Free Open House! at the Woodlands Xploration Station

Ever wondered what it would be like to visit an amazing natural science museum in the Woodlands Mall?  Well here’s your chance! On Tuesday, March 31, from 4 to 7 p.m., we are holding a FREE Educators’ Open House at The Woodlands Xploration Station!!!

pachycephalosaurus2During the Open House, which – did I mention this? – is FREE to all educators, visitors will have the opportunity to view demonstrations of the Outreach Programswith Melissa Hudnall. There will be plenty of Museum Staff present to answer any questions you may have.  Chris Flis, one of our very own Paleontologists, will be on hand to discuss our newest Outreach Program, Earth Science on Wheels. Chris will also answer questions about our Whiskey Bridge Paleontology trips.  Educators will be given Information about field trips, staff development opportunities, and upcoming exhibitions at the Museum.

xpl-milk-frogAt the Houston Museum of Natural Scienceit is our goal to accommodate educators in any way possible.  With this in mind, we welcome educators’ families at this particular event; we know that childcare can be difficult to find! As a further enticement, Chick-fil-A refreshments will be provided, so come hungry! 

If you are interested in coming, please let me know by sending RSVP’s to ecrouch@hmns.org or (713) 639-4754.

Frogs, dinosaurs, insects, luminous minerals, and MORE await you at the Xploration Station!

Save the Date, Save Energy, Help Save the Planet!

Turn off your lights and unplug anything you can this Saturday night, March 28, 2009, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.  You’ll be joining over one billion people, in over 2,800 cities and towns in 84 countries, who have chosen to conserve energy during the international “Earth Hour” celebration.  This is the first time Houston will officially participate. 

One hour without electricity doesn’t seem like much, but if enough people turn off their lights and appliances, etc., huge amounts of energy can be saved.  Hopefully this brief participation will make all of us think a bit more about how we use (and misuse) this finite resource and will inspire us to take further actions.  For more information, visit www.earthhour.org or www.earthhourus.org

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Then, on April 24, turn out your lights again for the 2nd annual “Lights Out Houston” program.  Although this program primarily targets Houston businesses, all of us can participate.  Last year the electricity saved was enough to power 4,600 average Texas homes for a year!  Check out http://www.houston.org/lights-out-houston/ to learn more and to see a list of businesses/corporations that participated in 2008.  If your company is not on the list, encourage the powers that be where you work to join this worthy effort! 

And be sure to get outside to gaze up at the stars during these “lights out” events!  Without all the “light pollution” of a normally-lit night in the greater Houston area, you should be able to see a lot more stars and constellations!   Lots more at www.darksky.organd www.starrynightlights.com/lpIndex.html

Are you hungry, Houston? Big Bite Nite is coming!

Have you ever dreamed of eating at many restaurants at once; perhaps taking a bite from Morton’s Steakhouse seared fillet and then popping a chewy P.F. Chang’s vegetableshrimp dumpling? I know. You’re already eyeing that Kobe beef hot dog from the Lake House you’ve been dying to try… How would you like to take a big bite? That’s right, Houston. BIG BITE NITE has arrived.

Join the Houston Museum of Natural Science and discover the culinary explorer inside as you taste the talents of some of Houston’s most prestigious restaurants. Delve into the cultural traditions of our diverse city with dancers and musical entertainment. Explore the intricacies of cuisine from our spotlight country: China. Experience an epic (oh yes – EPIC) journey of world food as we highlight delicacies from across the globe in this lavish culinary affair.

You want restaurants? Here’s a sneak peek:  17* at Alden Hotel; Arcodoro; Bedford Restaurant; Blue Nile Authentic Ethiopian Restaurant; The Capital Grille Restaurant; The Grove; Hungry’s Cafe and Bistro; The Lake House; Maggie Rita’s Tex-Mex; Magnolia Club at Magnolia Hotel; Monarch at Hotel ZaZa; Morton’s, The Steakhouse; Nelore Brazilian Churascurria; P.F. Chang’s China Bistro; Polo’s Signature; Post Oak Grill; Qin Dynasty; Quattro at the Four Seasons; RA Sushi; Reggae Hut; Ruggles Green; Saffron Moroccan Cuisine; and many more!

BIG BITE NITE will take place on Thursday, April 30th, from 6 – 9pm at HMNS. 21 and up only. Buy your tickets today for only $35 - this event WILL sell out.

Late Nights at HMNS!

hay guyz!
Creative Commons License photo credit: me and the sysop

As the Overnight Coordinator here at the Museum I have had the privilege of spending many nights here at the Museum. It is a lot of fun, kids and parents often ask if my job is a little bit like the job Larry Daly has in the Night at the Museum movie and I always say “it’s not quite THAT exciting!” but it is definitely a great program!

Our Spring Overnight schedule is packed and by the end of May we will have seen 3 school groups from out of state, 5 scout groups and even one Overnight for Educators only! Because some of our school field trips and our weekend Overnights fill up six months to a year in advance, we have decided to start up another option for those of you who’d like to know what the Museum is like after the field trips leave and the doors are shut for the day… the late night of HMNS!

chemistry-with-carolyn-leapOur first Late Night has been developed for a group that is going to be auctioning off the spots for a fundraiser at their elementary school. They’ve selected to see a Cool Chemistry show (performed by our very own Carolyn of Science on Stage,) a Planetarium show, have a pizza party with the dinosaurs and then a late night flashlight tour of all of the spooky and gross things to see around the Museum!

The groups for these events are limited and activities can be selected to suit your group so you really do get the personalized backstage pass to the Museum after hours! We’re hoping this program will grow and we will be able to share our fun Museum adventures with more students and families who may not be quite ready to stay the whole night with us!! For more information on setting up an Overnight or a Late Night for your group, email me at overnights@hmns.org.  

As part of the FunHundred we’re also offering a couple of late night events for families to sign up for individually including  Dinos After Dark and A Night at the Museum — check them out!