If you are looking for a unique and exciting way to explore the rich history and natural wonders of Texas, then Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) should be on top of your list. Located in the heart of Houston, HMNS is one of the largest and most visited museums in Texas, attracting over 2.5 million visitors annually. In this article, we will explore the amazing exhibits, fascinating history, and diverse collections that make HMNS a must-see destination for tourists and locals alike.
History of Houston Museum of Natural Science
HMNS was founded in 1909, and since then, it has grown into a world-class institution dedicated to promoting scientific education and exploration. The museum has a rich history, starting with the opening of the first exhibit hall in 1929, which focused on the geology and natural resources of Texas. Since then, the museum has expanded significantly, and today, it features four floors of exhibits, covering topics such as astronomy, paleontology, biology, and geology.
Exhibits and Collections at HMNS
HMNS boasts an impressive collection of over 2 million objects, including fossils, minerals, gemstones, and taxidermied animals. The museum’s permanent exhibits include the Morian Hall of Paleontology, which features a vast collection of fossils from around the world, including the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Other exhibits include the Wiess Energy Hall, which explores the history and future of energy production, and the Cockrell Butterfly Center, which showcases over 60 species of butterflies and moths from around the world.
In addition to its permanent exhibits, HMNS also hosts a rotating series of special exhibitions throughout the year. These exhibits cover a wide range of topics, from ancient Egyptian artifacts to the science of Leonardo da Vinci.
One of the highlights of HMNS is the Burke Baker Planetarium, which offers visitors a breathtaking journey through space and time. The planetarium features a state-of-the-art projection system that can display over 500 million stars and galaxies. Visitors can choose from a variety of shows, including the “Dark Universe” show, which explores the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, and “Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity,” which takes viewers on a thrilling journey into the heart of a black hole.
HMNS Wortham Giant Screen Theatre
The Wortham Giant Screen Theatre at HMNS is another must-see attraction. The theatre features a massive 60-foot-tall screen and 4K digital projection, allowing visitors to experience movies and documentaries like never before. The theatre hosts a wide range of films, from educational documentaries to Hollywood blockbusters.
Houston Museum of Natural Science is a fascinating and educational destination that offers visitors a unique window into the history and natural wonders of Texas and the world. With its impressive collections, state-of-the-art planetarium, and giant screen theatre, HMNS is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Houston. Whether you are a science enthusiast, history buff, or simply looking for a fun and educational day out, Houston Museum of Natural Science has something for everyone.
- What are the hours of operation for HMNS?
The museum is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, with extended hours on select days.
- How much does it cost to visit HMNS?
Admission prices vary depending on the exhibits and shows you wish to see. General admission for adults is $25, and tickets for the planetarium and giant screen theatre are $12 each.
- Are there any special events or programs at HMNS?
Yes, the museum hosts a wide range of special events throughout the year, including lectures, workshops, and children’s programs. Check the museum’s website for the latest schedule of events.
- Is there a café or restaurant at HMNS?
Yes, the museum has several dining options, including a café and a restaurant that serves a variety of snacks and meals.
- Can I bring my own food and drinks to HMNS?
Outside food and drinks are not allowed inside the museum, but you can bring your own water bottle. The museum’s café and restaurant offer a wide range of food and drink options for visitors.