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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.

 

Working Underwater in a National Marine Sanctuary: Field Notes from Our Recent Adventure at the Flower Garden Banks

Hello, fellow ocean enthusiasts! We’re thrilled to share some exciting field notes from our recent adventure at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Join us as we take a closer look at our “working” trip with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), where we delved deep into the heart of the ocean to perform essential maintenance and explore the wonders of the deep blue.

Our Daring Crew, Boosting Operational Capacity, and Key Triumphs!

Representing the Moody Gardens Dive Program on this incredible journey were scientific divers and dive officers Chris Ledford, Aaron Bouwkamp, and Elisabeth Maxwell. These seasoned divers were more than ready to tackle the challenges that lay ahead. Under the guidance of NOAA, strict commercial diving standards are required to ensure safety and success in our underwater mission.

One thing that didn’t go unnoticed was the significant impact our participation had on the trip’s operational capacity. Our team’s expertise and dedication brought an extra layer of efficiency to the mission, making each dive and task more productive. Though our main goal is to support efforts in a safe and productive manner, we really enjoyed seeing the success unfold!

Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of our accomplishments during this unforgettable trip:

  1. Anchors Away: One of our primary objectives was to replace worn out moorings with brand-new mooring buoy U-bolts. We helped successfully install not one, but two, of these essential components, ensuring the mooring system’s reliability and strength. These U-bolts are crucial for securing vessels and equipment during various underwater operations for the sanctuary, as well as providing public access!
  2. A Temporary Solution: In the world of marine exploration, flexibility is key. We faced unexpected challenges, including the need for a “temporary” mooring anchor. With expert precision from the sanctuary team, an implemented and rigorously tested solution was found! Photo 1 in our gallery offers a sneak peek into our ingenious dry-side mockup of the temporary mooring system.

Why are mooring buoys important to the Flower Gardens Banks you ask? First, it’s important to know anchoring in the FGBNMS is strictly prohibited because it is incredibly damaging to coral reefs. Mooring buoys play a crucial role in the health and preservation of ocean environments because they provide a means of accessing a beautiful area like the FGBNMS without having to anchor. This provides a huge protection to coral reefs and established habitats and gives access while minimizing damage, reducing chemical pollution, enhancing safety, promoting sustainable tourism, and fostering environmental awareness. You can learn more about them here: https://flowergarden.noaa.gov/protection/mooringbuoys.html

Diagram of a mooring buoy from the Flower Garden Banks Marine Sanctuary.

Example of an installed u-bolt before the mooring is attached.

Witness the intricate setup of the temporary mooring system. Braided cable, clamped to a broken u-bolt, serves as a necessary attachment point for our mooring line. This line is indispensable for drilling operations when installing new U-bolts.

Dive into the action as Chris Ledford gets geared up and ready to plunge into the depths. Standing by as a dedicated safety diver, Aaron Bouwkamp is always at the ready to ensure the safety of the team.

Discover the hands-on work behind the scenes. Elisabeth Maxwell, Jacque Emmert, and Aaron Bouwkamp join forces to mix and bag cement, a crucial step in securing the new u-bolt anchors firmly in place.

Temporary mooring solution installed on the broken U-bolt!

Teamwork for the Win

Our adventure at the Flower Garden Banks was nothing short of extraordinary. While we faced some unexpected challenges, the spirit of exploration and teamwork prevailed. To date, our dive team has supported 31 missions for NOAA’s FGBNMS since 2013 and has helped with the installation of six mooring buoys  with plans to continue supporting future efforts!

We’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the entire Dive Operations team for their dedication and commitment to ocean conservation and exploration. Stay tuned for more thrilling underwater escapades as we continue to explore the mysteries of the deep and work tirelessly to protect our precious marine ecosystems thanks to support like yours!

Until next time, dive deep, dream big, and make waves! 🌊🐟🦑

– Moody Gardens Dive Ops

Start Your Cruise Off Seamlessly at the Moody Gardens Hotel & Spa in Galveston

Start Your Cruise Off Seamlessly at the Moody Gardens Hotel & Spa in Galveston

Galveston, Texas is fast becoming a hub for cruise enthusiasts, ranking among the top destinations in the country for embarking on a memorable cruise vacation. With its picturesque shoreline and convenient cruise terminals, it’s no wonder that this coastal gem has caught the attention of travelers seeking the perfect pre-cruise stay. Nestled in the heart of Galveston with the iconic pyramids, the Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa & Convention Center offers an enticing solution for those looking to start their cruise experience stress-free. Let’s cruise through why staying at this spectacular hotel before your trip on the ship could be the perfect way to kickstart your vacation.

  1. Cruising’s Rising Star – Galveston’s Cruise Scene: Galveston has been making waves in the cruise industry, consistently ranking as one of the top cruise departure points in the United States. In fact, it’s poised to take the number two spot soon. With its strategic location on the Gulf of Mexico, it’s an ideal launchpad for cruise adventures. Staying at Moody Gardens Hotel & Spa allows you to fully embrace this coastal paradise and conveniently start your cruise journey.
  2. Say Goodbye to Parking Woes: One of the most significant advantages of booking a stay at the Moody Gardens Hotel & Spa is the inclusive cruise package. This package not only provides you with a spectacular guest room but also includes valet parking for your vehicle during your entire cruise duration. The best part? You won’t have to pay a penny extra for parking. It’s essentially a cost-effective way to keep your vehicle secure while you embark on your cruise adventure.
  3. No More Hauling Luggage: Picture this – you arrive at the cruise terminal with your luggage, navigating giant parking lots, busy streets, and unfavorable weather conditions. It’s not the ideal way to start a relaxing vacation, right? However, when you stay at Moody Gardens, you can bid farewell to these hassles. The hotel’s convenient shuttle service ensures that you and your luggage are dropped off right at the terminal’s doorstep. No more dragging suitcases through rain or scorching heat – your vacation starts with ease and comfort.
  4. Safe and Secure: Security is a priority when it comes to your vehicle. At Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa & Convention Center, you can trust that your car will be securely parked throughout your cruise. This peace of mind allows you to fully enjoy your vacation without worrying about your vehicle’s safety.
  5. A Stress-Free Start: For those who dread the early morning drive to the cruise terminal, filled with stress and parking anxieties, Moody Gardens Hotel & Spa offers an attractive alternative. Instead of rising before dawn, you can wake up refreshed, enjoy a delicious breakfast, and then simply board the shuttle. It transforms the transition from everyday life to vacation mode into a seamless and enjoyable experience.
  6. Explore Moody Gardens with the Value Pass: Come in a day early and make your trip even more memorable by adding the “Value Pass” to your stay. The value pass is discounted to $45 per person for cruise passengers and gives you and your family access to the Rainforest and Aquarium Pyramids; 20,000 Leagues: An Interactive Adventure; 3D Theater; 4D Theater; and Colonel Paddlewheel Boat. It’s a fantastic opportunity to turn your pre-cruise stay into a shore excursion, exploring the wonders of Moody Gardens’ attractions while staying at the hotel.

As you can see, starting your cruise vacation at the Moody Gardens Hotel & Spa in Galveston is a smart choice. With our all-inclusive cruise package, you can leave behind the worries of parking, transportation, and luggage handling. Instead, savor a stress-free beginning to your cruise adventure, with the added bonus of enjoying the scenic beauty and attractions Galveston has to offer. To book your hassle-free pre-cruise stay, visit the Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa & Convention Center website at www.moodygardens.org and set sail for a vacation you’ll cherish forever.

Educational Opportunities Can Seem to Be Our Best Kept Secret at Moody Gardens!

Educational Opportunities Can Seem to Be Our Best Kept Secret at Moody Gardens!

Since our inception, The Moody Gardens mission has been a public, non-profit educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research. However, as we strive to provide an enjoyable and informative experience, education can appear to be one of our best-kept secrets! Our staff is passionate about creating a place where education meets adventure and learning comes to life! We are thrilled to announce an array of upcoming educational opportunities suitable for all ages. Whether you’re a homeschool family, a curious preschooler, or a member of a scouting group, there’s something exciting awaiting you at Moody Gardens!


**Learn Wild! Home School Program**

Calling all home school families and groups! Our Learn Wild! Home School Program has the perfect opportunity for you to engage in a focused educational experience and it is offered each month. Join us on the first Wednesday of every month to explore a featured attraction, meet our ambassador animals, and dive into captivating documentary movies. Our expert Educators will lead you in hands-on activities that complement your home classroom curriculum. Our fall program kicks off on September 5, 2023, where students will learn all about “Slithering Sidekicks: Riding Reptiles.” It’s a chance for your kids to get up close and personal with these fascinating creatures. This family adventure includes the adults in the fun and is perfect for all ages!

Cost: $18 for non-members and $10 for members per person adult and youth 3-17; accompanying siblings 2 and under are free but must be registered.


**NEW! Learn Live! Pre-K Expeditions – For Learners Ages 3-5**

Your little learners aged 3-5 can embark on an unforgettable adventure through our Learn Live! Pre-K Expeditions. On the second Wednesday of every month (with the exception of June-August), children can enjoy games, crafts, experiments, storytime, and admission to the corresponding attraction. It’s a fun and interactive way to keep their curiosity alive. The next expedition will be offered on August 16 where we’ll be “Digging Dinos”! The expedition will feature the Dinosaur movie at the 3D IMAX and the Dino’s Alive exhibit. The fun continues on September 13 with “Nocturnal Night-Owls.” These morning sessions from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm fit perfectly into your little one’s routine. Tickets are required for all adults and children aged 3 and up, while babies up to 2 years old can join for free, however crafts and games are 3+.

Cost: $15 for non-members and $10 for members per person adult and youth 3-17; accompanying siblings 2 and under are free but must be registered.

Private tours and programs are available for schools, home school groups, clubs, or a private family outing. Reach out to us for more info!


**Scout Programs: Exploring and Earning Badges**

Attention all scouts from Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Girl Scouts, American Heritage Girls, and Trail Life Troops! Moody Gardens is the perfect destination for your scouting adventures. Not only will you explore environments from around the world, but you’ll also have the opportunity to work towards earning badges while having a blast.

For scouts aged 11-17, we have Scouts BSA Merit Badge Workshops designed to help you earn and learn at the same time. Join us on August 20 for the “Sustainability” workshop and on September 3 for the “Mammal Study.” Our workshops are comprehensive and include exhibits or animal presentations related to the badge and are hands-on fun for everyone.

Private workshops are available for all ages and ranks, and you can even combine them with a sleepover to create a memorable Scouting Overnight Adventure. For more information and reservations, reach out to the provided email or phone number.


At Moody Gardens, we believe that education and adventure go hand in hand. Come and be a part of these incredible learning opportunities, where knowledge and excitement intersect. Whether you’re a homeschool family, a curious preschooler, or a scouting group, Moody Gardens welcomes you to explore, learn, and create memories that will last a lifetime. For more information and to secure your spot, contact us today by calling us at 409-683-4290 or emailing us at teaching@moodygardens.org​ for more information. We look forward to embarking on this educational journey with you!

Celebrating Our Dedicated Team During National Zookeeper Week!

Last week, we had the pleasure of celebrating National Zookeeper Week, a time dedicated to honoring the unsung heroes of our sanctuary – the hardworking and passionate individuals who dedicate their lives to caring for our beloved animals. As we reflect back on this special week, we cannot help but be overwhelmed with gratitude for our incredible team of zookeepers who make Moody Gardens a truly magical place.

One of our cherished team members, Janie, the talented Penguin & Seal Biologist, beautifully summed up her experience with the following heartfelt quote: “Over the last 2+ years, I have learned so much, made wonderful memories, and gotten to work with some amazing people and animals! The 14-year-old me that started volunteering at Moody Gardens could only dream of having this career, and I’m so happy to have achieved that dream. Hug your local zookeeper and enjoy the photos!”

Janie’s story exemplifies the journey of passion and dedication that our zookeepers embark upon. Many of them begin as bright-eyed volunteers, motivated by their love for wildlife and the desire to contribute positively to conservation efforts. Over time, they grow and learn, gaining valuable knowledge and hands-on experience through countless hours of hard work and determination.

These remarkable individuals play an integral role in our mission to utilize nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research. Through their care, expertise, and commitment, our animals thrive in a safe and nurturing environment, allowing visitors to witness their natural behaviors up close and personal.

National Zookeeper Week gives us the opportunity to recognize the challenges our team faces daily. From meticulously preparing diets tailored to each animal’s needs to creating stimulating environments that encourage physical and mental well-being, their dedication knows no bounds. Their efforts extend beyond the well-being of the animals, as they also serve as invaluable educators, teaching the public about the importance of conservation and the need to protect these incredible species.

At Moody Gardens, we take immense pride in our diverse and talented team of zookeepers who work tirelessly to ensure the happiness and well-being of our animals. Each member brings their unique skills, experience, and passion to the table, resulting in a vibrant and harmonious atmosphere that permeates throughout our sanctuary.

As we honored our zookeepers during this special week, we also wanted to extend our heartfelt appreciation to you, our dear visitors, and supporters. Your continued love and support make it possible for us to maintain our high standards of care and carry out crucial conservation efforts.

We encourage you to take a moment to express your gratitude to the zookeepers at your local wildlife sanctuaries and zoos, no matter the week. Their dedication often goes unnoticed, but their impact on the lives of both animals and humans is immeasurable.

So, from all of us here at Moody Gardens, a big shoutout to our amazing team of zookeepers! Your hard work, passion, and unwavering commitment inspire us daily, and we are incredibly fortunate to have you as part of our family.

Let us continue to cherish and protect the fascinating creatures that share our planet, and as Janie said, don’t forget to give your local zookeeper a warm hug of appreciation!

With heartfelt thanks and warm wishes,
Jaree Hefner
Moody Gardens Blogger

Start Your Day Right at Moody Gardens: An Insider Tip From Our Family to Yours!

Hey there, fellow adventurers! Welcome to Moody Gardens, where nature meets fun and excitement! Today, we’re going to let you in on a little secret that will take your experience to the next level. So, grab your hats, sunglasses, and a large coffee cup of enthusiasm as we embark on a journey to discover the best time to explore the Rainforest Pyramid and Aquarium Pyramid.

Picture this: It’s a bright and beautiful morning, the sun is shining, and the chirping birds are heralding a new day. You step into the lush oasis of Moody Gardens and feel an instant surge of anticipation. But wait, there’s a strategy here, my friend! If you want to witness the animal kingdom in all its glory, you must set your alarm clock to be here as the clock strikes 10 am.

Why, you ask? Well, let us spill the beans. When the gates open, and the first rays of sunlight pierce through the trees, our animal friends are wide awake, fresh, and brimming with energy. Just like us humans, they’ve had a good night’s sleep and are ready to tackle the day ahead. No groggy morning faces or sleepy yawns for these lively creatures!

If you head straight to the Rainforest Pyramid, you’ll find yourself in awe of the vibrant ecosystem buzzing with life all around you. As you venture deeper into the dense foliage, you’ll spot colorful birds showing off their plumage, playful monkeys swinging from tree to tree, and mischievous sloths peeking out from their leafy hideouts. It’s a symphony of sights and sounds that will leave you singing a happy little tune.

But hold your seahorses, because we’re not done yet! Next up, make your way to the Aquarium Pyramid. Trust us; the underwater wonders are best experienced when our aquatic friends are feeling chipper and sociable. From majestic sharks to graceful stingrays, you’ll witness an underwater oasis that will make your heart skip a beat.

At 10 am, it’s the perfect time to catch the sharks and sting rays setting out on their morning swim, witness the curious penguins waddling about, and marvel at the mesmerizing dance of the jellyfish. You might even catch a glimpse of our resident sea lion, performing his daily showmanship with a cheeky twinkle in his eye.

By visiting the Rainforest Pyramid and Aquarium Pyramid in the morning, you’ll enjoy a double dose of energy, excitement, and sociability. Our animal friends are more likely to interact, play, and show off their unique personalities during these vibrant morning hours. It’s like having a backstage pass to witness the animal kingdom at its best! Whether you’re an early bird or need a few cups of coffee to wake up, we guarantee this magical experience will be worth it.

So, what are you waiting for? Dust off your explorer’s hat, grab your camera (no flash!), and get ready to be amazed at Moody Gardens. The rainforest and the ocean await, filled with charismatic creatures eager to make your day an unforgettable one!

See you bright and early at 10 am, fellow adventurers! Let the wild and wonderful journey begin!

Nurse Sharks arrive at the Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid

Moody Gardens welcomes six nurse sharks to the Caribbean exhibit inside the Aquarium Pyramid. The nurse sharks came to Moody Gardens from the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington as a result of that facility undergoing renovations on their exhibit and no longer being able to house the sharks. Moody Gardens was able to provide accommodations with a solution that was mutually beneficial to both facilities.

There are six large nurse sharks each weighing around 250 pounds and aged from 30 to 42 years old. The Caribbean exhibit is approximately 20 feet deep and is currently home to a large variety of fish, stingrays, eels, and sharks. “The sharks are doing amazing in the exhibit and we are thrilled to have them,” said Aquarium Curator Diane Olsen. The nurse sharks are loving their new exhibit and are staying very active. The aquarium biologists continue to monitor all of them closely to see how they continue to adapt to their new home.

The team here at Moody Gardens as well as the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium team all played a huge role in transporting the Nurse Sharks. A team was assembled from members of various departments including maintenance, biologists, divers, and vet techs to assist in the move into the exhibit. The move of these sharks was the largest that the Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid staff has taken on. Custom equipment was used to transport the large sharks and it took a lot of planning and effort to move these animals. “It was like clockwork and it was amazing how well the team and sharks did,” said Diane Olsen, Curator at the Aquarium.

The role the nurse sharks play here at Moody Gardens is to display the diversity of sharks. Nurse sharks are very easy to identify. They are not grayish in coloration. Instead, they are yellowish-brown. They also have characteristically round heads, barbels that they use to search for prey, and very small eyes. Nurse Sharks are very unique because they have a societal role and form groups that they stay with their entire life.

Visit the nurse sharks and all their fish friends inside the Caribbean exhibit inside the Aquarium Pyramid. The Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid is one of the largest and most diverse aquariums in the United States. With over 1.5 million gallons of water, the Aquarium Pyramid houses marine life from five distinct environments. Not only does the collection include seals and sea lions, but they also have penguins, stingrays, sharks, and over 200 different species of fish.

 

MOODY GARDENS OFFERS SUMMER FUN WITH BANDS ON THE SAND, DINOSAURS, KIDS CAMPS, GOLF AND MORE

Hotel Packages Make an Island Getaway the Ideal Escape on the Texas Coast

 

It’s never too soon to start planning for a great summer getaway. Moody Gardens has one of the most diverse variety of activities for an enjoyable weekend or extended vacation with an island filled with fun in Galveston. This tropical resort has 242 acres of lush gardens and palm trees and year-round attractions at its Rainforest, Aquarium and Discovery Pyramids; 3D, 4D and Audience Recognition Theaters; Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, Zip Line and Ropes Course. Hotel Packages include attractions tickets, spa options, golf getaways and more. While the fun is year-round, summer season offers its own schedule of special activities for all ages.

 

Beach Appeal:

Palm Beach opens for the summer Memorial Day Weekend on May 28 where guests can sink their toes in white sand, relax under a palm tree or splash along a 650-foot lazy river, wave pool and two 18-foot tower slides. An Aquarium Adventure play area and Splashpad is ideal for smaller children to enjoy.

 

Bands on the Sand features live music at Palm Beach on Saturday evenings throughout the summer and offers fun for all ages. The Shoreline Grill serves up a great menu of summer foodie favorites and a bar that features refreshing options from tropical cocktails to ice cold beer.

 

Dinosaur Invasion:

The Dinos Alive exhibit opens May 28 and features dozens of life-like animatronic dinosaurs, as a full-size Tyrannosaurus Rex takes center stage. Dinos Alive guests become part of a rescue team sent back in time to search for a missing plane and its crew. Along the way, they get have an up-close encounter with some of the most feared and amazing creatures to ever roam the Earth.

 

Dinosaurs of Antarctica premiers May 28 at the MG3D Theater for those who are passionate about the prehistoric. From the Permian through the Jurassic, viewers can journey to the south polar landscapes of Antarctica hundreds of millions of years ago. Roam the primitive forests and thick swamps with bizarre dinosaurs and colossal amphibians. Enter a surreal world of bug-eyed giants and egg-laying mammals—where survival means enduring the sunless, six-month polar winter surrounded by meat-eaters with night vision. Join intrepid Antarctic scientists on a quest to understand the ice continent’s profound transformation and to predict the future as humans drive dramatic change.

 

Dinosaur Birthday Parties or other celebration are brought to an awesome prehistoric level. Leave the planning to Moody Gardens to create a memorable experience that includes time in the Dinos Alive interactive exhibit for groups of 12 to 60 guests. A package includes digital invitations, party favors for all youth attendees and your private party room, party host and games. Moody Gardens offers a variety of other party options themed with its various attraction experiences

 

Wild Marvel Summer Camps

Seaside Safari Camp allows kids grades K – 2nd grade to nurture their curiosity about the natural world as they trek through the Moody Gardens Pyramids. They can work with fellow wildlife engineers to find answers to questions about the world’s oceans and rainforests. Campers can run wild as they create a new habitat, plant or animal straight from their imagination.

 

Night Rangers Camp for grades 3 – 5 allows campers to patrol the wilds of Moody Gardens to discover the processes that help ecosystems tick. Monitor the orders that people place for services and resources provided by nature. Campers put their wildlife engineering skills to the test as they design and build their own sustainable ecosystem protected from natural disasters and human activities.

 

BioQuest Camps allow kids grades 6-8 to go on behind the scenes expeditions with Moody Gardens animal care staff. Get an in-depth look at how Moody Gardens staff ensures the animal ambassadors have the latest and greatest advantages to be designed. Grab a wildlife engineer toolkit to construct models, complete labs (SLIME!), conduct surveys and create plans to help share the Moody Gardens conservation mission with the world.

MOODY GARDENS OFFERS NEW YEAR’S CELEBRATIONS FOR FAMILIES, COUPLES AND EVEN A SPECIAL ROARING 20’S PARTY

Ring in the New Year at Moody Gardens with several different options for celebration. Whether it’s a special date night, couple’s retreat, or a family getaway that includes the kids, there are options for every occasion. Visitors can choose a fun-filled family night and hotel package at New Year’s Palooza, a cruise aboard the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat that ends with a champagne toast at midnight or a night of entertainment and dancing at the Roaring Twenties New Year’s Eve Celebration in Shearn’s Lounge on the 9th floor of the hotel.

 

Family Celebration –

New Year Palooza at the Moody Gardens Hotel will be a night to remember full of games, amazing food and activities for all ages and interests. This is an important night that should be spent with family and from the time that individuals attending this special event arrive, to the time they leave, there will be fun activities lined up for the duration of their stay. Guests will receive text messages throughout the event to alert them of what activities are occurring so that they don’t miss out on any of the excitement. The weekend-long event will begin with light bites and a fun-filled journey through the Moody Gardens attractions, followed by dinner with the spectacular Cirque Joyeux Holiday Show. After the show, guests can explore the Festival of Lights trail and enjoy a wide variety of different games, music and activities inside the Convention Center. After exploring the holiday lights trail, individuals can stop to enjoy hot chocolate and warm cookies as they watch the fireworks light up the night sky. End the night with an early New Year’s Countdown for the kids with a Beach Ball Drop as hundreds of balls cascade from the ceiling to welcome the new year. Sparkling cider and champagne will be provided for the adults. Wake up early on the first day of 2022 and enjoy a spectacular breakfast accompanied by games and activities, including a Mimosa and Bloody Mary Bar for the adults.

 

The New Year Palooza hotel package includes two fun-filled nights of action-packed celebration. Guests will receive two-day passes for Moody Gardens attractions, tickets to Cirque Joyeux Holiday Dinner & Show and tickets to New Year Palooza. There will be plenty of family friendly activities including air hockey, foosball, bounce houses, arcade games, a beach ball drop and fireworks. This package is for two adults and two children. Registration will be from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, December 31st and snacks will be offered, including a Build-Your-Own Trail Mix Bar. Guests can enjoy the attractions until 3:30 p.m.. The Cirque Joyeux Preshow and dinner buffet opens at 4 p.m. with the show scheduled from 5 to 6 p.m. Guests can enjoy Festival of Lights followed by fireworks at 6:45 p.m. The celebration continues at the hotel with games, snacks, desserts, an adult lounge and a live DJ. The New Year’s countdown begins at 9:30 p.m. and the night will come to an end around 10:30 p.m.. The following day, Palooza will open with a breakfast buffet and games starting at 8 a.m. with a full day of fun at the Moody Gardens attractions from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m..

 

New Year’s Eve Cruise –

Cruise out of 2021 and celebrate the wonder and possibilities of this brand new year. Guests will have this opportunity aboard the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, with spectacular water views of the Festival of Lights. There will be boat loads of music, dancing and a delightful menu featuring an array of heavy hors d’oeuvres ranging from Chilled Shrimp and Crab Cakes, to BBQ Short Ribs and White Cheddar Mac & Cheese, with two complimentary drink vouchers. Following a Midnight Champagne Toast, guests will return to shore to greet the New Year. Boarding for the New Year’s Eve Cruise will begin at 9 p.m. and the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat will sail at 10 p.m. Tickets for the cruise are $90 per person.

 

Roaring 20’s Party at Shearn’s Lounge at Moody Gardens Hotel –

Get dressed up and party the night away on the 9th floor in the hotel at the Roaring 20’s New Year’s Eve Celebration inside Shearn’s Lounge. Guests will have access to an open bar, live entertainment and plenty of hors d’oeuvres that are sure to satisfy. Live entertainment will be provided by a local favorite, The Slags. The 9th floor of the hotel will be transformed into a 20’s style speakeasy with access to multiple rooms filled with plenty to see and do. Dress in your most elegant flapper attire or top hats and be prepared to drink and dance into the new year. Doors open at 8 a.m. and the party doesn’t stop until 1 a.m.. Pricing starts at $150 for individuals and room packages will be available.

 

Last Chance for Festival of Lights –

The Festival of Lights one-mile walking trail decked with two million lights and filled with sound enhanced lighted and animated displays themed to everyone’s favorite holiday music, will be open regular hours (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.) on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, as well as the other holiday attractions at Moody Gardens, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer playing in the 4D Theater, other holiday 3D films, the Arctic Slide and train rides, and fireside s’mores. The year-round attractions will also be open New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day, ensuring that there will be plenty of fun to be had with the family or as a couple.

 

“With so many options to celebrate the New Year, Moody Gardens has become a place to celebrate for everyone from the little ones and families to that special date night for couple,” stated President & CEO John Zendt, who added, “As we all look forward to the opportunities that the excitement that the New Year brings.”

MOODY GARDENS HOLIDAY IN THE GARDENS CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

Santa to Parachute in to Kick Off the Season November 20th.

 

Holiday in the Gardens will brighten the holiday season with more light displays for guests at Moody Gardens Festival of Lights. Holiday sights, sounds and smells will fill the air from November 20 to January 2 as Festival of Lights enters its twentieth year. The countdown has begun. Guests can attend the Opening Day of Holiday in the Gardens on Nov. 20 as Santa Claus parachutes in to illuminate the mile-long light trail, which is one of the largest holiday lighting events on the Gulf Coast.

 

“It’s been an honor to create holiday memories for families for 20 years,” said Moody Gardens President and CEO John Zendt. “So many families have made this a tradition and we’re pleased to have been able to continue to improve the experience over time.”

 

Guests can enjoy the one-mile trail filled with even more lights than before, over 100 sound enhanced animated light displays themed to their favorite holiday music, hot cocoa, fireside smores, pictures with Santa and much more. Guests can choose from a selection of holiday films in the MG 3D Theater and Rudolph 4D in the 4D Special FX Theater for families to enjoy special effects like snow flurries and the delightful smell of gingerbread.

 

Other holiday attractions include an Arctic Slide, train rides, pictures with Santa, and great food that ranges from a festive dinner buffet to your favorite festive fare and confections along the Festival of Lights trail.

 

Food Drive Thursdays offer the opportunity for guests to help those in need this holiday season while also receiving a two-for-one admission to the Festival of Lights when they bring a non-perishable food item on Thursdays throughout the month of December. The food will be donated to the Galveston County and Houston Food Banks.

 

Experience even more holiday magic this year at the Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center with the Cirque Joyeux Holiday Show, starring a team of acrobats, aerialists, performing cats and more from December 17th through the 30th, and New Year’s Eve Palooza, an exciting New Year’s Celebration that provides entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.

 

A variety of holiday packages at the Moody Gardens Hotel featuring holiday attractions, spa, Breakfast with Santa, Cirque Joyeux Holiday Show and New Year’s Eve Palooza.
Guests looking for bargains and fewer visitors can take advantage of Value Days every Sunday – Thursday between November 28 and December 16. The best deal is a Holiday Pass which includes admission to the Festival of Lights as well as a 3D and 4D movie and the Arctic Slide for $29 on a Value Day and $39 regularly. Festival of Lights pricing is $18 on Value Days and $22 regularly. Holiday attractions open at 4 p.m. nightly and close at 9 p.m. on Value Days at 10 p.m. on all other days. Moody Gardens’ regular attractions open at 10 a.m. daily.

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