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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.

GIVING THANKS: NEW AND ADOPTED BABY PENGUINS HATCH AT MOODY GARDENS

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful, and we’re offering a very warm welcome for several healthy Macaroni penguin chicks, which includes the hatching of the six eggs recently brought from Sea World San Diego and the very significant bonus of two others being the first successful hatching of the Macaroni penguin species from pairs already calling the South Atlantic exhibit home.

 

The six eggs from Sea World San Diego made quite a journey traveling on a commercial flight following a streamlined process initiated by their keepers in California. Once arriving at Moody Gardens they were placed in an incubator and cared for by staff until it was time for them to make their debut. These eggs seemingly couldn’t wait to join the Moody Gardens family as their anticipated hatch dates were set for Nov. 25-28 but the hatching started on Nov. 22 and continued through the weekend so that all six eggs have already hatched out.

 

“We are extremely grateful and excited for these new chicks to join the exhibit here at Moody Gardens,” said Assistant Curator Diane Olsen. “They received excellent care from the staff at Sea World San Diego and we are ready to continue that care as these chicks continue to grow and mature.”

 

In addition to these “adopted” penguin babies joining the South Atlantic Penguin Exhibit, two other native Macaroni penguin pairs are celebrating Thanksgiving with babies of their own.

 

The first native chick hatched on Nov. 17. The proud penguin parents are Bleu, a male who came to Moody Gardens from the Biodome in Montreal, Canada in 2007, and Gorgonzola, a female hatched at Sea World San Diego who arrived at Moody Gardens in 2017.

 

A few days later on Nov. 21, the second native chick made its debut. Its parents are Munster, a male also from the Biodome who came to Moody Gardens in 2007 and Gouda, a female from Newport Aquarium who moved into the South Atlantic exhibit in 2015.

 

Munster, Bleu, Gorgonzola and Gouda are just four of the Macaroni penguins calling Moody Gardens’ home. Their friends in the exhibit have names like Brie, Pepper Jack, Colby and more, in keeping with the whimsical tradition instituted by their biologists. Since these new chicks are the first in a second generation of Macaroni penguins at Moody Gardens their keepers have decided to name them after pastas to go along with the existing theme of cheeses for a little more biologist fun.

 

“Biologists like their puns and having animals like the Macaroni penguins gives us a great opportunity to show off our fun side,” Olsen said.

 

Stay tuned to Moody Gardens’ social media as we continue to share more exciting updates about the newest additions to our penguin family.

MOODY GARDENS NEWEST INTERACTIVE ADVENTURE GOES 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA

A new adventure has surfaced. Moody Gardens’ guests can visit spectacular destinations and meet an all new cast of characters in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: An Interactive Adventure in the Discovery Pyramid.

 

Moody Gardens has once again partnered with Super 78, the attraction design and production company who previously helped bring the SpongeBob SubPants Adventure to life, to create this innovative attraction.

 

This brand-new adventure will take guests through all the stages of a submarine voyage, complete with unusual sea life. They will help get to be part of the crew led by Deep, a robotically-enhanced pufferfish. Along with Deep’s helper robots, Echo and Torque, they will help operate the ship, choose the direction it travels, activate the on-board camera and interact with the fascinating sea creatures The Nautilus encounters as it journeys to a spectacular coral reef, ice caves in the Antarctic, an ancient lost city, undersea volcanoes, and more. Be prepared to see a sting ray, an anglerfish, a leatherback sea turtle, a killer whale, and even a colossal squid.

 

Guests will be immersed in the action as 3D images on the screen transform from digital to real time through exciting 4D sensory elements.

 

Behind the scenes is Super 78’s groundbreaking technology, the Gepetto Animation Control System. This system allows a performer behind the scenes to control all aspects of the full-sensory experience on screen in front of audiences. The performer’s voice becomes an on-screen character, and he has an unlimited palette of animation options which brings the character to life. The performer also runs the lights, sounds, bubbles, and scents with the push of a button.

 

“We are thrilled to be debuting this new interactive adventure in our Audience Recognition Theater at Moody Gardens,” said John Zendt, Moody Gardens President and CEO. “It is always a treat to be able to see the reactions of the audience to things happening in the show, especially when they have a role in how the story plays out.”

 

20,000 Under the Sea: An Interactive Adventure is a non-stop whirlwind of surprises that is fun for the whole family only at Moody Gardens. Admission is $14.95 for adults and $12.95 for seniors and children. It is also included in a Moody Gardens Value Pass. To plan your visit, click here.

MACARONI PENGUINS GET CHANCE AT FOREVER HOME AT MOODY GARDENS

                                                            National Adoption Month Brings a Texas Homecoming for Six Penguin Eggs  

 

Moody Gardens is celebrating National Adoption Month with the highly-anticipated addition of six Macaroni penguin eggs to its collection.

 

These six eggs, came from Sea World San Diego, and are being cared for in an incubator by our staff biologists following a streamlined process that allowed this precious cargo to fly on a commercial flight last week inside a warm, insulated cooler that slid securely under the seat under the watchful eye of an attentive staff biologist and penguin mother-to-be, Maggie Reynolds. The anticipated hatch dates are Nov. 25-28, just in time for Thanksgiving.

 

The successful hatching of new chicks will allow for a more diverse penguin collection as they join the 10 other Macaroni penguins currently on exhibit in the Aquarium Pyramid. Four of these penguins came to Moody Gardens from Sea World San Antonio, while the other six were from the Detroit Zoo.

 

Each successful hatch adds to the Moody Gardens mission of education and conservation. Assistant Curator Diane Olsen notes that as is true in nature, there is not a guarantee that each egg will hatch. “As with every egg that is laid either at Moody Gardens, another facility or in the wild, whether it hatches or not is all up to nature and several circumstances. While we will do everything in our power to give these eggs the best chance at survival, sometimes no chick is hatched at the end of the process,” she said.

 

Olsen also explained the significance of adding Macaroni penguin eggs to the Moody Gardens’ collection. “Increasing the number of Macaroni penguins in the Moody Gardens’ collection helps to increase our breeding success and genetic diversity in the future. It also benefits the population of penguins kept at facilities accredited by AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums), like Moody Gardens.”

 

Having Macaroni penguins on exhibit allows the public to learn about the plight these birds face in the wild. Macaroni penguins are currently listed as Threatened in the wild and numbers of populations are decreasing due to the climate change as well as overfishing.

 

The anticipated arrival of fuzzy penguin chicks also begs the question of whether a Moody Gardens tradition will continue to name Macaroni penguins after cheeses to join Brie, Jack, Colby and others.

 

Our Aquarium Pyramid is one of the largest and most diverse aquariums in the U.S. In addition to the Macaroni penguins, five other species including Gentoo, Chinstrap, King, and Rockhopper penguins also call the South Atlantic Exhibit home. The warm-climate Humboldt penguins live in an exhibit right next door to their chilly-aired friends. With over one million gallons of water, the building also houses colorful marine life from all around the world including sting rays, sharks, seals and sea lions, and hundreds of species of fish.

Parachuting Santa, Choirs and a Tribute to the Victorian Age Kicked Off Moody Gardens’ Holiday in the Gardens

A skydiving Santa and his merry elves have kicked off the fun-filled holiday season as Moody Gardens 18th annual Festival of Lights opened Nov. 16. One of the Gulf Coast’s largest holiday lighting events offers Christmas tradition infused with some steampunk flair making this a holiday tradition the whole family can enjoy.

 

The opening ceremony began at 4 p.m. with talented Texas locals providing holiday-themed entertainment. This year even featured a sci-fi twist to the entertainment pairing with Moody Gardens’ newest attraction, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: An Interactive Adventure. Guests were treated to performances by Lee’s Golden Dragon lion dancers, Jill Rauscher School of Dance, the Houston Show Choir, and much more as the entertainment followed the Christmas Around the World theme with its steampunk twist.

 

Families joyfully welcomed Santa at 5 p.m. when he parachuted down from the North Pole to help prepare Moody Gardens for the grand lighting of the Festival of Lights trail. After mixing, mingling and few dazzling performances to put everyone in the holiday mood, Santa flipped the switch at 6 p.m. to turn on the two million twinkling lights that make up Festival of Lights, officially kicking off the holiday season on Galveston Island.

 

Festival of Lights will continue to shine throughout the holiday season nightly through Jan. 12. Hours run from 6-11 p.m. Moody Gardens’ other holiday and year-round attractions, including ICE LAND, holiday 3D films, Rudolph 4D, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: An Interactive Adventure, Aquarium Pyramid and more are open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. This year’s ICE LAND: Christmas Around the World will take guests on a frosty journey from Russia and Egypt to China and beyond featuring famous sights like the Statue of Liberty, the Alamo, Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, and more.

 

Regular admission to the Festival of Lights is $18.95. Guests can take advantage of significant discounts with the new Super Value Days and Value Days. Super Value Days start at $8.95 for Festival of Lights. For more information, click here.

Moody Gardens Says Thank You to Galveston Island on Oct. 20th

MOODY GARDENS SAYS THANK YOU TO GALVESTON ISLAND ON OCT. 20

Journey beneath the waves inside the Aquarium Pyramid, trek through the rainforests of the world. And learn all about the bones of the body – plus so much more – at this year’s Galveston Appreciation Day.

 

Galveston residents and workers will be treated to a one-of-a-kind experience at one of the top tourist destinations in the region when Moody Gardens hosts this annual event on Oct. 20 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Guests who live or work on Galveston Island – along with their immediate family – will receive free admission to the Aquarium Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, Discovery Museum, MG 3D Theater, 4D Special FX Theater and the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat.

 

“Galveston Island has a great community spirit, and it is our residents and employees who work here who make it so special,” said Moody Gardens President and CEO John Zendt. “Being able to give the Galveston community a day to enjoy Moody Gardens on us allows us to truly express our gratitude.”

 

Guests must show proof of island residency or employment with a driver’s license or state identification card, utility bill, paycheck stub or work identification badge to be eligible for the Galveston Appreciation Day offer.

 

Moody Gardens will give away more than 2,000 Oleanders and Palm Trees to island residents as part of a beautification project. Click here to receive a voucher for the Oleander or Palm Tree. It can be redeemed at the front of the Visitor Center on Galveston Appreciation Day 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

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