Animal Experiences




The Otter Encounter is limited to a maximum of 6 people. Children under 12 must be escorted by an adult* and children under 6 will not be permitted. Reservations must be made 2 days before the scheduled encounter. Adult must purchase a ticket as well.

Join an otter biologist as they take you behind the scenes of the otter exhibit for the rare opportunity to meet our Giant River Otters. Learn about otter biology, conservation and how these amazing animals are cared for in their private interior exhibit area. You may also get an opportunity to participate in a training and enrichment session with the otters.  After this 45minute encounter behind the scenes you can then join the biologist on the training platform during the 2:30 You Otter Know public presentation. Don’t forget on your way out to pick up your photo of you and an otter taken during the encounter in Nature’s Wonders gift shop that our Moody Gardens Photographers take during your encounter.  For more information, contact

MON-FRI $375 GROUP, SAT-SUN $425 GROUP *1-4 people per group **If more $65 per additional person (MAX 6)
Guests  can schedule a private otter encounter at their convenience based on availability. This 45minute encounter includes an otter painting for each participant and admission to the Rainforest Pyramid. Reservations must be made at least one week prior to the encounter date. To schedule an appointment please email Paula Kolvig at  


Click here to purchase tickets

Children in Penguin Encounter at Moody Gardens Aquarium
Penguin painting at Moody Gardens Aquarium

Penguin Encounter Schedule:

January 4th - March 7th

(Weekends Only)1:00 p.m.

March 7th - March 14th
1:00 p.m & 3:00p.m.

March 15th - March 22nd
1:00 p.m.

March 28th- May 17th
(Weekends Only) 1:00 p.m.

May 23rd - 25th
1:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m Daily

May 30th – August 9th
1:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m Daily

August 10th – 16th
1:00 p.m.

Aug 22nd – Aug 30th
(Weekends Only) 1:00 p.m.

September 5th – 7th
1:00 p.m.and 3:00 p.m. daily

September 12th – Nov 22nd 
(Weekends Only)1:00 p.m.

Nov 26th
1:00 p.m.

Nov 27th – 29th
1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. daily

Dec 5 – 13th
(Weekends Only)1:00 p.m.

Dec 20 – Jan 3rd
1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. 

*Tickets must be purchased at least 20 minutes before encounter

Public Penguin Encounter



The Moody Gardens Public Penguin Encounter is a 45-minute program designed to allow guests to get up close to one of the penguins from the Aquarium Pyramid South Atlantic Exhibit. Led by a Moody Gardens biologist, the experience starts at the front of the exhibit and takes guests behind the scenes to the penguin food preparation kitchen and the back of the chilly penguin exhibit while discussing penguin biology, conservation, training, enrichment and care. Participants will experience the cool climate, sounds and even smells of the exhibit and witness a penguin create a work of art as part of an enrichment activity for the animal.

(Children 3 and under FREE)

Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets must be purchased at least 20 minutes before encounter. Participants must also purchase admission to the Aquarium Pyramid. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult* Late entry is not allowed once the encounter begins. Adult must purchase a ticket as well.

CLICK HERE to purchase tickets

Penguin with art at Moody Gardens Aquarium

Private Penguin Encounter Program Package

MON. - FRI. $375 GROUP
SAT. - SUN. $425 GROUP

* 1 - 4 people per group.
* If more, $65 per additional person.

Guests can schedule a private penguin encounter at their convenience based on availability. This 45-minute encounter includes a piece of penguin art for each participant and admission to the Aquarium Pyramid. Reservations must be made at least one week prior to the encounter date. To schedule an appointment, please call Diane Olsen between 9 a.m.. and 4 p.m.. Mondays through Fridays at 409-683-4102 or email at

California Sea Lion at Moody Gardens Aquarium

The Seal and Penguin Experience Package

$250 per person

Experience what it’s like to be a keeper at the South Atlantic and North Pacific exhibits for a day. Participants will experience what it is like to take care of the penguins and seals that call Moody Gardens their home in this 4-hour behind the scenes adventure. The morning will be spent assisting the biologists cleaning the penguin exhibit, preparing their diet, watching training sessions and meeting a seal, feeding the penguins and creating a piece of penguin art for you to remember your experience with. Lunch with the Biologist is included. Maximum three participants (must be 16 years or older) are allowed per session. Please wear comfortable clothes and closed-toed shoes. We require 2 weeks’ notice prior to the date of your interest before a reservation can be secured. Please contact Diane Olsen at 409-683-4102 or e-mail for more information.

Proceeds from animal encounters fund conservation efforts. 

*Please Note: Because these are special, behind-the-scenes experience, and participants are allowed in staff-only areas, it is not wheelchair accessible.