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Moody Gardens

Moody Gardens is an educational tourist destination, with a golf course and hotel in Galveston, Texas which opened in 1986. The non-profit destination uses nature to educate and excite visitors about conservation and wildlife. Moody Gardens features three main pyramid attractions: the Aquarium Pyramid, which is one of the largest in the region and holds many species of fish and other marine animals; the Rainforest Pyramid, which contains tropical plants, animals, birds, butterflies, reptiles, and a variety of other rainforest animals including free-roaming monkeys and two-toed sloths; and the Discovery Pyramid, which focuses on science-oriented exhibits and activities.

Another major attraction at Moody Gardens is Palm Beach, a landscaped white sand beach mainly open in the summer, with a small water park for children, freshwater lagoons, a lazy river, tower slides, a hot tub, ziplines, and a splash pad play area for children. Moody Gardens also had at one time a RideFilm Theater with motion-based pod seating, the MG 3D Theater features the largest screen in the state of Texas, 4D Special FX Theater, paddlewheel cruise boat, a hotel, golf course and a convention center. The complex attracts many local tourists from the city of Houston and its outlying suburbs. The owners commissioned a landscape design from Geoffrey Jellicoe. It is described in Gardens of the Mind: the Genius of Geoffrey Jellicoe by Michael Spens (Antique Collectors Club, 1992).

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. 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.

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