Welcome to the adventurous world of natural history at the Houston Museum, where visitors can explore the wonders of nature and the universe. The museum offers a unique opportunity to discover the diverse flora and fauna of the region, as well as fascinating exhibits on ancient dinosaurs, prehistoric mammals, and the evolution of life on earth. With interactive displays, multimedia presentations, and a planetarium, the Houston Museum is a great destination for families, students, and anyone who loves learning about the natural world. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this museum so special and why it’s worth putting on your list of things to do in Houston.
The Museum of Natural History Houston
The Museum of Natural History Houston is a science museum that was founded in 1909. The museum, located in the heart of Houston, Texas, aims to inspire the public to learn about and appreciate the natural world through interactive exhibits, educational programs, and special events.
History of the Museum
The museum was founded as the Houston Museum of Natural Science and initially boasted a collection of just 30 specimens. Over time, the museum’s collection grew, and it moved to a larger building in 1969. Today, the museum has expanded further and is home to over 60,000 specimens, including fossils, gemstones, and taxidermy. In addition to its vast collection, the museum is also home to a planetarium and a butterfly center.
The museum’s mission is to “inspire wonder, encourage discovery, and foster learning about the natural world.” The museum achieves this through its various exhibits and educational programs.
Exhibits and Collections
The Museum of Natural History Houston offers a variety of exhibits and collections that cover a diverse array of scientific topics. The museum’s paleontology collection is one of the most impressive in the world and features numerous dinosaur skeletons, including a newly discovered species of dinosaur named Aquilarhinus palimentus.
The wildlife exhibit is another major draw of the museum. Visitors can see a variety of live animals up close, including snakes, lizards, and birds. The museum also has a large collection of taxidermy animals, including lions, tigers, and polar bears.
The Museum of Natural History Houston also has an astronomy exhibit that includes a planetarium and a space exhibit. Visitors can see replicas of rockets and shuttles, learn about the history of space exploration, and even take a virtual journey through the cosmos.
Programs and Events
The Museum of Natural History Houston offers a range of educational programs and events for people of all ages. One popular program is the scout program, which offers scouts the opportunity to earn merit badges related to science and nature. The museum also hosts summer camps for kids that explore various scientific themes.
The museum regularly hosts family-friendly events, such as movie screenings and educational talks. The museum also hosts more adult-oriented events, such as wine tastings and after-hours events that allow visitors to explore the exhibits in a more relaxed atmosphere.
Finally, the Museum of Natural History Houston offers a range of educational workshops for visitors. These workshops cover a variety of scientific topics, such as paleontology, astronomy, and geology. Visitors can learn how to identify fossils, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum’s collection, and even make their own gemstone jewelry.
The Museum of Natural History Houston is a fantastic educational resource for people of all ages. Whether you’re a child who loves dinosaurs or an adult who wants to learn more about space, the museum has something for everyone. The high-quality exhibits and educational programs make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in science and nature.
Visiting the Museum
The Houston Museum of Natural History is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. With its stunning exhibits and impressive collections, there is always something new to discover at this museum. Here are some useful tips and information for planning your visit to the museum.
Tickets and Hours
The Houston Museum of Natural History is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, except on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. General admission tickets cost $25 for adults and $16 for children between the ages of 3 and 11. Seniors aged 62 and above can get tickets for $16, while college students and military personnel can get tickets for $11 with a valid ID. If you plan to visit the museum frequently, you might want to consider a membership which provides free admission and other benefits such as discounts at the museum store and free parking.
It is highly recommended to purchase your tickets online in advance to avoid long lines at the ticket booth. The museum also offers various discounts and promotions throughout the year, so keep an eye on their website for updates.
Directions and Parking
The museum is located in the Houston Museum District, at the intersection of Caroline and Hermann Drive. There are various transportation options available to get to the museum, including public buses and the METRORail. The museum is also within walking distance of other nearby attractions like the Houston Zoo, Miller Outdoor Theatre, and the Menil Collection.
For those who prefer to drive, there are several parking options available. The museum operates its own parking garage, which is located next to the museum and is available for a fee. There are also several other parking garages and lots located nearby, which offer hourly or daily rates. However, parking spaces can fill up quickly, especially during peak hours, so it’s best to arrive early.
Accessibility and Amenities
The Houston Museum of Natural History is committed to providing access and accommodations for all visitors, regardless of their abilities. The museum is wheelchair accessible, and wheelchairs are available for rent at the ticket booth. Service animals are also welcome at the museum.
The museum has various dining options available, including a cafe, food court, and vending machines. Visitors are also welcome to bring their own food and drinks, although they are not allowed inside the exhibits areas.
Other amenities available at the museum include gift shops, restrooms, and locker rentals. The museum also offers a range of educational programs and tours for visitors of all ages, which can be booked in advance through their website.
Overall, the Houston Museum of Natural History is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in science, history, and culture. With its world-class exhibits, engaging displays, and stunning collections, this museum is sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors of all ages.
The Museum Shop
The Museum Shop at the Houston Museum of Natural History is not just any ordinary store. It offers a wide array of unique products and souvenirs that visitors will truly appreciate. From books to jewelry, toys, and collectibles, the shop has something for everyone. With its impressive collection of natural history-inspired merchandise, it is undoubtedly the perfect destination for souvenir hunting.
The Museum Shop’s interior layout is sure to leave visitors in awe. The store’s ambiance is inspired by natural history, evident from the selection of the products. The store is spacious, well-organized, and designed with visitors’ comfort in mind. Whether someone is looking for a particular item, they will not have a hard time finding what they seek. The shop associates are also very knowledgeable and attentive, ensuring that visitors have a great shopping experience and find everything they need.
One of the most unique qualities of the museum shop is the products’ quality. The museum shop offers merchandise inspired and crafted by nature, and this is evident in the quality of each item in the store. The products are not only beautiful but also sustainably produced, making them authentic and environmentally friendly.
For visitors who are unable to travel to the museum in person, the museum store offers a convenient online shopping experience. The online store provides an extensive selection of products similar to those found in the physical store. Customers can shop from anywhere and have their purchases delivered right to their doorstep. The easy-to-navigate website makes browsing a breeze and convenient for online shoppers. Additionally, purchases can be returned if there are any issues with the product(s).
Becoming a member of the Houston Museum of Natural History has its perks, and one of them is exclusive discounts to the museum shop. Museum members can enjoy a 10% discount on their purchases, making shopping at the museum store an even more worthwhile experience. Members can also take advantage of other membership benefits, such as the opportunity to see new exhibits and participate in special events held by the museum. The museum store provides an excellent incentive for visitors to become museum members, so they can take advantage of the exclusive discounts and perks.
The Museum Shop at the Houston Museum of Natural History is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in nature-inspired products and souvenirs. The shop’s collection of unique products, shopping experience, and added benefits for members make it a truly exceptional feature for the museum, and an essential stop for any visitor to the museum.