GALVESTON — Moody Gardens’ Festival of Lights offers a twinkling forest of more than 1 million lights within 100 sound-enhanced animated displays.
Dec. 8 was my first time to venture into Moody Gardens. We got there when the gates for The Festival of Lights opened at 6 p.m. and there were already throngs of people gathering to take the self-guided tours. About halfway through the tour, a live band played for people who needed a break from walking.
Moody Gardens also offered snow tubing down an Arctic slide this year for the first time. There is also an outdoor ice skating rink and pictures with Santa in his workshop for the kids. Paying the $6.95 admission for the Festival of Lights also lets visitors get a discounted ticket price of $6 for any of the following attractions: the MG 3D Theater, 4D Special FX
Theater, Ridefilm Theater, aquarium and rainforest pyramids, Discovery Museum and Paddlewheel Boat.
The Festival of Lights runs nightly, from 6 to 10 p.m., through Jan. 5. On Thursdays, there are live performances by local bands and school groups and on Food Drive Fridays, visitors can bring a non-perishable food item to get two-for-one admission to the Festival of Lights.
The Moody Gardens’ Magical Christmas Dinner and Show will be held again Thursday through Dec. 27 and stars Master Illusionist Curt Miller and Friends. The event, held at Moody Gardens Convention Center, includes dinner, the performance and entrance into the Festival of Lights.
Miller’s performance “combines dazzling magic, family comedy, inspiring music and beautiful dance to celebrate the timelessness and wonderment of Christmas,” www.moodychristmasshow.com states.
Moody Gardens isn’t the only spot in Galveston to find a magical light display.
New this year is “Lasers, Lights and Magic in the Park.”
Held at Saengerfest Park through Dec. 31, the free event offers music, laser lights and Santa. The nightly shows are offered at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. There will be opportunities for children to see Santa at Saengerfest Park at 1 p.m. today, Saturday and next Sunday and a “Magical Party with Disney” will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 29, according to www.galveston.com.
The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston offers several holiday shows, according to www.thegrand.com. They include the Houston Children’s Chorus Holiday Pops Show today; The Kingston Trio Holiday Show and Jerry Jeff Walker’s annual show on Saturday.
Other holiday events include the Eggnog Jog and Winter Walk on Friday; the Santa Hustle 5K/Half Marathon on Dec. 23, Santa on the Strand on the weekends through Dec. 30 and shopping on The Strand.
Galveston also is offering for the first time the Passport to Holiday Magic, which allows access to all of the holiday festivities. Those who apply have through Jan. 1 to complete their passports by getting it stamped at five events to be entered into multiple drawings for hotel stays and a Disney Magic Cruise.
For more information, visit www.galveston.com.