Moody Gardens Recognizes Six Outstanding Animal Care Professionals

Zookeeper WEEK.Logo 2006 VThis week is National Zookeeper Week and Moody Garden’s Life Science and Exhibit Operations department has taken this opportunity to recognize the dedication and hard work that goes into this challenging career path. Moody Gardens would like to thank each and every person on our team for providing the highest level of animal care and well-being while creating personal connections between our guests and our conservation, education and research efforts. The LSEO management team recognized 6 individuals with outstanding animal professional awards. These employees have had a significant impact on Moody Gardens through outstanding dedication, competence, conscientious performance, excellence in engaging guests and ingenuity.

The 2015 Outstanding Animal Care Professionals are: Dave Brossette, T’Noya Gonzales, Karen Holcroft, Marci Kurtz, Maggie Reynolds and Sean Salinger. As evidenced by their dedication to their job, only 3 recipients were present at the awards lunch on Tuesday, 21 July as duty called the others away.

Marci Kurtz, Sean Salinger and T’Noya Gonzales receive their recognition.
Marci Kurtz, Sean Salinger and T’Noya Gonzales receive their recognition.

Celebrate Mother’s Day Weekend at Moody Gardens!

We’ve got a fun-filled Mother’s Day weekend ahead of us! Join us for any of the following events and activities:

FRIDAY – SUNDAY | Red Cat Jazz Festival:

Red Cat Jazz Festival 2015Red Cat Jazz Preservation Society, Inc. presents the 5th annual Red Cat Jazz Festival at the Moody Gardens Hotel! There will be four days of non-stop live jazz concerts featuring a variety of local and international jazz artists. Invited guests include Grammy winner Kirk Whalum, Ronnie Laws, Rick Braun, Norman Brown, Mindi Abair, Peter White, Hiroshima, Jazz in Pink, Mike Phillips and a host of others.

The 2015 festival will feature the following:

  • Friday, May 8: Celebrity Golf Classic hosted by Mike Phillips at the Moody Gardens Golf Course, Veteran’s Luncheon, VIP All-White Attire Poolside Party and After Party
  • Saturday, May 9: Red Cat for Pink, Women Empowerment Conference, T.E.A.M. Scholarship Workshop and Live Jazz Concerts
  • Sunday, May 10: Red Cat Jazz Legends Awards Breakfast and Live Jazz Concerts

CLICK HERE for more information

SATURDAY | 9 A.M. | Birding 101

Presented by Moody Gardens® and Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council, Birding 101 is a series of free classes designed to educate and excite people about the tremendous variety of bird life routinely seen around Galveston Island. Classes are from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and meet at the Aquarium Pyramid lobby.

SATURDAY | 10 A.M. | Demo Day at the Moody Gardens Golf Course


Representatives from Titleist, Callaway and Ping will be at the Driving Range with all the latest technologies for you to try out! If you have been thinking about getting new clubs, or just curious about the new products available, this day is for you! For more information, contact PGA Professional, Rick Christ, at (409) 683-1201 or

SUNDAY | 11 A.M. | Mother’s Day Buffets


Treat mom to one of our special Mother’s Day Buffets this Sunday.

The Garden Restaurant will be serving a wide array of fruits, fresh greens, and scrumptious entrées like carved prime rib and hand-sliced Texas rope sausage from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A special dessert spread of cakes, cookies and pies will also be included. Buffet prices are $35.95 for adults, $25.95 for seniors, $15.95 for children ages 5-12 and free for children 4 and under. For the full menu, CLICK HERE.

The Moody Gardens Hotel is also hosting their decadent Mother’s Day Buffet! Enjoy complimentary Bloody Marys and Mimosas as well as smoked prime rib, carved yucatan grouper, herb roasted chicken and more! Prices for the Mother’s Day Buffet are $52.95 for adults, $42.95 for seniors, $24.95 for children 4-12, and children three and under are free. Seating times for the Mother’s Day Buffet are available every half hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For Buffet reservations call 409-683-4466. For the full menu, CLICK HERE.

SUNDAY | Mother’s Day Special at the Moody Garden’s Golf Course


Moms play FREE at the Moody Gardens Golf Course on Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 10) with a paid accompanying round! Limit one free green/cart fee round per paid green/cart fee. Call 409-683-4653 and mention this post to make a tee time.

SUNDAY | Last Day to Discover the Ice Age


Be sure to visit Discover the Ice Age in the Discovery Pyramid before it closes its doors on May 10! This is an exciting and educational exhibition that invites you to travel back in time to discover a frigid world, covered in ice and occupied by mammoths, saber-toothed cats, bears, gigantic birds, cave people and more. The exhibit features life-sized animatronic animals, real fossils, some of which can be touched by our guests, and cast skeletons set within elaborate Ice Age scenery.

MG Sweetheart Scavenger Hunt!

With its peaceful foliage in the Rainforest Pyramid and beautiful marine life in the Aquarium Pyramid, Moody Gardens is a great place to spend this Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart or family.

VDAY_ScavengerHunt_2015While you are at Moody Gardens, you can participate in the Sweetheart Scavenger Hunt. Learn about the intricate relationships and courtships that take place in the animal kingdom with this scavenger hunt. And best of all, you could earn a family 4-pack of Moody Gardens tickets by participating.

Here are some of the facts you will learn while participating in the scavenger hunt:

  • Humans aren’t the only ones that give presents when they are wooing a lady. Male penguins give their potential love interests a pebble. They search for the smoothest rock, and if the female accepts, she puts it in her nest and parenthood soon follows.
  • When piranhas find themselves in love, they turn almost completely black to discourage others from courting. Think of it as a clear sign of “Hey, I’m taken.”
  • Some women wish men would experience the ups and downs of pregnancy. In the seahorse kingdom that’s exactly what happens, as the male delivers the babies. Scientists aren’t 100 percent sure why it occurs – maybe it is to help make more babies or just share some of the load from females – but it certainly is one of the most unique relationships under the sea.
  • A scarlet ibis believes in true love. When a male successful woes a female, they will remain partners for life.
  • Harbor seals flirt by rolling and bubble-blowing. You can read about our Moody Gardens harbor seal couple, Porter and Presley, here.

Learn about these and the other animals at Moody Gardens when you visit on Valentine’s Day weekend. Be sure to download the Sweetheart Scavenger Hunt and get your cameras ready to win a great prize!

And don’t forget to dive into a romantic underwater dining experience at the Aquarium Pyramid with the Sea of Love Valentine’s Dinner on Feb. 13 or 14.

Enjoy a special menu created exclusively for the Sea of Love Dinner. You can reserve a table with a view of one of the unique locations throughout the Aquarium Pyramid.

Dinner for two is $140 on Friday and $180 on Saturday. It also includes rose for her, souvenir photo and Aquarium Pyramid admission. Saturday’s dinner also includes a bottle of wine or champagne. Biologists will also be in attendance to answer any questions you may have about the spectacular residents of the Aquarium Pyramid.

To reserve your spot, please call 1-800-582-4673 ext. 4368. Reservations are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Calls will be answered and returned daily. RSVP by February 11. Click here for menus.

Here’s Your 2014 Holiday Itinerary:


With the opening of ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures with SpongeBob SquarePants and the return of the annual Festival of Lights, Moody Gardens has officially become the coolest holiday destination in the Southwest.

With so many attractions to enjoy, the Moody Gardens Value Passes have been a popular choice among guests. For just $59.95, visitors get entry into ICE LAND, Festival of Lights, Aquarium Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, Discovery Museum, MG 3D Theater, 4D Special FX Theater and Colonel Paddlewheel Boat. Those wanting to make a weekend visit can also purchase a Two-Day Value Pass for $79.95 and get unlimited entry to everything Moody Gardens has to offer.

So what’s the best schedule if you are planning a vacation to Moody Gardens? Here is a sample itinerary to make sure you don’t miss a thing:


» 9-9:45 a.m. Breakfast at Moody Brews
Located in the main lobby of the hotel, Moody Brews offers a full line of Starbucks beverages, grab-and-go menu items, retail products, free WiFi, laptop work stations and comfortable seating.

» 10-11 a.m. Rainforest Pyramid
Take a tour of the 10-story glass pyramid that is home to more than 1,000 species of plants and animals. You will experience rainforest life from around the world and encounter free-roaming animals, like the cotton-top tamarins and saki monkeys.

» 11:05-11:35 a.m. Discover the Ice Age
Travel back in time to discover a frigid world, covered in ice and occupied by mammoths, saber-toothed cats, cave people and more. The exhibit features life-sized animatronic animals and real fossils within the Discovery Pyramid.


» 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Lunch at Café in the Park at the Moody Gardens Hotel

» 1:30-2 p.m. ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures with SpongeBob SquarePants
Enjoy the coolest new attraction to date when you visit ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures with SpongeBob SquarePants. Being the only holiday ice exhibition on the Gulf Coast, this is a vast and amazing display of 900 tons of towering SpongeBob SquarePants-themed ice creations.


» 2:15-4:30 p.m. Deep Tissue Massage at the Spa and 9 Holes at the Moody Gardens Golf Course
Send the little ones to a Kid’s Crew activity provided throughout the weekend by the Moody Gardens Hotel and relax at The Spa or play a round of golf at the Moody Gardens Golf Course.

» 5-6 p.m. Festival of Lights Buffet at the Garden Restaurant for Dinner

» 6-6:15 p.m. Pictures with Santa
Be sure to stop by Santa’s Village in the Visitor’s Center lobby and get your picture with Santa Claus!

» 6:15-6:45 p.m. Gingerbread Gardens
Build your own Gingerbread House with the family inside the Visitor’s Center lobby.

» 7-8 p.m. Festival of Lights
Enjoy the mile-long trail of over one million lights and 100 animated displays that winds through the beautiful Moody Gardens property. This is a holiday tradition you won’t want to miss!


» 8-8:30 p.m. Ice Rink
Grab some rental skates and enjoy the area’s only outdoor ice skating rink.

Day 2

» 8:45-9:45 a.m. Breakfast at Café in the Park

» 10-10:50 a.m. Aquarium Pyramid
Visit four distinct ocean environments in the largest Moody Gardens Pyramid that includes seals, sea lions, sharks, thousands of fish and more than 90 penguins.

» 11-11:45 a.m. Penguin Encounter
Get up close and personal with a penguin during this 45-minute program that takes guests behind the scenes.


» 12-12:45 p.m. Lunch at the Aquarium Pyramid Food Court

» 1-2 p.m. Colonel Paddlewheel Boat
Take a cruise around Offatts Bayou on this 1800s-style paddlewheel boat.

» 2:30-3 p.m. 4D Special FX Theater
Engage your senses in this theater as you encounter a 20-minute adaptation of Rio 4D or Polar Express 4D.

» 3:15-3:45 p.m. Arctic Ice Slide
Take a slide down this Texas-sized ice slide located outside the Visitor’s Center.

» 4-4:45 p.m. Sky Trail® Explorer Ropes Course
Challenge your agility, balance and strength as you encounter the new five-tier Ropes Course. Children 48 inches and under can also take on an adventure of a smaller scale on the Sky Tykes™ Ropes Course.


» 4:45-5 p.m. Moody Gardens Zip Line
Snap into the harness, step to the edge of the zip line platform and glide over Palm Beach and the Lazy River 60 feet in the air for a bird’s eye view of the Moody Gardens Pyramids and tropical gardens.

» 5:15-6:15 p.m. Dinner at Shearn’s Seafood and Prime Steaks

» 6:40-8 p.m. MG 3D Theater
Finish out the day watching some holiday favorites, such as Light Before Christmas 3D and Santa vs. Snowman 3D, in the newly enhanced MG 3D Theater featuring the world’s first giant screen 6p laser projector and the largest screen in Texas.

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, July 19!


Galveston is the Winter Wonder Island of Texas, and this season the island will offer visitors more than 1,000 magical holiday events! This summer, be sure to visit with Santa at a variety of events throughout the island. You’ll also have the chance to win some cool prizes by participating in Galveston’s Photo Contest.


It’s Christmas Around the World as Santa travels from the North Pacific to South Pacific in the Aquarium Pyramid to Asia, Africa and the Americas in the Rainforest Pyramid and Palm Beach. Free Santa Hats are available as supplies last. Get your picture and go to to register for prizes! Stop by the Garden Lobby with the kids and enjoy some free Arts & Crafts activities from 2 – 4 p.m. as well.


A few slots remain, so register now to participate in our Snowman Sand Castle Competition on July 19 at Palm Beach. Participants will receive a Snowman Sand Castle Building Kit, then will have until 3:45 p.m. to build their very best snowman. Judging will begin at 3:45 p.m. and winner will be announced at 4 p.m. The winner will receive a Penguin Encounter Certificate for 4 people and tickets to all Moody Gardens Attractions (Including ICE LAND Ice Sculptures, Festival of Lights and Arctic Ice Slide) for 4 people.

CLICK HERE for complete rules and to register for the competition (limited spots available)


Celebrate Christmas in July by connecting with us through Social Media and you’ll get the chance to win a Holiday Four-Pack to Moody Gardens, which includes tickets to all attractions as well as the ICE LAND Ice Sculptures opening November 15, 2014.

TO PARTICIPATE: Visit our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram each week in July and participate in our Christmas in July trivia questions by using the handle @moodygardens and the hashtag #ChristmasInJuly. If you answer correctly you will be entered into our weekly drawing. Remember to use our handle and hashtag!

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Inc., Twitter, Inc. or Instagram, Inc. Must be 18 years or older to win.


ICE LAND Ice Sculptures makes its debut November 15 – January 4 for the first time in South Texas. Marvel at the artistry of the internationally acclaimed VGA Ice Carving Team from Harbin, China, as they bring their extraordinary talent to sculpt 900 tons of ice into a vast and amazing display of towering ice sculptures held at a cool and constant 9 degrees as Galveston makes its transformation into the Winter Wonder Island. There is more than ever for your family to enjoy! Be among the first to experience the ICE LAND Ice Sculptures attraction, Festival of Lights, Arctic Ice Slide, Ice Skating, holiday films and much more!


Summer Job Fair: Moody Gardens Wants You!


Looking for a fun place to work this summer? If you are committed to providing excellent customer service and want to gain valuable experience at a fun place, then Moody Gardens is the place for you. Our Summer Job Fair will be held Saturday, April 13 from 10am-1pm at the Pompano Room located downstairs at the Aquarium Pyramid. We are looking for friendly, outgoing employees for our Hotel and Attractions in the following areas:

  • Concession Attendants/Servers/Wait Staff/Cooks
  • Scanners/Ticketing Cashiers
  • Bartender/Hostess/Attendants
  • Palm Beach Greeters/Gift Shop/Operations
  • Life guards/Cabana Attendants
  • Housekeeping

Must be 16 years of age to apply (bring photo ID and Social Security Card). Attendees will receive complimentary admission to the Aquarium Pyramid with their completed application. In addition to these seasonal positions, we also have regular full-time and part-time positions available at


All About the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat

colonelNext time you visit Moody Gardens, don’t miss out on taking an hour-long cruise around the Offatts Bayou in an authentic replica of an 1800s-style paddlewheel! The paddlewheel holds up to 800 passengers and offers cruises year-round.


You can catch an hour-long cruise across the beautiful Offatts Bayou throughout the week.



Tuesday through Friday at 1 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Closed on Monday



Adults: $10.95

Children/Seniors: $8.95


Have a birthday, anniversary, or special occasion to celebrate? Then make your reservations for the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat Dinner Cruise! They are scheduled the second Saturday of each month, and allow guests to enjoy the beautiful views of Offatts Bayou while also enjoying a delicious dinner buffet, dancing, and a cash bar.


The charming paddlewheel boat offers a variety of menus for our dinner cruises, from cocktail parties to full dinners. We also like switching up the entertainment, such as Dixieland jazz bands, dance bands, pianist, strolling violins, banjos, and much more.


Upcoming Dinner Cruises:

March 9, 2013

April 13, 2013

May 11, 2013


Reservations must be made by the Wednesday before the scheduled dinner cruise. Call 1-800-582-4673, ext.4419 Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. for reservations and more information. If you want to bring your whole family or a group of friends, we also offer group rates.


The Colonel Paddlewheel Boat offers two luxurious private party rooms, The Texas Room and The Galveston Room. Private parties are available during the regularly scheduled dinner cruises in our climate-controlled rooms. Each room has a large dance floor and bar facilities to get the party started. There is an additional bar on the Promenade Deck. Both private party rooms are installed with stereo music and a sound system to cater to your entertainment needs. You can invite up to 240 guests in The Texas Room and 200 in The Galveston Room!


We look forward to seeing you at the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat on your next family weekend getaway to Texas! Be sure to rest your head at the Moody Gardens Hotel, one of the best places to stay in Galveston.

Moody Gardens Offers Year-Round Fun

Screen Shot 2013-01-09 at 4.57.21 PMAt Moody Gardens, we are not a seasonal attraction that is only open certain times of the year. The fun here is nonstop and year-round! While we do have seasonal attractions, such as Palm Beach and Festival of Lights, we also have our popular Aquarium Pyramid and Rainforest Pyramid, and tons of events each month.


If you do happen to come during the winter or summer seasons, you can’t miss the Festival of Lights or Palm Beach. The Festival of Lights includes over 1 million holiday lights, and is the largest holiday lights festival in the area! Palm Beach opens in the summer, providing guests and island residents with Galveston’s only white sand beach!


Year- round attractions you can’t miss include:

  • Aquarium Pyramid
  • Penguin Encounter
  • Rainforest Pyramid
  • Discovery Museum
  • Colonel Paddlewheel Boat


Moody Gardens also offers three different theaters that provide unique cinematic experiences. Catch your next film at the Moody Gardens 3D Theater, Ridefilm Theater, or the 4D Special FX Theater.  Each theatre provides a different kind of experience, from a regular 3D viewing to a ride featuring a 180-degree wraparound screen!


Be sure to stay up to date with our Calendar of Events. Each month we have Birding 101 and Birding 201. These free classes are designed to teach visitors about the variety of bird life living on Galveston Island. The classes are presented by Moody Gardens and Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council and available twice a month.


We also offer Pyramid Camp for kids each month, with a variety of different themes. Sign your kids up for Pyramid Kids Camp: Catch Me If You Can in February or Pyramid Kids Camp: Primate Palooza in April!


Learn more about the fun at Moody Gardens by exploring our website.


If you’re looking for family weekend getaways in Texas, book your next trip at the Moody Gardens Hotel. We look forward to seeing you soon.


Group Meal Deals at Moody Gardens

sliced whole salami pizzaAt Moody Gardens, we welcome large groups of any size and kind! Whether you are coming from a school, a convention, or a senior residence facility, we have meal deals to fit your group’s needs.


You can enjoy discounted meal deals at our Palm Beach Concession Stand during the summer season, or year-round at the Aquarium Pyramid Food Court.


The following meal deal options are available with a reservation:


Aquarium Meal Deal

  • Hotdog, chips, drink, cookie $5.75
  • Turkey sandwich, chips, drink, cookie $6.00
  • Personal cheese pizza, chips, drink, cookie $6.50
  • Cheeseburger, chips, drink, cookie $6.75


Palm Beach Meal Deal – Seasonal

  • Hotdog, chips, drink, cookie $5.75
  • Turkey sandwich, chips, drink, cookie $6.00
  • Personal cheese pizza, chips, drink, cookie $6.50
  • Cheeseburger, chips, drink, cookie $6.75


Garden RestaurantLunch Buffet – Seasonal

  • $18.00 inclusive per Adult
  • $15.00 inclusive for Senior Citizens Tuesdays
  • $12.00 inclusive per Child 4-12


Unfortunately, our meal deal options are only available to pre-registered groups. Reservations must be made through the group sales department. If you don’t have reservations, your group will have to purchase food a la carte, which will require adequate time for everyone to get through the service line.


The group meal deal option is not only more convenient, but will also save you time and money! Without having to worry about getting everyone through the food line and getting everyone paid for, your group will have more time to enjoy the exciting and educational attractions at Moody Gardens such as the Aquarium Pyramid and Rainforest Pyramid.


To learn more about group reservations and meal deals please contact us at 1-800-582-4673, ext. 4203 or 4362. We would love to talk to you about how we can accommodate your large group.


If you and your group need a place to lay your heads at night, the Moody Gardens Hotel is one of the best places to stay in Galveston.


Field Trips to Moody Gardens

While Moody Gardens is fun and entertaining, it is first and foremost a nonprofit educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research. Which is why it is the perfect destination for a field trip! There is so much to learn and explore at Moody Gardens. Guided and unguided programs are available. There are three different fantastic field trip options to choose from.


Rainforest Exploration

Students will get to experience hands-on fun with some of Moody Gardens’ exotic animals at The Learning Place. A guided tour through our “tropical classroom,” the Rainforest Pyramid, gives students the opportunity to observe interesting plants, exotic fish, and colorful birds from the rainforests of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The trip includes a visit to the MG 3D Theater for a multi-sensory viewing of an educational film.


Ocean Exploration

An instructional presentation starts off this underwater adventure and is followed by a guided tour of the Aquarium Pyramid. In the underwater “classroom,” students observe exotic fish, unusual invertebrates, frolicking seals, and playful penguins. The Aquarium Pyramid features the underwater environment of the Caribbean, South Atlantic, North Pacific, and South Pacific. The trip includes a visit to the MG 3D Theater.



You can custom-design your own field trip by choosing your favorite attractions and creating a unique learning experience! Select a self-guided tour of the Aquarium Pyramid, Discovery Pyramid, a film at the MG 3D Theater, a simulated moving adventure at the Ridefilm Theaters, a ride on the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat (weather-permitting), or a multi-sensory experience in the 4D Special FX Theater.


For more information on field trips, visit us online at Be sure to let your local schools know!


For events in Galveston, be sure to check out Moody Gardens Attractions, Moody Gardens Golf Course, and Moody Gardens Hotel. We hope to see you soon!