This year, take the family to Galveston for a memorable spring break that’s easy on the wallet and generous with the fun.
Fun, educational, accessible, and affordable, Galveston Island is a no-brainer destination for families during spring break. The historic sea town offers 32 miles of beaches, a variety of family attractions (including Moody Gardens, Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, and Pleasure Pier, as well as a variety of museums), Texas’ premier cruise port and one of the largest and most well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country, including several National Historic Landmarks.
If this isn’t enough to get you packing, consider this: Galveston just got even more affordable, with its newly-announced Island Pass and a number of free activities the whole family can enjoy.
Galveston Island Pass
Galveston Island will provide families with a passport to adventure and savings this spring break with the new Galveston Island Pass. Launched last year, the Island Pass allows visitors to experience multiple Galveston attractions on one ticket and save up to 40% off regular admission prices.
The Island Pass can be purchased online at www.galvestonislandpass.com, where guests can select four or more participating attractions to include on their passes, then purchase and print them. After purchase, the pass is good for 30 days.
Participating attractions include:
- Artist Boat Kayak Tours
- Cool Tours
- Galveston Railroad Museum
- Haunted Mayfield Manor
- Lone Star Flight Museum
- Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid
- Moody Gardens Rainforest Pyramid
- Moody Mansion
- Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum
- Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast
- The Grand 1894 Opera House Tour
Additional attractions will be added seasonally. The Island Pass will be available year-round. For more information, visit www.galvestonislandpass.com.
10 Free Things to Do in Galveston This Spring Break
- Galveston Tree Sculpture Tour
After Hurricane Ike, optimistic island residents worked with area sculptors to transform damaged oak trees into breathtaking tree sculptures that are now the focus of the Galveston Tree Sculptures Tour. The sculptures are tucked into gardens and nestled in side yards throughout the island’s East End Historic District for the public to enjoy and find. To download a brochure for this free tour, visit www.galveston.com/treesculptures.
- Movie & Music Nights on the Strand
Grab your chairs, blankets and pillows and head to Saengerfest Park in downtown Galveston for a free family-friendly movie or concert under the stars. Films are held the first Saturday of each month beginning at dusk. Concerts are held every second Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. Both events run March through October. For more information, visit www.galveston.com/calendarofevents.
- Ferry Ride + Dolphin Watch
Galveston’s Bolivar Ferry is well known across the Lone Star State. This free, roughly 20-minute ride each way between Port Bolivar and Galveston is an entertaining diversion from the beaches and historic districts that are the biggest Galveston tourist draw. During this voyage, you also can get a close look at graceful dolphins as they swim by. Visit www.galveston.com/galvestonferry for more information.
ArtWalk is a free event where Galveston’s downtown art galleries open their doors to the public for an evening of art viewing, live entertainment and refreshments. The Galveston Arts Center will host this year’s series from 6 to 9 p.m. on March 9, April 20 and June 1. For more information, please visit www.galveston.com/artwalk.
- Stroll the Strand
The Galveston Downtown Cultural Arts District offers an intriguing selection of shops, restaurants, galleries and museums within a perfect radius for self-guided tours. The Victorian architecture of Strand Street, widely known as The Strand, makes for a charming stroll. Saegnerfest Park at 23rd and Strand is a free family park home to a life-size chessboard and is often home to live entertainment. Be sure to also check out the art galleries and shops found on Postoffice Street. For more information, visit www.galveston.com/downtowntour.
- Enjoy Seawall Beach
Galveston has the longest continuous sidewalk in America on its beachfront Seawall Boulevard, making room for a wide variety of free outdoor activities. Enjoy the beach by swimming or playing beach volleyball or hit the pavement for biking or running. Watching a breath-taking sunrise or sunset on the seawall is priceless.
- Old-Fashioned Taffy Making at La King’s Confectionery
La King’s Confectionery in downtown Galveston is sure to make your trip to the island that much sweeter. Not only can you delight in homemade old-fashioned candies and ice cream, you can watch them being made. La King’s master candymaker hosts salt water taffy-making demonstrations daily during peak tourism seasons. For more information, visit www.galveston.com/laking.
- Birding 101
Galveston is one of the top locations for birding in the United States, with more than 300 species of birds that migrate through the island during spring and fall migrations. A free birding brochure can be downloaded at www.galveston.com/birding and will guide you to the island’s nature hotspots. This spring, Moody Gardens and the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council will present a series of free “Birding 101” classes to educate and excite people about the bird life on the island. For more information, visit the calendar of events at www.moodygardens.org.
- Galveston Island State Park
The Galveston Island State Park offers a wide variety of outdoor activities that are free to participants. While each person must pay a $5 parking charge to enter the park, families can enjoy kayak tours, beach and surf explorations, bird walks, nature field trips and fishing clinics at no cost. Many activities require advance sign-up. The park’s Nature Center is open on Saturdays and Sundays, March through November, and shows nature displays and videos pertaining to the park’s plant and marine life. For more information, visit www.fogisp.org.
- Fishing in Galveston
In Galveston, anyone with a Texas fishing license can fish for free! From beachfront fishing to offshore overnight fishing, you can enjoy a variety of fishing on this island. Don’t forget to bring your catch to local restaurants. Many will turn your fresh catch into an unforgettable dinner. For more information, please visit www.galveston.com/islandfishing.
With all these savings, it’s really pointless to waste another second. Find a place to bed down for the week, pack the bags, and drive an hour to a week’s worth of fun. See you in Galveston!