Here’s Your 2014 Holiday Itinerary:

PLAN YOUR GETAWAY AT THE COOLEST HOLIDAY DESTINATION IN THE SOUTHWEST

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:

DAY 1

» 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.

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» 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.

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» 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!

FOL-snowman--with-tree-and-lighted-balls

» 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.

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» 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.

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» 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.

Moody Gardens Hotel Renovations- Part One

L Shape Building Exte

The Moody Gardens Hotel is dedicated to remaining a first-class hotel destination. They believe in providing the best experience for all of their guests, and this includes top-notch accommodations. They are soon to be embarking on the most extensive and expensive renovation since the hotel first opened in 1999.

Over the next three years the Moody Gardens Hotel will be undergoing a $20 million renovation to make it even better for their valued guests. All upgrades have been carefully planned with the comfort and satisfaction of guests in mind.

If you’ve stayed with them recently you may have already noticed a difference in the bedding. The new bedding includes new Sealy plush Euro-Top mattresses, crisp white duvets, and fresh fluffy pillows. However, with the new renovations all guest rooms will be getting a complete makeover.  Rooms will be designed with a modern design palette that incorporates new colors, luxe fabrics, and natural stone and wood furniture accents. Bathrooms will feature custom granite vanities, new tile, and new fixtures. Suites will be designed with each one featuring their own unique theme.

The Spa at Moody Gardens will also be receiving a complete makeover with new colors and seating in the waiting area. The treatment rooms will receive new artwork, seating, flooring, and fixtures. The Spa’s Couple Suite will have new decorative wall coverings, freshly upholstered furniture, and a freestanding water feature.

These renovations are just a few of the areas that Moody Gardens will be upgrading! There will also be renovations in the banquet rooms, restaurants, and hotel public spaces! Check back to our blog to learn more about our exciting renovations. These new renovations are just one of the reasons Moody Gardens Hotel remains one of the best places to stay in Galveston! Our resort is not only luxurious; it is also one of the most family friendly hotels in Texas.

Springtime at the Spa at Moody Gardens

Spa Final

The warm weather is upon us and spring is just around the corner! It’s time to start shedding layers and donning lighter clothes for the higher temperatures. Get your mind and body ready for the spring with a visit to the Spa at Moody Gardens.

We currently have a few Spring specials going on at the spa! Save on services such as the Spring Clean Facial, Sweet Feet and Palm Springs Manicure and Pedicure, or the To the Rescue Body Wrap.

Spring Clean: Get your spring glow with a nourishing facial paired with a paraffin dip for your hands. Revive dry winter skin and get ready for spring. 1 hour | $110

Sweet Feet and Palm Springs: Show off your nails this spring with a manicure and pedicure that features the sweet smell of Honeysuckle & Pink Grapefruit. Also includes a paraffin dip for your feet to help you get sandal ready. 2 hours | $90

Calming Passion Flower: Pure passion hydrotherapy bath pairedwith a 25 minute green tea Swedish massage is sure to wash your worries away. 1 hour | $100

Click here for more information

Call 409-683-4440 to schedule your next appointment.

Take advantage of our special spa services and deals while staying at the Moody Gardens Hotel for your spring break. Our hotel is one of the best places to stay in Galveston, and the spa is just as luxurious.

Spring Break and Easter Hotel Packages

skd273461sdcThe Moody Gardens Hotel is a 428-room luxury destination nestled in a lush and tropical landscape and is the premiere vacation destination for Spring Break and Easter this season. If you plan on joining us, we have a couple of great hotel packages to make your trip more fun and memorable.

Spring Break Family Fun Package

From March 7th to March 19th, you can enjoy our Family Fun package to make your Spring Break the best vacation it can be. Not only will you be able to wake up to a character breakfast with the King of Cool, Sunny the Penguin, but once you book two nights for your family, you will get the third night for half off! Participate in Kid’s Crew activities, dine in the Terrace Restaurant, and relax in the Spa at Moody Gardens! Book now for the following prices:

Sun – Thurs from $229/night + tax

Fri & Sat from $249/night + tax

Easter Weekend in the Gardens Package

Looking to get away this holiday weekend? Moody Gardens has the perfect Easter Weekend getaway waiting for you and your family. On the weekend of March 29th-31st, when you book your stay with us you will enjoy a luxurious guest room for one night, fruit, wine, and cheese as well as Easter Baskets for your children. Valet parking is included. When you book two nights, the third night is half off! Book now for the following price:

From $179/night + tax

While you’re spending spring break or Easter weekend with us be sure to check out our special promotions going on at Moody Gardens. At the Spa at Moody Gardens when you buy one Swedish massage, you get the second one free, and at the Moody Gardens Golf Course, you can enjoy a free golf cart and bucket of range balls with your purchase of a round of golf. We look forward to seeing you this spring! 

Easter in the Gardens

 

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Easter in the Gardens brings hundreds of families from the area to participate in tracking down all the eggs the Easter Bunny has spread out across the Oleander Bowl at Moody Gardens!

On Easter Sunday (March 31, 2013), we will be throwing the best Easter celebration around. There will be activities such as games, arts and crafts, a petting zoo, and of course, the huge Moody Gardens Easter Egg Hunt! Egg hunts are scheduled for noon and 2 p.m.., but you’ll want to get there early for all the other fun events. Kids aged 12 and under can enjoy all the activities and the colorful eggs throughout the Oleander Bowl.

All activities are open to the public and admission is free. Just show up with your baskets and ready to have a good time. Mark you calendars and get ready to spend your Easter holiday with Moody Gardens this year, and hopefully many more.

The Moody Gardens Hotel is one of the best places to stay in Galveston. Our family-friendly hotel is the perfect vacation destination for your next family weekend getaways in Texas. We look forward to spending Easter with you and your family.

Meet Chef Urs Schmid

Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 5.03.48 PMIf you’ve ever had dinner at Shearn’s Restaurant then you’ve tasted the culinary genius of the famous Chef Urs Schmid. His Shrimp Dejonge and Lobster Bisque are famous here on the island, and for good reason! Keep reading to learn more about Executive Chef Urs Schmid.

Urs Schmid was born in Switzerland where he developed his passion for cooking while helping his father prepare meals on Sunday afternoons. As a teenager, he worked in a local hotel kitchen where he had “the time of his life” and decided cooking was his passion.

After graduating from high school, Chef Schmid began an apprenticeship at the Hotel Acker-Montana in Wildhaus, Switzerland. He also began his culinary education in Lucern. Chef Schmid worked in many hotel kitchens before serving in the Swiss Army.

After completing his military commitment, Urs Schmid continued gaining experience in the culinary arts by working seasonal jobs as commie de cuisine and chef de partie in some of the finest hotels in Switzerland, including the five-star Grand Hotel Viktoria Jungfrau in Interlaken.

Urs Schmid followed his culinary passions to the Bahamas where he worked as sous chef at the Cotton Bay Club and sous and executive chef at Cap Eleuthera.

While working in the Bahamas, Urs Schmid was introduced to Mrs. R.E. Bob Smith, who convinced him to come to Galveston where he became executive chef at the Bob Smith Yacht Club. He spent over eighteen years as both chef and general manager of the Yacht Club. His time at the club won him widespread acclaim. He met his wife Elena while working at the Yacht Club and started his family. Elena and Urs Schmid have two sons, and have called Galveston their home since 1980.

In the fall of 1998, Urs Schmid arrived at Moody Gardens and has served as our Executive Chef since our beginning. Under his direction, Shearn’s Restaurant has become the finest culinary destination in Galveston and has won the AAA Four-Diamond Award on more than one occasion.

Executive Chef Urs Schmid has been named Chef of the Year by the Texas Chef’s Association and been awarded a Bronze Star from the Galveston Chapter of the Chaine de Rotisseurs. We are proud to have him as part of the Moody Gardens’ family.

Stay at the Moody Gardens Hotel on your next family weekend getaways in Texas. We are not only one of the best places to stay in Galveston, but also home to the finest restaurant in the area with the best executive chef in Texas!

A Look at Moody Gardens Ballrooms

ballroomMoody Gardens is the premiere place to hold your large event, no matter what kind of occasion it is. We have over 103,000 square feet of event space, and included in this space is a few humongous and beautiful ballrooms. Moody Gardens’ ballrooms could be the next location of your company’s large party or a memorable wedding location.

 

The Frances Anne Ballroom boasts 15,180 square feet! This huge ballroom can be divided into eight separate rooms for a custom space for your party, event, or convention. The space gives off an elegant vibe with its soaring ceilings that are lined with beautiful chandeliers. The décor and grand size of the Frances Anne Ballroom make it the perfect spot for elegant soirees.

 

The Floral Ballroom is a 9,100 square foot space that overlooks the breathtaking Offats Bayou. The ballroom can be divided into twelve smaller rooms if the occasion calls for it. The Floral Ballroom is located on the second floor of the convention center, so you won’t have to worry about the general public wandering in and crashing your party! The Floral Hall makes for the perfect pre-function area that is great for receptions, breaks, and tabletop exhibits. The ballroom is decorated in an artsy, fun, and refreshing theme.

 

The Moody Gardens Ballroom’s elegance and décor are accentuated by the 242 acres of lush, tropical beauty. If you’re interested in holding an event, such as a wedding or a grand party, at Moody Gardens we would love to talk to you about what our professional staff can help you accomplish! Visit this link to start planning your ballroom-sized event!

 

For a place to rest your head at night in luxury, be sure to check out the Moody Gardens Hotel.  Our four-diamond full service resort is one of the best places to stay in Galveston. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Shearn’s Restaurant Menu Highlights

shearnsShearn’s Restaurant has been receiving AAA’s Four Diamond Award of Excellence since 2004, and for good reason! Located on the ninth floor of Moody Gardens Hotel, Shearn’s is the finest restaurant in Galveston. This elegant restaurant is unsurpassed in cuisine, service, and ambiance. Entrées at Shearn’s are prepared by Galveston’s most celebrated chef, Executive Chef Urs Schmid.

 

People from all over come to Shearn’s Restaurant to try entrées such as the Shrimp Dejonge and the flavorful Lobster Bisque.

 

Shrimp Dejonge: This signature dish features six jumbo shrimp baked in a light Marsala cream sauce and topped with Chef Urs’ mouthwatering blend of herb butter. The dish is served with rice pilaf and a side of garden fresh vegetables. This is one entrée you can’t miss. Your taste buds will thank you. You can order this tasty dish as an entrée, or just taste it out as a hot hors d’oeuvres.

 

Lobster Bisque: Another signature dish from Chef Urs! The creamy bisque is made with fresh lobster from Maine and delicately seasoned. It’s garnished with crabmeat and a touch of sherry.

 

Crab Cakes Topped with Jumbo Lump Crab: Shearn’s signature crab cakes are a dream come true for any crab lover. The Maryland style crab cakes are topped with lump crabmeat and served with angel hair pasta and tomato fondue.

 

Portobello Mushroom Tortelloni Rosa: For the vegetarian, Shearn’s offers a selection of gourmet vegetarian options such as the Portobello Mushroom Tortelloni Rosa. The sautéed Portobello mushroom is tossed in olive oil and blended with baby arugula, pine nuts, and served in a Rosa sauce.

 

Moody Gardens Hotel is not only home to the best upscale restaurant in town, it is also one of the best places to stay in Galveston. After a long day of exploring the beaches, Aquarium Pyramid, and Rainforest Pyramid head over to Shearn’s Restaurant for a beautiful conclusion to your day.

Moody Gardens Hotel Packages

hotel packagesThe Moody Gardens Hotel is one of the best places to stay in Galveston for a variety of reasons—one of which is our value-priced hotel packages. We understand our guests want to experience a great vacation without busting the bank! Check out our great hotel packages that make your dream vacation affordable.

 

Explore Moody Gardens

This package includes a room in the hotel and two-day value passes for the Moody Gardens attractions. The value passes include admittance into the Aquarium Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, Moody Gardens 3D Theater, Ridefilm Theater, Discovery Museum, Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, and Palm Beach (summer season). The package also includes complimentary valet parking and yoga on Saturdays and Sundays.

Sunday-Thursday

  • Double Occupancy $268
  • Triple Occupancy $317
  • Quadruple Occupancy $365

 

Friday-Saturday

  • Double Occupancy $291
  • Triple Occupancy $340
  • Quadruple Occupancy $388

 

Romantic Rendezvous

This romantic package includes a stay in one of our popular Jacuzzi suites for two. The package also comes with a bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, a rose delivered upon arrival, a delicious breakfast for two either in your room or at the Terrace Restaurant, complimentary valet parking, and complimentary yoga on Saturdays and Sundays.

 

Daily

  • $398

 

Honeymoon Package

For newlyweds. we offer a luxurious room for two! The package includes a bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, a rose upon arrival, breakfast in your room or at the Terrace Restaurant, and complimentary yoga and valet parking.

 

Sunday-Thursday

  • $277

Friday-Saturday

  • $300

 

Stay and Play Golf Package

For the golf lover! This package includes a luxurious room with your choice of one king bed or two queen beds. When you aren’t enjoying your luxurious room, you will be spending time on the green! The package also includes a round of golf at the Moody Gardens Golf Course (per person), a golf cart, and a bucket of range balls. Be sure to book your tee time before arrival. They can be booked 45 days in advance.

 

Monday-Thursday

  • Single Occupancy $224
  • Double Occupancy $275
  • Triple Occupancy $327
  • Quadruple Occupancy $379

Friday-Sunday

  • Single Occupancy $270
  • Double Occupancy $344
  • Triple Occupancy $419
  • Quadruple Occupancy $494

 

Contact the hotel’s reservation department to book your package today! Call 1-888-388-8484.

Sea of Love: Valentine’s Dinner at Moody Gardens

valentinesSpend your Valentine’s Day on a unique date in Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid. Celebrate the romance by diving into an underwater dining experience! Seating is limited, so book now!

 

Choose from four different Aquarium Pyramid dining experiences:

 

Tunnel of Love: Feel as though you’re underwater in our Caribbean Exhibit tunnel. Enjoy your romantic dinner while sharks and other beautiful sea creatures swim overhead.

 

Sealed with a Kiss: First- and second-level seating is available by the seals and sea lions of the North Pacific Exhibit. These playful animals will add a splash of fun to your dining experience.

 

Fishin’ for Love: First and second level seating is available in the South Pacific Exhibit. The colorful fish inhabitants provide the perfect backdrop for your romantic evening.

 

Lovable Penguins: You’ll have to be careful around the penguins of the South Atlantic Exhibit! They’re so cute they may just steal your heart this Valentine’s Day!

 

Our Lover’s Menu is packed full of delicious options to make the dining experience one to remember!

 

Soup and Salad (choice of one):

  • Asparagus Bisque topped with Roasted Pear
  • Seven Leaf Salad with Fresh Berries and tossed with Raspberry Vinaigrette

 

Entrée Selection (choice of one):

  • Colonel’s Rib Eye Steak with Garlic Herb Shrimp served with Red Potatoes
  • Red Snapped topped with Lump Crab Meat Cream Sauce served with Sauteed Julianne Vegetables
  • Pan Grilled Chicken Breast topped with Grape Tomato and Porcini Mushroom Sauce served with Char-Grilled Asparagus

 

Dessert (YUM!):

  • Chocolate Heart Shaped Tiramisu for two: three-layer sponge cake with mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, whipped cream, coffee liqueur, chocolate shavings, and topped with cocoa. Served with Bailey’s whipped cream.

 

This special Sea of Love Valentine’s Dinner is $80 per couple (does not include tax and gratuity).  The event is from 6-8 p.m. on February 14, 2013.

 

Go ahead and turn the evening into an overnight romantic rendezvous with our special Valentine’s Hotel Package. For only $255, the package includes:

  • Valentine’s dinner
  • Chocolate covered strawberries
  • Breakfast for two
  • Behind the scenes tour of the Aquarium Pyramid on Friday morning

 

Discover why Moody Gardens Hotel is one of the best places to stay in Galveston.

Make your reservations TODAY! Call 1-800-582-4673 ext. 4200.