Time to Explore Houston Museum of Natural Science
We are in the dog days of summer and it’s a good time to find something fun to do in a cooler environment. Fortunately, Houstonians are blessed to have wonderful museums to do just that. Sitting just south of Downtown Houston is the city’s Museum District, and it offers a plethora of activities for everyone to enjoy. 19 museums are available for the public to explore including the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
HMNS is part of Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s Friends of the Blood Center. It’s a community partnership program that allows the Blood Center and local businesses and organizations to partner with to save lives.
HMNS sits right next to beautiful Hermann Park. The museum delights visitors with many neat exhibits packed on five floors. The permanent exhibits include astronomy, space science, Native American culture, paleontology, energy, chemistry, geology, seashells and Texas wildlife. Hop on the elevator to the fifth floor to the Weiss Energy Hall and right away you’ll see a huge 21st century offshore drilling rig. But, the best part of this exhibit is Energy City. Energy City is a 2,500-square foot 3-D landscape of Houston and part of the Gulf Coast that showcases the energy value chain. The model uses projecting mapping technology. It took two years to build Energy City and it’s a must see!
Take a stroll through Morian Hall of Paleontology and discover a time when dinosaurs ruled our planet. The prehistoric beasts are in action here and you can experience how they would chase, eat and escape as they struggled to survive with other creatures.
There’s so much more to HMNS besides permanent exhibits. HMNS has four special exhibits: Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life, Death by Natural Causes, Victoria: The T. Rex and Pompeii: The Exhibition. Pompeii is HMNS’s newest exhibit. If you’re familiar with the catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that happened in 79 A.D., then you can probably guess what this exhibit is about. And you’re right. That’s part of it. But, this exhibit allows you to travel back in time and see how people lived during the Roman Empire. You’d be surprised to see that we use some of the same tools today as the Roman’s did then. The exhibit will be open until September 6, 2021.
Whether you go to a permanent exhibit or special one, HMNS has something for everyone. Right in the lobby is the entrance to Burke Baker Planetarium. It’s in here where you can discover space in way that takes you digitally through the universe. The planetarium has a Digistar 6 and it’s the world’s leading digital planetarium and projection system.
You can buy tickets to HMNS here. If you are interested in saving money, entry into HMNS is free on Thursday’s from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. This is only for its permanent exhibits. You can use the savings to pay the entry fee and submerge yourself in one of the special exhibits!
If you plan to visit, HMNS is following COVID-19 guidelines recommended by national, state and local agencies. Have a COVID-19 vaccine? A mask is optional. Not vaccinated? You’re encouraged to wear a mask or face covering. All staff at the museum who engage with the public are required to wear a mask.
The museum is open Monday-Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (last entry is at 5:15 p.m.) and Free Thursday. 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (last entry 7:15p.m.)