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Moody Gardens – Festival of Lights

February 15, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments


On November 16th (Saturday night), Moody Gardens was opening their annual Festival of Lights. Oddly, after this opening night, it would not actually be open again until the 22nd. I hadn’t really planned on going, especially after a full day of birding, but this would be my one chance. So I made the drive up to Galveston and arrived shortly after the lights were turned on at 6pm. Traffic was not an issue. Parking took a bit longer, but nothing annoying. Figuring out where to go after that was a different story, with the absence of any signs. I more or less followed everyone else to the main ticket booth and proceeded to stand in line for half an hour. I am still not sure if there was a better way to do this. I know the Zilker Trail of Lights in Austin is overcrowded as well, so maybe that’s just how these things are.


For the next hour, I simply followed the path and took photos. The first half is lights themed after the gardens: fish, plants, aquatic characters, ships, etc. The second half is actual Christmas displays. Most of my photos are from the latter. I used my 6D with the 24-70mm lens left at f2.8 most of the time. This worked well, although with no image stabilization, I seemed to need a shutter speed of at least 1/90 sec.


There is a temporary ice skating rink which I would recommend skipping unless you are desperate. Food-wise, eat before or after. The food stands were basic junk food. There is a real (but small) buffet at the Visitor’s Center. This was my selection since it was easy.


There was little traffic on the way out for people like me staying on the island. For the unlucky headed back to Houston, it was a much longer wait. I doubt I would go back again. Once was enough, unless the other nights are much less crowded.


There are many more photos in the gallery. Of all the displays, my favorites were the lighted trees with lanterns.


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