HMNS Weekly Happenings

March 20, 2017
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Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum

Members Opening: March 10 – 12. Public Opening: March 13.

Gladiator combat has evolved into one of the defining symbols of ancient Roman culture. Immortalized by films, gladiators locked in mortal combat for the entertainment of the crowds in Rome’s Colosseum are larger-than-life figures in our mind. However, what went on behind the scenes? The exhibit, Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum, provides answers in two arenas: that of the gladiators and that of the Colosseum. The exhibit takes us through time and through the Roman Empire. Featuring original artifacts from the Colosseum never before exhibited outside of Italy, this large international exhibit illustrates the compelling and fascinating world of the gladiators.

This exhibit also explores the behind-the-scenes lives of the gladiators and the colossal stage upon which their fate was determined, the Colosseum. Theirs was a world of specialized training, discipline, regulation, and peril, but also of hope of fame, redemption and even wealth and freedom. Original armor and related archaeological artifacts from the Colosseum and other Italian museums are included.

Organized by Contemporanea Progetti, srl and Expona in collaboration with the Colosseum, Rome. Local support provided by HMW Entertainment.

Lecture – Mission to Mars – Steps toward the First Human Journey to the Red Planet by Pascal Lee

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Author: NASA

The first human mission to Mars will be humanity’s greatest adventure in space exploration in the 21st century. As with all expeditions, its success will depend on planning. The first steps are already under way, as we achieve longer spaceflight missions, plan for deep space journeys, and work in extreme environments on Earth viewed as Mars “analogs.”

Leading planetary scientist Dr. Pascal Lee will share the progress made around the world, from the Arctic to Antarctica, from basement labs to the International Space Station, to achieve the first human voyage to Mars. In turn, he will examine the what, why, how, when, and who of the first human mission to Mars.

Internationally recognized for his research on water on Mars, the origin of Mars’ moons, and planning the future human exploration of Mars, Dr. Pascal Lee holds positions at the Mars Institute, the SETI Institute, and NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.

Following the lecture, copies of his book “Mission: Mars” will be available for signing by River Oaks Bookstore. “Mission: Mars” was the winner of the 2015 Prize for Excellence in children’s science.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 – 6:30 PM

Members $12, Tickets $18



HMNS After Dark

Entry is included with the purchase of a permanent exhibit hall ticket.

Wednesday, March 29 | Museum closes at 9:00 p.m.

You asked, and we answered. For everyone who has wished for access to the museum in the evenings after work, here’s your chance… HMNS will stay open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.!

We don’t mean just the permanent halls, either. Drop by the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre, the Cockrell Butterfly Center and the all-new, renovated Burke Baker Planetarium.* They’ll stay open, too! But that’s not all. All the special exhibitions (Mummies of the World: The Exhibition and Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum) will also be open.* It’s your chance to see them without all the huge crowds!

Plus, take advantage of two public tours* at 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. featuring the Hall of Ancient Egypt and the Morian Hall of Paleontology, and grab a drink at the cash bar. We will also offer exclusive tours of the halls that are not normally offered during regular hours. This month, during March, we’ll have special tours of the Hall of the Americas.

McDonalds will also be open.

Take a stroll, catch a flick and enjoy a wonderful evening out at HMNS After Dark.

*Requires a separate ticket purchase

Spring Plant Sale


Saturday, April 1 | 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (or until sold out)

Interested in Butterfly Gardening? The perfect opportunity to get started awaits you twice each year, at the Cockrell Butterfly Center’s semi-annual plant sales! Once in spring and once in fall, we offer a wide variety of nectar plants for butterflies and host plants for their caterpillars. Plenty of experts are on hand to answer your butterfly gardening questions and help you to create the perfect butterfly habitat – right in your own backyard.

Don’t miss the chance to embrace this wonderful hobby – or to add new varieties to an established garden. Come early for the best selection; plants go fast!


  • $12.00 plus tax for 2 gallon pots
  • $9.00 plus tax for 1 gallon pots
  • $3.00 plus tax for 4″ pots
  • **Museum Members will receive a 10% discount on purchases.

Click here to view the list of available plants.

Museum Parking Garage
Seventh Floor
5555 Hermann Park Drive
Houston, TX 77030

*30-minute parking is FREE, if you spend $30 or more!

Questions? Email

Authored By Chris Wells

Adventure is my middle name. Well… actually it’s French. Literally, it’s Christopher French Wells. But the spirit of adventure lives in me, and has always inspired me to go out and seek new experiences. I’ve traveled to Europe, Mexico and South America, as well as few places in the U.S. I’ve seen different places with different cultures, learned some things about humanity and about myself in particular. My goal is to lend my unique perspective, carved out of my own triumphs and tragedies, fears and fancies encountered during my years of college and international travel, to the other great voices of this blog. Hopefully to the enjoyment of our readers…

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