One Week Until Santa Parachutes Down To Moody Gardens

Nutcrackers in lights
Photo credit Moody Gardens

Opening Day of Holiday in the Gardens features Live Entertainment and Parachuting Santa

Galveston, Texas (November 13, 2021) – Only one week until guests watch while Santa Claus parachutes down from the North Pole to Moody Gardens to help prepare the property for the grand lighting of the Festival of Lights trail, one of the largest holiday lighting events on the Gulf Coast. The public can attend the Opening Day festivities of Holiday in the Gardens on November 20. Live entertainment runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m..

Santa parachutes in at 5 p.m. and after mixing and mingling, Mr. Claus will flip the switch to begin the holiday season at 6 p.m.. When the lights go up, the gates officially open for the season and guests can explore the 20th annual Festival of Lights trail filled with even more lights than before, over 100 sound enhanced animated light displays themed to their favorite holiday music, hot cocoa, fireside smores, pictures with Santa and much more.

Festival of Lights Trail

After all of the Opening Day excitement, attendees can check out the Festival of Lights buffet. Located in the Garden Restaurant it features house made soup, salads, cranberry-sage chicken, portobello ravioli with charred corn and mushroom sauce, chef’s desserts of the night and more. There will also be a variety of festive fare and confections along the Festival of Lights trail. Other holiday attractions include a selection of holiday films in the MG 3D Theater, Rudolph 4D in the 4D Special FX Theater, an Arctic Slide and train rides.

Santa parachuting
Photo credit Moody Gardens


“It’s wonderful to see the joy on children’s faces as Santa parachutes on opening day,” said Moody Gardens President and CEO John Zendt. “It’s been an honor to bring the tradition of the holiday season to families for 20 years. From marriage proposals to a baby’s first Christmas, the variety of memories created here at Moody Gardens are very special and we are looking forward to creating more new memories this year.”

Check Out Value Days

Individuals looking to experience all of our holiday attractions on Opening Day can purchase a Holiday Pass. The pass includes admission to the Festival of Lights as well as a 3D and 4D movie and the Arctic Slide for $39 with a discount to $29 on Value Days. Festival of Lights admission tickets are $22.

Holiday attractions open at 6 pm and close at 10 pm on regular days and 9 pm on Value Days. Moody Gardens’ year-round daytime attractions will be open from 10 am to 4 pm. Value Days are every Sunday – Thursday between November 28 and December 16. Hotel Packages with attractions tickets, Break with Santa and discounts are also available.


For more information, including ticket and hotel package options, please visit


Moody Gardens® is a public, non-profit, educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research.