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!

Late Nights at HMNS!

hay guyz!
Creative Commons License photo credit: me and the sysop

As the Overnight Coordinator here at the Museum I have had the privilege of spending many nights here at the Museum. It is a lot of fun, kids and parents often ask if my job is a little bit like the job Larry Daly has in the Night at the Museum movie and I always say “it’s not quite THAT exciting!” but it is definitely a great program!

Our Spring Overnight schedule is packed and by the end of May we will have seen 3 school groups from out of state, 5 scout groups and even one Overnight for Educators only! Because some of our school field trips and our weekend Overnights fill up six months to a year in advance, we have decided to start up another option for those of you who’d like to know what the Museum is like after the field trips leave and the doors are shut for the day… the late night of HMNS!

chemistry-with-carolyn-leapOur first Late Night has been developed for a group that is going to be auctioning off the spots for a fundraiser at their elementary school. They’ve selected to see a Cool Chemistry show (performed by our very own Carolyn of Science on Stage,) a Planetarium show, have a pizza party with the dinosaurs and then a late night flashlight tour of all of the spooky and gross things to see around the Museum!

The groups for these events are limited and activities can be selected to suit your group so you really do get the personalized backstage pass to the Museum after hours! We’re hoping this program will grow and we will be able to share our fun Museum adventures with more students and families who may not be quite ready to stay the whole night with us!! For more information on setting up an Overnight or a Late Night for your group, email me at overnights@hmns.org.  

As part of the FunHundred we’re also offering a couple of late night events for families to sign up for individually including  Dinos After Dark and A Night at the Museum — check them out!