About Moody Gardens®

Moody Gardens


Moody Gardens is a public, non-profit educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research.

How We Began

Moody Gardens® began in the mid-1980s with a horse barn, a riding arena with a hippotherapy riding program for people with head injuries and an extraordinary vision to create an island tourist destination. Today Moody Gardens® is one of the premier educational/leisure facilities in the Southwest. It also provides horticultural therapy, education and employment for persons with a wide range of physical and emotional disabilities

How We Grew

Since its inception in 1983 and adoption of an eight phase master plan in 1985, Moody Gardens® has illustrated through its various attractions numerous innovative and creative programs - resulting in a visitation count of approximately 2 million visitors annually.

Moody Gardens property map

1986 – Hope Therapy: Site secured by The Moody Foundation to establish a hippotherapy program. Later expanded to include animal and horticultural therapy, education and employment for persons with physical and emotional disabilities.

1986 – Convention Center: Originally opened as Hope Arena. It later expanded from 35,000 to 60,000 square feet to accommodate trade shows, conventions and events. It is now known as the Moody Gardens® Convention Center.

1988 – Palm Beach: Tons of white Florida sand was barged in across the Gulf of Mexico to create this exotic family beach.

1988 – The Learning Place: Originally opened as Seaside Safari. Now the home of our educational programs.

Moody Gardens Rainforest
Moody Gardens Discovery Pyramid

1990 – Production Area: Includes two greenhouses used to propagate most of the plants seen on our grounds and for our Medicinal Plant Program. Our Water Treatment Plant takes effluent from Galveston's water treatment facility and treats and polishes it for use on all exterior landscaping.

1993 – Rainforest Pyramid® and MG 3D Theater Complex: More than 1,700 exotic plant and animal species from the rainforests of Asia, the tropical Americas and Africa are featured in the Rainforest Pyramid®. The Visitor Center houses the Garden Restaurant and Dancing Waters light and fountain show. It opened as America's first IMAX® 3D Theater and continues to showcase films by some of the world's top filmmakers.

1997 – Discovery Pyramid®: Moody Gardens® second grand pyramid. Debuted with NASA - inspired exhibits, and now features traveling science exhibits. It is also home to the Ridefilm Theater, offering a thrilling motion simulation experience.

1999 – Moody Gardens® Hotel and Spa: Nestled among acres of tropical gardens and magnificent pyramids, the spectacular Moody Gardens® Hotel offers corporate and leisure travelers 428 newly decorated rooms, over 22,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, dining, and a full service salon and spa.

1999 – Aquarium Pyramid®: The 1.5 million-gallon aquatic attractions is a splashy tribute to the North Pacific, Caribbean, Tropical Pacific and South Atlantic Oceans. As one of the largest aquariums in the U.S., the facility features close-up views of penguins, sharks, seals, seahorses, thousands of tropical fish and much more.

2004 - Hotel and Convention Center Expansion: This expansion project provided an additional 125-room wing to the hotel and expanded the Exhibit Hall to 60,000 square feet. This flexible meeting space is available for events ranging from trade shows and concerts to large gala dinners.

Moody Gardens Convention Center

2005 – 4D Special FX Theater®: The 4D Theater features 3D images and extra special effects such as leg ticklers, seat buzzers, scent, mist, snow and more to enable you to see, feel, hear and smell the action!

2008 – Moody Gardens® Golf Course: Galveston's premier public course opened in June after two years and a $16 million-comprehensive renovation to the former Galveston Municipal Golf Course. Lush paspalum fairways are lined with 500 palms and shorebird habitat with three sets of tees all levels of play.

2011 – Rainforest Pyramid® and Palm Beach Enhancements: The Rainforest Pyramid® and Palm Beach both reopened May 28 after extensive enhancement projects. The Rainforest Pyramid® sustained substantial damage from Hurricane Ike in 2008 and through the generosity of the Moody Foundation received a $25 million enhancement project that provided a canopy walkway to offer entry to the treetop level for a whole new perspective of the rainforest. New exhibits, plants and animals allow for a more immersive interpretation of the rainforest. The Palm Beach enhancements provided a new Kon-Tiki theme with significant new attractions including a lazy river, wave pool and tower slides

Palm Beach at Moody Gardens
Moody Gardens Aquarium