Feet patter across three information-packed floors stacked inside the Ocean Star, a former drilling rig that spends its retirement as a museum and education center on Galveston's Pier 19. After two decades drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the rig has since been revamped and outfitted with interactive models and displays that illustrate the story of offshore oil, gas, and the energies that lurk beneath the world's oceans. Visitors can tap into videos for explanations of drilling, geology, and seismic topics, or stand next to scale models of production platforms. In addition to its lineup of eye-popping sites, Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum and Education Center harbors ongoing exhibits showcasing the industry's careers, history, and safety measures. Self-guided tours seven days a week enable guests to explore the rig's nooks at their own pace, while an onboard staff stands by to answer questions and courteously laugh at all petroleum-related knock-knock jokes.
The ghastly guides of Ghost Tours Texas lead groups of foolhardy interlopers on story-filled journeys past the spectrally inhabited landmarks of Galveston and Houston Heights. On the Galveston tour, a knowledgeable leader takes parties through the Silk Stocking District to visit the 1858 Ashton Villa mansion, whose second floor is occupied by the phantom “Miss Betty” Brown, and whose basement is occupied by a man who years ago forgot how to work a doorknob. The guide also divulges tales told from eyewitness accounts.
The Houston Heights tour winds through the area's historical and opulent homes, exploring such mysteries as the story of the Dean Correl murders and the children who are said to still haunt the alleyways of Houston Heights. Guides weave tales of ghostly possessions and evil voodoo dolls peppered with real-life testimonies from local residents.
Functioning as a non-profit with a mission to promote the preservation of nearby coastal marshes and endangered marine environments, Artist Boat aims to raise awareness through art and science. The team, made up of biologists and artists?all of whom are ACA certified kayak instructors?lead groups on paddles through Galveston Bay, choosing destinations with natural significance. Outings are suited to either beginner or intermediate paddlers, and all gear is provided, so kayakers only need bring along sun-block, outdoor-appropriate clothing, and portable air conditioning units.
Perched on picturesque Galveston Island, Moody Gardens possesses a storied history that complements its scenic surroundings. More than two million visitors a year get to live part of that history, drawn by the 242-acre park's three towering pyramids. After exploring walking and bike trails lined with nearly 20,000 plants and trees, guests can take their expedition underwater at the Aquarium Pyramid. There, a host of aquatic animals including penguins, sharks, and tropical fish swim and frolic in their natural habitats. Nature is also on display at the Rainforest Pyramid, which takes guests on a quest through the jungles of Asia, Africa and the Americas.
In addition to embracing the wonders of nature, Moody Gardens also incorporates adventures in mankind's world of science. Guests can broaden their minds with traveling exhibits at the Discovery Museum, or immerse themselves in the towering worlds of the MG 3D Theater or 4D Special FX Theater. The tourist destination also thrills families with water attractions, including a wave pool and a lazy river. No matter the reason for the visit, guests can also rest their heads at the recently-renovated (and nearby) Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center.
A Tony and Emmy award-winner, Jackie Mason has been tickling ribs via stage, screen, and stereo for more than 40 years. Unveil your full repertoire of chortles, giggles, and guffaws as you subject your funny bone to the relentless string of trenchant observations and wily witticisms supplied by the legendary laugh wrangler. Jackie Mason is known for such Broadway hits as The World According to Me and films such as Caddyshack II, as well as for founding the Masons, the secret shadow organization that controls all the world's humor. Each joke and comic jab comes wrapped in the opulent ambience of The Grand's 1,000-seat interior, whose intimate layout makes every gag feel as though it were hand-delivered by your personal gut-busting butler. The show begins at 3 p.m., with doors opening approximately a half-hour beforehand. Seating within the Grand Tier level is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
Skydive Galveston connects wingless humans with their aerial ambitions, setting them aloft at up to 14,000 feet to swig freefall adrenaline and then sip on stunning ocean views while gliding softly toward the coastline. After a 30–60 minute safety session where jumpers suit up and get wise to the basics of parachuting, the free-falling party boards a Cessna 182 aircraft and sets course for the clouds. Twenty minutes and two vertical miles later, the pod bay door opens to release pairs of skydiving novices and instructors into a sea of air. Freefall lasts up to a full minute before your human backpack pulls the chute cord, releasing the canopy and slowing the 120-mph drop to a leisurely float.