A Guide to the Houston Museum of Natural History

Welcome to Houston Museum of Natural History, where visitors are transported on a journey through time to explore the fascinating world of nature, science, and culture. The museum’s natural history exhibitions are among the most diverse internationally, offering an immersive experience that encourages learning and discovery. It has been recognized as one of the top museums of its kind due to its exceptional collections, cutting-edge technology, and world-class exhibitions. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate this magnificent museum and make the most of your visit.

The Houston Museum of Natural History

The Houston Museum of Natural History is undoubtedly one of the most cherished and revered cultural institutions in Houston, Texas. Established in 1909, it is a world-renowned museum that features an extensive collection of cultural, scientific, and historical artifacts. The museum is located in the heart of the city and is a must-visit tourist attraction for both locals and visitors to Houston.

Overview of the Museum

The Houston Museum of Natural History spans over 4 floors and covers an impressive 450,000 square feet of exhibition space. It is divided into several sections that exhibit various themes from the natural history of our planet. Visitors will explore biodiversity, gems and minerals, ancient civilizations, fossils of marine creatures, and dinosaurs. In addition, it features an exciting and inspiring planetarium for space enthusiasts.

The museum uses a creative and interactive approach to engage visitors, with the use of immersive digital displays and life-size models throughout the exhibitions. With the extensive amount of exhibits and collections, it’s advisable to plan your visit ahead of time, especially if you have little ones who would enjoy the interactive experience.

Exhibits and Collections

The exhibits and collections at the Houston Museum of Natural History are vast and comprehensive, providing a fascinating insight into the history of the natural world. The museum hosts a wide range of collections and exhibits, such as artifacts from ancient Egypt, decorative arts, and a selection of more than 750 mineral and gem mounted specimens.

One of the significant and most well-known collections is constructed for exhibition in a three-story organization of Amber Lounges. The Costa Rican Amber exhibit features various insects that have been trapped in resin for over 20 million years. The museum also houses one of the largest dinosaur halls in existence, where visitors can marvel at over 60 dinosaur skeletons and objects.

If you’re keen on learning about wildlife habitat and species diversity, the Wiess Energy Hall houses exhibits on this topic that would fascinate visitors of all ages.

Special Events and Programs

The Houston Museum of Natural History hosts special events year-round, including workshops, classes, lectures, and various other educational programs. One of the favorite events among families is the Dino Days, which educates guests about dinosaurs through thrilling games, face paintings, and interactive activities.

The museum also runs various themed summer camps, where young children can learn about animals, space, geology, and ancient buildings through various hands-on activities. Adults can enjoy numerous programs that focus on art, science, and cultural events.

In conclusion, the Houston Museum of Natural History is an extraordinary destination for visitors interested in science, history, or nature. It’s a family-friendly place that’s informative and entertaining, and overall, it’s an excellent educational and cultural spot for individuals of all ages.

Exploring the Exhibits

The Houston Museum of Natural History offers an incredible opportunity for visitors to explore the wonders of the natural world. With exhibits spanning millions of years and covering a wide range of scientific disciplines, the museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in natural history.


The paleontology exhibit is one of the most popular attractions in the museum. Featuring a wide variety of fossils and skeletons from prehistoric creatures, the exhibit takes visitors on a journey through the evolution of life on Earth. Highlights of the exhibit include the fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex, the massive Brachiosaurus, and the woolly mammoth.

Budding paleontologists will be thrilled to see the many life-sized models of prehistoric animals and interactive displays that allow visitors to examine fossils up close. There is even a chance to see scientists at work in the Paleo Prep Lab where fossils are excavated, prepared, and studied.


The astronomy exhibit is equally captivating, offering visitors an opportunity to explore the mysteries of the universe. The centerpiece of the exhibit is the Planetarium, where visitors can get up close and personal with the stars. State-of-the-art projectors create a stunning and immersive experience, transporting visitors on a journey through space and time.

In addition to the Planetarium, the exhibit includes interactive displays that allow visitors to learn about the solar system and beyond. There are models of spacecraft and telescopes, and visitors can even take a virtual journey to the outer reaches of the galaxy.


The biodiversity exhibit is another must-see attraction at the museum. The exhibit showcases the incredible variety of life on Earth, from insects to mammals to plants. Visitors can explore different ecosystems from around the world, including tropical rainforests and coral reefs.

The exhibit also highlights the importance of biodiversity and the threats that many species face. Interactive displays allow visitors to learn about conservation efforts and what they can do to help protect the planet’s many species.

The Houston Museum of Natural History is an exceptional resource for anyone interested in natural history and science. With so much to see and do, it is an educational and entertaining destination for visitors of all ages. Plan your visit today and discover the incredible wonders of the natural world!

Education and Research

The Houston Museum of Natural History is not just a place to view fascinating exhibits, but it is also an institution of learning and research. Here, visitors have the opportunity to gain knowledge about various subjects, from biodiversity to environmental science. In this section, we will dive deeper into the education and research programs that the museum offers.

Education Programs

The Houston Museum of Natural History has a comprehensive educational program for students of all ages. The museum offers engaging and interactive field trips, camps, and lectures to enrich the learning experience. These programs give students the chance to learn about different subjects, from the fascinating world of insects to the impact of humans on the environment. The museum’s education program is designed to enhance scientific literacy and to promote curiosity and critical thinking among students.

One of the most popular programs for students is the overnight camp. The museum offers several camps throughout the year where participants spend the night exploring the exhibits, learning about animals, and participating in hands-on activities. The sleepover provides a unique opportunity for students to engage with science in an immersive environment.

In addition to programs for students, the museum also offers programs for adults. Lectures and workshops on various scientific topics are held throughout the year, giving visitors access to leading researchers and experts in their respective fields.

Research and Conservation

The Houston Museum of Natural History is a hub of scientific research, and its scientists are involved in various studies of biodiversity, paleontology, and environmental science. The museum’s research programs aim to increase our understanding of the natural world and to find solutions to environmental problems.

One of the most interesting research programs is the Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collection. This facility is home to over 2.5 million specimens of plants and animals, making it one of the largest collections in the world. The specimens are used for research, education, and conservation programs. The museum also houses one of the most significant paleontology collections in the world, which includes fossils of prehistoric animals and plants.

The Houston Museum of Natural History is also passionate about environmental conservation. The museum partners with various organizations and institutions to promote sustainable practices and to preserve natural habitats.

Collaborations and Partnerships

The Houston Museum of Natural History collaborates with a wide range of organizations and institutions to advance scientific research and education. The museum has partnerships with universities, research organizations, and scientific societies to support ongoing studies and to engage the public in scientific learning.

One of the museum’s most prominent collaborations is with the Smithsonian Institution. The partnership allows the museum to host exhibits from the Smithsonian’s collection, giving visitors access to some of the most remarkable artifacts in the world.

The museum also partners with various local organizations to promote scientific literacy and environmental conservation in the Houston community. The museum’s outreach programs aim to engage students and community members of all ages, to inspire a lifelong love of science and nature.

In conclusion, the Houston Museum of Natural History is more than just a place to view fascinating exhibits. It is an institution that promotes scientific learning and research, and it offers a wide range of educational programs for students and adults. The museum’s commitment to research and conservation is evident in its many initiatives, and the partnerships it has established further enhance its role in the scientific community. By visiting the Houston Museum of Natural History, visitors can explore the wonders of the natural world and gain a deeper understanding of our planet and its inhabitants.

The Houston Museum of Natural History

The Houston Museum of Natural History is a world-class institution that provides a fascinating look into the natural world. The museum is home to one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils in the world and offers visitors a chance to explore a variety of exhibits, including interactive displays and hands-on activities. The museum is a must-see destination for anyone interested in natural history and is perfect for visitors of all ages.

Visiting the Museum

Hours and Admission

The Houston Museum of Natural History is open daily. Guests are advised to check the museum’s website for the most up-to-date information on hours and admissions. Admission prices vary based on age and membership status. Children under the age of 2 are admitted free of charge, while adult admission is $25. Senior admission is $16, and student admission is $16 with a valid student ID. Special rates are offered for military personnel and groups of 10 or more.

Planning Your Visit

Visitors are encouraged to plan their visit to ensure they make the most of their experience. The museum provides visitor information, maps, and tips for guests who want to maximize their time. The website also features a calendar of events, including lectures, workshops, and exhibitions, so guests can plan their visit around specific activities. The museum offers guided tours and field trips for groups, which can be booked in advance.

Amenities and Services

The Houston Museum of Natural History offers a variety of amenities and services to make the visit more enjoyable. The museum features a gift shop, which offers a variety of souvenirs, books, and toys related to natural history. There are also dining options on site, including a cafe and a snack bar. The museum is wheelchair accessible and provides accessibility accommodations to guests with disabilities. Strollers and wheelchairs are available for rent on a first-come, first-served basis.

For families with young children, the museum offers a play area with age-appropriate activities. Educational programming is also available for children, including summer camps, homeschool classes, and after-school programs. The museum hosts special events throughout the year, including sleepovers, movie nights, and holiday celebrations, so there is always something to do and see.

Guests who are interested in exploring the museum’s extensive collection can take advantage of the research library, which houses more than 40,000 scientific volumes and issues of natural history journals. The library is open to the public by appointment only.

Overall, the Houston Museum of Natural History is a fascinating destination for visitors of all ages. With its vast collection of artifacts, interactive exhibits, and educational programming, the museum offers a unique look into the natural world and is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Supporting the Museum

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a non-profit organization that relies on the support of the community to continue providing exciting exhibits and educational programs. There are many ways to support the museum and help ensure its ongoing success.

Membership and Donations

Becoming a member of the Houston Museum of Natural Science is a great way to support the museum and enjoy its many benefits. Members receive free admission to all permanent exhibits, discounted prices on special exhibits and events, priority access to popular programs and exhibits, and discounts at the museum store and café. Membership levels range from individual to family, and all levels include free admission for the named member(s) plus guest(s).

In addition to membership, the museum also accepts donations from individuals and organizations who wish to support its mission and programs. Donations can be made online, by mail, or in person at the museum.

Donors can choose to support specific programs or exhibits, or give an unrestricted gift that can be used to meet the museum’s greatest needs. Donors may also choose to make a gift in honor or memory of a loved one, or include the museum in their estate planning.


The Houston Museum of Natural Science relies on a dedicated team of volunteers to help with a wide range of tasks, from greeting visitors to leading tours and helping with special events. Volunteers play a vital role in the museum’s operations and help ensure that visitors have a memorable experience.

Volunteering at the museum is a great way to meet new people, learn new skills, and give back to the community. Volunteers can choose from a variety of opportunities based on their interests and availability, and training is provided to ensure that volunteers feel confident and prepared in their roles.

Volunteers must be at least 16 years old and commit to a minimum of four hours per month. To apply, simply fill out the online application on the museum’s website.

Corporate Partnerships

The Houston Museum of Natural Science offers a variety of corporate partnership opportunities for businesses and organizations that want to support the museum and raise their visibility in the community. Corporate partnerships can include sponsorship of exhibits and events, membership benefits for employees, recognition on the museum’s website and in marketing materials, and access to exclusive events and programs.

Partnering with the museum can be a great way for businesses to reach new audiences, build customer loyalty, and show their commitment to education and community involvement. To learn more about corporate partnership opportunities, contact the museum’s development department.

Whether you choose to become a member, make a donation, volunteer your time, or partner with the museum as a business, your support is vital to the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s continued success and ability to inspire curiosity and learning in visitors of all ages.

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