Southern Traveler
h Home h Features h Departments h Web Bonus h Media Info h Reader Resources h Archives h space

Worth the Drive:
Let it Glow

There’s just a different vibe along the Gulf Coast, so it makes perfect sense that the holidays along Texas’ portion of this sandy stretch–particularly Galveston–would be big and bold. This will be the 12th year Moody Gardens stages its Festival of Lights, and there is plenty of holiday fun at the popular attraction.

The Festival of Lights begins on Nov. 16 with Santa dropping in–via parachute–to flip the switch, turning on more than 1 million lights. Entertainment for the opening includes choirs, musicians, and dancers.

Guests can walk the trail that features more than 100 sound-enhanced light and animated displays. But there’s more than twinkle to this light festival.

Bring or rent skates for ice skating fun at the area’s only outdoor skating rink, which is included in Festival of Lights admission. Grab an inner tube and slide down a 100-foot-long Artic Ice Slide for an extra monetary and adreneline charge.

During Thanksgiving weekend, shop the Holiday Gift Market featuring more than 100 vendors selling crafts, home decor, accessories, and more. “A Magical Christmas 2: Home for the Holidays” is a dinner show in the convention center that stars illusionist Curt Miller and runs Dec. 19–28.

Festival of Lights will be Thursdays–Saturdays from Nov. 22 to Dec. 7; nightly hours start Dec. 12 and continue through Jan. 4. Admission is $6.95.

“For more than 10 years, Moody Gardens has provided a safe, fun, and welcoming environment for families to enjoy,” said CEO John Zendt. “We are proud to be a part of the community’s holiday tradition.”

The garden’s signature pyramid attractions are open during the festival. While a great distance from Santa’s home in the North Pole, you might want to check out the penguins in their Antartic exhibit inside the Aquarium Pyramid. Or book a dinner cruise in November or December aboard the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat.

Reserve overnight accommodations at the Moody Gardens hotel on site, or choose from Galveston’s wide array of lodging options, from luxury hotels and resorts to elegant bed and breakfasts, from vacation beach house rentals to condominiums.

You’re sure to have a merry holiday, island style, in Galveston.

For more information, visit or call (800) 582-4673.

Nov/Dec 2013 Issue

Left: Moody Gardens photo


View a calendar of events with more ideas for regional getaways.


^ to top | previous page