Enjoy a PSL, Save a PSL

Moody Gardens is once again joining forces to bring awareness and protection to Pygmy Slow Lorises this fall with its PSLs for PSLs campaign.

Guests can enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Latte while doing their part to protect Pygmy Slow Lorises in the wild. Moody Brews, located inside the Moody Gardens Hotel, serves Starbucks drinks. Through Jan. 7, a portion of proceeds from each PSL sold at Moody Brews will be donated to Little Fireface Project, the world’s largest running project that aims to protect lorises from extinction through research, education and conservation.

PSLs for PSLs, along with Little Fireface Project, hopes to bring attention and awareness to the plight of this small group of endangered primates.

Pygmy Slow Lorises are small, nocturnal prosimians native to Southeast Asia, specifically Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. They have a vice-like grip, move slowly and have a venomous bite – which is unique for a mammal. Some believe lorises have healing powers. This, combined with the issue that they are perceived to make good pets, has led to the capture of many lorises and their numbers in the wild are dwindling.

So, head over to Moody Brews to grab a drink and participate in PSLs for PSLs now through Jan. 7.

After you help the cause be sure to stop by the Rainforest Pyramid to see the Pygmy Slow Lorises that Moody Gardens biologists have the pleasure of caring for. You can also head over to http://www.nocturama.org/en/welcome-little-fireface-project/ to learn more about the Little Fireface Project.

Scenic Moody Gardens Golf Course Named No. 1 by GolfNow

Moody Gardens Golf Course now has top bragging rights after it was named the No. 1 golf course in the U.S. for the month of August, according to GolfNow.

While the course has earned top grades from golf ratings in the past, this is the first time Moody Gardens Golf Course has been named No. 1 by GolfNow.

The review comes on the heels of Hurricane Harvey. Moody Gardens Golf Course was fortunate to not receive any damage from the storm, although it did close for a few days during the storm, reopening Sept. 4. The beautiful and scenic course is open for business as fall offers spectacular weather on Galveston Island!

The ranking is based on reviews from golfers, so it’s great to know our guests are enjoying themselves and having a terrific time.

Golfers can enjoy stunning views, green fairways and the gulf breeze, all while taking on the challenging tropical course.

Recently, GolfNow ranked Moody Gardens as the third-best course in the Greater Houston area. The course underwent a $16 million renovation in 2008. The par-72 course is a Jacobsen Hardy design and measures 6,816 yards from the farthest back tees. There are five tee boxes for players of all levels.

Elevations were raised, new irrigation and drainage systems were added and it was reseeded in paspalum, a salt-tolerant grass. It was the first course in the continental United States to be seeded with paspalum, and uses effluent water from the City of Galveston to water the grounds as a part of the conservation efforts that are a part of the Moody Gardens mission.

The premier public golf course has earned rave reviews from TripAdvisor, GolfNow and Golf Advisor since those improvements, including being named to Golf Advisor’s Best of 2016 Top 50 U.S. courses list.

For information or to book a tee time, call 409-683-4653 or visit www.moodygardensgolf.com.

Meet our new Friends in the Forest!

The stork was busy in July, visiting Moody Gardens twice in the Rainforest Pyramid with the birth of a Blue Duiker calf and just a week later with a Prehensile-Tailed porcupette.

Our female baby Blue Duiker was born July 22 at just 420 grams to proud parents Basi and Ruben. Soksi is Swahili for “socks”, which is fitting since her front feet are white, giving the appearance that she’s wearing a pair of socks. This is the first pregnancy for Basi and first breeding for Moody Gardens.

Blue Duikers are one of the smallest antelope. They are native to central, eastern and southern Africa and are actually longer than they are tall – reaching 22-35 inches in length and 13-16 inches tall. They can weigh 7-20 pounds and have short, spiky horns on their head.

The stork visited again on July 31, delivering a porcupine, born to mom Cora and dad Bono. This is the second birth for Cora, who delivered her first porcupette last summer. The baby was born with soft hair that will harden into quills with age. Once the quills come in, biologists will send one off to learn the gender of the porcupette.

Prehensile-Tailed Porcupines are native to Central and South America. They are tree-dwelling and typically weigh between 4-11 pounds and their tails are nearly as long as their entire body!

And, that’s not all.

 Our Giant River Otters Dru and Ella welcomed Maximo and Manuel to the exhibit this month, doubling the number of otters you can spot inside the Rainforest.

Maximo and Manuel, both 2 years old, came to Moody Gardens from the Los Angeles Zoo, where they were born.  The two new male otters will be companions for Dru and Ella.

Be sure to stop by and see all our friendly new faces!

Dive deep into fun this summer at Moody Gardens

Explore new worlds this summer as Moody Gardens takes you on a brand new underwater adventure in our Aquarium Pyramid and gets you up close and personal with dinosaurs!

Come meet our new Humboldt penguins, touch cownose stingrays and moon jellies and talk to our divers while they’re under water exploring all of our exhibits in the transformed Aquarium Pyramid.

We take you from rigs to reef in our brand new two-story 30,000 gallon Gulf of Mexico Rig Exhibit that shows how the oil rig platforms we see in the gulf actually provide ecosystems for coral and marine life out in the ocean. You’ll also explore the South Atlantic, South Pacific, North Pacific and the Caribbean as you journey to new depths!

Are you ready for a Jurassic adventure?

Once you’ve explored the ocean, travel back in time with the return of Dinos Alive to Galveston Island. This outdoors exhibit features life-like animatronic dinosaurs, including a full-size Tyrannosaurus, and you become part of a rescue team sent back in time to search for a missing plane and its crew. You get to meet dinosaurs along the way, and there’s even a dig site!

Got dinosaur fever? Don’t miss Dino’s Alive 3D, showing on the largest movie screen in Texas, and Dino Island II 4D. Both films bring dinosaurs back to life…in a big way. We’re even offering a Dino Combo Ticket at $23.95 for adults and $17.95 for children 4-12 and seniors that lets you experience the Dinos Alive Exhibit and both dino films.

Discover new worlds

Follow Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci on a journey of innovation, creativity, science and wonder in Da Vinci: The Exhibition in the Discovery Museum. This hands-on examination of da Vinci’s life includes themed galleries. The artist’s intricate and extraordinary early concepts are spotlighted, including his design for the helicopter, tank, SCUBA, crane, clock, submarine and his plan for a modern city.

Experience the Amazon Rainforest when “Amazon Adventure 3D” takes you on a visually stunning odyssey through the wilds of the Amazon rainforest in an incredible story of scientific discovery. The movie traces the extraordinary journey of naturalist and explorer Henry Walter Bates – the most influential scientist you’ve never heard of.

Cool off at Palm Beach

While you’re here, be sure to cool off at Palm Beach, you’re very own white-sand oasis. And, stick around for Bands on the Sand. Enjoy this summer concert series Friday and Saturday nights 6-10 p.m. The show ends with a fireworks display over Offats Bayou, overlooking the Moody Gardens pyramids. Bands on the Sand admission is $15. For a complete schedule, click here.

Dig deep with Jurassic fun this summer at Moody Gardens

Moody Gardens is taking you on a Jurassic adventure this summer when the Dinos Alive Exhibit comes to Galveston Island.

This fun outdoors exhibit features life-like animatronic dinosaurs, including a full-size Tyrannosaurus, as you become part of a rescue team sent back in time to search for a missing plane and its crew.

Along the way in the adventure, you get an up close and personal experience with some of the most feared and amazing creatures to ever roam Planet Earth.

Discover treasures of your own as you explore an archeological dig site in the exhibit. In addition to the dig site, the attraction will include a gift shop and photo opportunity. Explore all things dinosaurs June 3-Aug. 13.

Explore the Life of the Original Renaissance Man in a New Exhibit

Explore the life and career of Leonardo da Vinci from his complex beginnings to his achievements in art, engineering, flight, hydraulics, music, light and more when Da Vinci: The Exhibition opens in the Discovery Pyramid on May 27.

Developed by Aurea Exhibitions and produced by Imagine Exhibitions, Inc., the exhibit is a hands-on examination of da Vinci’s life, research and art featuring more than 60 fully-built, life-size inventions, more than 20 fine art studies and dozens of stunning displays.

The artist’s intricate and extraordinary early concepts are spotlighted, including his design for the helicopter, tank, SCUBA, crane, clock, submarine and his plan for a modern city.

Each invention featured in the exhibit was handcrafted using a modern translation of da Vinci’s unique mirrored writing style in an ancient Florentine dialect. Trained artisans used these translations to construct full-scale models and bring the master’s two-dimensional plans to life.

In addition to da Vinci’s role as an inventor, the exhibition investigates a collection of his most renowned paintings, including some controversial works traditionally attributed to him, but not yet authenticated. Guests will have the opportunity to thoroughly study the artistic mastery behind such works as “Mona Lisa,” “The Last Supper,” “Portrait of a Young Man,” “Virgin of the Rocks,” “St. John the Baptist,” and more.

In addition to his lifelong devotion to the sciences and fascination with nature, da Vinci also extensively explored the world of anatomy. Da Vinci: The Exhibition’s in-depth and enlightening explanations of his famous studies such as the golden ratio, and “Vitruvian Man” are complemented by enlarged examples of the artist’s sketches and notes made during his controversial research on the human body.

Come join us to explore the entire exhibit and learn all about the original Renaissance man starting May 27!

Artificial Reefs Help to Diversify Marine Life

Artificial reefs are human-made structures that help to promote marine life. In our Aquarium Pyramid, reopening on May 27 after a $37 million renovation, Moody Gardens will now have two examples of these ecosystems on display.

The Pride, a 19th century rum-runner shipwreck replica loosely based on the vessel sailed by famed Galveston pirate Jean Lafitte, is a new addition to our Caribbean tank, and has already become an established piece of the exhibit. “As soon as the shipwreck was installed, we saw the fish and the other animals start to explore it and make it their home,” Moody Gardens’ Animal Husbandry Manager Greg Whittaker said.

Another example of an artificial reef in the Aquarium Pyramid is the oil rig platform exhibit, a scale model of those pieces of machinery seen in the Gulf of Mexico. These structures provide hard surfaces where organisms like coral attach and thrive and in turn provide a rich environment for fish and other wildlife to live.

As part of Moody Gardens’ commitment to education and conservation of the earth and its oceans, the Aquarium Pyramid features artificial coral – made of non-toxic materials from molds of natural coral – in its exhibits. New artificial coral has been added throughout the exhibits. “Some of the types of coral in our exhibits are listed as threatened on the endangered species list, so we use artificial coral to allow us to teach guests about the different types present in these ecosystems while preserving the biology of these habitats in the wild,” Whittaker said.

Come check out these new exhibits and learn about the different ecosystems that exist right in Galveston’s front yard when the Aquarium Pyramid opens back up to the public for the Grand Reveal on May 27.

Celebrate Mother’s Day with fun at Moody Gardens

Treat your mom like the queen she is with a day of pampering, fun, and time not spent in the kitchen, this Mother’s Day at Moody Gardens.

Join us for two mouth-watering buffets at the Garden Restaurant and Moody Gardens Hotel. Feast on omelets made to order, Belgian waffles, hatch pepper crab cakes, red snapper, carved prime rib with rosemary jus and horseradish and more!

And the best part? We do the dishes, too. Click here for the Garden Restaurant menu and here for the Moody Gardens Hotel menu.

While you’re here, explore all that Moody Gardens has to offer. Journey through our Rainforest Pyramid where you’ll meet free-roaming monkeys and free-flighted birds. Take in more than 1,000 exotic plants from the rainforests of Asia, Africa and the Americas. You’ll also find an ocelot, komodo dragon and, if you look closely, a sloth or two.

You can also set sail aboard the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, be adventurous on our Ropes Course and Zip Line, relax in our MG 3D theater to watch a film or discover dinosaurs and set sail in Bikini Bottom at our Discovery Pyramid.

Want to treat mom to a day of pampering? Be sure to check out the Moody Gardens Hotel spa packages online. Whether it’s a deep tissue or Swedish massage, pedicure, nourishing facial or manicure, you’ll find it all at the hotel spa.

Moody Gardens welcomes warm-climate Humboldt penguins to aquarium

There’s a new group of birds on the block at Moody Gardens and we’re thrilled to introduce them. Meet the Humboldts!

These unique warm-climate penguins hail from the coastal areas of Peru and Chile, but this group will now call the Aquarium Pyramid their new home and are settling in nicely in their new exhibit near the South Atlantic Penguin Habitat, home to the King, Gentoo, Chinstrap, Rockhopper and Macaroni penguins.

Contrary to belief, not all penguins love the cold. The majority of penguin species actually live in warm climates. The Humboldt’s natural habitat is more like a desert, and you’ll easily notice the difference between it and our South Atlantic Penguin Habitat.You’ll be able to see this threatened species above water and underwater, where they can swim up to 30 miles per hour!

The Humboldts are easily recognizable by the black band of feathers across their chest and the pink patches on their face, feet and the underside of their wings. You may think you’re seeing pink feathers, but it’s actually bare skin. Humboldts have to avoid overheating, so when they get too hot, they can shed extra body heat by sending blood to the bare parts of their bodies, thus making them pink.

We’re not only adding new penguins to the aquarium – we’re giving you a chance to see them up close when we bring the Humboldts outside of their exhibit for keeper chats and to interact with guests!

The addition of the Humboldt Penguin Exhibit is just part of the multi-phase $37 million renovation at the Aquarium Pyramid. You’ll get to meet the Humboldts, and their new friends, starting May 27 when Moody Gardens hosts a grand reveal at the aquarium.

Explore vibrant Flower Gardens Banks at Moody Gardens

Journey to new depths to take in a unique tropical coral reef system found in Galveston’s front yard in the Gulf of Mexico, all without leaving dry land.

Your voyage to the Flower Garden Banks is just around the corner as Moody Gardens reveals the new exhibit – and so much more – this summer as part of our $37 million enhancements to the Aquarium Pyramid.

Explore this unique tropical coral reef system found 115 miles offshore from Galveston in the Gulf of Mexico. Moody Gardens partnered with the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary to highlight this gem in our front yard and replicate the diversity in the reef systems of the East Flower Garden Bank, West Flower Garden Bank and Stetson Bank.

See first-hand how Brain and Star coral dominate the reef system. Vibrant coral and sponges add pops of color deep underwater. Our exhibit also highlights Elkhorn and Staghorn coral. While not currently located in the banks, the sanctuary found that Staghorn Coral was once part of the reef system thousands of years ago. Some species of Star, Elkhorn and Staghorn coral are listed as threatened species on the endangered species list.

These banks are some of the healthiest reef systems, thanks to being far removed from manmade pollutants. Nationwide, coral reefs are facing pressures from manmade pollutants. It’s been estimated that up to 70 percent of the corals in the Gulf of Mexico are in trouble.

Get Up Close!

In addition to the Flower Garden Banks Exhibit, Moody Gardens is enhancing its touch tank in this area to give guests a fully immersive experience while crossing the air/water border. The tank showcases invertebrates including sea stars, hermit crabs and pencil urchins, all of which guests will be able to touch.

Renovations will offer guests a spectacular aquarium experience including a new Gulf of Mexico Oil Rig Exhibit and Mangrove Exhibit. Moody Gardens will unveil enhancements made to the Aquarium Pyramid to the public with a grand reveal May 27. Travel from the Gulf of Mexico to the South Atlantic, the South Pacific and the North Pacific. Each ocean exhibit highlights different marine sanctuaries.

We’re also adding jellyfish and tropical penguins at the Aquarium Pyramid, all ready for you to explore starting May 27, 2017!