Category: ICE LAND (Page 1 of 2)

Save Big and Make Unforgettable Memories This Holiday Season at Moody Gardens!

The holiday season is upon us, and here at Moody Gardens, we’re excited to offer you fantastic ways to save while creating lasting memories with your loved ones. From early Black Friday hotel deals to special themed nights and exclusive packages, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So, let’s dive into the festive fun and explore how you can make the most of this holiday season without breaking the bank.

  1. Early Black Friday Hotel Sale – Save 30% on Stays!

Start your holiday adventure early with our exclusive Black Friday Sale on hotel stays. Book your room now through November 27th and enjoy a fabulous 30% off your stay. It’s the perfect opportunity to plan a relaxing getaway or a family vacation without the hefty price tag.

  1. Value Days – Buy One Get One Free Admission and Discounts!

Join us on select nights for our Value Days, where you can enjoy incredible savings on admission. Take advantage of buy one get one free admission on select nights or enjoy discounted rates on other evenings. Check out our themed nights:

– Groovy Night 🕺

– Super Hero Night 🦸

– Ugly Sweater Night 🎅

– Pajama Night 🌙

– Dickens Night 📖

– Bring Your Dog Nights 🐶

– Food Drive Thursdays 🥫

  1. Explore Exclusive Package Deals

Make your visit to Moody Gardens even more special by booking one of our exclusive package deals:

– Holiday in the Gardens Package: Bundle admission to all our attractions for a truly immersive experience. You’ll save while giving your family the opportunity to explore all that Moody Gardens has to offer. It’s a one stop shop for all things Holidays.

– Breakfast with Santa Family Package: Share a meal with Santa himself and create cherished memories with your family. The package includes breakfast for two adults (ages 13+) and two children (ages 4-12), a luxurious guest room, a souvenir photo, costumed character meet and greet.

– Polar Express Package Experience: Embark on an enchanting journey inspired by the classic holiday tale. The Polar Experience package includes your luxurious guest room, four tickets to Ice Land: Ice Sculptures Rainforest Holiday, the Festival of Lights trail at Moody Gardens, and transportation to and from the Galveston Railroad Museum for The Polar Express Train Ride!

– Holiday Dinner Cruise and New Year’s Packages: Celebrate in style on the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat. This package includes a guest room for one night, tickets for two for the Holiday sunset dinner buffet.

 

  1. Try It and Buy It – Your Gateway to Membership

Discover an exclusive opportunity with some of our “explorer” package deals- featuring a unique “Try It and Buy It” offer! When you book “explorer” packages, your stay becomes more than just a memorable experience; it becomes a pathway to membership. Apply the cost of your stay towards a membership within 30 days after your visit. To claim the offer, visit Member Services in person at the Visitors Center, call us at 409-683-4200, or send an email to memberships@moodygardens.org. Don’t miss out on turning your stay into a lasting membership with Moody Gardens.

This holiday season, come and celebrate with us at Moody Gardens, where you can save big, have a blast, and make unforgettable memories with your friends and family. We can’t wait to share the spirit of the season with you! 🎄🌟

Book your stay and explore our amazing offers today. Visit our website or contact us for more information and reservations. Happy holidays from all of us at Moody Gardens! 🎁❄️

Making Moody Gardens the Coolest Destination on the Gulf Coast

When you think of holiday destinations, visions of snow-covered landscapes and ice sculptures might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But at Moody Gardens, we’ve turned that notion upside down by transforming our Gulf Coast paradise into a winter wonderland that rivals the coolest destinations in the world. Join us on a journey to uncover how Moody Gardens became the Gulf Coast’s ultimate holiday hotspot.

A Cool Idea Inspired by Tradition

Our story begins with an idea that took inspiration from a time-honored tradition—the Annual Ice Festival in Harbin, China. This extraordinary event, dating back to the 1960s, bringing together over 3,000 talented ice carvers who compete to create the world’s most massive and intricate ice sculptures, all in the frigid depths of winter. It remains the largest ice and snow festival globally, attracting visitors from far and wide.

From Harbin to Galveston: A Grand Challenge

Bringing this captivating festival to the sunny shores of Galveston presented a unique set of challenges. After all, how do you recreate an event that typically unfolds in a country with bone-chilling temperatures as low as -31 degrees Celsius?

This was the question faced by our remarkable partners at the Gilbane Building Company. They were tasked with creating an enormous tent capable of withstanding hurricane-force winds, all while maintaining an interior temperature of just 9 degrees. The result? A colossal temporary structure that signals the arrival of the holiday season each year.

The Art of Crafting Colored Ice

Now, let’s dive into the fascinating process of creating the stunning ice sculptures that grace Moody Gardens’ ICE LAND. All of the ice used for this breathtaking display comes from our partner in Bryan, Texas, the Flying Penguin.

The ice undergoes a meticulous transformation to achieve its vibrant colors. First, reverse osmosis is employed to create crystal-clear ice blocks. Then, the magic happens as the ice is matched to the artist’s palette using a mixture of tempura paint and milk. Each design is laid out to scale, ensuring that the precise amount of ice and colors required are calculated well in advance.

Precision Carving and Artistry

With the ice prepared, it’s time for the real artistry to take center stage. The carving process involves dedicated teams working in shifts, devoting over 1,000 hours to their craft in just 45 days. Every detail is meticulously crafted to bring the magnificent scenes to life.

Overseeing this incredible journey is Kun Lu, the US president of the VYA Ice Carving Team from China. His expertise and watchful eye ensure that the transformation from blocks of ice to intricate sculptures unfolds seamlessly.

Moody Gardens has succeeded in turning a dream of winter enchantment into a reality, creating a destination on the Gulf Coast that is unlike any other. With ice sculptures that rival those from the coldest corners of the world, we’ve truly earned our place as the coolest holiday destination around.

Experience the Wonder

Experience the wonder for yourself at Moody Gardens, where tradition meets innovation, and winter comes to life on the Gulf Coast like never before. Don’t miss out on this unique holiday adventure and book your experience today: https://www.moodygardens.com/holiday_season/

Value Days for Festival of Lights and Holiday in the Gardens: New Theme Nights to Get You Into the Groove of the Holiday’s!

Moody Gardens is excited to announce its much-anticipated Holiday in the Gardens, a premier Gulf Coast destination happening from November 18th to January 6th. Select nights have been designated as Value Nights, offering discounted admission on Monday through Thursday, November 27th through December 14th, as well as January 3rd and 4th. Attendees who attend on these evenings can enjoy savings on their entrance to Festival of Lights AND those who participate in the themed nights for these evenings can take advantage of a buy-one-get-one-free (BOGO) ticket offer to the Festival of Lights trail or Holiday Pass which includes: Ice Land, Festival of Lights, four slides on the Arctic slide, train ride, ice rink, Aquarium Pyramid, 3D And 4D theaters starting at 4 p.m. 

  • Food Drive Thursdays is a great way to celebrate the season while helping those in need. Every Thursday from November 30th to December 28th, bring a non-perishable food item and get BOGO admission. All proceeds will be donated to the Galveston County and Houston Food Banks.
  • If you are a fan of the 70s fashion, you will love Groovy Night on November 27th. Bell bottoms, tie-dye, peace signs, and polyester… wear the 70s fashion ensemble that suits you and get BOGO admission.
  • Superhero Night on November 28th is a perfect way to unleash your inner superhero. Dress up as your favorite superhero and get BOGO admission.
  • For those who love Dickens on the Strand, come to Moody Gardens on November 29th and wear a Victorian costume to get BOGO admission and you may even see some familiar faces from the festival caroling on the trail.
  • Angel Tree Night on December 4th is a great way to celebrate the season while helping others. Bring an unwrapped children’s gift for the Salvation Army Angel Tree Project and get BOGO admission.
  • Ugly Sweater Night on December 5th is another fun way to enjoy the Festival of Lights. The uglier the sweater, the better! Wear your ugly sweater and get BOGO admission.
  • If you are a dog lover, bring your furry friend and a pre-packaged donation for the Galveston Island Humane Society on December 6th and January 3rd to get BOGO admission.
  • On December 11th, wear your favorite PJs for Pajama Night and get BOGO admission to the Festival of Lights.
  • Let It Glow on December 12th is a perfect opportunity to get creative. Wear anything that glows, such as glow paint, glow sticks, neon colors, and more, and get a discount with BOGO admission.
  • Lastly, Sensory Night on December 13th is a special evening for those with sensory sensitivities to enjoy the Festival of Lights. Modifications will be made from opening at dusk until 7 p.m. to provide straight lights with no blinking and no music or sound effects along the trail.

Our goal at Moody Gardens® is to provide a unique and memorable experience for you and your family this holiday season. As a non-profit, educational destination, our mission is to utilize the beauty of nature to advance research, rehabilitation, conservation, and recreation. Come and embrace the holiday spirit with your loved ones under the twinkling lights of Moody Gardens®. For more information, please visit our website www.moodygardens.org or call us at 409-744-4673.

 

Moody Gardens Welcomes Ice Carvers to create Festival Global Journey

 

MOODY GARDENS WELCOMES MASTER ICE CARVERS TO CREATE FESTIVAL GLOBAL JOURNEY

 

After traveling halfway around the world, the internationally-acclaimed CAA Harbin Ruijing Carving Team has returned to Moody Gardens to chart the course for a festive and amazingly cool journey around the world from two million pounds of ice.

 

The team of 25 master carvers will spend the next six weeks sculpting ordinary 300-pound blocks of colored ice into works of art and more as they create ICE LAND: Christmas Around the World, opening Nov. 16.

This year’s ICE LAND theme takes guests on a journey around the world. The carving team will even create a giant ice slide that will take guests from the top of the Eiffel Tower to the Arc de Triomphe. Guests will travel from Russia and Egypt to China and beyond and see how other cultures celebrate the season. Landmarks from all around the world will be featured including the Alamo, Big Ben, Sydney Opera House, the Great Wall of China, and more – all hand-carved out of two million pounds of ice inside a 28,000 square foot insulated tent structure chilled and maintained at nine degrees. The popular Shiver’s Ice Bar also returns to ICE LAND this year as guests enjoy ultra-cool holiday spirits as they enter this bar made completely of ice creatively transformed into a cozy cabin to fit the Christmas Around the World theme.

 

The team is led by chief ice and snow carving artist Mr. Qui Guanghui, who has received top honors in numerous international tournaments including the Harbin International Ice and Snow Carving and Chinese National Ice Carving Competition.

 

“The ice carving team creates a unique and breathtaking spectacle every year,” said John Zendt, Moody Gardens President and CEO. “Guests will be amazed at the amazing talent and dedication of all the work that goes into creating ICE LAND.”

 

ICE LAND: Christmas Around the World, the only ice sculpture exhibition on the Gulf Coast, is open Nov. 16, 2019-Jan. 12, 2020.

 

Other holiday attractions include Festival of Lights, Cirque Joyeux Dinner & Show, Rudolph 4D, 3D films, ice skating, an Arctic Slide and train rides, plus live entertainment and great food. For more information about these attractions, and discounted ticket options, click here.

Ice Land: Christmas Around the World 2019

MOODY GARDENS REVEALS ICE LAND: CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD FOR 2019

 

The world’s most famous landmarks will become cooler than ever as Moody Gardens introduces ICE LAND: Christmas Around the World with a brand new theme, exciting guest experiences, and bigger discounts on Nov. 16. The award-winning CAA Harbin Ruijing Carving Team of master ice carvers from Harbin, China will return to Moody Gardens to chart the course for this festive journey around the world.

 

Guests will travel from Russia and Egypt to China and beyond and see how other cultures celebrate the season. Featured will be landmarks from all around the world including the Alamo, Big Ben, Sydney Opera House, the Great Wall of China and more – all hand-carved out of two million pounds of ice. There’s even a giant ice slide that will take guests from the top of the Eiffel Tower to the Arc de Triomphe. There is even an option to stop by Shivers Ice Bar, featuring ultra-cool holiday spirits as this frozen watering hole is made completely of ice.

 

Now in its sixth year, ICE LAND has cemented its position as the region’s coolest holiday attraction. It will offer a more colorful range of sculptures than ever in the 28,000 square foot insulated tent structure chilled and maintained at nine degrees.

 

“In our sixth year, we are very excited to showcase another signature theme for ICE LAND this year,” said John Zendt, Moody Gardens President and CEO, who added that it is nice to see families throughout the region return each year to make Holiday in the Gardens part of their annual traditions.

 

In addition to ICE LAND, Moody Gardens will feature seven other attractions as part of Holiday in the Gardens including Cirque Joyeux Dinner & Show, Festival of Lights, an outdoor ice rink, train rides, Arctic Slide, Rudolph 4D, and 3D holiday films.

 

ICE LAND will offer a unique holiday experience for the entire family and will be open November 16 through January 12, as Galveston makes its transition into the Winter Wonder Island. Admission for adults is $28.95 and $23.95 for children and seniors. There are also many ways for guests to save on their experience. The new Super Value Days start at $8.95 for Festival of Lights and $19.95 for ICE LAND with an additional $5 off for seniors and children at ICE LAND. A discounted Evening Pass allows admission to all attractions with a variety of other discounts and packages at the Moody Gardens Hotel.

 

For more information, or to purchase tickets, click here.

Plan Your Holiday Itinerary!

Plan Your Escape for Festive Fun at Moody Gardens!
Moody Gardens has the ideal holiday adventure for you and your family. There is so much to do, you make a weekend of it and make the most of your vacation time with friends and family. Don’t know where to start? We have taken the livery of creating a sample itinerary to ensure you don’t miss a thing!

Day 1 of Fun

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.  Breakfast at Café in the Park at the Moody Gardens Hotel
Located at the Moody Gardens Hotel, this restaurant features a wide variety of breakfast options from tasty omelets to a sweet assortment of pastries. The lush greenery and vibrant colors make dining at the café like a festive outdoor picnic. Check out the menu here.

10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Festive Photo Opp
Strike a pose at the beautiful Poinsettia Tree in the Visitor Center Garden Lobby and share your photo with us on the Moody Gardens Facebook page.

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. Rainforest Pyramid
Immerse yourself in our 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 such as, monkeys and tropical birds.

11:45 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures, A Caribbean Christmas
Explore the only ice attraction on the Gulf Coast as you take an underwater journey from the shores of Galveston Island through the Gulf of Mexico to arrive at the ultimate Caribbean Christmas destination. Walk through a 28,000 square foot exhibit area set at a chilly temperature of nine degrees and encounter towering aquatic sculptures made completely of ice! There is even an opportunity to enjoy some festive holiday spirits inside of ICE LAND at Shivers Ice Bar.

12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Lunch at the Garden Restaurant in the Visitor’s Center
Partake in a festive holiday buffet which includes Pecan Crusted Chicken, Parmesan Potatoes, sautéed vegetables and more!

2:00 p.m. – 2:20 p.m. Nature’s Wonders Gift Shop in the Visitor Center
Take home a reminder of your Moody Gardens experience by checking out an array of holiday ornaments, animal plush toys, unique jewelry sets and more.

2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Moody Gardens Hotel Spa and Salon
Escape to a world of revitalizing fragrances and botanical oils as you are treated with a nourishing facial or a Swedish massage. Make your holidays merry by selecting one of the various holiday packages being offered for the season. More information.

4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. SpongeBob SubPants Adventure
Dive into adventure! On this wild and silly deep-sea submarine voyage, YOU choose the destination and YOU interact with your hapless captain — Patrick Star! Plunge into a world of immersive 3D media, a torrent of special effects and a nonstop whirlwind of surprises! With an improvised, real time interaction with Patrick Star, and varying destinations, your adventure is never the same twice.

5:15 p.m. – 5:35 p.m. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4D in the Special FX 4D Theater
Experience the latest 3D technology with a twist! Feel the rumble in your seat or snow fall into your lap as you join Rudolph, Santa and their misfit toy friends on their thrilling journey to save Christmas!

5:45 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. Drinks at Shearns Lounge
Admire breathtaking property views of the Moody Gardens Pyramids or a beautiful sunset over Galveston Bay. Savor premium cocktails at one of the best views of holiday lights around.

6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Cirque Joyeux Noel Dinner and Show (December 16 – 25 only)
Enjoy a one-of-a-kind Holiday show that includes amazing acrobats and aerialists, mesmerizing illusions, hilarious comedy and much more. All of this coupled with a superb Holiday Buffet Dinner prepared by renowned Moody Gardens Executive Chef Felipe Gonzalez. Click here for holiday hotel packages! Admission also includes a ticket to the Festival of Lights.

9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Festival of Lights
Take a stroll through the largest light attraction on the Gulf Coast. This one-mile trail features over 100 lighting displays such as, Santa Claus, various animals and even a narrated nativity scene! You can also glide on over to the area’s only outdoor skating rink as it is included in the Festival of Lights admission.

Day 2 of Fun

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Moody Brews in the Moody Gardens Hotel
Get your day started by grabbing a quick breakfast with a delicious brew at the Moody Gardens Hotel coffee shop. Take advantage of the sweet pastries and free hotel wifi.

8:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Tee Time at the Moody Gardens Golf Course
Take a swing on the lush greens of one of the top ranked golf courses in Texas. Enjoy spectacular views of beautiful palm trees and Galveston Bay.

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch at the Pelican Grill at the Moody Gardens Golf Course
Savor great food and a great bargain while taking in the lush tropical scenery of the Moody Gardens Golf Course and Offatts Bayou.

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Aquarium Pyramid
Visit four distinct ocean environments in the infamous blue pyramid that houses seals, sharks, penguins and thousands of tropical fish.

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Ropes Course & Zip Line
Satisfy your inner thrill-seeker as you soar 30 feet above Moody Gardens’ Palm Beach. Relish in the awesome property views as well as city glimpses from Offatts Bayou!

3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Jerusalem 3D in the MG 3D Theater
Immerse yourself into one of the world’s most beloved cities. Discover why this tiny piece of land is sacred to three major religions through the stories of Jewish, Christian and Muslim families who call Jerusalem home.

5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Dinner at Shearns Fine Dining Restaurant

Shearn’s Seafood and Prime Steaks is the premier destination for fine dining in Galveston. Delight in floor-to-ceiling views of the Galveston Bay and also amazing views of the Moody Gardens’ Pyramids.

7:00 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. Night Cruise on the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat

Relax on a beautiful nightly cruise through Offatts Bayou on the Moody Gardens’ 1800s paddlewheel boat. Overlooking the deck you will view a festive panorama of Christmas lights and displays from the 15th Annual Festival of Lights trail!

Your Caribbean Destination Awaits!

With just nine days remaining until opening day, the CAA Harbin Ruijing Carving Team of master ice carvers from Harbin, China are adding the finishing touches as the work of over 100 towering ice sculptures are completed at ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures, A Caribbean Christmas. Beautiful coral, a wide range of marine life ranging from spinner dolphins and other fish, a giant hammerhead and Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles as well as the finishing details at Shiver’s Ice Bar, the Oil Rig Ice Slide and more with Christmas theming throughout are the nuances that will provide a unique experience unlike any other for visitors to enjoy this holiday season when the attraction opens November 12.

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In its third year, ICE LAND will have guests embark on a breathtaking underwater journey from the shores of Galveston Island through the Gulf of Mexico. As they explore the oceans depths, they will discover sunken treasure and see Christmas surprises along the way. An ice slide takes the form of a towering oil rig and gives an opportunity to venture through the beautiful Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary for encounters with spectacular schools of colorful tropical fish, eagle rays, turtles, dolphins, hammerhead sharks and more on the way to their Caribbean island destination.

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ICE LAND will offer a unique holiday experience for the entire family and will be open November 12 through January 8, as Galveston makes its transition into the Winter Wonder Island.  Admission for adults is $26.95, $21.95 for seniors and $15.95 for children. A Value Days discount of $5.00 is available Sunday through Thursday, November 13 – December 15 and January 1-5 excluding Thanksgiving Day. Festival of Lights admission is $10.95. Additional combination tickets such as the Holiday Pass are available online for $34.95 and offer admission to ICE LAND, Festival of Lights, plus one attraction. Special packages are available for groups of 20 or more. Hotel Packages are also available.

In addition to ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures, A Caribbean Christmas, Moody Gardens will be home to seven other holiday attractions this season. Guests can take a stroll through the Festival of Lights, a one mile walking trail that features hundreds of light displays, including the area’s only outdoor ice rink. They can also enjoy the Arctic Slide, train rides, a variety of holiday and traditional films at the MG 3D theater, and a new Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Experience at the 4D Special FX Theater. The Rainforest, Aquarium and Discovery Pyramids will also be open. A Holiday Buffet will also be available nightly. The Holiday Gift Market will be featured at the Moody Gardens Convention Center Thanksgiving Weekend and guests can enjoy the new Cirque Joyeux Noel Dinner & Show December 16 – 26 at the Moody Gardens Hotel.

For more information call 1-800-582-4673 or visit www.moodygardens.org .

The Story Behind our Chinese Lanterns

Coming to Moody Gardens for the holidays is an enchanting experience that offers worlds made of ice, lights, and adventure. Part of the enchantment is due to the collection of pandas, jellyfishes, and cherry blossom tree lanterns that we have along Hope Boulevard.

These lanterns are just some of the many that we have in honor of the Chinese Lantern Festival. The connection between the Chinese Lantern Festival and Moody Gardens is rooted in our ice carvers that come to us all the way from Harbin, China. Our skilled and talented ice carvers came to America sharing their cultural with staff and guests alike and we thought it was only fitting to represent them on their property.

The Lantern Festival has been part of Chinese New Year celebrations since the Han Dynasty of The Chinese Empire (206 BC- 221 AD). The Chinese Lantern Festival is usually held on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar and marks the end of New Year festivities. The people of the Han Dynasty believed that fire contained mystical properties that would ward off evil and prevent natural disasters as well as bring blessings such as a bountiful harvest to the people.

Over the past centuries the lantern festival has evolved and now features lanterns in all shapes and sizes. These modern lanterns come in elaborate sets of vibrant color, dazzling lights and eye-catching design like the ones found on our property.

Chinese Panda Lanterns

When you come to Festival of Lights be sure to check out this unique cultural aspect that also makes for the perfect backdrop for photos with our playful pandas in a bamboo forest!

The Festival of Lights is a mile-long trail of more than 1 million lights. It runs daily until Jan. 10.

Admission to the Festival of Lights is $10.95, including ice skating admission. Guests can bring their own skates or skate rental is available for $7 with the purchase of a Festival of Lights ticket.

A frosty new addition to the Festival of Lights this year is ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures with SpongeBob SquarePants. Being the only holiday ice exhibition on the Gulf Coast, this vast and magnificent display of 900 tons of ice creations has transformed Moody Gardens into the largest holiday destination in the Southwest. Chilled and held at a temperature of 9 degrees, guests can witness these works of art through January 4. Admission to the exhibition is $26.95 for adults and $21.95 for seniors and children.

Chinese Lanterns

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In its 13th year, the Moody Gardens Festival of Lights continues to add spectacular displays for its guests. This year, visitors can enjoy truly unique displays – Chinese lanterns.

In honor of the Chinese Lantern Festival, Moody Gardens has lantern displays of pandas, jelly fish and trees. The lanterns are lined along the new ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures with SpongeBob SquarePants tent for all guests to admire and take pictures with.

The Lantern Festival has been part of Chinese New Year celebrations since the Han Dynasty of Chinese Empire (206 BC- 221 AD). The people of the Han Dynasty believed that fire contained mystical properties that would ward off evil and prevent natural disasters as well as bring blessings such as a bountiful harvest to the people. The first lantern festivals were inspired by these beliefs.

Usually held on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar, the lantern festival marks the end of New Year festivities.

The lantern festival has evolved over the centuries. Today, the modern lanterns come in all shapes and sizes and are featured in elaborate sets of vibrant color, dazzling light and eye-catching design.

Come enjoy these displays and all of the other beautiful displays at the Festival of Lights, open daily until Jan. 3.

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!

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» 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.

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