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5 reasons to visit Galveston during the holidays

Christmas tree.

Ahh, the holiday season is upon us. You can really feel it in Galveston. When you hear what the town has to offer, you will be checking your calendar to see when you can work these into your schedule.

Here are five events you won’t want to miss:

1. ‘Polar Express’ train ride

Passengers will sing along to the soundtrack of “The Polar Express” motion picture as the train whisks them away for a fun one-hour trip. After being greeted by Santa and his helpers, guests will get hot chocolate and treats as they read along with the children’s book by the same name. A special first gift of Christmas will even be given to each passenger.

This Polar Express Train Ride leaves from the Galveston Railroad Museum, offering an exciting opportunity for kids (and adults!) to experience, firsthand, the magic of the classic tale. Passengers get the chance to ride on one of six separate cars pulled by vintage locomotives. The ride will be open on weekends and select dates through Dec. 29. Dancing chefs await!

2. Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens

View more than 1 million lights, as well as sound-enhanced animated light displays, along the mile-long trail.

It’s the largest holiday lighting event on the Gulf Coast!

You could also check out the outdoor skating rink, grab a toasty cup of hot chocolate, try the festive food, get in on a holiday buffet or take in the live entertainment. Don’t forget to visit Santa, ride on the Arctic Slide or go for a train ride. You have until Jan. 12 to enjoy all the fun.

This marks the 18th annual Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens.

3.) Holiday shows at The Grand 1894 Opera House

For holiday entertainment, look no further than Galveston as your destination.

The Grand 1894 Opera House, which is an absolute gem in the island’s historic downtown district, offers no seat further than 70 feet from the stage for its exciting lineup of live holiday performances happening throughout the remainder of December.

You can catch shows like “Merry Christmas” from the Doo Wop Project, Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” The 5 Browns’ “Holiday,” “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” and more.

4. Downtown Lasers and Lights

Featuring new laser shows, a magical display of lights and other holiday-themed attractions in Saengerfest Park and beyond, there will also be a 30-foot-tall Christmas tree and a giant snow globe for visitors to enjoy on weekends, now through New Year’s Eve. New to Downtown Lasers and Lights this year will be four-hour holiday laser shows, synchronized to music, that will be projected on the American National Insurance Company Building from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 22. While in the area, visitors can tackle some of their holiday shopping at the district’s many gift shops, boutiques, art galleries and antique shops set among beautiful Victorian architecture.

5. Miracle Pop-up Bar at Daiquiri Time Out

This Christmas-themed pop-up bar serves only specialty holiday drinks from around the world, and only for a short time in select areas. Know a Grinch? Take them here and their heart will grow three sizes.

There are plenty more events and activities happening in Galveston to fully immerse yourself in the holiday spirit. Click here to find out what other events you won’t want to miss out on.