One of the most heavily attended museums in the country, Houston Museum of Natural Science is a massive facility on Hermann Park Drive. The facility includes a Wortham Giant Screen Theatre, Burke Baker Planetarium, and Cockrell Butterfly Center, along with permanent exhibit halls and rotating special exhibitions.
Exhibits include astronomy, space science, history, Native American culture, geology, energy, gems and minerals, chemistry, and Texas wildlife. Visiting the museum requires a full day.
One of the most heavily-visited museums in the country, HMNS offers a wide range of educational resources for visitors. This includes interactive exhibits, community outreach programs, and virtual learning options that let visitors experience a museum’s collections from home.
The museum also hosts a variety of family-friendly events, lectures, and classes throughout the year. Many of these events offer a chance to learn more about specific exhibits and topics from an expert’s perspective.
HMNS is dedicated to educating the public on a broad range of natural and cultural subjects, including astronomy, science, Native American culture, dinosaurs, gems, seashells, energy, chemistry, and Texas wildlife. Its permanent venues include the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre, Burke Baker Planetarium, and Cockrell Butterfly Center.
Those interested in supporting the mission of HMNS can become members or sponsors. Memberships provide access to exclusive benefits, including discounted admission, behind-the-scenes tours, and more. Those who would rather not commit to an entire year can choose shorter membership terms with renewal options.
For over a century, the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS), in Houston, TX, has reflected the inquisitive spirit of its Bayou City community. Today, the museum serves over two million visitors each year at its facility on the northern edge of Hermann Park. The sprawling complex houses exhibit areas on five floors, a planetarium, the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre, and the Cockrell Butterfly Center.
HMNS has long been known for its renowned permanent galleries that explore such topics as astronomy, space science, Native American culture, paleontology, chemistry, gems and minerals, Texas wildlife, and more. The museum also regularly hosts world premiere exhibitions.
But not all of HMNS’s galleries are created equal. Recently, a group show called Mining the HMNS (co-created by The Natural History Museum with T.E.J.A.S) explored the symbiotic relationship between HMNS and fossil fuel corporations, questioning how the museum presents the history of petroleum development in its permanent galleries. The show was a collaboration with Project Row Houses and was exhibited at the gallery’s East Houston location.
HMNS’s Permanent Collection
One of the most heavily visited museums in the United States, HMNS houses the Burke Baker Planetarium, Wortham IMAX Theatre, Cockrell Butterfly Center, and a variety of permanent exhibit halls. These areas examine astronomy, space science, Native American culture, paleontology, energy, geology, gems and minerals, seashells, and Texas wildlife. The museum also hosts world-class touring exhibitions.
In addition to its major permanent collections, HMNS has assembled a Cabinet of Curiosities. This display is a compilation of collections from gentlemen, noblemen, and royals who had amassed artifacts in their private homes. This collection now resides at the museum, where visitors can take their time musing over each item.
HMNS is a great place to bring the family for fun and learning. A variety of special exhibits feature interactive experiences like digging for fossils and constructing your own dinosaur skeleton. A large gift shop features pop-up retail shop-in-shops for many of the special exhibits, along with plenty of educational toys and Houston-made jewelry.
HMNS’s Traveling Exhibits
As one of the nation’s most heavily attended museums, HMNS offers something for everyone. Located in the Museum District, HMNS is home to the Wortham IMAX® Theatre, Burke Baker Planetarium, Cockrell Butterfly Center, and more than a dozen permanent exhibit areas that examine astronomy, space science, Native American culture, paleontology, energy, gems and minerals, seashells, Texas wildlife, and other intriguing topics.
HMNS also regularly hosts world-class traveling exhibitions. Recent highlights have included King Tut’s Tomb Discovery Experience, which allows visitors to take on the role of British archaeologist Howard Carter as they enter a 1:1 scale replica of the tomb and discover recreations of objects, treasures, and equipment from the famous archaeological find.
Other notables include the newly-renovated Weiss Energy Hall, which takes an interdisciplinary approach to exploring fossils and modern energy technology through immersive excursions that incorporate augmented reality. Other exhibitions to see at HMNS include Cameroon Grassfields, which showcases the enduring artistic traditions of this African nation through headdresses, masks, prestige hats, and royal stools, and Monira Al Qadiri: Refined Vision, a solo show of oil paintings from the Berlin-based artist that ranges in style from surreal to melancholic.
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The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a magnificent museum with expansive exhibits exploring natural history, gems, and culture. From towering dinosaur skeletons to Ancient Egypt displays, the museum provides an immersive educational experience for visitors of all ages. This Houston treasure brings science to life.
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