Be the Party Smarty: Birthdays are awesome, unique & educational at HMNS

Just like clockwork, another year has rolled around and you find yourself in that same old dilemma: what to do for your child’s birthday? What should be a joyous time for you and your family becomes stressful and agonizing: the decisions, the planning, the cleaning! 

So be a Party Smarty and let the Houston Museum of Natural Science host your child’s birthday party! Our one-of-a-kind parties provide a unique experience that your guests will continue to rave about for ages.

Here are the top ten reasons why you should have your next birthday party at HMNS:

NEAR, FAR, WHEREVER YOU ARE
We offer birthday parties at two great locations: HMNS and HMNS Sugar Land!

 

WHAT’S A WEEKEND?
We know you’re busy, and sometimes (especially during the summer) your “weekend” isn’t really a weekend. That’s why our parties can be held any day of the week!

TOO DARN HOT
We are an indoor venue … in Houston. Whether you want to beat the heat, get out of the rain, or stay warm, all of our party rooms are climate-controlled and even pre-decorated!

COMPLIMENTARY “RINGLEADERS”
Nervous about what to do with all those monkeys adorable children running about? Every party comes with a least one party coordinator to help run the show, making it easier for parents to be able to enjoy the party along with everyone else.

STAY AND PLAY ALL DAY
You party guests can make a whole day out of it! Book a party through us and you and your guests will receive access into our permanent exhibit halls following the party.  

FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD!
We have very few restrictions dealing with food, meaning you are more than welcome to bring in anything — whether you make it yourself or have it catered. And you’re not limited to specific vendors either. In fact, we only have two restrictions when it comes to consumables: (1) no alcohol and (2) no heating devices or sparkler candles (for obvious safety reasons).

EASY, BREEZY? BEAUTIFUL!
Having a party at our Museum is just plain easy! From booking to the party itself, we are with you every step of the way. Your rooms will be set up and ready to go, and your party coordinator will even meet you at your car to help bring in any items you may have. The coordinator will also keep everything running smoothly and on schedule, so you do not have to worry about a thing. And best of all, we clean up everything!

SOMETHING FOR THE SCRAPBOOK
Our venue offers one of the most unique birthday experiences in town! From taking a walk through our tropical rainforest in the Cockrell Butterfly Center, greeting ancient Egyptian mummies, seeing out-of-this-world shows in the Burke Baker Planetarium, or roaring with our dinosaurs in the Morian Hall of Paleontology, our parties are one-of-a-kind, memorable experiences.

REALLY “WOW” THOSE SOCCER MOMS — AND THE KIDS TOO, OF COURSE
If you are looking for a way to personalize your party even more, we offer a range of add-ons and options (including our Deluxe parties for the super fans) to make your party the hit of the neighborhood. Whether you want to add party bags to go with your theme, a live animal presentation, face painter, balloon artist, or even our astonishing magician, we can help you get the party you really, really want.

EDUCATIONAL OR FUN? WHY NOT BOTH?
Our parties are both entertaining and educational! Instead of the same old party where the children spend the entire time running around, why not try us and see how we make learning fun?

For more information or to book your party today, send an email to birthdays at hmns dot org (replace “at” and “dot” with the appropriate symbols), or visit HMNS.org.

Happy partying, you party smarties!

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.