The History of Moody Gardens

Moody Gardens began as an extraordinary vision to create an island tourist destination. It has grown to become one of the premier education and leisure facilities in the Southwest, with approximately two million visitors annually.


1986: Moody Gardens began as a horse barn with a riding arena that provided a hippotherapy riding program for people with head injuries. The Hope Arena convention center was established, which later expanded and became the Moody Gardens Convention Center.


1988: White Florida sand was brought across the Gulf of Mexico to create Palm Beach. Seaside Safari opened and is now The Learning Place, home of our educational programs.


1990: The production area opened, which included two greenhouses used to propagate most of the plants seen on the ground for our Medicinal Plant Program.


1993: The famous Rainforest Pyramid opened its doors, featuring over 1,700 exotic plant and animal species from all over the world. The Garden Restaurant also started serving delicious food to our customers this year, and America’s first IMAX 3D Theater started showing films in the MG 3D Theater Complex.


1997: The Discovery Pyramid debuted with NASA-inspired exhibits.


1999: The family friendly accommodations and tranquil services of the Moody Gardens Hotel and Spa opened. The hotel is an architectural masterpiece featuring 428 rooms and over 22,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, dining, and a full service salon and spa. The 1.5 million-gallon Aquarium Pyramid opened as one of the largest aquariums in the world.


2004: The hotel gained a brand new 125-room wing, and the Exhibit Hall grew by 60,000 square feet.


2005: The 4D Special FX Theater opened, creating a totally new way to experience the movies.


2008: After a $16 million renovation to the Galveston Municipal Golf Course, the Moody Gardens Golf Course opened, becoming the premier golf course of Galveston.


2011: The Rainforest Pyramid and Palm Beach reopened after extensive enhancement projects, making Moody Gardens better than ever.


If you’re looking for a fun place to visit on your family weekend getaways in Texas, don’t skip the Moody Gardens. Our family friendly Moody Gardens Hotel gives you a luxurious place to rest your head at night, while the Moody Gardens Golf Course and attractions will keep the entire family entertained all day.


All about Moody Gardens Rainforest Pyramid

At the Moody Gardens Rainforest Pyramid, you can experience one of the most authentic rainforest recreations in the world. The ten-story glass pyramid features over one thousand exotic plants and animals from the rainforests of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. A recent $25 million enhancement project has improved the attraction, making it more realistic and bringing you closer than ever to a true rainforest experience.


As part of the enhancement project, a new walkway was built in the Rainforests of the World, which overlooks the endangered giant Amazon River otter exhibit. The unique walkway leads you into the pyramid at the canopy level. In the canopy level you can explore the rainforest from above, allowing you to get closer to the free-roaming tree-dwellers of the rainforest such as birds, sloths, white-faced saki monkeys, and cotton-top tamarins.


Featured in the canopy walkway is one of the most famous attractions in Moody Gardens: the butterfly exhibit. Several species of beautiful butterflies flutter around you as you wander through.


The next part of your journey takes you to the cloud forests, which are considered nature’s water towers. Observe the colorful frogs and artifacts from people of the rainforest before heading down to the rainforest floor. The nocturnal exhibit on the rainforest floor is home to a prehensile-tailed porcupine, African palm civet, and other creatures that only venture out after dark.


On the rainforest floor you will also discover plants and animals from the Asian rainforest, such as the carnivorous pitcher plant, colorful orchids and fish, and two Chinese alligators.


The rainforests of Central and South America are filled with colorful macaws, a spotted ocelot, and a flowing waterfall! You can also learn about the smells and spices of rainforest food in the interactive exhibit. Tour the Mayan ruins, home to a giant anaconda, piranha, caiman lizards, and even vampire bats!


The final stop on your Rainforest Pyramid adventure is down the Africa trail where you can marvel at the spider plant, giant windowpane palm, and the dead rat tree. Don’t worry; there aren’t actually dead rats in the tree! On your way out, you’ll be able to experience the ground-dwellers of the rainforest, including a Daramaland mole rat, Brazilian rainbow boa, and a cobalt blue tarantula!


Click here for ticket prices and more information.


Don’t miss out on a visit to the Moody Gardens Rainforest Pyramid during your next family weekend getaway in Texas. Moody Gardens is the place to be for the best events in Galveston. Learn more at We hope to see you soon!


Relax at the Spa at Moody Gardens

Life can be a little hectic, even when you’re on vacation. Treat yourself with a visit to the Spa at Moody Gardens! Our professional and caring staff can liven your senses, restore your body, and ease your mind with tropical fragrances and ocean elixirs. You can’t help but feel relaxed among the enchanting pyramids and botanical beauty.


The Spa at Moody Gardens offers a wide variety of ways to pamper yourself, from couple’s massages to skin care and hair services. Choose from:

  • Packages
  • Bridal Packages
  • Massage Therapy
  • Skin Care
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Body Exfoliation
  • Body Wraps
  • Waxing Services
  • Nail Care
  • Hair Services
  • Makeup


Whether you are choosing a gift for a friend or taking a little time for yourself, we have something for everyone! We suggest you try our hydrotherapy! The belvedere hydrotherapy tub has 147 jets that are designated to systematically detoxify and massage your body. You can choose from four different exciting hydrotherapy options.

  • Coconut Milk Bath Soak: A calming milk bath that both hydrates your skin and calms your mind.
  • Pure Passionflower Bubble Bath: Immerse yourself in the pure scent of passionflowers.
  • Seaweed Splash: This special bath is infused with three types of seaweed to detoxify, re-mineralize, and soothe your skin.
  • Couples Hydrotherapy Bath: Enjoy a romantic spa treatment in our private couple’s suite hydrotherapy tub.


One of our most popular spa services is massage therapy. For a limited time, when you buy one Swedish massage, you’ll get a second one free! Enjoy two fifty-minute sessions of the relaxing full-body massage for the price of one! You can also choose from three of our massage therapy upgrades:

  • Aromatherapy: An aroma of your choice is mixed into the massage cream for a relaxing scent experience.
  • Warmed Tropical Oil Scalp Massage: A wonderful addition to any massage.
  • Aromatherapy Paraffin Dip: Leaves your hands and feet feeling extra smooth.



To learn more about the Spa At Moody Gardens, visit the Moody Gardens Hotel online at And don’t miss out on our limited time spa offer!

Philippine Travel Update 6-11 November, 2012

Read Intro Post Here

By Moody Gardens Animal Husbandry Manager Greg Whittaker

We arrived in Subic Bay at about 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, after a 43-hour door-to-door adventure that re-routed us through Los Angeles and Seoul, Korea.

However, our checked luggage went on the original routing through Honolulu and Guam, and didn’t arrive until 1 a.m. on Saturday. With a little rough beginning, we had the entire team assembled at noon on Friday, Nov. 9, and began the real work.

The project team includes Roy Drinnen and Greg Whittaker from Moody Gardens, Dirk Peterson from, Bart Shepherd from California Academy of Science, Eric Hovland from Florida Aquarium, and Bianca Espinos and Jonathon Apurado from Ocean Adventure.

Friday afternoon was spent snorkeling the shallow reefs adjacent to the Camayan Beach Resort and Nabasan Point. We were discouraged as there was evidence of significant environmental stress in both areas and the reef closest to the resort was mostly dead and covered in algae.

We concluded that the heavy typhoon season’s high tides, large waves and heavy rains had caused silt deposition over large areas of reef. Those that were shallow and had poor water flow were not able to recover, and once the corals died back the algae quickly took over.

Saturday was spent diving the deeper reefs off Nabasan Point, Tago Beach and Grande Island. We also surveyed the artificial habitat created by the polyethylene tensar net system that encloses the massive marine mammal complex.

Everyone was much more optimistic after seeing the conditions of the reefs in these zones as the coral condition and diversity indicated the environmental conditions were suited to maintaining them.

Stay tuned for next update!

All About Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid

Experience the beauty of the North Pacific, South Pacific, South Atlantic, and Caribbean with a visit to the ten-story blue-glass aquarium building. This incredible attraction features 1.5 million gallons of water and more than ten thousand marine animals. The Aquarium Pyramid is divided into four regions, each representing a different area of the oceanic world.


Caribbean Exhibit

The Caribbean Exhibit is the largest of the four. It features sharks, sea turtles, eels, and thousands of beautiful tropical fish that swim overhead as you wander through an underwater tunnel. The tunnel completely surrounds guests and is filled with one million gallons of water.


South Atlantic Exhibit

The penguins of Moody Gardens reside in this area of the pyramid! The South Atlantic Exhibit is designed to closely resemble the rocky beaches of the South Georgia Islands. You can view the penguins from both above and below the surface. With our Penguin Encounter program you can even get up close with the penguin residents and take home some of their fabulous artwork.


North Pacific Exhibit

The furry seals reside in the North Pacific Exhibit. Watch as they play on the rocky shore and dive into the water. A few feet away, you can watch the sea urchins, anemones, and other colorful marine creatures in the tide pool. A kelp forest houses the rich and diverse underwater world representing Northern California to the Gulf of Alaska.


South Pacific Exhibit

Go on a journey through the depths of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea! The South Pacific Exhibit features a tide pool with vibrant sea anemones and sea urchins. In the lower level, you can see more than 200 species of fish, stingrays, and sharks in their beautiful underwater environment.


New Exhibit: Sharks in Depth

The newest exhibit at the Moody Gardens explores shark fact versus fiction, shark anatomy, and shark behavior through hands-on activities. Learn how sharks survive, how they sense their pray, and what threats there are to the shark population. This exhibit is better than Shark Week! With an Aquarium Pyramid Shark Passport, you can learn to identify shark species from around the world.


If you’re looking to plan your family weekend getaways in Texas, don’t miss out on the Aquarium Pyramid at Moody Gardens. As part of our recent holiday offer, you will gain admission to the Aquarium Pyramid!

Moody Gardens Memberships

Moody Gardens is one of the best destinations in Texas, no matter what time of the year it is. If you’ve visited Moody Gardens before, you know there’s something for everyone. For those first-timers, we’ve got everything from 3D Theaters to a Discovery Museum. There are many reasons why you should consider investing in a Moody Gardens Membership. What does a Moody Garden Membership offer? Keep reading to find out!


General Memberships

Whether you use Moody Gardens as a family getaway or for a weekend on your own, we have just the membership for you. Moody Gardens offers both a Family Membership (for up to five individuals) and an Individual Membership. Both memberships last one year and offer unlimited admission to all attractions, including the Aquarium Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, MG 3D Theater, and much more! You can also enjoy member-only events and previews of new exhibits and films before they’re open to the public. With your year-long subscription to the Pyramid Press Newsletter, you’ll always have the inside scoop into everything that’s happening at Moody Gardens. If you like to shop, a membership offers you a 15% discount in the gift shops at the Visitor Center, Discovery Pyramid, and Aquarium Pyramid. And if you like to eat, you’ll love our 15% discount from 2 p.m. to close at the Garden Restaurant or Terrace Restaurant. Finally, finish the day with our discount on Hotel Rack Rate and Single Spa Service at the Moody Gardens Hotel.


Holiday Membership Benefits

We love providing great Galveston and Houston holiday events. If you love the Moody Gardens holiday events, remember your membership includes admission into the Festival of Lights trail. As a member, you’ll also receive a discount on Ice Skate Rentals and the brand new Ice Slide.


Moody Gardens is one of the best family weekend getaways in Texas. For more information on our membership options, visit us here.

Midnight in the Gardens

If you’re looking for holiday events in Texas, visit Galveston! Moody Gardens offers some of the finest holiday events around. One of our most extravagant events is our New Year’s Eve Gala, which has become known as one of the best places to be during New Year’s Eve in the Houston and Galveston area. This New Year’s Eve, the Moody Gardens Convention Center will be transformed into a modern winter wonderland fit for only the most lavish affair.


This year’s Gala will once again feature Commercial Art, one of Houston’s most popular party bands. Commercial Art is sought after by all of Houston because of their eclectic mix of music. They offer everything from vintage rock and 40’s swing to classic soul and modern hits. With the great entertainment on hand, this New Year’s Eve Gala will be quite the party.


However, if you’re also looking for a romantic night for two, the Gala’s sophisticated setting is the perfect place. Moody Gardens will be offering an elaborate array of food, and of course an open bar. For added extravagance, don’t forget to take part in our champagne toast. Finally, ring in 2013 with our midnight balloon drop.


Tickets are on sale for $425 per couple or $225 per single. Don’t forget to make your reservations at the Moody Gardens Hotel; accommodations begin at $109 plus tax per night, with the purchase of a Gala ticket. For reservations, call 888-388-8484. Call now so you don’t miss out on the party of the year!


If you can’t make it for our New Year’s celebration, be sure to check out our other Galveston and Houston holiday events. We offer a Festival of Lights that offers more than 1 million lights in 100 animated light displays. While there, be sure to stop by our Festival of Lights Buffet. For more family fun, visit our Magical Christmas Dinner and Show starring Master Illusionist Curt Miller and Friends. Get your tickets here. Finally don’t forget to take advantage of our outdoor ice skating rink and visits with Santa! At Moody Gardens, there’s holiday fun awaiting the whole family!

All About the Moody Gardens 3D Theater

Are you looking for family weekend getaways in Texas? Come experience the best that Galveston has to offer at Moody Gardens! We give you a piece of paradise and the opportunity to experience all that nature has to offer. Start planning your visit now, including a trip to the Aquarium Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, Discovery Museum, and Festival of Lights. If you want to experience nature on film, in 3D, you can’t miss the Moody Gardens 3D Theater!


What is the MG 3D Theater?

Our theater offers a larger-than-life picture on a six-story screen and incredible surround sound. At our 3D theater, every seat is the best seat in the house. Your 3D glasses will provide you with incredibly realistic images that you want to reach out and grab. If you love nature, we offer movies about everything from the ocean to the rainforest.


What Do We Offer?

Our shows reach into the depths of nature in a way no theater has achieved before. In our 3D theater, you become part of the action while images fill your peripheral vision. While watching, you literally feel like you’re deep in the rainforest or the depths of the ocean. This is an experience of a lifetime. Also, you and your family can enjoy this amazing experience for a great price:

Adults: $10.95

Children (4–12): $8.95

Seniors (65+): $8.95

We’re open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., so put us on your list next time you visit the Moody Gardens!


The Moody Gardens is an educational destination that will allow you and your family to reach out to nature. We offer year-round attractions and seasonal events. At Moody Gardens, there’s something for everyone! Start planning your next family vacation today! For more information, check out our website:

Why You Can’t Skip a Visit to Moody Gardens During Your Trip to Galveston

Moody Gardens is the perfect place to visit on your family weekend getaways in Texas. There is so much to do at Moody Gardens that it’s impossible to fit all the fun into one day! Not only are the year-round attractions incredible, but we also have seasonal fun depending on what time of the year you visit. You can’t skip visiting the Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, 3D Theater, and more!


Aquarium Pyramid: The Aquarium Pyramid is the largest pyramid at Moody Gardens. It houses four distinct ocean environments. When wandering through this big blue pyramid, you and your family will be entertained and entranced by the five species of penguins, the furry seals, and the famous Squirt, our blind sea lion. The colorful fish and coral reefs are nature’s art at its finest. Watch the sharks, sea turtles, eels, and tropical fish swim all around you as you walk through an underwater tunnel!


Rainforest Pyramid: A major enhancement project has allowed guests to experience the Rainforest Pyramid in a whole new way! You can now walk through an entry that overlooks a new Amazon River otter exhibit. A new treetop path leads you through the canopy level of the pyramid, allowing you to explore and see the monkeys, sloths, and other tree-dwellers closer than ever. Don’t forget to surround yourself with beautiful butterfly species in the butterfly exhibit. There are ten stories of rainforest magic to explore!


Moody Gardens Theaters. Choose from three different theaters, giving you three different experiences. At the MG 3D Theater you can enjoy larger-than-life images projected onto the largest movie screen in Texas. The Ridefilm combines both ride and a film, and the 4D Special FX Theater allows you to see, hear, feel, and smell the action with special effects such as wind, smoke, mist, leg ticklers, and seat buzzers!


The Aquarium Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, and the theaters at Moody Gardens are just a few of the reasons you can’t miss out on this famous tourist attraction. Learn more by visiting Don’t miss the Festival of Lights this holiday season if you are looking for Christmas events in Texas. We also have a special holiday offer going on!

Why You Should Have Your Kid’s Birthday Party at Moody Gardens

Want to throw your kid an awesome birthday party? Do you not have enough time to plan and organize the party? Then Moody Gardens is perfect for you! We do the planning, setup, and cleanup! All you have to worry about is your kid having a fantastic time!


Each birthday party package includes a birthday cake, punch, paper goods, a party favor for each guest, twenty-four invitations, and a visit to one attraction. On top of all this great birthday fun, you choose from four exciting themes.


Wild Things: Aquarium. This package includes entry for your guests into the Aquarium Pyramid. Party guests get to dive into an ocean adventure and have a fun-filled animal encounter on your child’s special day.


Wild Things: Rainforest. Take the birthday party to the rainforest! Party guests get to meet the animals of the rainforest in a special animal presentation. The package includes entry into the Rainforest Pyramid for all your guests.


Beach Bash (seasonal). For summer parties, soak up the sun as your guests spend the day floating along the lazy river at Palm Beach. Entry into Palm Beach for your guests is included in the package.


Festival of Lights (seasonal). Celebrate your child’s birthday among the millions of lights at the Moody Gardens Festival of Lights. This package includes entry to the Festival of Lights and is only available at 6:00 p.m. because the sparkling lights can’t be appreciated in the daylight!


Reservations are required at least two weeks in advance, and packages are available for children turning a maximum of twelve years old. Parties are limited to two hours; however, visits to the designated attraction may extend beyond party time. Parties are available daily at 10:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. for a maximum of thirty-two guests.


Party Package Prices are for up to twenty-four guests, including adults. However, you may have additional guests for $8.00 a person.


Saturday and Sunday

Non-members: $300.00

Members: $255.00


Monday through Friday

Non-members: $275.00

Members: $233.75


To start planning your party, call 1-800-582-4673, ext 4325 or e-mail