Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Houston Museum of Natural Science

If you're planning a trip to Houston or just looking for something fun and educational to take the kids to then look no further than The Houston Museum of Natural Science. This HUGE museum has it all....dinosaurs, art, mummies, hands on exhibits, simulation rides, and much more. Located on the edge of Herman Park right next to the Houston Zoo this museum has four floors of exhibits to check out. Not to mention the butterfly center, the planetarium, and the large screen theater! You could quite literally spend an entire day here. So, what makes this museum so special?...


A little bit of history 

The Houston Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1909 and acquired most of it's primary collection between 1914 and 1930. The museum was first housed in Houston's City Auditorium then at the Central Library for seven years before being moved to a site in The Houston Zoo in 1929. Construction of the current museum began in 1964 and was completed in 1969. In 2012 the museum opened it's new 230,000 square foot paleontology hall (dinosaurs) which more than doubled the size of the original museum. Millions of visitors flock to the museum every year for the state of the art exhibits and to see the large display of dinosaur skeletons. 


Permanent Exhibits 

With your basic admission charge you get access to all of the permanent exhibits housed at the museum. There's a total of 16 permanent exhibits with my favorite being the Hall of Paleontology. You also get access to The Hall of Ancient Egypt (real mummies), The Energy Hall (lots of hands on fun for the little ones), and so much more! Once you take a tour of all the permanent exhibit halls you will see it's totally worth the price of admission. 


Special Exhibits

While the permanent exhibits at the museum never change, the special exhibits are only there for a short time and change every few months or so. I've been to several special exhibits including Titanic and Ancient China. Currently the museum is showcasing Death by Natural Causes which has been extended until January 6th because of it's popularity. Check the website before you decide to visit to see what special exhibits are being showcased at that time. All special exhibits are an extra charge.


Extras

If you're looking for something extra you can check out The Butterfly Center, The Planetarium, and The Giant Screen Theater. All of these are an extra charge but if you're wanting to make this a whole day event then you should totally check out at least one if not all of these. Every time I go I say I'm going to see the butterfly exhibit but I have yet to do so....next time it's happening for sure! 


FYI:

-Price of admission is $25 for adults, $15 for children and seniors for the permanent exhibit halls

-The museum is open daily from 9am - 5 pm with Free admission to the permanent exhibits Thursdays from 2pm - 5pm

-Special exhibits are an extra $5 and up depending on the exhibit but with admission to these you also get access to all the permanent exhibits

-The planetarium admission is $9 for adults, $8 for children and seniors

-The butterfly center admission is $9 for adults, $8 for children and seniors

-The giant screen theater admission is $12 for adults, $10 for children and seniors

-The website says parking is $20 for all day parking but I've never once paid for parking at the museum. 


Helpful Hints:

-Make sure your flash is turned off when taking pictures in the paleontology exhibit. A guard had to remind me of this since I didn't see the sign. 

-Arrive at the museum as early in the day as possible especially on the weekends. It can get really crowded.

-There is no photography allowed in the award winning photography section. This should be a no brainer but apparently it's not.

-There is free 3 hour parking directly along the street in front of the museum so if you don't think you'll be longer than that you can park for free.

-Don't forget to stop at the large gift shop before leaving. There are many souvenirs to choose from. 

-For guests who have trouble with stairs there are elevators located throughout the museum. 

-If you have small children this museum may be a bit too old for them since there is a lot of reading involved. The Energy Hall is your best bet with children under 5. It's very hands on and visual so even the little ones can enjoy it. 


A trip to Houston is never complete without a visit to this amazing museum. I've been many times and every time I discover something I didn't see before. If you have a few hours to spare you should at least check out the permanent exhibit halls. You won't be disappointed! Have you been to The Houston Museum of Natural Science? How was your experience? What was your favorite museum exhibit? I'd love to hear your stories and see pictures of your trip. You can post them on my Facebook page @melwashereblog or email me at melwashereblog@gmail.com

Until the next adventure,
Mel Was Here 













8 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great museum! If I'm ever in Houston, I'll have to see it for myself!

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  2. This looks like such a neat place to visit! I'm from the D.C. area, so I'm blessed to have the Smithsonian Natural History Museum close by, but I'm definitely going to add this to my Houston travel bucket list!

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    1. Oh yes please do. It's a wonderful museum. The DC museum's are on my bucket list as well😁

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  3. I LOVE visiting Museums! It's so interesting and mind-blowing to learn about the world around us, as it once was, and as it is today. Dinosaur skeletons are always the highlight of the trip!

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    1. I totally agree. It's so trippy how huge they actually were

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  4. This is so fun! I love museums and I totally want to go to this one.

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