The Houston Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1909, and the main aim was to enhance the knowledge of individuals and to trigger delight in people for Natural and its related subjects. Fortunately, to this day, the objective was carried out through every program, project, and exhibition relating the museum.
The Houston Museum is the most visited venue in the United States, and it is also a significant learning science center covering school children. And it includes fourth and seventh grade in the Houston Independent School District. The science museum has a spectacular collection of the dinosaur skeleton, mineral specimens, space-station models, IMAX theater, a planetarium, and a six-story butterfly center featuring these beautiful creatures land.
The Museum has two satellite facilities: The George Observatory in Fort Bend County, housing the largest telescopes in the country available for public viewing; and the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land, exhibiting on dinosaurs; mineralogy; exotic, live frogs and more.
The museum initially was known as the Houston Museum and Scientific Society, Inc., in 1909. The primary collection of the museum was acquired between 1914 and 1930. This included Henry Philemon Attwaters assembled the natural-history collection and a donation from John Milsaps, the collector, the latter that formed the museum’s gem and mineral collection core. The collection was housed first in Houston’s city auditorium for seven years in the Central Library and 1929 in the Houston Zoo site. The museum started conducting programs from 1947 and now hosts many education programs and hosted 12,000 children in the second year.
Morian Hall of Paleontology
1969.The museum was renamed in 1960 the Houston Museum of Natural Science officially. In 1964, the construction of the current facility in Hermann Park began and was completed in 1969.
By the 1980s, the permanent displays of the museum included a space museum, a dinosaur exhibit, and exhibits on technology, geology, petroleum science, biology, and geography. In 1988, in memory of the crewmembers that were lost in the tenth shuttle mission of the Space Shuttle Challenger, the Challenger Learning Center was established. The center aims to teach about space exploration to the visitors. In 1989, the IMAX Theater, Wortham, and the offsite George Observatory were opened.
The attendance of the Museum attendance in 1990 was over one million visitors. HMNS trustees considered there was a need for new state-of- the-art facilities, renovations and additional space required to accommodate the increased attendance. During the years 1991 and 1994, few exhibit halls were renovated, and the Sterling Hall of Research expansion was completed. In July 1994, The Cockrell Butterfly Center and the Brown Hall of Entomology opened.
The HMNS Sugar Land satellite museum in Telfair, Sugar Land, Texas
The museum opened in the Woodlands Mall the HMNS Woodlands X-Ploration Station, in March 2007. This facility housed an interactive Dig Pit so that children excavated variety of fossils, living exhibits, and minerals, besides mock Triceratops. The Location closed within a month before HMNS opened in Sugar Land, Texas, a satellite museum on September 7, 2009.
In 2009, HMNS celebrated its 100th year. The museum in the same year offered several family programs, free events, lectures and kids’s classes as a part of this celebration. HMNS on October 3, 2009, opened in Telfair, Sugar Land a satellite museum. The building and the enveloping land became the Central Unit part, a Criminal Justice prison of Texas Department that remains unoccupied for decades.
The Wortham IMAX Theatre in March 2012 was converted to 3D digital and was renamed as the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre. HMNS opened in June 2012 a paleontology hall featuring 230,000 square foot that was the original museum doubles the size. The Morian Hall of Paleontology has over 60 large skeleton mounts, and this includes four Tyrannosaurus rex and three large Quetzalcoatlus.
The Foucault pendulum demonstrated the Earth’s rotation, and the pendulum cable length is more than 60 feet long.
Exquisitely cut fine gems jewelry are in Lester and Sue Smit Gem Vault
Cullen Hall of Gems & Minerals has more than 750 rare gemstones and crystallized mineral specimens.
Strake Hall of Malacology present mollusks specimens
Farish Hall of Texas Wildlife exhibits wildlife and animals native to Texas. The hall features a video wall displaying animals, plants, and topography of the state biotic regions.
Morian Hall of Paleontology has three Tyrannosaurus rex, complete Triceratops, and a Diplodocus skeleton and also houses trilobite most extensive collections.
Evelyn and Herbert Frensley Hall of African Wildlife feature taxidermied animals in the display, including two Okapis. In 1969, the hall allowed exploring biomes of Africa continent. It also has 42 species birds, mammals in 28 species and nearly 120 specimens on display.
Welch Chemistry Hall featuring interactive chemistry relating displays and elements periodic table with the sample.
John P, McGovern Hall of the Americas, shows over 50 cultures worth artifacts of the Pre-Columbian archaeological period.
Hall of Ancient Egypt contains millennia old artifacts, features Egyptian temples recreations and primary civilization mummies opened in May 2013.
Earth Forum features hands-on exhibit, computer aided teaching about Earth. Rice University developed this software.
Weiss Energy Hall displays petroleum geology, energetic and oil exploration. The hall has Energy Explorations Theater, the Alternative Energy Sources exhibit and the Energy Excursions Theater. The exhibit closed due to renovations in 2016 Fall, but the exhibits can be visited it is open.
Cockrell Sundial is the largest sundials in the world opened in 1989. It features lenses on the gnomon top on a special chrome ball the sunlight shines at solar noon on the solstices and equinoxes and casts suns image. In fact, large sunspots are visible in the beam if you hold and see through a white card.
Board a “prehistoric safari” to see the grand saga of human evolution right from tree- climbing australopithecines to brave and daring mammoth-hunters.
View the rarest crystallized mineral specimens, such as The Alma Queen, a brilliant red rhodochrosite the famous specimen in mineralogy.
Catch a glimpse of life in ancient Egypt and see Egyptian artifacts, inclusive of three mummies and nearly a dozen coffins.
Explore Africa featuring on display more than 120 specimens of African wildlife, besides films about African wildlife conservation and ecology and also engaging interactivities.
Admission and Tickets
Monday – Sunday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Adult ticket over ages 12 $25
Child ticket over ages 3-11 $15
Children under ages 2 Free
Seniors over 62 $15
Groups 10+ $8
Military $8 (with ID)
School Groups $3.50
Free Thursdays: 2-5 pm walk with dinosaurs, roam the Serengeti and discover all for free.
Tips for visitors
The permanent exhibit halls are overcrowded on Thursdays 3-6pm as they are free.
Amenities include Museum Store Gift shops and McDonald’s for dining.
The ideal time is weekend mornings and weekdays to visit.
Handicapped access is available to all venues.
Note: Food and beverages are not allowed inside the theaters or the Museum exhibit halls.
Few Facts that can be better
The chairs and tables at the McDonald’s are cramped in a tiny space that there is no room to move. There should be spread out the place to have a picnic such that outside the entrance there are covered places.
The Gem Hall is impressive, the jewelry and the rocks shine. The gems on display are worth millions of dollars, but the carpet needs to be replaced.
The Cockrell Butterfly Center is beautiful. The rain forest and waterfall cascades enhance the beauty, but if it has non-slip surfaces, it would be safer.
The Earth Forum is embarrassing as most computers fail to work. There is sand dune creator and earthquake simulator, but it appears museum forgot this forums presence. At least, the computers must work and needs a boot up.
The bathrooms in the museum are immaculate and are really amazing, but it would be best if they considered kid-centric bathroom fixtures such as low water fountains, sinks, and potties.