Go green in March with a Party Smarty birthday party special that’ll make you want to celebrate

You don’t have to wait until St. Patrick’s Day to start thinking green. All month long, we’re offering $100 off our regular Party Smarty birthday parties at both the HMNS Main and Sugar Land locations.

What does that mean to you? That means members can book for $200 instead of the usual $300 price for the entire month of March, while non-members can make their kids’ birthday dreams come true for $250. (Please note: Our $800 deluxe parties are not eligible for discount, nor are parties that have already been booked.)

Party like a Smarty with HMNS!So why not treat yo self this March and let HMNS’ party coordinators do the heavy lifting? From treat bags to decor to activities, we’ve got you covered.

Choose from an entomology theme you’ll go bug-eyed over in the Cockrell Butterfly Center, a dinosaur theme your guests will totally dig in the Morian Hall of Paleontology, or a soiree that’ll get you starry-eyed in the Arnold Space Hall.

For more information or to book your next party, click here!

Happy Birthday, Isaac Newton!

Had he lived to see it, Sir Isaac would be 367 years old today – and probably pretty amazed at the scientific leaps and bounds we’ve seen since the 1687 publication of his Principia – widely regarded as one of the most influential books in the history of science.

Though he’s known to schoolchildren to world over as the recipient of a nasty bump on the head from a falling apple – the true origin of Newton’s conceptualization of gravity comes from a little higher in the sky. So, in honor of Sir Newton’s birthday, here’s a short clip from the BBC explaining how we came to know why we don’t just fall right off the Earth:

How do you remember Newton? Let us know in the comments.

And if you haven’t already, check out Google’s homepage today for their celebration (be sure to scroll over the image to get the full effect).

UPDATE: According to Scientific American, the apple story is not as apocryphal as some have claimed. (via BoingBoing)

Happy Birthday Year!

Almost everyone knows what a birthday party is, how delicious birthday cake is (especially if it’s of the ice cream variety), and may even know the joy of giving and receiving a birthday present. But did you know that this year is HMNS’ 100th birthday? The Houston Museum of Natural Science provides a center stage and a spotlight for a global variety of invaluable natural treasures. In light of this fact, let’s learn all about how birthdays are celebrated around the world, and how some of these birthday traditions came to be.

Feliz cumpleaños, Rocío
Creative Commons License photo credit: tupolev y su cámara

*In India, receiving a gift wrapped in white and black is considered bad luck.

*Ever had “Fairy Bread”? Well, if you had a birthday in Australia, you sure would have. Children there eat a snack of buttered bread covered in tiny, colorful sprinkles called “hundreds and thousands.”

*In numerous African cultures, the actual date of a child’s birth is not celebrated. Instead, when children in Africa reach a certain designated age, they are initiated into their community.

*Don’t like birthday cake? Move to Russia! There, many receive a birthday pie with a greeting carved into the crust instead of the traditional cake and candles we know here in the States.

* In the Atlantic Provinces of Canada, a birthday boy or girl is playfully attacked by friends and family who grease their nose with butter! The belief is that this will make the child too slippery for bad luck to grab hold of.

*Singing the song “Happy Birthday to You” is a well known tradition around the world. It was written by two American sisters in 1893, and has since been translated into many languages

*If you can’t carry a tune, become a Kiwi! In New Zealand, the birthday song is often sung loudly and out of tune just before the birthday person gets clapped on the back for each year he or she has been alive, then one for good luck.

Candles
Creative Commons License photo credit: brunkfordbraun

So those are all about the how part of birthdays parties, but why the celebration? Thousands of years ago, a person’s birthday was thought to be a time when evil spirits could cause them harm, as this was a day of change in a person’s life.  People back then believed that surrounding the privileged individual, giving gifts and offering good wishes was the only way to keep the evil spirits at bay, thus the birthday party was born!

The Houston Museum of Natural Science’s birthday year is already half over! All it really wants as a gift is visitors! So make a trip down today and see what sights you can take home as party favors. Interested in more? Visit hmns.org and click on HMNS at One Hundred to find out all of the ways we are celebrating a century of science this year.

Happy Birthday, HMNS!

Birthday Cake
So, imagine this –
but times 100.
Creative Commons License photo credit:
Theresa Thompson


HMNS has been around for 100 years! It’s hard to believe, but in 2009 HMNS will be celebrating a BIG birthday. Since we are hoping to have as many people as possible participate – we are going to hold the party ALL YEAR LONG. Exhibits, classes, special events, and behind the scenes action are going to allow all HMNS patrons the opportunity to experience their favorite part of the Museum in a way they’ve never been able to before.

Seriously, though, we have to have cake. I LOVE cake.

If you like cake, face painting, bug chef concoctions, watching different chemicals get mixed and go ‘BANG!,’ taking docent led tours through every hall, learning how to preserve sentimental items, molding & casting dinosaur bones, learning about how exhibits are built, petting tarantulas, and making cool crafts – then you’re going to want to be at HMNS on January 3rd from 10am – 2pm when we have the best party of all: OUR BIRTHDAY PARTY! Don’t miss this special day as we kick off a year that’s going to be filled with surprises that will excite, tantalize, and leave you wanting more!