Moody Gardens will dive into World Ocean’s Day with a focus on coral reefs and oceans around the world. Guests will explore the support of active research and participate in hands on conservation efforts and the opening of a new 3D film, “Oceans: Our Blue Planet” with an important conservation message.
MG 3D Theater
Moody Gardens will kick-off activities on June 8 with a screening of the documentary film “Chasing Coral” in the MG 3D Theater located inside the Visitor’s Center at 7 p.m. The film explores the plight of coral reefs and how they are disappearing at an unprecedented rate. The screening is open to the public and free of charge.
Q&A panel discussion moderated by Moody Gardens Dive Safety Officer, Jake Emmert will follow the film along with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Specialists, Kelly Drinnen and Emma Hickerson of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary guiding discussion.
Hors d'oeuvres with beer and wine (cash bar) will be available to guests in attendance. The opening night screening event will conclude at 9:30 p.m. with a fireworks viewing party outside near the Visitor’s Center patio area. This screening event is intended for adults only.
MG 3D Theater
Join us at the MG 3D Theater, inside the Visitor’s Center, for the launch of the new 3D film “Oceans: Our Blue Planet” narrated by Academy Award winning actress, Kate Winslet.
The film ventures underneath the ocean waves for a journey into the largest and least explored habitat on earth. Audiences will get to experience marine life and the mysterious wonders within our oceans on the world's first giant-screen 4K 6-Primary Laser Projection System in the MG 3D Theater.
At 9:30 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. shows, attendees will also hear first hand of our new three year Coral Research Program between Rice University and Moody Gardens:
Science in Action: “Coral Reefs: In the Microbial Soup”
A presentation that explores these unique reefs and their ecology given by Rice University Doctoral Student Lauren Howe-Kerr as part of the Coral Research program with Moody Gardens and Rice University.
Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid
Class begins with a warm welcome from one of our very own penguins from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. An instructor will guide the class through a yoga session and at the end of class each attendee will get to take a picture with a penguin as each participant is asked to pledge one action they can make to help with ocean conservation.
The class will be $35 per person and proceeds will benefit Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) to help with conservation efforts of these penguins. Margaret Johnson, executive coach, author and keynote speaker, is the instructor for the class. Individuals under the age of 15 will not be permitted to participate. There will be a limit of 30 participants for this special yoga class.
From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., there will be free oceanic themed activities geared toward kids (K-12) in the Pompano Room located inside the Aquarium Pyramid. These activities will help families gain a deeper understanding of our oceans along with what is being done to protect them.
Conducted by Dr. Michelle Johnston, Marine Scientist of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Unique dissections of this type can be used to better understand environmental and ecological factors as well as the Lionfish population structure. Families will need to have paid admission to the Aquarium Pyramid in order to view the dissection.
Children will pretend to be divers studying the health of a coral reef ecosystem. Our “divers” will work in teams to determine if their reef dive site is healthy or unhealthy by looking at coral bleaching, algae encrusted corals, marine debris, and diversity of life.
Guided by dive volunteers, kids will get to assemble their own scientific exploration teams and explore the Flower Garden Banks from inside the Aquarium Pyramid to identify real fish. This will also give them the opportunity to use the diver communication system to interact with divers in the tanks as they discover and learn more from their underwater survey.
Fish: How Do They Measure Up?
Children will get to see an actual laser used to measure fish lengths. They will also get to try it for themselves with the use of imitation lasers to measure fish stick puppet lengths.
Virtual Reality 360° A View Inside Marine Sanctuaries.
This virtual activity will be ongoing throughout the day for attendees to get an immersive view of the reef from the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.
SpongeBob SubPants Adventure
Delve into ocean trivia before going on an underwater journey on the SpongeBob SubPants Adventure located inside the Discovery Pyramid.
Colonel Paddlewheel Boat
Take a Conservation Cruise on the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat at 2 p.m. and learn about our own bodies of water along Galveston Bay with a Moody Gardens biologist as your guide.
4D Special FX Theater
Guests can venture into shark territory and explore their survival instincts with the 4D film “Shark: A 4D Experience” playing daily in the 4D Special FX Theater.
Rainforest and Aquarium Pyramids
Inside the Aquarium and Rainforest Pyramids guests can partake in self-guided scavenger hunts and learn fun facts as they walk through the exhibits.
Guests can celebrate World Ocean’s Day at Palm Beach with beach-inspired music throughout the day. The theme carries into the evening as the band Midlife Crisis offers beach music at Bands on the Sand from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
There will be more ocean conservation activities inside the Visitor’s Center and appearances by Moody Gardens mascots Finn the Shark, King Tux the Penguin and Ollie the Otter.