Family time & me time: Have the best of both at HMNS this holiday season

It’s the holiday season – full of food, festivities and family. Sure, you look forward to this month year-round, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get sick of it. Conversations start to get stale, your mother (or worse – mother-in-law) won’t let you stop stuffing your face, and you begin to worry that none of your pants will fit anymore.

This is enough to make some shout, “Bah humbug!” at every passerby, but it needn’t be so! All you need is some way to divert your family’s attention away from your new piercing, lack of promotion, the boyfriend or girlfriend that they loathe, or whatever childhood embarrassment they still insist on using to regale holiday guests (or worse yet, reenact).

What better way than an outing to the Houston Museum of Natural Science! Not only is this the perfect excuse to get out of the house, but with all of our exhibition halls, there are plenty of places to ditch your family — if only for a short while.

THE MORIAN HALL OF PALEONTOLOGY

The stunning views of fossilized dinosaurs, giant sloths, woolly mammoths and more will buy you just enough time to slip over to the John P. and Katherine McGovern Jurassic Bark Gallery (in a separate room towards the back, on the left). Here you will find sanctuary amongst the remains of a petrified forest – clearly terrified of your family too.

You might also head up to the Morian Overlook. Just as your family’s entering the hall, slip back out, and take the elevator up to the second floor. Be careful they don’t see you, because from here, you can take in the whole hall from above.

THE HALL OF ANCIENT EGYPT

There’s a lot to see in this hall. Rush to the back as you enter while the fam plods along. Here you’ll find the mummies and sarcophagi. And we have great, dim mood lighting – which means you could totally lay out on one of the benches, and people will just think you’re another exhibit! Chill here for a while until your family catches up.

THE COCKRELL BUTTERFLY CENTER

A Rainforest, butterflies, an iguana – let your clan to take it all in while you scope out your next spot.

As you enter the Rain Forest Conservatory, head all the way to the bottom level – into the cave. You can remain unseen from above and chill with all the cool butterflies that are trying to be as exclusive as you.

If you enter the Hall of Entmology from here you’ll be right by the “Land of BEEyond.” Please understand that this area is meant for children, so let them play in peace if they get there first – but after all, you’re a kid at heart, right? Why not chill here? You might even get to meet the queen bee.
THE MINERAL HALL AND SMITH GEM VAULT

This hall is lit perfectly to enhance the natural beauty of the minerals and gems on display — and also perfect lighting for a quick escape from your tribe. Walk briskly, and stick close to the wall on the left. As you round the corner, you’ll come up on the Smith Gem Vault, which, if you’re wearing dark colors, makes you nearly invisible. The only light in this room is focused on the perfectly carved diamonds and other jewels on display. It seriously looks like they’re emitting light themselves.

Hang out here for a while, and if you do it right, you can slip back into the mineral hall as the fam goes in the gem vault. You just bought yourself another 20 minutes of freedom!

Other options for some solace in the Museum:

Wortham Giant Screen Theatre: They won’t be able talk to you in here!
Burke Baker Planetarium: With the added feature of looking up, idle chit-chat is discouraged
The Museum Store: Nothing takes the edge off quite like a bit of retail therapy

Have a fun, fossil-filled Spring Break at HMNS! Did we mention we have air conditioning?

Looking for something to do with your little paleontologist over spring break? Well, we have some dino-mite options for you!

First, check out this Photo Scavenger Hunt of the Morian Hall of Paleontology. All of the images on the hunt are of specimens or images you can easily see in the hall. The trick?  We have zoomed in on the objects so closely that you might not be able to tell where to look! This is perfect for those paleontologists that haven’t quite learned to read yet.

Next, try taking a tour of the Paleo Hall with some of our knowledgeable staff! Our tours are family-friendly and available in a variety of ways. Talk to the Box Office to find out how you can participate!

Then, check out the bucking new Broncosaurus ride in the grand hall! Built especially for the little ones, this ride takes you back to the Cretaceous and lets you see what it would be like to saddle up a T. rex and go for a ride.

Check out our new buckin' Broncosaurus ride!

Finally, take a trip back in time to the age of saber-toothed cats, giant sloths and woolly mammoths in the Giant Screen Theatre when you watch Titans of the Ice Age.  You’ll explore the mammoth steppe with baby Lyuba, a 40,000-year-old female woolly mammoth calf recently exposed by the melting Siberian permafrost. You’ll discover the story of Zed, one of the most complete Colombian Mammoth skeletons ever uncovered.

All in all, we have a fun, fossil-filled week awaiting you! See you soon!

Join HMNS Sugar Land for a rockin’ good time at Friday Family Fun Night

The Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land will close out its summer series of Friday Family Fun Nights with Rock On, Rock Star! — an evening of family fun that takes attendees into the dazzling world of geodes, gems and minerals.

Crack a geode, learn about the different stages of rocks and bring home your own low-maintenance pet.

pet rocks from SeahurstFamilies can indulge in some healthy competition with Rock Band while enjoying special, theme-appropriate snacks, crafts and activities.

Friday Family Fun Nights sell out, so snag your tickets online today!

What: Friday Family Fun Night: Rock on Rock Star!
When: Friday, August 17 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: The Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land, 13016 University Blvd., Sugar Land, Texas 77479
How much: $15, $10 for members

Hit HMNS Sugar Land Friday night to solve Chemistry Mysteries and disco dance the night away

HMNS Sugar Land’s monthly Friday Family Fun Nights have something for the whole family — crafts, snacks and, of course, science!

Join us this Friday, July 20 and delve into the world of Chemistry Mystery as you react and interact with other patrons, engage in live chemistry demonstrations in the Neon Lab and then dance the night away with the Neon Dance Group inside the Digital Dome Theater, which will be transformed into a Digital Disco for the occasion.

Join us this summer for Friday Family Fun Nights at HMNS Sugar Land!For more info on Friday Family Fun Night and tickets, call 713-639-4629 or click here.