Activities & Resources
Houston Museum of Natural Science554in Houston, TX 77030
about Houston Museum of Natural Science:
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is located in Hermann Park across from Miller Outdoor Theatre. Tickets are sold separately for each of the main Museum areas (see below). Children two years and under are free, but must sit on their parents' laps in the IMAX Theatre.
Ten permanent exhibit areas cover subjects from astronomy, space science, and Native Americans, to paleontology, energy, chemistry, gems and minerals, seashells, and Texas wildlife. Rotating special exhibits round out the Museum's offerings. The Fondren Discovery Place on the first floor is filled with hands-on exhibits that will delight children and adults of all ages.
Admission to the permanent exhibit halls: Adults $15; Seniors and Children (3-11) $10; Children (2 and under) free. While this general admission is relatively inexpensive, the cost can become expensive with a full plate of activities.
The Cockrell Butterfly Center is worth a special trip in itself. The exhibit is a three-story glass structure that showcases hundreds of live butterflies in a naturalistic rainforest setting. Visiting the center is an interactive experience: butterflies flutter among - and occasionally land on - visitors strolling the paths or relaxing on benches. The exhibition also houses the Brown Hall of Entomology, which contains several live insects from around the world, as well as interactive displays. Downstairs in the Entomology Hall, a quirky vending machine sells booklets of insect tattoos, packets of edible cricket snacks, and more. A children's room provides a nice quiet spot for parents to sit and for kids to use their imaginations - on hand are books, puzzles, games, tables and chairs, soft benches, insect puppets, and a giant beehive for kids to crawl through and clamber upon.
Cockrell Butterfly Center admission: Adults $8; Seniors and Children (3-11) $7.
The Burke Baker Planetarium allows visitors to experience the wonders of space while still on earth. Recently renovated, the planetarium offers the world's most technologically advanced and realistic views of space and the universe. Get the feeling that you are traveling in space when high-resolution video technology projects images of planets, stars, meteors, solar systems, and entire galaxies on the domed surface. The planetarium is also used to train Space Shuttle astronauts in starfield identification.
Planetarium admission: Adults $8; Seniors and Children (3-11) $7.
Wortham IMAX Theatre admission: Adults $11; Seniors and Children (3-1), $9.
The Museum has a second Challenger Learning Center at its George Observatory, located 55 miles south of Houston in Brazos Bend State Park.
Birthday parties are also available at the Museum. For questions or to reserve a party: email Birthdays@hmns.org.
The Museum also conducts summer science camps.
The museum's blog - BEYONDbones - is full of behind-the-scenes info, sneak peeks at upcoming exhibits, and a sampling of what's happening in the world of science at large.