Spirits & Skeletons approaches: Dress up without dumbing down with these scientifically inclined costume ideas

We know you know all about Spirits & Skeletons: Molly and the Ringwalds will be rockin’, a caricature artist will be zombifyin’, and a bug chef will be grossin’ you out. But do you know the most important part of all? Namely, what you’re wearing?

We’ve all been atwitter over here planning our ghoulish get-ups, and we figured we should share the wealth of in-house costume ideas with you fine folks.

Here are three scientifically inclined costume ideas sure to strike a nerve with any nerd worth their pocket protector.

The Pacific Garbage Patch

Turn a sad thing funny with this easy last-minute costume. Simply wear blue clothing and glue or pin bits of plastic refuse. Bonus? You can inform anyone who asks about the acres of plastic junk floating in the earth’s oceans.

Winners! Beth Terry & Eli Saddler at Bay to Breakers 2009Antimatter

Spending Halloween as antimatter is the scientific equivalent of dressing up as Daria. What could be more misanthropic?

Remember Lost in Space? I don’t, because I wasn’t yet born, but I hear it contained the perfect get-up in “The Anti-Matter Man”: A full black-and-cream jumpsuit. Recreate the look!

The Anti-Matter ManPinky and the Brain

Can you say “couple’s costume”? Pinky and the Brain make a perfect pair, particularly if one of you is a little portly.

Pinky & BrainHave your own science-themed costume ideas? Share them in the comments or, better yet, show us yourself on Oct. 26!

What: Spirits & Skeletons, the annual HMNS Halloween party
When: Oct. 26, 8 p.m. to midnight
Where: The Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Dr.
How much: $25, $15 for members
This event is 21 and up only.

Prison Flashlight Tour – Ghost Edition at HMNS Sugar Land Oct. 18

Flashlight tours have become a mainstay of the season and always have something new to offer. Join David Temple, HMNS Associate Curator of Paleontology, for an after-dark flashlight tour of HMNS at Sugar Land, highlighting the history of this unique building and the ghosts that may still be haunting it.

Historic BuildingThe historic brick building that now houses HMNS Sugar Land was a state prison building before being renovated and reborn as a science museum in 2009.

This special Halloween tour, geared for patrons over the age of 13, is not for the faint-hearted or those who are afraid of things that go bump in the night!

What: Prison Flashlight Tour
When: Thursday ,Oct. 18, at 7 p.m.
Where: HMNS Sugar Land
How much: $25, $20 for members

Click here for advance tickets!

Boo! Frightfully Fun Halloween Events at HMNS

Every year around the end of October, the world gets a little scarier – and a lot more fun! HMNS is no exception to the rule. Join our ghosts and ghouls for a Halloween weekend full of frightful events.

Start the weekend off right with Spirits & Skeletons on Friday, Oct.29.
Leave the kids at home and attend our totally rad 80’s Halloween party featuring the band Molly and the Ringwalds. Show up in your awesome costumes, dance under the dinosaurs, and be astonished by our master magician. Then head on over to our Real Pirates exhibition or try some creepy crawly insect dishes with our bug chef. You can also see our Real Pirates exhibition for just $15 during the event!

Real Pirates at HMNS
Party like a pirate at Spirits & Skeletons on Oct. 29!

On Saturday morning, Oct. 30, bring the kids in their costumes to the only dinosaur bone-yard around!
At Tricks, Treats, & T.Rex, our mad scientists will shock everyone with their spine-chilling skills and our creepy scientists will create bizarre concoctions. Discovery the scary side of science, only at HMNS.

Then head on over to the George Observatory in Brazos Bend State Park for a special Halloween Challenger Mission. Help out on our space ship as you salvage the abandoned Space Station Observer (lost in 2025) and return it safely to Moonbase 1. Or aid the astronauts from mission control. This event is only available the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 30 – and advance reservations are required. Call 281-242-3055 for information.

Haven’t had enough Halloween yet?

On Sunday, Oct. 31, we will be holding Spooktacular at our Sugar Land location.
Meet our mad scientists, terrorizing taxidermists, and a mysterious magician who will dazzle everyone with his amazing tricks.

To finish off this epic weekend, join us for our Pirate Feast on Sunday evening.
Eat, Drink, and Plunder aboard the Elissa, docked at Pier 21 on Galveston Island. Hear tales of the Golden Age of Piracy, and explore the historical and archaeological evidence for many new theories associated with pirates from a culinary perspective. Learn about the evolution of the rum trade, and how food affected the sea routes of pirates. The Texas Seaport Museum will also be open for this event.

Dead Man’s Party – Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos artwork by one of our hmns bloggers!

Halloween is this Saturday and everyone is scrambling to put together their costumes and figuring out what parties to go to Friday and Saturday. But what are your plans for Dia de los Muertos on November 2nd!?

The education department here at HMNS offered an encore event to last year’s very popular Dia de los Muertos Educator Overnight and teachers came from all over the greater Houston area to learn about this incredible holiday and how to do some activities with their own students so that they may learn more about the culture. If you want to learn how to make sugar skulls check out this guide online – it has some great tips on how to make some incredible shaped sugar treasures!

Above you’ll see an artwork that references La Calavera Catrina, an etching done by Mexican printmaker Jose Guadelupe Posada in 1913. La Catrina and some of Posada’s other artwork is reproduced and can be seen around town available on book bags, t-shirts and in jewelry – especially around Dia de los Muertos. This piece pictured here is composed completely out of dyed eggshells by one of our very own hmns bloggers!

Below are some of the fun hands on activities and projects the teachers did at the Overnight this year and don’t worry – we’re already thinking up some cool ideas for “Dia de los Muertos II – the Overnight Sequel for Educators” – next October! Drop me a line if you want to receive notice when we start accepting registrations for this Overnight in 2010 – overnights@hmns.org.

Decorating sugar skulls
Decorating sugar skulls
Calacas puppet in progress
Calacas puppet in progress
Cigar box altar
Cigar box altar
This tiny clay skull is perfect for a tiny cigar box altar table!
This tiny clay skull
is perfect for a tiny cigar box altar table!
Completed sugar skulls!
Completed sugar skulls!