Moody Gardens, Galveston

We absolutely LOVE Galveston Island, and Moody Gardens is one of the amazing gems on the island!

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1.  Know Before You Go

Combo tickets are usually your best deals.  They occasionally have a Groupon for special events.

Check out membership pricing, sometimes you get a better deal, and there is so much to see you can easily spread it out over 2, or more days.

Consider staying at the Moody Gardens Hotel with a family package, that includes 1 night stay and a 2 day pass to Moody Gardens (does not include ropes course or zip lines).

Arrive early for fewer people, lines and the best parking.  Parking is FREE.

Outside food and drinks are not allowed, but you can go between exhibits out to your car to grab a picnic lunch to eat at one of the picnic tables.

It can be very crowded while in line to purchase tickets.  My hubby and I usually double team it, with one of us going inside (the most patient, which is, um…. me)  and he stays outside with the kids.  They walk around outside, or down to the water for the 15 or so minutes it takes to purchase tickets.

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The Rainforest Pyramid is just one of the pyramids that make up Moody Gardens.

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The Discovery Museum houses traveling exhibits, like the current running Jam Remastered – The Science Behind Music.

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The brilliant blue pyramid is The Aquarium.  Filled with not only many, many fish, but also the sea mammals of Moody Gardens, the harbor seals!  It is also home to Gentoo and Macaroni Penguins, and they offer a Penguin Encounter, too.

My daughter wants to return to Moody Gardens over Shark Week to see their newest exhibit, Sharks in Depth.  For a girl that loves sharks, Moody Gardens is paradise!

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The Colonel Paddlewheel Boat offers visitors two great ways to experience a tour out on the water.  They have daily, hour-long cruises across Offatts Bayou, and the second Saturday of each month they offer a dinner cruise.

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Palm Beach at Moody Gardens is a fun water park, offering a cool way to stay wet!  Water slides, a lazy river and a wave pool can keep the kiddos entertained while you dig your toes in the white sand beach!

No outside food or drinks allowed, but you can carry in one water bottle/person (not in a cooler).

You can come and go with a wrist band.  It’s a nice break between the exhibits.

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Ice Land Ice Sculptures

We were amazed at the detail that went into the Spongebob Squarepants Ice Land!

They pass out required parkas for the visit, but don’t forget gloves, hat and warm shoes (It’s Galveston and all I had packed were flip flops!).

Make sure everyone makes a potty break before heading into the exhibit.

Drink plenty of fluids all day, the cold air is dehydrating.

On the ice slide, make sure kids sit on the parka to slide, instead of lifting it up to sit on their pants.

Girl Scout Sleepover

We visited Moody Garden’s Rain Forest Pyramid with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop.  Before our cookie sales had begun, the girls all voted for a place to visit, using the money they earned from cookie sales.  They were very excited, as was I, to get to learn about this wonderful place, and even spend the night there!

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Our adventure began in the evening, about an hour before they closed to the public for the evening.  After we all joined up, met our personal guides and stored our overnight items, we began our visit by a tour inside the Rainforest Pyramid.  The tour starts at the very top, or canopy of the enclosed forest.

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As we slowly winded our way down to the bottom, we saw all sorts of animals.  A sloth, iguana, birds, bats and even this sleepy monkey.

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On the forest floor, there were LOTS of animals, including this Chinese Alligator.  Cute little guy, isn’t he?

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There were also many amazing plant species growing in the Pyramid, like almond trees, coconut trees and even this PINEAPPLE!  Can you see the fruit there on the right hand side?  I’m already planning to try to grow one when we get home!

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The Corpus Flower is another amazing plant they have growing!  Extremely tall, this plant will bloom, releasing a dreadful smell, similar to rotting flesh.  The flower does this to attract bugs like flies, who will then pollinate the flower.  Nature is SO amazing!

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The moon was just rising as we left the pyramid.  This was the “Super Moon” of 2013, and it was amazing with the palm trees for a backdrop.

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We then followed our guides back to the Learning Place, a separate building at Moody Gardens used for educational purposes such as field trips, classes and sleep-overs by various groups.

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Inside the Learning Place, we had several animal encounters.  We also had AMAZING guides, Cheyenne and David.  After years of scout trips, I can tell you that fun, friendly and knowledgeable guides make all the difference.   When I book a Girl Scout trip, I always request a female guide who will be a good role model for the girls.  Cheyenne more than delivered on that request!   As a college student at Texas A & M Galveston, studying to be a marine biologist, she sat the girls down and discussed different occupations available at Moody Gardens, and the importance of education to fulfill these jobs.  LOVED IT!

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Can’t see anything in this picture of our night-time tour of the Rainforest Pyramid?  Neither could we!  Only a few of the adults had flashlights, and it was so different from our earlier tour!  The nocturnal animals were now moving around the pyramid, and it was really like a whole other place!

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When we awoke the next morning, about 6:30 am, this was our view.  The giant river otters weren’t out yet, but they are really fun to watch, even if they are actually very aggressive.

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While I was watching the sunrise, my Girl Scout was still snoozing away!  It’s funny how quickly the floor around her resembles her room!

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Moody Gardens

One Hope Boulevard
Galveston, Texas 77554

 Phone: 1-800-582-4673

Click HERE to visit their website


 

Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun! 

Michelle 

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