Perched on picturesque Galveston Island, Moody Gardens possesses a storied history that complements its scenic surroundings. Its horticultural and animal-therapy programs—which began in the mid-1980s—pair visitors living with physical and emotional disabilities with horses and multihued flora, helping them learn coping skills and build confidence. Next to the sprawling grounds, the Moody Gardens Golf Course boasts multiple holes that run alongside the rippling waters of the Gulf and its intervening waterways, forming intimidating hazards and housing a thriving civilization of merpeople who use golf balls for currency. The tourist destination also thrills families with water attractions, including a wave pool and a lazy river. The restored 10-story Rainforest Pyramid holds more than 1,700 exotic plants and animals from Asian, African, and American rainforests, while the Aquarium Pyramid features a diverse range of ocean inhabitants including sharks and penguins.
The Pearland Town Center Mall morphs into a communitywide celebration of food, arts, and entertainment during Pear Fair 2012. Kicking off the festivities at noon, a summer fashion show sends models strutting down the catwalk sporting warm-weather wares. At 2 p.m., Pearland Idol finalists attempt to win over the hearts of ears by belting out tunes, and at 6 p.m., Modulation Band seizes the spotlight with a lively mix of jazz and blues as audience members try to capture their favorite notes in empty soda bottles. An eclectic spread of refreshments keeps toes tappin' throughout the festival, specifically from inside the Flavors of Pearland food garden, where tasty treats from more than 40 vendors dance across tongues and reduce conversations to a chorus of "yum”s.
Malibu Water Park isn’t your average water park. The six-acre outdoor swimming hole tucks neatly into scenic surroundings. Happy shouts echo across sandy beaches and verdant foliage. Three waterslides zig-zag down the banks of the lake, sending riders careening into the water like boring books thrown from a sailboat. For the younger set, there are interactive mushroom-shaped spray features in the shallow water. Colorful kayaks, canoes, and paddle boats slip out onto the 50-acre lake, whose tree-lined shores beg to be explored. On the weekends, guests circle around bonfires and enjoy BYOB picnics at available barbecue pits while bands play. Catering is available upon request.