14 easy costumes that show your inner nerd

Sure, you can go daring. You can go scary. If you’re into zombie and cat costumes, more power to ya. But if you’re still searching for your look this year, consider going geek! Especially if you’re coming out to Spirits and Skeletons at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

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Nerds are all the rage these days, especially with the hipster look. Grab a pair of suspenders, nerdy glasses and a pair of shorts. Got a pair of loafers? Even better.

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Maybe go in character, like this Steve Urkel from Family Matters. It’s a twist on nerdy with a red cardigan and high-waisted jeans. Don’t forget the flattop!

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Go professional nerd with this Bill Lumbergh from Office Space. Add an Initech coffee cup and remind people to put cover sheets on all their TPS reports. “Ummm… Yeeeaahhh…”

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Nerdy doesn’t have to mean the geek look. An advertisement makes a hilarious and nerdy reference costume that shows off your love of pop culture, and they’re easy, like this Brawny man. Carry your product with you to boost sales.

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Or choose a piece of propaganda to work from. Check out this Rosie the Riveter. A little detail, like the polka-dot scarf, goes a long way.

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Woah! This Patrick Bateman from American Psycho looks like the real guy! If you’re a movie fan, show your love of this cult classic by dressing in a suit and a clear rain coat. You’ll have to check the axe at the door, though, or make a foam version.

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Instead of going zombie, go zombie-killer. And instead of Walking Dead, go Shaun of the Dead! It’s a hilarious spin on the traditional look.

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Whatever party you go to, there’s bound to be a Spider-Man or two. At Spirits and Skeletons, you can show your geek by donning Spider-Man’s alter ego, Peter Parker. Grab a camera and a costume shirt, and leave your mask peeking out of your satchel.

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If you’ve got a group, go geek as social media. Works in singles and pairs, too! Redditors, go as Alien Blue!

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What’s better than one killer chemist costume? How about two? Breaking Bad is all the rage this year, but check out this guy’s brilliant double-sided spin on Walter White/Heisenberg.
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Then there’s always The Doctor. Since the lead of Doctor Who is ever-changing, tell people you’re the next in line! Pretty much all you need is a red bow tie and a blazer.

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Funny nerdy costumes are puns of fun, and super easy, too. Check out this freudian slip costume! Pin some print-outs to a nightgown and psych people out. 

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Pin some socks to a winter sweater and go as static cling! If it’s chilly by the end of October (which is rare in Houston, I know), you’ll be glad you wore some real clothes and not a thin costume.

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Last but not least, check out this nerd! She’s a cheerleader who roots for ceilings. A ceiling fan!! Get it? Hahahahahaha!

No costume is too nerdy at Spirits and Skeletons, so go all-out! Get your geek on! #ChillsAtHMNS

HMNS is warming up for Spirits and Skeletons. Are you?

For thrills and chills and looks that kill, there’s no Halloween party bigger or better than Spirits and Skeletons at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Hundreds of costumed creatures pack the museum floors each year for drinks and dancing and a ghoulish good time. Where else can you celebrate with the hottest crowd in Houston, surrounded by huge dinosaur bones, real mummies and live creepy crawlies? The answer is nowhere.

From 8 p.m. to midnight on Oct. 31, we’ll open all four floors to the public (21 and up) with 30 cash bars spread throughout the museum, five food trucks outside for a quick bite and two DJs to get your bones moving. With numbers like that, you can count on a good time, but if you’re a visual learner, check out these shots from previous years.


You can’t bust a move in costume underneath a Triceratops or a T. rex unless you’re at HMNS. Don’t miss the chance to party in the Morian Hall of Paleontology for Halloween.


Outside the front doors, take a break from the dance floor and grab a bite to eat. With five of Houston’s best food trucks, you’ll find something to munch on.


While you’re chowing down, you can meet a character or two and show off your fancy costume. Come dressed for success, though. For our party, folks can really bring it. You can go sweet and cute…


…or scary and traditional.


You can go as a supervillain…


…or go completely nasty.


Maybe get silly like this half-man, half-dog from Spaceballs…


…or put your hard-earned dollars to good use.


Go aboriginal…


…or take an original spin on the native look. Taking a friend or five can open up even more ideas.


Pay homage to your favorite cast of characters…


…be members of the crew…


…or put your heads together, and who knows what you’ll come up with?


Maybe you just broke out…


…or just broke out some teeth. However you choose to dress, just remember, this is HMNS, where you never know what you’ll see around the next corner.

Don’t miss Spirits and Skeletons this year! It’s the most fun you can have in costume. Tickets $50, members $25.

Additional note: Throughout the month of October, keep an eye on our HMNS social media platforms under #ChillsatHMNS for Halloween tricks and treats to warm up for the big party. Because at the museum, we do spooky up big. Look us up on Facebook for holiday highlights, drop in on Instagram for 31 Days of Skeletons and follow our story on Snapchat for Halloween humor. Scan our Twitter feed for updates on all things museum and streaming video feed through Periscope.



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.

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.