Author: Moody Gardens (page 1 of 33)

Eskimo Curlew sighted at Galveston Island State Park!

 

By: Animal Husbandry Manager Greg Whittaker

5 years after I sent an April fool’s email to several of my local birding colleagues, I can dust off the prank and repurpose it with a more tangible meaning. The World’s a strange place right now and we’re all searching for those anchors of “normal” to help us make sense of things. Perhaps our Lost Bird Project Eskimo Curlew sculpture can be a reminder to us all that what once was, may not be, and what is, may disappear.

Insert joke about finding irony in a metal sculpture. It may be fittingly ironic that a half century after the last of its living namesakes disappeared quietly and unnoticed from this Island, and Earth, we have its memorial reappear with a similarly eerie lack of attention and fanfare.

This is not by design. The community support around this momentous event warranted a party, a celebration, wide ranging acclaim for the installation of this 7’ bronze beauty. This was our chance to showcase our chapter in the nation-wide project designed to focus attention on how Humans can have profoundly bad effects on the natural world when we don’t cherish things around us.

Todd McGrain’s vision to create stoic reminders of our fellow American’s past bad choices and nudge us just a little bit towards caring for what we see in our back yards is now part of our own Island’s heritage. The first 5 chapters of the Lost Bird Project are also here in Galveston, but again the planned spotlights and fireworks around this really cool opportunity were snuffed out by a miniscule marauder reminding us all of our fragile existence and mortality. Nature doesn’t value species, races, clans or individuals as any more or less important, but simply and methodically moves forward with all the beautiful chaos and dynamic change that has always been in play.

Within the guidelines of social distancing, please go outside, breathe the spring air, soak in the sun, and listen to the chorus of migrating birds on their annual April visit. If you get the chance to go to the Galveston Island State Park to see our new nature tourism treasure, spend the time to feel the spiritual connection to the natural space. Be safe.

Greg Whittaker is Moody Gardens animal husbandry manager and, as a birding enthusiast, frequently leads free Birding 101 and Birding 201 tours around the island.

Moody Gardens Attractions Close Temporarily in Compliance with City of Galveston Order for Entertainment Venues in Response to COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

MOODY GARDENS ATTRACTIONS CLOSE TEMPORARILY IN COMPLIANCE WITH CITY OF GALVESTON ORDER FOR ENTERTAINMENT VENUES IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 

Galveston, Texas (Updated March 24, 2020) — In compliance with an order issued for entertainment venues by the City of Galveston, Moody Gardens is temporarily closing its attractions. This order was issued on March 17  for the implementation of control measures to control the community spread of Corona/Covid 19 virus.

As a precautionary measure to further combat the potential for community spread, Moody Gardens’ officials decided to extend that period to 10 days until March 28 and will now remain closed until the order by the City of Galveston is lifted. The closure impacts the Moody Gardens attractions. The Moody Gardens Hotel closed on March 22 and will reopen on June 1. Moody Gardens Golf Course will remain open and will be following CDC guidelines regarding social distancing.

“We value the community of Galveston and the safety of our guests and staff is always our highest priority,” said John Zendt, president and CEO of Moody Gardens, who added that key staff will report to work to care for animals and the facility.

For more information, please call 409-744-4673 or visit www.moodygardens.org

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

Moody Gardens CEO Public Health Update

Dear Valued Guest,

Moody Gardens priority is always the safety of our guests and staff. As concerns have continued to grow in regard to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) worldwide, we want to share the additional steps that are being taken at our property to provide a safe and hygienic environment for our community to enjoy, visit and work.

It is our intention to welcome guests to our venue as we continue to monitor the situation and follow stringent preventive measures set forth by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), local authorities and our own practices to adhere to the highest standards of cleanliness at our attractions, hotel and golf course.  Additional measures that are currently in place include:

·         Reinforced sanitation training for our staff to ensure the highest standards of cleaning are maintained.

·         Clearly established cleaning and disinfection cycles for all areas.

·         Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of our facility throughout the day, every day.

·         Prominent and easily accessible handwashing and sanitizer stations throughout the property.

·         Quick response to spills, trash and other necessary clean-up needs.

As our leadership team continues to monitor this situation and communicate with our staff about prevention, we also share guidance that is provided by the CDC for preventive action we can all put into practice to help stop the spread of germs. Additional information is also available about coronavirus at cdc.gov.

We value each of our guests who come to visit Moody Gardens. We wish you well and look forward to seeing you soon.

Sincerely,

John Zendt

President/CEO

Moody Gardens

Moody Gardens Offers Wildlife Engineer Camps Where Campers Explore Zoological Fields and More!

Summer camp is the ideal opportunity to explore a child’s interests and Moody Gardens Pyramid Kids Camps offers a variety of unique options, including how to Become a Wildlife Engineer. These interactive day camps provide children with the perfect opportunity to learn what it means to work in the zoological field. Campers will get to participate in design challenges, conduct experiments, create works of art inspired by nature and visit the Moody Gardens’ attractions.

 

“We have tons of opportunities with our resources here at Moody Gardens to provide a place for children to foster their imaginations and continue to learn even when they are taking a break from school,” Moody Gardens Education Curator Lisa Stegman said, adding that education is one of the cornerstones of Moody Gardens’ mission.

 

The fun continues with the following camps scheduled for 2020:

Preschool Camps

3-5 year olds

10 a.m.-12 p.m.

June 6 – Sea Lion Scientists

August 1 – Coral Construction Workers

 

Wild Marvels Day Camps

Kindergarten-2nd Grade

8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

June 15-19 – Seaside Safari I

July 13-17 – Seaside Safari II

August 3-7 – Seaside Safari III

 

Wild Marvels Day Camps

3rd-5th Grade

8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

June 15-19 – Nature Rangers I

July 13-17 – Nature Rangers II

August 3-7 – Nature Rangers III

 

Wild Marvels Day Camps

6th-8th Grade

8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

June 15-19 – BioQuest I

July 13-17 – BioQuest II

August 3-7 – BioQuest III

 

For more information including pricing, click here. To register, click here.

Unlock the Secrets of the Earth’s Climate with “Ancient Caves” in the MG 3D Theater

Visit some of the world’s most remote caves, both above and below the water, in France, Iceland, the Bahamas, the U.S., and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula with MacGillvray Freeman’s new film “Ancient Caves,” premiering Mar. 7 in the MG 3D Theater.

 

Narrated by Emmy Award winner Bryan Cranston, this film brings science and adventure together as it follows paleoclimatologist Dr. Gina Moseley on her mission to unlock the secrets of the Earth’s climate in the most unlikely places – caves.

 

Moseley and her team of cave explores travel the world exploring vast underground worlds in search of stalagmite samples – geologic “fingerprints” – that reveal clues about the planet’s climate history – how rapidly it can change and how it has affected human civilization.

 

“Establishing and studying climate patterns helps to determine everything from how warm or cold a season will be to how many hurricane are expected to form in a certain season,” said John Zendt, President and CEO of Moody Gardens. “We are excited to be able to showcase this film and show the importance of the work being done to study these patterns,” he said adding that the film will be a great new addition to the Spring Break film schedule.

 

For more information on everything Moody Gardens has going on for Spring Break, click here.

Spring Breakers Can Meet Jeff Corwin and Cruise on the Bay March 7th!

Guests are invited to venture out with Jeff Corwin this Spring Break at Moody Gardens with opportunities for a morning cruise, a viewing of his new film along with a presentation and Q&A sessions as they learn about the bay. The Emmy award winning Biologist and Wildlife Conservationist will join Moody Gardens’ guests for a day of exploration and education on March 7.

 

Corwin is the narrator of the new Giant screen film “Expedition Chesapeake: A Journey of Discovery,” currently playing at the MG 3D Theater at Moody Gardens. The film takes viewers on a journey from New York to Virginia to explore the country’s largest estuary.  It also encourages audiences to appreciate the value of the Bay but to also take steps to support long-term conservation efforts in their communities.

 

Before screenings of “Expedition Chesapeake: A Journey of Discovery,” Corwin will be on hand to present his expertise on this estuary along with the vital need to conserve our resources and raise environmental awareness.

 

The film draws parallels from the local community as Galveston Bay is also an estuary and has many of the same species calling it home. Guests can embark on a special cruise aboard the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat for “On the Bay with Jeff Corwin.” On March 7 guests can join him and representatives from other local area organizations as they interpret Galveston Bay and the role it plays in our ecosystem with some exciting hands-on activities. On the Bay cruise will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tickets are $40 per person and includes grab and go breakfast. Tickets can be purchased at www.moodygardens.org/justcoast.

 

“We are pleased to be able to offer our guests a fun and educational experience as Jeff Corwin shares a common purpose of promoting conservation,” said Moody Gardens President and CEO John Zendt. “Jeff’s background and expertise fits right in with our mission as we hope to inspire and educate our guests.”

 

For more information on Spring Break activities happening at Moody Gardens, please visit http://www.moodygardens.org/justcoast or call 409-744-4673.

Moody Gardens Splashes into Spring Break with Exciting New Attractions

Spring Break is almost here at Moody Gardens is offering some exciting new attractions and experiences to provide an enjoyable daytrip or extended vacation at one of the most popular tourist destinations in Texas.

 

Meet Jeff Corwin and explore the Bay. Venture from New York to Virginia and meet the families and teams who are working together to understand and address the issues facing the country’s largest estuary, Chesapeake Bay, with “Expedition Chesapeake” showing in the MG 3D Theater. Narrated by three-time Emmy Award winner Jeff Corwin this film encourages audiences to appreciate the value of the Bay but to also take steps to support long-term conservation efforts in their communities.

 

This film also has a local tie in – Galveston Bay, and Jeff Corwin himself, along with representatives from other organizations including Galveston Bay Foundation, American Bird Conservancy, Houston Audubon Society and Turtle Island Restoration Network, will be at Moody Gardens on Mar. 7 for insightful presentations explaining the similarities between Chesapeake and Galveston Bays and how Galveston Bay benefits our local ecosystem. Sail aboard the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat with Corwin and others that morning, and join him for introductions to “Expedition Chesapeake” showings throughout the day.

 

Visit some of the world’s most remote caves, both above and below the water, in France, Iceland, the Bahamas, the U.S. and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, with “Ancient Caves,” also showing in the MG 3D Theater.

 

Paleoclimatologist Dr. Gina Moseley and her team are on a mission to unlock the secrets of the Earth’s climate in the most unlikely places – caves- in this exciting new film narrated by Emmy-award winner Bryan Cranston that brings science and adventure together.

 

Visit us on Mar. 14 for an exciting look at how this film links up with research being done by Moody Gardens’ staff members. Moody Gardens’ own Dive Safety Officer and resident cave diver Jake Emmert, along with his colleague Dr. David Brankovits from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the United States Geological Survey will present their research on how species survive in underwater caves in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Hands-on activities will also illustrate how divers prepare to work in these extreme environments and how the tools they use in their research teach us more about the Earth.

 

Also, don’t miss the premiere of Aquaman™: The 4D Experience in the 4D Special FX Theater. Join Aquaman™ on a quest to prevent a war between the worlds of ocean and land. When the power-hungry ruler of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis pressures his oceanic community to attack the surface world for their destruction of the seas, Aquaman™ returns to the tumultuous waters he was shunned from for being half-human. Using his superhuman strength and speed, the powerful hero fights to protect both his land-dwelling comrades and the world beneath the waves, casting a spotlight on the beauty of the seas.

 

Visit the newest attraction to surface at the Discovery Pyramid – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: An Interactive Adventure.

 

Captain Nemo and his famous Nautilus submarine are embarking on their next voyage led by Deep, a robotically-enhanced pufferfish, and for this dive you are invited to be part of the crew. Help operate the ship, choose which direction it travels, activate the on-board camera, and interact with fascinating sea creatures including a sting ray, an anglerfish, a leatherback sea turtle, a killer whale, and even a colossal squid. Along with his helper robots, Echo and Torque, Deep will escort The Nautilus to a spectacular coral reef, ice caves in the Antarctic, an ancient lost city, undersea volcanoes, and more.

 

To purchase tickets for “On the Bay with Jeff Corwin,” click here.

 

To purchase your Spring Break Splash Pass now, click here.

Moody Gardens predicts winner of Super Bowl LIV with help of harbor seal

With seemingly everyone predicted which team will be victorious in the Super Bowl, Moody Gardens has had the help of long-time resident harbor seal, Porter, to decide this year’s winner.

 

Porter was given the choice between two balls, a yellow one representing the San Francisco 49ers, and a red one representing the Kansas City Chiefs and was given direction by his keeper to retrieve the balls. Both balls were thrown out three times with Porter sent to retrieve them each time.

 

Porter has lived in the North Pacific Exhibit of the Aquarium Pyramid since 2001. He was found stranded off the coast of Maine with an injury to his eye that ultimately led to the removal of that eye to prevent the spread of infection. He was initially taken to Marine Animal Lifeline, a rescue and rehabilitation center for marine wildlife. When it came time to determine if Porter was well enough to be released back into the wild he was given live fish to see how he would respond to having to catch his own food. Instead of eating the fish he would instead just play with them so it was determined he would need to find a forever home, which is what Moody Gardens has become.

 

Click here to see who Porter picked to win the big game.

Venture from New York to Virginia and Explore the Country’s Largest Estuary with “Expedition Chesapeake: A Journey of Discovery” in the MG3D Theater

Narrated by three-time Emmy Award winner Jeff Corwin, this film encourages audiences to appreciate the value of the Bay but to also take steps to support long-term conservation efforts in their communities.

 

From sea grasses to blue crabs, ospreys to otters, “Expedition Chesapeake” highlights the important wildlife that calls this area homes and the important issues that can be learned from their behaviors.

 

The film also offers an opportunity to explore the local community as Galveston Bay is also an estuary and has many of the same species calling it home.

 

“We are excited to invite guests to see the connection between the Chesapeake Bay and Galveston Bay right in their backyards and things they can do that make a difference when it comes to preserving and protecting the area for future generations,” said Moody Gardens President and CEO John Zendt.

 

Moody Gardens will be pairing the screening of the movie with a special entrée at Café in the Park at the Moody Gardens Hotel for Galveston Restaurant Week from Saturday, Jan. 25-Sunday, Feb. 9. Enjoy the “Bay Snapper Double Feature: Lunch and a Movie.” Feast on pan roasted gulf wild snapper with shrimp and sweet pepper relish and steamed white rice. This special sustainable menu is prepared by Chef Felipe Gonzalez and is inspired by the film which encourages audiences to appreciate the value of the Bay and take steps to support long-term conservation efforts and gain an appreciation for all that Galveston Bay brings to our community. The “Bay Snapper Double Feature” is $22 and includes lunch and admission to a showing of “Expedition Chesapeake.”

 

Click here for more information.

BLOG: Save MORE and Give Back This Holiday Season at Moody Gardens!

Guests can save more this season – and give back – while enjoying eight holiday attractions all at Moody Gardens, the coolest holiday destination in the southwest.

Get ready for the return of ICE LAND with an all new signature theme: Christmas Around The World. Festival of Lights also returns to Moody Gardens this holiday season for its 18th year brighter than ever before, offering families an enchanted place to gather together and make long-lasting memories.

Regular adult admission to the Festival of Lights is $18.95 and $28.95 for ICE LAND. Super Value Days and Value Days, which are select days Sunday through Thursday, offer guests the opportunity to enjoy the Festival of Lights and ICE LAND while getting increased savings per person. View our crowd forecast calendar here for more value days information.

With the Festival of Lights’ return comes Food Drive Thursdays, held each Thursday through Jan. 9, 2020, giving guests a chance to enjoy Festival of Lights at a special two-for-one admission discount. Guests only need to bring a non-perishable food item to receive the discount. All donations will benefit Galveston County and Houston Food Banks. Moody Gardens is once again partnering with the Salvation Army to host the Red Kettle Campaign. This Festival of Lights tradition allows guests to donate directly to the Salvation Army nightly.

“The joyful and luminous Festival of Lights trail is something families look forward to each year at Moody Gardens,” said Moody Gardens President and CEO John Zendt. “Bringing back Food Drive Thursdays every year not only gives guests great savings, but also helps us give back to our neighbors during the holiday season when some need it the most.”

There are also combo packages available letting guests make the most of their visit. The Holiday Pass allows guests entrance into Festival of Lights, ICE LAND: Christmas Around the World, and an attraction of their choosing after 3 p.m.

Guests can also take advantage of the Evening Pass, valid daily after 3 p.m. Visitors can enjoy all that Moody Gardens has to offer including ICE LAND: Christmas Around The World, Festival of Lights, Aquarium Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, Discovery Museum, Arctic Slide, Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, MG 3D Theater, 4D Special FX Theater, 20,000 Leagues Interactive Adventure, Ropes Course and Zip Line. Evening Passes are $45.95 for adults and $40.95 for children ages 4-12 and seniors.

Don’t forget that guests can always try and buy it! Any ticket purchase can be applied towards an annual membership, which gives the wonder of Moody Gardens all year!

The Galveston trolley is another option for those want to save some gas money. The trolley has stops along the island including Moody Gardens, Downtown and The Strand.

And as always at Moody Gardens, parking is free.

Other holiday attractions include Cirque Joyeux, Rudolph 4D, holiday 3D films, ice skating, an Arctic Slide, New Year’s Eve Palooza and train rides, plus live entertainment and great food.

For a complete list of ticketing prices, visit click here.

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