez.com
La Marque Christmas Parade [Dec. 7]
Sleigh bells will be ringing during the La Marque Christmas Parade, which will begin at Bobby Beach Park on Westward and end at Walter Fiegal Park on Bayou Road with the lighting of the Christmas tree and a visit from Santa Claus.
5:30 p.m. Dec. 7; La Marque; 409.935.1408 or www.texascitychamber.com
Ghost Tour Dinner [Dec. 8]
The Hotel Galvez & Spa has extended its popular “Dinner with the Ghosts” to the second Thursday of every month. During the tour, the hotel’s concierge guides participants through the ghostly past of the hotel followed by dinner in the Galvez Bar & Grill.
Dec. 8; Hotel Galvez, 2024 Seawall Blvd., Galveston; 409.765.7721 or www.hotelgalvez.com
Bethlehem Market Craft Fair [Dec. 10]
Get some holiday shopping done at Seaside Church’s annual Bethlehem Market Craft Fair featuring arts and crafts vendors, a bake sale, silent auction, a Gentiley Used market, a bounce house for the kids and more. Proceeds support local missions and community outreach work.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 10; Seaside Church, 16534 FM 3005, Jamaica Beach; 409.737.2605 or www.seasideacademy.org/church
Santa Train [Dec. 10]
Santa parks the sleigh and rides into the Galveston Railroad Museum on the Harborside Express, decorated in its winter finery. Then he takes up station in the Depot to visit with the children and hear their wish lists.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 10; Galveston Railroad Museum, 2602 Santa Fe Place, Galveston; 409.765.5700 or www.galvestonrrmuseum.com
Holiday in the Park [Dec. 10]
Bring the family to Saengerfest Park in downtown Galveston for Holiday in the Park featuring holiday tunes from area school choirs, bands and church choirs. Performances will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Shop for last-minute gifts at The Strand shops as well as vendors located on 23rd Street. Children also will be able to visit and take pictures with Santa from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 10, Saengerfest Park, 23rd and Strand streets
Nutcracker Afternoon Tea [Dec. 10]
Treat your favorite little girl or boy to the Nutcracker Afternoon Tea featuring teatime fare of finger sandwiches, cookies, punch and, of course, tea. Get your photo with dancers from the City Ballet of Houston’s “Nutcracker.”
12:30 p.m. Dec. 10; The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St., Galveston; 800.821.1894 or www.thegrand.com
Holiday with the Cranes [Dec. 10-11]
As sandhill cranes begin to arrive on Galveston Island to roost and forage, the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council presents Holiday with the Cranes featuring educational and entertaining learning, outdoor adventure, cocktails and conversation.
Dec. 10-11, various locations in Galveston, www.galvestonnaturetourism.org
‘The Nutcracker’ [Dec. 10-11]
City Ballet of Houston is celebrating its 50th anniversary and returns to The Grand 1894 Opera House to celebrate with its production of “The Nutcracker.” An annual holiday favorite, “The Nutcracker” tells the story of a young girl who dreams of a Nutcracker Prince, a Sugar Plum Fairy and a fierce battle against a Mouse King. Following the afternoon performances, attendees will have an opportunity to hear a brief presentation about the ballet and meet the dancers.
2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 and 2 p.m. Dec. 11; The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St., Galveston; 800.821.1894 or www.thegrand.com
Christmas Boat Lane Parade [Dec. 10]
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. 10, Clear Lake, www.kemahboardwalk.com
Crystaland Christmas Parade [Dec. 10]
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. to 9 p.m. Dec. 10, Crystal Beach, www.bolivarchamberof
Holiday Charity Ball [Dec. 10]
The Holiday Charity Ball is the Junior League of Galveston County’s largest annual fundraising event. This year’s gala invites guests to heat things up and cool things down at Fire & Ice. Enjoy live entertainment, fine dining and a unique array of silent and live auction items. This year, the league will honor Lori Carnes and Kelly Johns.
Dec. 10; Galveston Island Convention Center at The San Luis Resort, 5600 Seawall Blvd., Galveston; www.jlgalveston.org
A Holiday Evening with ‘The King’ [Dec. 16]
Join the Butler Longhorn Museum for a holiday performance by Vince King as Elvis. King will perform Elvis songs and traditional holiday music.
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 16; Butler Longhorn Museum, 1220 Coryell St., League City; www.butlerlonghornmuseum.com
Galveston Island Market [Dec. 17]
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. 17; Mechanic and 23rd streets, Galveston;
Jerry Jeff Walker [Dec. 17]
One of the Lone Star State’s most popular musical ambassadors returns to The Grand to wish Galveston an early Happy New Year. Jerry Jeff Walker will deliver another memorable evening, filled with heart-tugging ballads, spirited melodies and down-home fun.
8 p.m. Dec. 17; The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St.,
Galveston; 800.821.1894 or www.thegrand.com
Loretta Lynn, Queen of Country Music [Dec. 19]
Loretta Lynn, one of the most awarded musicians of all times, will make her first appearance at The Grand on the heels of her first studio album in 10 years.
7:30 p.m. Dec. 19; The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St., Galveston; 800.821.1894 or www.thegrand.com
Christmas Day Brunch [Dec. 25]
Hotel Galvez is widely known for its Sunday Brunch, and the hotel brunch on Christmas Day is bigger and more popular. The hotel features all the traditional entrees along with special features created by the executive chef.
Dec. 8; Hotel Galvez, 2024 Seawall Blvd., Galveston; 409.765.7721
Cadillac Bar concerts [Dec. 31]
Cadillac Bar’s free monthly concert series ends with a performance by Fuzzy Side Up.
6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dec. 31; No. 7 Kemah Boardwalk, 215 Kipp Ave., Kemah; www.cadillacbar.com
In case of cancellations or changes to events, check with venues for updates. To submit an event, send pertinent information to email@example.com.