Thinking of taking your children out somewhere but can’t decide on where you should go? Why not start with the Houston Museum of Natural Science, a place where your kids can learn and enjoy – all at the same time!
Located on the northern border of Hermann Park in Houston, this is a science museum that is known for its popularity (it is the largest after the Smithsonian) and its very frequent and stunning guest exhibits. Not to mention the dinosaurs!
Read on to know more about the museum and what you can do there.
Location:
The Houston Museum of Natural Sciences is located at 5555 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030. It is centrally located in a well-known area of the city, and can be easily accessed by car as well as by public transport such as buses and light rail.
Hours:
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is open from 9am to 5pm on regular days and from 9 am to 6pm during the summer and the holidays. Hours for various exhibits may vary. For more information, please visit the website.
Admission:
Price of tickets at the Houston Museum of Natural Science depends on the section one wants to visit as well as the age and/or status of the visitor. Here is the price list according to each section:
– Pricing for permanent exhibits: Entry is free all year round for members and children under the age of two, and for everyone on Thursdays between 2pm and 5pm. Tickets for non-member adults (aged 12 and above) and for children (aged 3 to 11) are priced at $25 and $15 per person respectively, while those for senior citizens (aged 62 and above) are priced at $15 respectively. College students can also gain entry for $15, provided they have a valid ID that proves their status. Those from the military can visit the permanent exhibits for $8 per person, provided they can show valid ID that proves their status. Groups too can avail discount, with normal groups getting entry at $8 per person and school groups (i.e. Pre-K to 12th Grade) at $3.50 per person.
– Pricing for special exhibitions:
—– Knights: Members can gain entry to this exhibit at $8 per person. Tickets for non-member adults (aged 12 and above) and for children (aged 3 to 11) are priced at $30 and $20 per person respectively, while those for senior citizens (aged 62 and above) are priced at $20 respectively. College students can also gain entry for $20, provided they have a valid ID that proves their status. Those from the military can visit the permanent exhibits for $15 per person, provided they can show valid ID that proves their status.
—– Reality Check: Members can gain entry to this exhibit at $8 per person. Tickets for non-member adults (aged 12 and above), children (aged 3 to 11) and senior citizens (aged 62 and above) are priced at $12 per person. College students and military personnel can also gain entry for $12, provided they have a valid ID that proves their status. Not that reality check tickets do not allow entry into permanent exhibit halls.
– Pricing for planetarium: Tickets for members are priced at $4 per person, while those for non-member adults (aged 12 and above), non-member children (aged 3 to 11), non-member senior citizens (aged 62 and above), and College Students (who show a valid ID) are priced at $8 per person. Those from the military can visit the planetarium for $6 per person, provided they can show valid ID that proves their status. Groups too can avail discount, with normal groups getting entry at $6 per person and school groups (i.e. Pre-K to 12th Grade) at $3.50 per person.
– Pricing for Butterfly Center: Tickets for members are priced at $4 per person, while those for non-member adults (aged 12 and above) are priced at $9 per person. Tickets for non-member children (aged 3 to 11), non-member senior citizens (aged 62 and above), and College Students (who show a valid ID) are priced at $8 per person. Those from the military can visit the planetarium for $6 per person, provided they can show valid ID that proves their status. Groups too can avail discount, with normal groups getting entry at $6 per person and school groups (i.e. Pre-K to 12th Grade) at $3.50 per person.
– Pricing for Giant Screen Theatre: Tickets for members are priced at $6 per person, while those for non-member adults (aged 12 and above) are priced at $12 per person. Non-member children (aged 3 to 11), non-member senior citizens (aged 62 and above), and College Students (who show a valid ID) can buy tickets at $10 per person. Those from the military can visit the planetarium for $8 per person, provided they can show valid ID that proves their status. Groups too can avail discount, with normal groups getting entry at $8 per person and school groups (i.e. Pre-K to 12th Grade) at $5 per person.
Parking:
Free Parking at the museum is limited and can be availed only when you arrive early. That said, paid parking is not very expensive, with charges for members (for the whole day) being $5 per vehicle, and that for non-members (also for the whole day) being $20 per vehicle.
Permanent Exhibits at the Houston Museum of Natural Science:
– Cockrell Butterfly Center: This is a stunning exhibit consisting of thousands of exotic butterflies and tropical plants in a rainforest background which is encased in a central conservatory made in the shape of a 3-storey glass cone. Butterflies from all over the world populate this exhibit.
– Moran Paleontology Hall: This exhibit offers a glimpse into the history of the Earth ecosystem, and showcases over 450 fossils as well as fossil replicas. It is housed in a 30,000-square-foot hall, and has extra exhibit space and classrooms.
– Farish Hall of Texas Wildlife: Reopened in Autumn 2014 after undergoing a major renovation, this exhibit has on display the specimens of the rich Texas wildlife. Specimens included are from the past as well as from the present day.
– Weiss Energy Hall 3.0: Sprawled across 30000 sq. ft., the recently-renovated Weiss Energy Hall showcases old and new progresses in the world of energy.
– Welch Chemistry Hall: This interactive exhibit explains the most complicated of scientific concepts in the form of holograms, displays, installations and live experiments.
– Foucault Pendulum: Named after the French physicist Jean Foucault, the Foucault Pendulum was originally exhibited in 1851 at the World’s Fair in Paris, and offers a visual demonstration of the Earth’s rotation.
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