A skydiving Santa and his merry elves kick started the fun-filled holiday season as Moody Gardens 18th annual Festival of Lights opened November 16. One of the Gulf Coast’s largest holiday lighting events offers Christmas tradition infused with some steampunk flair making this a holiday tradition the whole family can enjoy.
Free to the public, the opening ceremony began at 4 p.m. with talented Texas locals providing holiday-themed entertainment. This year even featured a sci-fi twist to the entertainment pairing with Moody Gardens’ newest attraction, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: An Interactive Adventure. Guests were treated to performances by Lee’s Golden Dragon lion dancers, Razzmatazz Tap Company, the Houston Show Choir, and much more as the entertainment followed the Christmas Around the World theme with its steampunk twist.
Families joyfully welcomed Santa at 5 p.m. when he parachuted down from the North Pole to help prepare Moody Gardens for the grand lighting of the Festival of Lights trail. After mixing, mingling and a few dazzling performances to put everyone in the holiday mood, Santa flipped the switch at 6 p.m. to turn on the two million twinkling lights that make up Festival of Lights, officially kicking off the holiday season on Galveston Island.
Festival of Lights will continue to shine throughout the holiday season nightly through January 12. Hours run from 6-11 p.m. Moody Gardens’ other holiday and year-round attractions, including ICE LAND, holiday 3D films, Rudolph 4D, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: An Interactive Adventure, Aquarium Pyramid and more are open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. The year’s ICE LAND: Christmas Around the World will take guests on a frosty journey from Russia and Egypt to China and beyond featuring famous sights like the Statue of Liberty, the Alamo, Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, and more.
Regular admission to the Festival of Lights is $18.95. Guests can take advantage of significant discounts with the new Super Value Days and Value Days. Super Value Days start at $8.95 for Festival of Lights. The Evening Pass which allows guests admission to all Moody Gardens attractions after 3 p.m. and a variety of other Combo Packages offer holiday bargains as well.
Food Drive Thursdays will also offer guests the opportunity to enjoy the Festival at a special discount helping those in need this holiday season. Guests can bring a non-perishable food item every Thursday throughout the Festival and receive a two-for-one admission into Festival of Lights. The food will be donated to the Galveston County and Houston Food Banks.
For more information please visit www.moodygardens.org/holiday_season