This weekend we filled our hearts with Christmas magic and then filled our brains with knowledge. That’s a win win situation when you know that you have three college bills to pay one day but you still want to make memories along the way. We were invited as a family to come and experience Moody Garden’s Festival of Lights. Not only is it one of the best christmas light displays in the Houston area but it’s also home to amazing attractions and experiences.
For those of your not familiar with Moody Gardens in Galveston, TX let me give you a little bit of a crash course. Moody Gardens is compromised of a grand hotel, three glass pyramids that house an aquarium, rainforest exhibit and discovery museum, along many other attractions such as a paddleboat, 4D Theater, Palm Beach area and much more. You could spend the entire weekend at Moody Gardens and never have to get in your car.
So how was it? Hands down our experience at Moody Gardens was amazing. Many memories were formed during our time there and somehow we convinced our kids that we are awesome parents just for taking them to stay there for the night. I’m sure they won’t feel that way the next time I tell them to clean their room but let’s just bask in the glow for now.
So why is Moody Gardens a great place to visit?
1. Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens –
The Festival of Lights is an amazing mile long walking trail that is covered in christmas light displays. They have everything from cartoon characters, dinosaurs, castles, a glowing garden and a nativity scene all made from christmas lights. It’s beautiful and so nice to walk through in the perfect December in Texas weather.
Not only do they have Christmas lights but they also have fun experiences to go with the lights. Our girls went down the Ice Sled several times and then talked about it all the way home. They begged us to take them Ice Skating but our southern raised feet were a little too timid to get on that ice. We also watched The Polar Express in 4D, which was so much fun. 4D Theaters involved all the senses. At one point the theater smelled like chocolate when they were serving hot chocolate in the Polar Express, Cool air was blown on us and you could even feel the tiny ice pieces being tossed by the train hitting your shoes. It was a really cool experience.
I highly recommend visiting Moody Gardens during the Festival of Lights which is open until January 7th so you still have time to go!
2. The cleanliness of the the hotel –
Anyone with little kids knows that the cleanliness of the hotel is a major factor into how enjoyable your stay with kids will be. I’m not saying that it was my child that dropped her candy on the floor and picked it up and ate it before I could grab it from her but it might have been (it was). It truly was one of the cleanest hotels that I had ever stayed at. Around 10pm when the our youngest would not stop the wrestling match that she was headlining in the bed with her older sisters I had no choice but to pull the two arm chairs in the room together to make an impromptu toddler bed. In all honesty, I was not worried for one second about what might have been lurking on those chairs. The room was spotless and my motherhood heart was happy.
3. The passion of the staff –
Mr. Byrd and I strive to show our kids people who work with integrity and passion because we want them to have those things in every single job they tackle. The staff at Moody Gardens is a great example of that. Every single person we came in contact with had a huge smile on their face and went the extra mile to do an amazing job. The waitress at dinner talked with us for a bit about what she likes about living on Galveston Island and it was great insight to the island. The guy working in the souvenir booth went the extra mile to help our extremely indecisive daughter pick out a souvenir on the extremely small budget we gave her and he had the patience of a saint. The penguin trainer talked with us about the penguins and smiled and laughed the entire time in a penguin food prep kitchen that smelled like the world’s largest vat of fish oil.
Finally the staff member that stood out to me the most was Donita Brannon who led us on a tour of the Rainforest pyramid. Wow! She knows her stuff. I could have spent the entire day with her going over the plants and animals that are housed in the Rainforest pyramid.
She showed us Vanilla Orchids which produce vanilla beans and let us smell the leaf of an allspice plant while pointing out the different animals and how the benefit our world. It was amazing. The rainforest pyramid is newly remodeled and gorgeous. You enter at the top of the pyramid on a walkway in the treetops and then descend down to the bottom of the pyramid. Don’t worry, all of Moody Gardens is wheelchair and stroller accessible.
4. The fun –
Moody Gardens is just pure fun. There’s so much to do and then when you’re done it’s a simple walk back to the hotel to fall into bed and get up the next day with even more to do. We were only there for 24 hours but we left with a huge list of things to do on our next trip along with some of the area attractions that are in walking distance such as Schlitterbahn Water Park or Lonestar Flight Museum. My oldest daughter has already asked if we could go back for her birthday in March. If you want to check out more on the attractions offered at Moody Gardens, hop over to their website and check it out.
I truly think that Moody Gardens is a great way to spend a weekend with those that you love.
The great news is that if you’re a blogger you can come experience Moody Gardens first hand this September at Blog Elevated Conference. I hope to see you there because we are working hard to bring the best information on blogging to those in attendance.
If you’re not a blogger, my daughter is working on her list of friends to take with her for her birthday to Moody Gardens. You might have a chance of making the list.
Go and experience it yourself. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below or ask me on my Facebook Page. If you want to see more pictures and video from our weekend at Moody Gardens, you can find them on my Instagram account.