About Erin B

Erin is the Director of Business Development at HMNS. In a past life, she was a public relations and online marketing dynamo at HMNS.

Labor Day! Fun For The Long Weekend At HMNS

Monday is Labor Day – and you know what that means, right?

LONG WEEKEND.

In case you’re wondering how to fill the long hours between Friday afternoon and Tuesday morning, here’s a list of the top ten weekend experiences you can have with the family at HMNS all weekend long.

That’s right – we’re open MONDAY! Because we’re here for you. 

10. Come And Take It!

A look at the stunning variety of fascinating artifacts from Texas’ rich history, that is.

Come And Take It
The Come And Take It Cannon!
See a full set of photos from the exhibit on Flickr

Texas! The Exhibition closes at 5 pm on Monday, Sept 5 – so don’t miss your last chance to see Santa Anna’s spurs, Davy Crockett’s violin, the Davis Guards Medal and many other objects from a huge swath of Texas history – from prehistoric cultures to the Spindletop oil gusher.

Preview the exhibit with our blog series on Texas History! (And see how you can win free tickets to see the exhibit closing weekend!)

9. Ramble through Borneo with Orangutans

And while you’re at it, explore Tsavo with young elephants.

Born To Be Wild
The cuteness! See it this weekend in Born To Be Wild 3D at HMNS!

Born To Be Wild 3D is a fascinating, entertaining and heart-warming film chronicling the efforts of two pioneering women to save orphaned animals.

Time Out New York says “The kids will squeal with delight.” We think you probably will, too.

8. Discover The True Meaning of Mayan Prophecies 

2012: Mayan Prophecies
2012: Mayan Prophecies in the HMNS Planetarium

Worried about 2012? Explore the Mayan culture in this new planetarium film. Learn why Dec. 21, 2012 will be just another day, but the Mayan culture’s true contributions to civilization are unique and fascinating.

7. Solve A Crime!

If watching CSI makes you think you think “I could do that!” – this exhibit is for you! Study fingerprints, chromatographs, DNA, insect lifecycles, tire marks, hair analysis, thread comparison, and handwriting analysis to catch the culprit!

Crime Lab Detective opens at the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land on Saturday, Sept. 3!

6. Watch A Butterfly Enter The World!

Cockrell Butterfly Center

Our butterflies flit through a three-story, glass enclosed rain forest habitat – and it’s a showstopper of the large-scale variety. But you shouldn’t miss the Hall of Entomology on the upper level – where you can watch butterflies emerge from their chrysalides daily. It’s a quiet moment of tranformation, rebirth and wonder that everyone should experience.

5. Discover a Modern-Day Dragon

Think all dragons breathe fire? Some just flash it – including The Dragon, one of the world’s most famous mineral specimens.

The Dragon | HMNS Mineral Hall

It just so happens to be part of our collection – on permanent display in the Hall of Gems and Minerals, along with literally hundreds of the world’s finest gems and minerals. Hundreds. 

4. Develop An Intense Desire To Wear This.

Ancient Ukraine Exhibit at HMNS
Preview the entire exhibition in this set of photos on Flickr.

If you’ve followed our advice on #4, you’ve likely whetted your appetite for gold. And our Ancient Ukraine exhibition (closing Sept. 5!) could be called: Gold! Oh, And Some More Gold. (Except that it also features fascinating artifacts made from many other materials, from the entire 6,000 year history of Ukraine.)

Get an idea of what you’re in for in our curator’s blog series on Ancient Ukraine.

3. Spend Saturday With The Stars!

George Observatory

Long weekends are the perfect time to make the long drive out to our George Observatory. It’s an hour outside Houston, but that means light pollution is at a minimum – and stars are at a maximum.

If you’ve never been, you will marvel  at the number of stars you can see with the naked eye – and the astronomical detail you can view through our Gueymard telescope, one of the largest in the country that’s available for public viewing.

The Observatory is open every Saturday night from 3 – 10 pm. Get Directions and information on Admission.

2. Explore Two Continents

Hall of the Americas

Our Hall of the Americas features cultures from the Inuit in Alaska to the Inca of Peru – go on an expedition through hundred of years of American history and over 2 continents this weekend!

1. Take The Science Fun Home!

The HMNS Museum Store has a metric ton of science ideas and activities to take home – and your purchases always support our science educational programs! Grab the Pocket Starfinder for your Big Bend camping excursion, take the Encyclopedia of Texas Shells on a seashore expedition, or identify what’s fluttering around your own backyard with the Butterflies of Houston and Southeast Texas Guide.

From a Galileo Thermometer to track the summer heat to a Dinosaur Hunter Field Canteen, we’ve got everything you need to close out the summer right!

Here’s to a great long weekend – hope to see you here at HMNS!

Texas Pride! [Exhibition Final Week]

Texas Pride!
Now THAT is some Texas pride!

This driver was spotted on the road in – where else? – Houston, Texas’ most awesome* city.

And, in case you’re counting, that’s a Texas flag + an Alamo silhouette + a reference to the Come and Take It Cannon.

This driver has TEXAS PRIDE.

We think this driver (and you!) should come see our current Texas exhibition – to learn the significance of these powerful symbols – before it closes Sept. 5, 2011!

Not from around here?

If you’re not from Texas, you may be wondering why everyone makes such a big deal about Texas history.

In short, it’s epic. And fascinating. But don’t take my word for it – here are a few Texas facts to pique your interest:

It’s BIG. The fabled King Ranch in Texas is bigger than the state of Rhode Island. Texas is as large as all of New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois combined.

It’s BEAUTIFUL. Brazoria County has more species of birds than any other comparable area in North America – and Texas has a total of 6,300 square miles of inland lakes and streams.

It’s ONE OF A KIND. Just one example: At the time of entry, Texas was the only state to enter the United States by treaty instead of territorial annexation.

It’s HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT. As any Apollo 13 fan knows, the first word spoken from the moon on July 20, 1969 was “Houston.” There are more than 700 local history museums, 40,000 recorded archeological sites and more than 2,000 sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places. And, there are approximately 11,500 historical markers in the state  – marking the events you can also explore in our exhibit!

And it’s a lot of FUN. This applies to both the state itself – and the exhibition that chronicles it’s history, here at HMNS through Sept. 5!

Still not convinced?

You can preview the exhibit in our Texas! The Exhibition set and learn more about the cast of iconic characters that populate the exhibit and our state’s history in our Texas blog series.

Win a Chance To See Texas FREE This Weekend – and win $50 from Kroger!

Texas exhibit sponsor Kroger wants to make sure you see Texas! The Exhibition! Leave a comment below with your favorite Texas history fact or historic person and you’re entered to win $50 to Kroger and 4 tickets to see Texas! The Exhibition this weekend!

Our lucky winner will be randomly selected Friday, Sept. 2 at noon – so get your comments in soon!

*Established through a very scientific survey of my own opinion.

David Brady Shared The Love!

David Brady Shared The Love!
“Expressing Our Inner Maya!”
Photo by David Brady, winner of the HMNS Share The Love contest!
See the other fun, funny & touching photos that were submitted!

Congratulations to David Brady, who took the above photo during a “Mayan-themed” visit to HMNS and then uploaded it to our recent Share The Love contest!

David Brady Shared The Love!
Congratulations, David!

David and his family were the recipients of a 15-month membership to HMNS – meaning they’ll have the opportunity to be among the first visitors to our new paleontology hall when it opens Summer 2012!
Here’s what David had to say about the photo:

“On this day, we started our visit by creating Maya art (including this mask) with the help of Museum volunteers. Then, we took in the “2012: Mayan Prophecies” show in the Burke Baker Planetarium. Finally, we toured the Museum’s pre-Columbian collection of artifacts & art. I’m fortunate to have a daughter that enjoys both fun & learning, because the HMNS provides plenty of both – it feeds both your heart and your head.”

Congratulations to David and thank you to everyone who participated!

Want to be one of the first to see the new Paleontology Hall?

Join or renew your membership now and get three extra months free!

Members…And Monsters! [The Prehistoric Kind]

This summer is still swinging (17 straight days of 100+ temps make that fact hard to forget) – but we’re already looking forward to summer 2012!

Why? Because that’s when our new paleontology hall opens!

To get ready, we previewed the new hall this summer with a series of member events – each one featured a different dinosaur that will take up residence in the new wing next year.

Shark Week at HMNS: Megalodon!
Associate Curator of Paleontology David Temple shows an HMNS volunteer
around our 10-foot Megalodon jaw on display to celebrate Shark Week!
The jaw will be part of the new Paleontology Hall, opening Summer 2012!
Prehistoric Monsters: Mosasaur! [July 16, 2011]
Members who attended our Prehistoric Monsters series of events
this summer had the opportunity to talk dinosaurs with our curator of Paleontology, Dr. Bob Bakker!
Prehistoric Monsters: Mosasaur! [July 16, 2011]
Meet the Mosasaur! This prehistoric sea monster will be on display in the new paleontology hall!
Prehistoric Monsters: Quetzalcoatlus [6.11]
Kids dig for – and identify! – fossils!

We want to say a huge THANK YOU to all our new and existing members who joined or renewed this summer – your support is vital to our expansion project, and will enrich science education in the Houston community for decades to come.

If you visited our photo booth during one of our Prehistoric Monster events, find your photos here!

If you’re not yet a member – what are you waiting for?

Members will be the very first to experience the new paleontology hall when it opens next year – and if you join or renew now, you’ll get 3 additional months of membership free! Plus, there are still several great summer member events coming up!