Results 1-10of 16 Reviews
May 20, 2008
March 19, 2007
From journal Weekend in Galveston
May 11, 2006
From journal Galveston Getaway
October 16, 2005
We visited Moody Gardens on a rainy day. It was not well marked on the street signs (a small blue sign near the road sign was the only marking), but I had good directions, so I found it fairly easily. Moody Gardens consists of three large pyramids--a science discovery pyramid that was on music, the rain-forest pyramid, and the aquarium pyramid. In addition, they have a restaurant with picturesque views of the bay and landscape, an 8-story IMAX, a ride simulator, and a paddle-boat ride. Each part costs separately, or you can buy an all-day pass for $31. That is what we did.
We started in the rain-forest pyramid, which was great, with many tropical animals, and they did not appear to be in typical cages, but instead it seemed like you were in the rain forest, with sloths, macaws, bats, flamingos, crocodiles, piranhas, and more. We wanted to go back inside after we left, but your pass/ticket only allows you to go through once.
At 11:30am we saw our IMAX movie on sharks. They said that it was the most popular of the two choices. The other choice was about the Africa safari. It was a 3-D movie but did not hold my kids' attention. I think my husband liked it, but it was more informational than entertaining.
Next we headed to the aquarium. It is divided into regions of the world. I think it was my favorite part. I really liked the sting rays and the penguins. My daughter loved the touch tanks with horseshoe crabs, stingrays, starfish… We spent most of our time here.
Finally we went to the science pyramid. Both kids loved it the most and begged to go back. Exhibits feature how sound is made, a step-on piano, drums, guitars, etc. My daughter even sang karaoke into a microphone – she thought she was a star!
We were exhausted, so we decided to go home without riding the paddle boat or the ride simulator, but as we were leaving, I asked if we could come back tomorrow to complete our pass. They made a note of it on my passes and we came back the next day to finish our Moody Garden experience. The paddle boat goes out everyday at 2pm. It slowly tours the bay – I would not pay separately for the ride, but it was nice to do once. The ride simulator was set up for Halloween, and we decided to skip it so it didn’t scare the kids.
From journal Galveston-Freeport Ocean Trip
May 27, 2005
There are three options for IMAX viewing. We saw the ocean IMAX. It became boring after awhile, but it was a good place to nap (the race car IMAX was sold out).
From journal Texas Off-Season
April 14, 2005
We lost part of our day exploring Galveston Beach and only had a limited time to enjoy Moody Gardens. We had to pick one area to focus on, so we picked the aquarium.
The complex is dominated by three large pyramids, each in a distinct, unique color. We only did the aquarium pyramid, and the cost was $15 for adults and $7 for kids. There were plenty of other price options for combinations of the IMAX or other pyramids. You can easily spend a full day here.
The aquarium was bright and clean, and had a feeling of being very well maintained. The tanks seemed very clean and full of fish. The kids enjoyed watching the fish swim by. However, their favorite part of the day was the tanks were you could touch the animals. You could explore the creatures that reside in the tide pools or pet a stingray. I think I enjoyed the tunnel tanks best, where you walk through and have fish swim all around you! Finding the sharks is everyone’s favorite thing.
This isn't the largest aquarium I have ever visited, but it seems to have all the major fish groups and a good variety. All the popular sea animals are covered. We went on a Friday, and the crowds weren't too bad. You could get up to almost any tank you wished to observe without fighting for space.
The one thing I wished we would have seen more of would be employees or volunteers explaining some of the tanks and fish. The only volunteers we saw were at the touch tanks, and they mostly were there to enforce rules.
When we left, we walked back to our car via the grounds. The grounds are huge, and the hotel looked first-class. My kids were dying to hop into the deluxe pool.
WORD OF CAUTION: We found signage to be very poor here. We were told the turn-off of Seawall Boulevard was very clear and well marked. We went sailing right by it and went way too far out of our way. When we got back on track, we found the sign, and it was tiny compared to all the billboards and other signage on the road. When we got to Moody Gardens, we followed the parking signs and found ourselves in the convention-center parking lot, which was blocks away from the aquarium. We found that other guests had the same complaints we did about poor signage. My advice is to get good directions and be on the lookout for small signs along the road.
From journal Pre-Cruise Galveston
by Jose Kevo
July 7, 2004
Anchored around a deluxe hotel and convention center, there's no less than a dozen activities around the complex which was likely the best Family Attractions I've seen short of amusement parks; also a great alternative for rainy days.
An all-day pass cost $31 and is definitely the better ticket-option. We only had a couple of hours and chose the Rainforest Botanical Gardens housed inside the medium-sized pyramid which contains over 1,000 flora and 125 fauna species. Adult tickets were $8.95.
Once passing the glass-encased displays, there's a major transformation comparable to the Wizard of Oz when stepping from the black and white environs of Kansas homestead into the surreal colors of Munchkinland. However, expect to feel like the short person under the overhead plant life which blocks out fact you're in a glass pyramid. Edenistic garden effect takes over from here.
As if by plan designed, there's a large open area in the beginning which allows patrons to stand an gawk, make sure cameras are ready, and get their wits about them before following the concrete trail meandering off into the jungle. Gardens are divided into continental regions; flowers, plants and trees clearly marked with detailed descriptions. One of the most innovative creations are benches lining the paths which you'll enjoy standing in front of as much as sitting. They're also the air-conditioning units supplying the cool, moist tropical air.
Species of birds haphazardly perch on limbs and ledges including colorful macaws frozen in perfect photo backgrounds. Shy monkeys attract quite the crowds as did the tanks of fish with signs warning to keep hands out of water. In addition to piranhas were humongous Amazon tanker-types and spotted stingrays obscurely blending in.
There's also a cave housing oversized Fruit Bats behind glass; clinging to shish-kabobs of apples and oranges, and towards the end are cages with a small ocelet, porcupines and anteaters, and other recognizable critters from the Rainforest. Hold your breath and look quickly before rushing back out into the jungle for a breath of fresh air. To say cages had that zoo-like smell, compounded by thick air, would be an understatement!
We had quite the discussions recalling mini-tropicals at my house compared to how large they could potentially grow in their natural environments. Yes, I was tempted to break off some chutes for replanting but refrained though as you'll read later, there were no coconut palm trees here either.
It took about an hour to complete the walking tour; probably longer than average individuals. If there is a next time, I'd like to see the 1.5-million gallon Aquarium which costs $14.25. Off-hand, the only thing I wouldn't recommend was Palm Beach; a generic, recreated beach/waterpark on bayside of the island.
From journal ROADTRIP - Celebrating Independence a Week Early
highland village, Texas
June 7, 2004
From journal Texas Seashore
by Corinth Linda
May 31, 2004
From journal Sun, Sand, and other Fun in Galveston
March 12, 2004
From journal Week in Galveston, TX