Thinking about working off that heavy Thanksgiving meal? You might want to check out a quick getaway to Galveston Island. There are a number of interesting outdoor activities and walking tours on the calendar as Galveston Historical Foundation presents Dickens on the Strand and the East End Historical District Association presents their annual Christmas Homes Tour.
Dickens on the Strand, the long time festival celebrating Charles Dickens and all things Victorian, kicks on off on Friday December 4th with a free evening at the new Fezziwig’s Beer Hall (5 – 9 pm). Hosting the festivities will be Jane Dickens Monk, a descendant of Charles Dickens himself (his great-great-granddaughter.)
This same night, the four magnificent homes in the East End Historical District will be open for guided tours.
The Charles W. Hurley Home
Built in 1868 for Charles Hurley, owner and builder of the Galveston, Pecos and Colorado Narrow Gauge Railroad, and Mayor of Galveston in 1873-74.
The Howard and Kate Mather Home
Built around 1887 for Howard Mather, who worked for cotton factors Lammers & Flint.
The Joseph Goldstein house
Built in 1898 for Joseph Goldstein, a boot and shoe retailer, and his sisters, Henrietta and Minnie
Two Story Victorian in the 1200 block of Winnie
Built in 1882, this home was a survivor of the Great Fire of 1885, and subsequently, the 1900
All the homes will be decked out in find Christmas decorations. Refreshments will be served in the Historical District’s Victor Gustafson Cottage next to Darragh Park in Galveston’s East End.
Tickets are $17.00 and are available at The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St.
(www.thegrand.com) or 800 821-1894. Or you can purchase on-line.
Dickens on the Strand’s continues on Saturday December 5th and Sunday December 6th. There is an admission fee of $13 in advance or $15 at the gate. If you arrive wearing a Victorian costume — as a great many attendees do — you’ll pay half price. Children under 6 are free. Purchase tickets your tickets online. Visit DickensontheStrand.org for more details.
The highlights of the Dickens on the Strand include:
Victorian Bed Races
Saturday at 4pm cheer on your team as they race down Mechanic Street in old-school Victorian beds
Steampunk Street Ball
Saturday at 8:30 pm The steam-punk art band Airship Isabella lands in Steampunk Square for a command performance followed by a street dance.
Strand Walking Tour
St Arnold Brewing Company is sponsoring a guided tour of The Strand, a National Historik Landmark District. (Tickets $35)
And many more events, such as the Holiday Handbell Concert, Bishop’s Palace Basement to Attic Tour, Breakfast and Dinner with Dickens, Reception on the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA and Saturday Night’s Pickwick’s Lanternlight Parade.
All in all we think this is a grand way to get into the spirit of the holiday season as we approach the end of 2015.