Festival of Lights – Moody Gardens

Location Description

Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens is located in the beautiful coastal city of Galveston, Texas. The festival takes place in various areas of the Moody Gardens property, including the stately Palm Beach and breathtaking Rainforest Pyramid. The location of this festival is perfect for photographers, as there is a wealth of opportunities for creative holiday and nighttime photography. From the elaborate displays of twinkling lights to the lush tropical plants of the Rainforest Pyramid, Festival of Lights is a feast for the eyes and perfect for capturing stunning images. The combination of the coastal location and holiday magic creates a unique and memorable experience for aspiring photographers looking to document the beauty of the holiday season in an unexpected way.

What to Photograph

As a photographer, you will find several unique and interesting sights to capture at the Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens. With over two million lights and 100 lighted scenes spread across the property, you will be spoiled for choice. Some of the most eye-catching scenes include the enormous Christmas tree and the animated displays set to popular holiday tunes, which are sure to create a cheerful atmosphere. Another standout feature is the Rainforest Pyramid, which is illuminated in a vibrant array of colors that are perfect for capturing an otherworldly feel in your photos. Additionally, you can take advantage of the opportunity to capture images of families gathered together enjoying the various activities, such as ice skating and sandcastle building. Overall, the Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens offers a beguiling atmosphere that presents a delightful and unique experience for photographers seeking holiday inspiration.


The Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens has been an annual event in Galveston, Texas, since 2001. The festival is a collaboration with Celebrity Attractions, a production company that has worked on several well-known holiday productions. The event began with an initial plan to install Christmas lights at Moody Gardens, but the idea evolved into a full-blown festival featuring lighted displays, ice carving, and holiday-themed entertainment. Over the years, the festival has grown in popularity and has consistently drawn large crowds to the Moody Gardens property. Additionally, the festival has partnered with several local charities to raise funds and awareness, highlighting a tradition of giving during the holiday season.

One of the interesting aspects of the Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens is the variety of unique and quirky displays hidden throughout the property. For example, there is a display featuring Santa fishing in a boat, surrounded by lighted fish. Another favorite display is the "Enchanted Forest," which is a path lined with trees and whimsical lighted characters, including a giant dragonfly and an enormous snail. Additionally, the staff at Moody Gardens often hide items, such as a "Find the Nutcracker" hunt, which encourages visitors to explore every corner of the festival to discover all the hidden treasures. These small details make the Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens a delight for photographers and visitors alike, as there is always something new and unexpected to discover.

Nearby Festivals and Events

If you're a photographer visiting the Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens, you might want to plan your trip around some of the other fantastic events that take place in the Galveston area throughout the year. Here are some of the must-see events and festivals that are held in or near Galveston, Texas:

  • Galveston Mardi Gras (February) - Experience a family-friendly version of the famous New Orleans celebration, complete with parades, bead-throwing, and elaborate costumes.
  • Dickens on The Strand (December) - Travel back in time to Victorian England with this annual event, featuring costumed characters, food and drink vendors, and live entertainment.
  • Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival (September) - Sample more than 400 different craft beers from over 150 breweries while enjoying live music and delicious food.
  • Galveston Restaurant Week (January and August) - Satisfy your taste buds during this two-week culinary event, where some of Galveston's best restaurants offer prix-fixe menus and specials.
  • Lone Star Rally (November) - Roar into town on your motorcycle for this massive celebration of all things biker, with live music, vendors, and more than 400,000 visitors each year.

Whether you're in the mood for an elegant Victorian celebration or a wild weekend of beer and motorcycles, Galveston has something for every taste. Don't forget to bring your camera and capture all the unique sights and sounds of each event! And of course, while you're in the area, be sure to stop by Moody Gardens to experience the magic of the Festival of Lights.


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  • Most of these locations are private property and may not allow visitors without calling first. They may also not allow portrait/pro photography. Always call ahead and ask permission before arriving.

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  • (Last updated: May 22, 2023 21:37:15)



    1 Hope Blvd
    Galveston, TX 77554

    (66.9 mi / 1 hour 11 mins)


    • Festival
    • Outdoors

    Season to Visit

    Some places are best to visit in certain seasons:
    • January
    • February
    • August
    • September
    • November
    • December

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