Chill Out at Moody Gardens this Holiday Season

| November 1, 2014


From ICE LAND To The Ice Age To The Festival Of Lights, There’s Cool Fun For Everyone

Moody Gardens will transform into the premier holiday destination this season with the debut of two new exhibits: ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures with SpongeBob SquarePants, and the educational Ice Age. Both exhibitions will open Nov. 15, joining the ever-popular Festival of Lights to make Galveston a true Winter Wonder Island.

As the only holiday ice exhibition on the Gulf Coast, ICE LAND’s amazing display of magnificent ice creations will add a frosty new addition to the holiday attractions this year. A skilled team of 20 professional ice carvers from Harbin, China, will take 900 tons of ice and transform them into majestic marvels ranging from holiday-themed sculptures to a wide range of scenes featuring the beloved underwater characters from SpongeBob SquarePants. Courtesy parkas will be distributed to each guest.

Visitors can witness these works of art within a 28,000-square-foot insulated tent structure located on the property through Jan.4. “We are very excited to bring such a unique experience to south Texas,” said John Zendt, Moody Gardens President and CEO, who added that carving giant ice sculpture scenes and holding them at nine degrees outside on a sub-tropical island is a significant logistical challenge. Admission to the exhibition is $26.95 for adults, $21.95 for seniors and $15.95 for children.

Once guests return their courtesy parkas from ICE LAND, they can enjoy Moody Gardens’ 13th annual Festival of Lights packed with holiday magic. Beginning Nov. 15 through Jan. 3, start a tradition with the largest holiday lighting event on the Gulf Coast with more than one million lights, the area’s only outdoor skating rink and the thrilling Arctic Ice Slide.

On Nov. 15, Santa Claus will parachute in and flip the switch to officially kick off the holiday season on Galveston. Live entertainment including choirs, musicians and dancers will be a part of the opening day festivities. From there, visitors can walk the trail of more than 100 sound-enhanced light and animated displays with holiday music. Guests can then grab an inner tube and plunge down the Festival’s Texas-sized, 100-foot-long Arctic Ice Slide.

Food Drive Fridays will also offer the opportunity to enjoy the Festival and get a special discount to help those in need this holiday season. Bring a non-perishable food item every Friday throughout the Festival and receive a two-for-one Festival admission. The food will be donated to the Galveston County Food Bank.

Admission to the Festival of Lights is $8.95, 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. Tickets to the Aquarium Pyramid®, Rainforest Pyramid®, MG 3D Theater, 4D Special FX Theater, Discovery Museum, Colonel Paddlewheel Boat and Arctic Ice Slide are available for just $7 each with a Festival ticket. Arctic Ice Slide Passes are available for $7 for two slides, $20 for 10 slides and $25 for all day extended fun and excitement at one of the Festival’s coolest attractions.

Other special events for this year’s Festival of Lights include the Holiday Gift Market on Nov. 28-29, a Holiday Half Marathon and Family Fun Walk, and “A Magical Christmas 2014” dinner and show starring Master Illusionist Curt Miller and Friends. ICE LAND hotel packages are also available starting at $229 per night, plus taxes. Call 1-888-388-8484 for hotel reservations and information about special holiday and group event packages.

Moody Gardens also presents the new Ice Age from Nov. 15 through May 10 at the Discovery Pyramid. Ice Age is an exciting and educational exhibition that invites you to travel back in time to discover a frigid world, covered in ice and occupied by mammoths, saber-toothed cats, bears, gigantic birds, cave people and more.The exhibition features life-sized animatronic animals, real fossils — some of which can be touched by guests — and cast skeletons set within elaborate Ice Age scenery.

The exhibition begins 2.5 million years ago when the Earth witnessed a major environmental disruption, one that led to dramatic evolutionary changes to Earth’s life forms and forever shaped human history. Guests then travel through galleries exploring the Megafauna, or giant Ice Age animals; the Ice People, including Neanderthals and Cro Magnons; the Tar Pits, the death traps of the Ice Age creatures; and the Megafaunal Extinction, exploring the theories for why many animals of the Ice Age became extinct. The exhibition closes with poignant discussion topics about Earth’s fragile climates and the possible return of the Ice. The Ice Return Gallery explores the prediction for another glacial period; how global warming might tip the balance of nature in a more dangerous direction; and what people can do to help the planet.

Ice Age was created by Imagine Exhibitions and Aurea Productions and is curated and advised by renowned vertebrate paleontologist Dr. Gregory M. Erickson, a leading expert on the biology of extinct organisms, mammals and dinosaurs in particular. Ice Age is open daily. Admission is $14.95 for adults, $11.95 for seniors and $8.95 for children.

For more information on all these attractions and to buy tickets online, visit or call 800-582-4673.

Characters from SpongeBob SquarePants are featured in the new ICE LAND exhibit at Moody Gardens.

Characters from SpongeBob SquarePants are featured in the new ICE LAND exhibit at Moody Gardens.

Smilodon and cast skull are among the exhibits in the new Ice Age event at Moody Gardens.

Smilodon and cast skull are among the exhibits in the new Ice Age event at Moody Gardens.



Chill Out at Moody Gardens this Holiday Season;

Category: Travel Destinations

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