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Houston Museum of Natural Science
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is one of the nation’s most heavily-attended museums, with diverse and extraordinary offerings and four floors of exhibit halls. Showing: The Paleo Hall (one of the largest paleo halls in the nation), The Hall Of Egypt (one of the most diverse collections in the nation, covering 6000 years), The Gems & Mineral Hall (recognized as one of the best collections in the world), The Wiess Energy Exhibit (one of the top energy exhibits in the nation), Space, Malacology, Hall of the Americas, African Wild Life and more. Other features (requiring separate admission) include the 3-D Wortham Giant Screen Theatre, Cockrell Butterfly Center, and Burke Baker Planetarium. Host to world-class touring exhibitions, something will delight everyone.
Exhibit halls general admission to one of the nation’s favorite natural science museums.
5555 Hermann Park Drive
Open daily, 9am-5pm
Extended summer hours, 9am-6pm.
Hours subject to change for holidays, special exhibitions and other events; see details.
Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
- Four floors of dynamic permanent exhibit halls encompass gems and minerals,wildlife, fossils, ancient history, chemistry and more.
- The Welch Hall of Chemistry, newly revamped in 2013, tells the story of life in the universe as seen through the lens of chemistry utilizing modern technology. Visitors leave the new permanent exhibition understanding the origins of the Universe and the elements, career potential in chemistry, and the profound and interesting role of chemistry in the natural world. Measuring two and a half times bigger than the previous exhibition, the exhibit is filled with custom built touch screens, the largest of which allows several users to simultaneously explore our universe and the origins of all matter with the wave of a hand in lieu of a computer mouse.
- The new Paleontology Hall contains more than 450 dinosaur fossils and casts and shows predators and prey in action — chasing, eating and escaping as they struggle for life.
- The 10,000-square-foot Hall of Ancient Egypt, new in 2013, contains hundreds of artifacts from around the world that offer a glimpse of what life was like for the ancient Egyptians. The Museum's own mummy, Ankh Hap, is part of this new exhibit, as are two other mummies and no less than a dozen coffins.
- Discover more than 450 beautifully crystallized mineral specimens, including some of the world's most rare and beautiful examples, including a 2000 carat blue topaz crystal.
- The Smith Gem Vault showcases stunning, custom-made jewelry set with some of the world's largest, finest and most rare cut gemstones.
Present CityPASS booklet or voucher in the box office at the window for "Members/Corporate."
Special Exhibits Included with CityPASS
Gemstone Carvings: The Masterworks of Harold Van Pelt
For over 35 years, Harold Van Pelt has quietly been perfecting the art of carving quartz, rock crystal and agate gemstones. Working the stone down to paper-thin walls brings out the gorgeous natural quality and colors of the agate and gives quartz the transparency of glass. Transformed by one man’s vision and skill from a solid stone to an incredibly delicate work of art, the gemstone carvings of Harold Van Pelt have to be seen to be believed.
Upgrades for CityPASS Holders
3D Wortham Giant Screen Theater: Reduced cost for CityPASS holders: all ages 3+, $8.
Cockrell Butterfly Center: Includes access to the Brown Hall of Entomology. Reduced cost for CityPASS holders: all ages 3+, $6.
Burke Baker Planetarium Show: Reduced cost for CityPASS holders: all ages 3+, $6.
Magna Carta: An original edition of the Magna Carta and the only known example of the King’s Writ — a letter from King John to the Sheriff of Gloucester announcing the signing of the Magna Carta — are on loan at HMNS from their home in Hereford Cathedral. On view until August 17, 2014. Reduced cost for CityPASS holders: adult $15; child $13.
Fabergé: A Brilliant Vision: Reduced cost for CityPASS holders: adult $15; child $13. This exhibit requires a timed entry ticket.
Scenes From the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux: Walk through exact cave replicas by flickering light and marvel at full-size copies of paintings - some never seen before by the public - created nearly 20,000 years ago by our early ancestors. Deconstruct the paintings' many layers of complexities, meet a lifelike Stone Age family, and discover why the true meaning and purpose of the caves remain a mystery even today. October 18, 2013 through March 23, 2014. Reduced cost for CityPASS holders: adult $15; child $13. This exhibit requires a timed entry ticket.
Advice for Visitors
- Thursdays 3-6pm (Sep-May, Thursdays 2-5pm) are free to the public and may be more crowded.
- Weekday and weekend mornings may be crowded due to student groups.
- Crowd intensity information is available by calling (713) 639-4629.
- 3D Wortham Giant Screen Theater is busiest from 9-11am (additional entrance fee required).
Parking: Paid parking available in HMNS’s 6-story garage located on Caroline, just south of Hermann Drive. Some curbside parking available near museum entrance and in Hermann Park.
Dining: Food and beverages are not allowed inside the museum exhibit halls or theaters. McDonald's is located within the main lobby.
Accessibility: Handicapped access to all venues.
Gift Shop: Museum Store located at museum's main entrance.
METRORail train: Traveling southbound (Fannin South), exit train at Museum District Station. Walk southbound along Fannin to Hermann Drive, turn right on Hermann to museum.
Groups of 15 or more: Call (713) 639-4601.
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