Downtown Galveston offers a calendar packed with exciting events and family-friendly fun. There’s always something going on in the Strand National Historic Landmark District. Throughout the year, locals and visitors alike come together in the heart of Galveston to enjoy food, community, culture, and more. You can always find something new to experience, as well as the following annual events that have become Galveston tradition on The Strand:
For two full weeks, take a flavorful tour of Galveston’s vibrant dining scene during Galveston Restaurant Week. Enjoy specially-priced menus at participating restaurants, with donations from the event dedicated to a different local charity each year.
This foodie-friendly event features a 5K Fun Run/Walk, live music, a washer pitching tournament, a margarita contest, the ever popular Downtown Walkabout among the downtown merchants, and craft beer, but the real highlight of the weekend is the chili cook-off competition, where numerous teams will earn serious bragging rights with the best chili in town.
Celebrate at the third-largest Mardi Gras event in the U.S., spanning two weekends and complete with millions of Mardi Gras beads, more than 30 concerts and parades, including family-friendly festivities.
Hosted by Mitchell Historic Properties and the Galveston Convention and Visitors Bureau, this free Saengerfest Park event invites families to enjoy a series of beloved movies under the stars. Review the Movie Line-Up for 2020!
Get a taste of Galveston’s thriving local music scene with this free live concert series at Saengerfest Park, hosted by Mitchell Historic Properties and the Galveston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Review the Music Line-Up for 2020!
Every year, hundreds of unique bird species pass through Galveston on their migration along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. Featherfest is a celebration of the city’s feathered friends, offering visitors a chance to experience nature adventures, photography field trips, a photo contest, exciting presentations, and more.
Wine-lovers unite for this annual celebration of the best in Galveston, featuring more than 25 vineyards and a number of fine restaurants and artisan vendors. The weekend includes unique dining experiences, tasting events, and a Champagne 5K Fun Run.
The Galveston Island Beach Revue began in 1920 to kick off the summer season each year. As a nod to the golden years of Galveston, this event is held at Beach Centeral on the Seawall features contestants from across the country modeling vintage swimwear. The event also features live music and a vintage car show.
Experience the history and beauty of Galveston’s historic downtown lofts as a handful of locals open their private homes to the tour, offering a glimpse at the restored grandeur of the town’s most famous buildings. Proceeds from the event benefit local programs and advocacy efforts.
Browse unique fares and artisanal creations from talented Galveston locals in a friendly, laidback market in Downtown Galveston. Hand-crafted items for purchase include jewelry, artwork, food, home goods, and more.
Revel in one of Galveston’s most famous staples at the Galveston Island Shrimp Festival, a celebration of the island’s seafood of choice. Enjoy sampling the best gumbo during the Gumbo Stroll, with cook-offs that include both professional chefs and talented at-home cooks. The entire family can take part in the event, including the Lil’ Shrimps Parade, Merchant Walkabout, and 5K Fun Run.
A free annual event hosted by Mitchell Historic Properties, the Mini Monster Bash is an exciting way for families to get into the Halloween spirit. Come to Saengerfest Park for kid-friendly games, crafts, face-painting, and costume contests; then go trick-or-treating at participating businesses throughout the downtown area.
Cruise down for the Lone Star Rally and experience the largest motorcycle rally in North America. The weekend includes custom bike, trike, and slingshot contests, live music, a sound-off competition, and a unique motorcycle rodeo featuring exciting trick riding and impressive shows of skill.
Saengerfest Park and historic downtown Galveston come alive with a breathtaking display of holiday lights and artisan-made pieces. Enjoy the beauty and holiday spirit of downtown with a stroll through this winter wonderland.
Holiday shopping in Galveston’s Historic Downtown District will be especially festive this year. From November through January, the area will be illuminated by an extensive lighting and décor overhaul that will encompass the main corridors of the charming historic downtown district from Strand to Postoffice Streets, making it the perfect backdrop for a holiday shopping spree.
The Galveston Historical Foundation will bring back its Victorian holiday festival for the 46th year — with some modifications. Dickens on the Strand will be Dickens on the Squares for 2020 and will take place Dec. 5-6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Previous Dickens events have taken place on Strand Street, but this year’s festival will be held at separate locations with limited capacities. The event will offer guests timed, ticketed access to specially crafted Dickens experiences at the following locations: Hendley Green, Old Galveston Square, Saengerfest Park, Galveston Historic Seaport, and Pier 22. Guests in Victorian attire will receive a limited-edition commemorative keepsake. In order to promote safety, each location will feature a dedicated entrance and exit, strict capacity limits, mask requirements for entry and participation, sanitation stations throughout the grounds, social distancing reminders, and more from a city-approved COVID response plan.
Must purchase tickets in advance through the Galveston Historical Foundation.
A Railroad Christmas will take place on weekends from Nov. 27 through Dec. 23 at the Galveston Railroad Museum. Visitors will have the opportunity to get a socially distanced photo with Santa as Mr. Claus will stand on a train while families can pose below. On Fridays and Saturdays, guests can enjoy Movies at the Museum in the courtyard. Treats will be available at the Whistlestop Café. Details can be found at www.galvestonrrmuseum.org.