Mark Your Calendars for these events happening at HMNS 3/14-3/20

Last week’s featured #HMNSBlockParty creation is by Landon (age: 5):

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Want to get your engineering handwork featured? Drop by our Block Party interactive play area and try your own hand building a gravity-defying masterpiece. Tag your photos with #HMNSBlockParty.

Visit HMNS For Spring Break! 
Extended Hours at all HMNS branches:

  • HMNS Hermann Park (March 12-20) – Monday-Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • HMNS at Sugar Land (March 12-20) – Monday-Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. & Sunday: 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • George Observatory – The George Observatory will be open two extra days for Spring Break – Tuesday, March 15, and Friday, March 18, from 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

New Special Exhibition Tourmaline Treasures Now Open!
The Houston Museum of Natural Science presents an intimate “jewel-box” exhibition of the world’s finest naturally crystallized tourmalines in the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals through September 1, 2016.
The exhibit is organized around the “Rose of Itatiaia” tourmaline from the Jonas Mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil. This special tourmaline is the highlight and centerpiece of the exhibition. Other “masterpiece” specimens from the most famous mines in the world include the Tourmaline Queen Mine, in California; the Paprok Region in Nuristan, Afghanistan, the Mt. Mica in Maine, the Stewart Mine in San Diego County, California; Anjanabonoina region in Madagascar, the Pedeneira Mine in Brazil; the Malkhan Mine in Russia, the Alto Ligonha region of Mozambique, etc.
This is a unique opportunity to see these famous tourmalines all under one roof for a limited time. Don’t miss it.

Mark Your Calendars for these events happening at HMNS 2/15-2/21

Bust out your planners, calendars, and PDAs (if you are throwback like that), it’s time to mark your calendars for the HMNS events of this week!

Last week’s featured #HMNSBlockParty creation:

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Want to get your engineering handwork featured? Drop by our Block Party interactive play area and try your own hand building a gravity-defying masterpiece. Tag your photos with #HMNSBlockParty.

Endless Love Campaign 
Ends Friday, Feb. 19
Want to show your Valentine that your love will last forever?
Say it with a cockroach.
Before you go all “Eeuuuwwww,”… think about it.
These tough little beasts have been living, loving and roaming the earth for 350 million years. It’s even been said they’d survive a nuclear blast. Who knows? They might even outlive Keith Richards!
Here’s the good news. You don’t have to capture and gift wrap a cockroach yourself. For just $5, you can actually name one at the Cockrell Butterfly Center. You’ll receive a digital commemorative certificate, like this one, for your Valentine. How’s that for a lasting declaration of love?
You have to admit, it’s the most unforgettable gift ever—and it’s a great way to support conservation and education at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour – La Virgen de Guadalupe: Empress of the Americas
Tuesday, Feb. 16
6:00 p.m.
Going back to the 8th century in a struggle between Muslim and Spanish naval forces and on to the appearance in the Aztec capital in the 15th century, Virgin of Guadalupe was adopted as a symbol in Europe and the New World during times of friction. Through the artwork and artifacts on display, your guide will trace the increasing role the Virgin of Guadalupe played in society.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour – Out of the Amazon
Tuesday, Feb. 16
6:00 p.m.
HMNS has an unparalleled Amazonia collection which is made up of rare artifacts from thirteen tribes. Priceless pieces of the collection-ceremonial objects, masks, body costumes, headdresses and more-are on display in the special exhibition Out of the Amazon. Tour this temporary exhibition with HMNS master docents who share stories of everyday life among rapidly disappearing indigenous groups.

Class – Basic Fruit Tree Care and Planting
Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 6:00 p.m. & Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 10:00 a.m. 
Attracting butterflies and fostering good bird habitat, fruit trees are evergreens with fragrant flowers. Instructor Angela Chandler will teach you the basics of fruit tree selection, planting, care and maintenance. Explore the types of citrus available, how to grow them, and where seeds and saplings can be obtained. If you don’t have enough space, fruit trees can also be grown in containers!

Lecture – Amber, Nature’s Time Capsule by David Grimaldi
Wednesday, Feb. 17
6:30 p.m.
Conserving details not preserved in fossils, ancient tree resin trapped and drowned fragments of ancient landscapes serving as a natural time capsule. World leading expert in amber research, Dr. David Grimaldi will present the latest revelations of paleoclimate and its role in evolution from cutting-edge research into the plants, fungus and animals preserved amber. Through his field work conducted on five continents in over 40 countries, Grimaldi’s research addresses 400 million years of evolutionary history. He will also show how amber, dating as far back as 99 million years ago, has helped unlock the origins and evolution of modern tropical forest ecosystems.

Amber Secrets, Feathers from the Age of Dinosaurs opens Friday, Feb. 19
Amber Secrets, Feathers from the Age of Dinosaurs features over 100 of some of the most exquisite specimens dating as far back as 99 million years ago. Plants, fungus, vertebrates and invertebrates such as insects, spiders, scorpions, snails, millipedes and centipedes are represented. Highlights include feathers and lizards encapsulated in amber. Each polished translucent gem provides a window to the time of the dinosaurs.

Amazing Butterflies opens at HMNS at Sugar Land on Saturday, Feb. 20
Amazing Butterflies invites you to shrink down into the undergrowth to become one of the most extraordinary creatures on earth. Enter the interactive maze through the huge monarch caterpillar tunnel. Become a caterpillar and find your way through a secret, wild world as grass and leaves tower above your head. But beware, the maze includes dead ends, down which lurk poisonous plants and predators waiting to pounce. Adventure through the leaves, learn how to move like a caterpillar, discover an ant that reaps the reward of an unusual friendship, then transform into a butterfly and take flight! Together, families will explore this interactive experience and learn the surprising challenges butterflies face every day.

Girls Exploring Math And Science
Saturday, Feb. 20
The Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council and the Houston Museum of Natural Science invite you to attend the Girls Exploring Math and Science (GEMS) event. The Museum will be filled with hands-on science and math for everyone to experience. Local professionals will be at the Museum to answer questions about their careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

Mark Your Calendars for these events happening at HMNS 11/30-12/6

Bust out your planners, calendars, and PDAs (if you are throwback like that), it’s time to mark your calendars for the HMNS events of this week! 

Last week’s featured #HMNSBlockParty creation is by Ethan and Avery Lee (ages 4-6).

T.Rex Ethan Lee

Want to get your engineering handwork featured? Drop by our brand-new Block Party interactive play area and try your own hand building a gravity-defying masterpiece. Tag your photos with #HMNSBlockParty. 

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Block Party Now Open!
From columns to cantilevers, kids and parents can explore the world of architecture and the forces that keep our greatest structures standing… or topple them. The Coliseum, Stonehenge, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Empire State Building all use the same principles to withstand destruction from tension, compression and torsion. Get up to your elbows in interlocking bricks and try your own hand building a gravity-defying masterpiece, then see how much force it takes to break it down. Our brand-new Block Party interactive play area is designed to inspire the imaginations of all ages.

Don’t miss our recently opened exhibition Out of the Amazon: Life on the River

P.A.W.S. Reading Program
HMNS at Sugar Land
Fridays and Saturdays at 10:00 a.m.
Children of any age and reading ability can read books to trained therapy dogs. They are great listeners and it will help your child become a confident readers! Grab this opportunity and encourage your child to read or listen to a story about animals.

Light Up Your Holiday at Jingle Tree in Sugar Land!

Through the doors of the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land, you usually see the towering display of a Tyrannosaurus rex. But these past few weeks, that sight has been amplified in the twinkling light of custom-decorated holiday trees.

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When you walk through the front door of HMNS-SL, trees now surround the T. rex display.

The collection of trees are ready to go to the highest bidder through the museum’s Jingle Tree program, an annual online and live auction fundraiser that benefits the museum. From frilly to sparkly, these trees are a fascinating display of the creativity of the Fort Bend designers, volunteers and artistic visionaries who made them. Some even include wild themes that push the look of the traditional holiday tree to the limits. Check these out!

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Trees with a traditional look offer a lineup of the best in ribbons and ornaments. It’s like a fashion show for tannenbaums!

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Here’s a close-up of the white-and-silver accents on Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend!

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Santa’s mischievous helpers are playing at the top of Elves Made Me Do It.

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Wonderful hand-made paper roses and pinwheels in Flower Power!

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This tribute to the natural world called Enchanted Forest comes with wood accents and, yes, antlers!

Now get an eyeful of these non-traditional looks.

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Sleepy crescent moons make this tree, Love You to the Moon and Back a celestial beauty.

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This tree, named SEAson’s Greetings, looks like it went snorkeling and brought back some friends!

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Take a close look at this Star Wars tree. Yes, those are lightsabers, and yes, that’s Darth Vader at the top!

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This tree, named Noelle, is the belle of the ball, showing off its fashion sense.

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And finally, nothing says HMNS like dinosaurs! Plastic toys large and small cling to the branches in Dinotopia.

There’s many more where that came from, and you can see them all at the third and final tree-viewing event, the Jingle Tree Happy Hour. Come out Thursday, Nov. 19 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. to have some cocktails and bid on trees and other items in a live auction. Don’t miss the opportunity to take one of these gorgeous pre-decorated trees home for the holidays!

Editor’s Note: All photos by Kelly Russo.