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!

Aquarium’s Shipwreck Replica Showcases Galveston’s Pirate History

Explore a shipwreck replica of famed Galveston pirate Jean Lafitte’s, The Pride while immersing yourself in the vibrant coral ecosystem and marine life sanctuaries of the Caribbean, all while sharks, rays and a bounty of tropical fish swim overhead beginning Memorial Day weekend.

A glimpse this week of the Caribbean Exhibit revealed The Pride, a 19th century rum-runner shipwreck replica, loosely based on the vessel sailed by Lafitte.

Moody Gardens divers spent a total of 48.5 hours underwater of the course of two days, putting the massive puzzle pieces together to create the replica. Luckily, each piece was labeled and outlined in a corresponding manual, making the construction slightly easier.

The Pride is just one of several enhancements to the Aquarium Pyramid, sure to give guests an unforgettable experience, all while learning just how important our oceans are and what they can do to take better care of them.

Moody Gardens’ Caribbean Exhibit is one of the largest tropical marine exhibits in the country featuring sharks, snappers, eels and reel fish swimming overhead as you walk through the tunnel into the one million-gallon exhibit. The enhanced exhibit transports you to the Caribbean with breathtaking views of shallow and deep coral reefs, and the marine life that call them home. New artificial coral, along with additional marine life, will be added to the exhibit.

You’re bound to have questions after seeing the improvements. Don’t worry. They’ll be answered thanks to new in-water presentations by Moody Gardens divers. You’ll now be able to communicate with exhibit divers to learn more about what they do and the marine life that makes up the Caribbean.

Renovations will offer guests a spectacular aquarium experience including a new Gulf of Mexico Oil Rig Exhibit, Mangrove Exhibit, Caribbean Exhibit Touch Tank area and the new Flower Garden Banks Exhibit. Moody Gardens will unveil enhancements made to the Aquarium Pyramid to the public with a grand reveal May 27, just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

The Aquarium Pyramid is currently closed as we finish the final wave of our renovation. But you don’t have to wait long to see all the wonders for yourself. Beginning Memorial Day weekend, you’ll not only be able to explore the Caribbean, but several other ocean habitats, all enhanced as part of the $37 million renovation project. 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!

Don’t Break the Spring Break Bank

Spring break - header 2

Moody Gardens is helping you keep a little green in your pocket this spring break with a great deal that saves you $20 on a Value Pass for a family of four when you purchase your tickets online.

And, it’s simple. Just visit and purchase your spring break tickets online. You’ll save $5 per person on your one-day or two-day Value Pass. Saving cash and skipping the ticket lines – what’s better than that?

Find the Force

Rogue One SCALAStar Wars fans will find the force is strong at Moody Gardens, as we feature “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” nightly at 8 p.m. March 11-19 and at 5:10 p.m. March 20-26.

In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.

Mighty monsters Scala

We’re also featuring “Amazing Mighty Micro Monsters 3D.”  Beetles, spiders, scorpions and ants. These are Earth’s superheroes, living right beneath our feet. From shooting chemical fire to lifting massive weights and showcasing impressive crushing powers, these mighty micro monsters have abilities not often seen by the human eye. Until now.

Check out both films on the world’s first 4K 3D Giant Screen 6 Primary Laser Projection System. That’s a lot of words to say it’s the largest movie screen in Texas that will give you the most vibrant, clear images you’ve ever seen.

Interact with Dinosaurs
Don’t miss out on our Dinosaurs in Motion exhibit in the Discovery Pyramid. Using levers, pulleys and video game controllers, move the arms, legs, wings and heads of 14 life-size fully interactive dinosaurs made out of recycled metal. You can even make some of the artistic sculptures roar while you learn how dinosaurs once roamed the earth!

And, there’s more!
Your tickets also get you into all of the fun at our Rainforest Pyramid, SpongeBob SubPants Adventure, 4D Theater, Colonel Paddlewheel boat, Ropes Course and Zip Line!

Buy Tickets Here

Growing Together: Get Up, Get Active

Being one of the top tourist destinations in Texas, Moody Gardens has a reputation for creating lifetime experiences, but also making a difference in the Galveston community.  Do you know someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease? The Moody Gardens Education Department has partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association to begin a new event, a Seven-part series called, “Growing Together” to assist those living in the early stages of Alzheimer’s remain mentally and socially active.


Moody Gardens is hosting the fourth of its seven-part “Growing Together,” series on Tuesday, February 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Moody Gardens Rainforest Pyramid. Activities will include a day in the life of a Rainforest Pyramid biologist! Participants will create toys as part of our animal enrichment program and present a nice gift to our beautiful macaws to add something special to their environment to assist with their learning!

Programs will be held on the first Tuesday of every month ending on April 4, 2017 to coincide with Senior Tuesdays at Moody Gardens. Senior Tuesdays offers guests 65 and older $5 admission per attraction including the Rainforest Pyramid, Aquarium Pyramid, Discovery Pyramid, Colonel Paddlewheel Boat and movies at both the 3D and 4D Theaters.

For more information on how to register and the series’ upcoming events, please contact or call 409-683-4108 as we would love to have you become a part of this wonderful series!

Moody Gardens Golf Course’s All-Inclusive Package is Hard to Beat!

What’s better than some time at the range, a few hours on the green and unlimited food and drinks?* Getting all that, and more, in a value-packed All-Inclusive Package.

And, you don’t have to look further than Moody Gardens Golf Course to get an impressive deal on the island.

The package includes the 18-hole green fee and cart rental, one dozen golf balls, a bucket of range balls and unlimited food and drinks, alcohol excluded, all for $100 per person Monday – Thursday. Golfers can get the same deal for $125 per person Friday-Sunday and on holidays. Free replay round is subject to availability and tee time reservations are required.Golf Course sunset smaller

One of the Best

Moody Gardens Golf Course features stunning views, green fairways and a gulf breeze, making it one of the most popular public golf courses in Texas.

Jacobsen Hardy Golf Course Design, a renowned firm drawing on the expertise of PGA Tour professionals Peter Jacobsen and Jim Hardy, completed work in 2008 on the $16 million renovation to the new par 72 course.

The island course has earned numerous honors, including GolfNow ranking it as the third-best course in the Greater Houston area. GolfNow’s ranking was based on ratings and reviews from thousands of its website’s visitors. The site’s users have given Moody Gardens an average rating of 4.5 out of 5. The island course also earned a “Recommended by TripAdvisor” status.

The course rivals three of the state’s best municipal venues, Memorial Park in Houston, Tenison Highlands in Dallas and Cottonwood Creek in Waco. Measuring 6,816 yards from the back tees, the golf course is designed to be player-friendly, with five sets of tees to accommodate all playing abilities.


Grab a Bite While You’re Here

Take advantage of the All-Inclusive Golf Package and start your morning off at The Pelican Grille with a hot and fresh Breakfast Taco with bacon, breakfast sausage, bacon or potato, topped with fresh salsa and cheese.

For a lighter lunch, choose from On the Green, which features a refreshing Garden Salad, Chef Salad, and Caesar Salad.

Grille Favorites include a Buffalo Chicken Wrap, Shrimp Po-Boy or Wrap, Peninsula Cheeseburger or The Birdie Panini. Visit our website for more!


To reserve a tee time, call 409-683-4653. Times may be booked up to two weeks in advance. You can also visit for more details on the course.

*Please note: the All-Inclusive Package excludes alcoholic beverages.

Celebrate Love in Bloom with Moody Gardens

Hearts will flutter, much like our birds, this year as Moody Gardens opens up its Rainforest Pyramid for a wild Valentine’s Dinner celebration on Saturday, Feb. 11.

The romantic evening starts with a Rainforest experience with animal encounters from 5-7 p.m. with guests touring the pyramid while our biologists offer mini presentations about our curious and sometimes playful wildlife. In addition, guests will take in more than 1,700 exotic plants as a breathtaking tribute to the world’s vanishing rainforests, and its inhabitants.

blue macaws

After the tour, a host will escort each couple to their romantic three-course dinner, being served this year in the Garden Lobby area, with a view of the giant river otter exhibit. Guests will receive a rose and one souvenir photo. During the dinner, biologists will walk around with various animals to show-and-tell.

The Rainforest of Love Valentine’s Dinner includes soup or salad, entrée choices of Wagyu Rib Eye Steak with Jumbo Gulf Shrimp, Filet of Grouper with Argentinean Shrimp or Lobster Tail on a Bed of Saffron Cream with Mussels and dessert for two. Guests can also choose between a bottle of champagne or wine. For a complete menu, visit our website

There will also be live musical entertainment and animal presentations.

The Valentine’s Dinner package is $250 per couple. RSVP by noon on Feb. 8 by calling 409-683-4368.

Shearn’s Seafood and Prime Steaks

Choose from two options to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year at Shearn’s Seafood and Prime Steaks, Galveston’s premier destination for fine dining.

3907 Moody Gardens_MoodyGardensInteriors

Guests can order from the restaurant’s dining menu, or enjoy special Valentine’s Day selections, on Friday, Feb. 10 and Saturday, Feb. 11 from 5:30-10 p.m. The restaurant, with spectacular views of the Moody Gardens Pyramids and sunsets over Galveston Bay, will feature a pre-fix menu on Valentine’s Day at $100 per person. Tax and gratuity are not included. Guests will receive a complimentary rose and can enjoy live entertainment at Shearn’s Lounge.

Make reservations by calling 409-683-4554 or by booking online at

Oh, Baby Baby: Moody Gardens welcomes Pygmy Slow Loris Twins

Moody Gardens is counting its blessings – two by two – this holiday season as the Rainforest Pyramid staff welcomed Pygmy Slow Loris twins in the Nocturnal Exhibit.


The twins made their debut just before Christmas as excitement mounted amongst staff. This is the first Pygmy Slow Loris birth at Moody Gardens since 2011.

The birth was even more special as Cai, the mother of the twins, is a Moody Gardens twin herself. She is one of the first pair of Pygmy Slow Loris babies born at Moody Gardens in 2011. The father of the twins joined the Moody Gardens’ family in September 2015 as per a Species Survival Plan (SSP) recommendation from the Duke Primate Center in North Carolina as a mate for both Cai and another female named Blackwell.


As an Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ accredited institution, Moody Gardens is a part of the SSP  breeding recommendation program. Through this program staff assists animals that are endangered or threatened in the wild by breeding them in captivity.

Pygmy Slow Lorises are small, nocturnal prosimians native to Southeast Asia, more specifically Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. They have a vice-like grip, move slowly, and have a venomous bite which is unique for a mammal.

In addition to habitat loss, their main threats are traditional medicine and the illegal wildlife trade. They are captured and their various body parts are used in different traditional medicine or practices because some cultures believe the animal can be used for healing. 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.

There are only about 50 Pygmy Slow Lorises in captivity in North America.

Guests can do their part to protest lorises. Moody Gardens has partnered with the “Little Fireface Project”, the world’s longest running project that aims to protect lorises from extinction through research, education and conservation. Through Jan. 8, visitors can purchase a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Moody Brews at the Moody Gardens Hotel. A portion of the “PSLs for PSLs” proceeds will be donated to help protect the Pygmy Slow Loris in the wild.

The twins will join the other Pygmy Slow Lorises on exhibit in the Moody Gardens Rainforest Pyramid in the New Year. The Rainforest Pyramid showcases the various rainforest habitats from around the world. The Nocturnal Exhibit houses Geckos, Prehensile-Tailed Porcupines and Madagascar Jumping Rats. The immersive tropical environment is home to free roaming monkeys and birds, as well as fish, Komodo Dragons and more!

Spend New Year’s at Moody Gardens!

New Year’s Eve is just around the corner, and what better way to kick off 2017 than with the Midnight in the Gardens: A New Year’s Gala.
From 7:30 p.m.-1 a.m., put on your finest black-tie attire and get a “little bit country and a little bit rock and roll” to enjoy live music, an open bar, deluxe party favors, a lavish buffet, Champagne toast and a midnight balloon drop, all at the Moody Gardens Hotel.
Tickets for the gala are available for $470 per couple or $240 per single person. As a special treat, hotel accommodations for gala guests start at $109+tax/night. For tickets and reservations, call 888-388-8484.
While you’re here, make sure to check out our holiday attractions, including ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures, A Caribbean Christmas and Festival of Lights.


ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures, A Caribbean Christmas
This year’s brand-new ICE LAND theme allows you the chance to embark on a breathtaking underwater journey from the shores of Galveston Island through the Gulf of Mexico. As you explore the oceans depths, you will discover sunken treasure and see Christmas surprises along the way.
An ice slide takes the form of a towering oil rig and gives you an opportunity to venture through the beautiful Flower Garden Banks for encounters with spectacular schools of colorful tropical fish, eagle rays, turtles, dolphins, Hammerhead sharks and more.
On the way to your Caribbean island destination be on the lookout for Shivers Ice Bar that will be serving up alcoholic drinks inside a bar made completely out of ice! ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures, A Caribbean Christmas is open now through Jan. 8.

Festival of Lights
The 15th annual Festival of Lights offers an illuminating holiday season. Guests are invited to start a holiday tradition like never before with more lights, breathtaking views, the area’s only outdoor skating rink and the thrilling Arctic Slide.
Visitors can walk the one-mile trail filled with sound-enhanced lighting and animated displays themed to their favorite holiday music. Guests can then grab an inner tube and plunge down the Festival’s Texas-sized, 100-foot long Arctic Slide.
New this year is the arrival of television classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in the Special FX 4D Theater. For the first time guests will be able to enjoy the family favorite in high definition for better viewing and interactive elements to engage all senses. There will be new holiday films at the MG3D Theater as well.

The Flavors of Christmas

Enjoy the Flavors of Christmas at Moody Gardens!

Honey glazed ham, potatoes, New York sirloin steak and a little something sweet. These are just a few Flavors of Christmas that our chefs at Moody Gardens are featuring on this year’s holiday menus.

And the best part? We’re open Christmas Eve 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and Christmas Day noon-10 p.m., so we can do all the cooking for you!

Whether you’re craving the traditional flavors of Christmas or a taste of the sea, or have an extra sweet tooth, the chefs here at Moody Gardens have you covered.

Garden Restaurant Christmas Buffet

Located in the Visitor Center, the Garden Restaurant features views of Offatts Bayou from the patio. The buffet includes Butternut Squash with Cinnamon Croutons, Smashed Potato Bar with all of the Fixings, Chicken Gruyere on a Bed of Marsala Sauce and more. Reservations are recommended but not required. Call 409-683-4202. Complete Menu.

Café in the Park Christmas Dining

We’re offering brunch and dinner at the café, located on the lower lobby level of the Moody Gardens Hotel. This year’s brunch and dinner boasts Pan Roasted Red Fish with Blackened Shrimp and Sweet Three Pepper Sauce, Chicken Leg Confit with French Lentils and Herb Jus and Spiral Honey Glazed Ham with Hawaiian Sweet Rolls. Brunch includes complimentary Mimosas and Bloody Marys. Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more. Call 409-683-4466. Complete Menu.

Shearn’s Seafood and Prime Steaks

Located on the ninth floor of Moody Gardens Hotel, Shearn’s features views of the Moody Gardens Pyramids. Choose from fresh seafood including Lobster Tails, Snapper and Scallops or Filet Mignon, New York Sirloin Steak, Lamb Chops and Veal. Reservations are required. Complete Menu.

Moody Brews

Enjoy a warm cup of coffee, and give back, when you visit Moody Brews through Jan. 8. With every sale of a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Moody Brews, which serves Starbucks drinks, $1 goes to help protect the Pygmy Slow Loris’ in the wild.

Cirque Joyeux Noel Dinner & Show


Enjoy a dinner and a show with Cirque Joyeux Noel, featuring award-winning performers including Christian Stoinev, a finalist of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”

Witness the magnificent and the impossible…all in a circus winter wonderland. Marvel in soaring acrobatics, amazing aerialists and gravity defying feats while enjoying a holiday buffet dinner. And, take a stroll through the Moody Gardens Festival of Lights. ALL included at one great price!

The dinner and show run through Christmas day with doors opening and the buffet beginning at 6:30 p.m. The circus performance starts at 7:45 p.m. Enjoy Felipe Gonzalez’s delicious cuisine and then sit back for a one-hour holiday circus spectacular. Complete Menu.

Cirque Joyeux Noel Dinner and Show tickets

And, don’t forget about snacks. Our Festival of Lights trail features funnel cakes, kettle corn, soup, nachos, hot dogs, sausage on a stick, porkskins, mini donuts and Irish Cream shots and hot chocolate to keep you warm!

Wishing You and Yours a Very Merry Christmas!