Festival of Lights ~Moody Gardens ~ Galveston, Texas

by Jessica on November 20, 2011

Christmas is coming!  Are you ready?  Even though Christmas comes the same time every year and I have the best intentions, it still seems to drop in unexpectedly and catch me by surprise.   In the busy rush, my desire to have an "It's the most wonderful time of the year" attitude turns, too often,  into "bah humbug."  

Enter a parachuting Santa in the big red suit and two intrepid flying elves.  From high above the Moody Gardens in Galveston, these harbingers of happiness glided to a perfect landing amidst a throng of children cheering and clapping with a frenzy that would rival any rock concert.  Their thrilling arrival kicked off the tenth annual Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens, signaling the beginning of the holiday season and creating just the very, merry mood I was craving.

The weather outside was delightful (a balmy 75 degrees) as we waited for Santa to flip the switch to the light trail.   The Big Guy settled himself into his workshop to take photos and listen to Christmas wishes, as we set off on a leisurely stroll to enjoy the 1 million lights and 100 sound enhanced animated light displays.  Hot cocoa and cinnamon roasted almonds were a perfect complement to dazzling lights.

To complete the holiday mood, visitors can ice skate on the area's only outdoor skating rink, while kids under 11 won't want to miss the wintery wonders at the Snow Zone.   Special holiday films are on deck at the 3D, 4D Special Effects, and the Ridefilm Theatres.  Don't miss a ride on the Polar Express in the 4D theatre, complete with a magical indoor snowfall.

With so much to do and see, you will want to check the Moody Gardens website to learn about upcoming live entertainment and special events, so you won't miss a thing.  While you are enjoying the holiday festivities, you can still check out the regular exhibits at Moody Gardens, and even enjoy a discounted price on festival nights.  Complete your evening-and start a new family tradition-by staying at the luxuriously family friendly Moody Gardens hotel.

At the end of the evening we were all unconsciously humming our favorite Christmas carols, as our hearts and feet floated along the final length of the trail where we stopped for a contemplative retelling of the Nativity in lights.  Perhaps my heart grew three sizes that day as "Bah Humbug" was completely vanished leaving us dreaming of the Christmas memories to come. 

Know Before You Go:

Festival open 6-10 p.m. on:

  • November 12 (GRAND OPENING EVENT!)
  • November 18 & 19
  • November 24-26
  • December 1-3
  • December 8-11
  • December 14-January 1

Admission: $5.95

Admission to the Rainforest Pyramid®, Aquarium Pyramid®, MG 3D Theater, 4D Special FX Theater, Ridefilm Theater and Colonel Paddlewheel Boat can be purchased for $6 each after 4:45 p.m. with a Festival of Lights ticket. Bring your own skates or skate rental is also available for just $6.

~Moody Gardens Festival of Lights provided my family with tickets to the festival.  They had no prior knowledge of the Grinchy status of my heart, and did not require that I express any particular viewpoint.  As always, my opinions are my very, merry own.~

Join the fun at The Mother of All Trips and see what others are dreaming about this Thanksgiving Monday.


Lisa November 21, 2011 at 12:37 am

It looks beautiful!  :-)  What a nice way to start your Christmas season!
Hope you have a great Thanksgiving.
Many blessings,

K November 21, 2011 at 10:56 am

Great post! This makes me want to pack up my kids and take a road trip to Galveston… my kids would love this festival!! 
New follower here from the blog hop. 

Steve November 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm

One of the few things that I like about having Thanksgiving early in Canada is that it lets you focus on Christmas without distractions for around two months straight. Between that and the huge snow drifts, it's kind of hard for Christmas to sneak up on you.
I love light festivals. I imagine I'd love them more if it didn't require 16 layers of clothes to go outside to see them. This one looks like it would be perfect! 

Lisa November 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Looks beautiful!  I could use something like that to get me in the Christmas spirit right now. :)

Barbara November 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Oh my!  That looks so amazing!

Jamie November 21, 2011 at 6:12 pm

<3 <3 <3 the festival of lights…it's a holiday tradition for me!!!

dana December 5, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Just wondering…taking my parents who are in their 80's is there a lot of walking for the festival of lights or your drive around?  Thanks in advance

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