The Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) is not only a leading institution inHouston, but nationwide. Celebrating its centennial in 2009, the Museum was established in 1909 by theHoustonMuseumand Scientific Society in downtownHouston. The Museum later moved to its current location inHermannParkin 1969.
Today, HMNS—one of the nation’s most heavily attended museums—is a centerpiece of the Houston Museum District. With four floors of permanent exhibit halls, and as host to world-class and ever-changing touring exhibitions, the Museum has something to delight every age group.
Visitors enjoy a world-class facility that includes the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre; the Burke Baker Planetarium; theCockrellButterflyCenter; the George Observatory; HMNS atSugarLand; and the Museum’s permanent exhibit halls.
The Museum strives to continually offer new, entertaining and innovative educational films, exhibits and halls. Through the funding raised by a capital campaign, the Museum expanded its exhibit halls into the Dan L Duncan Family Wing and opened a newly designed Morian Hall of Paleontology in 2012 followed by the Hall of Ancient Egypt in 2013. The permanent exhibit halls, located on four floors, add additional science topics that range from the world-renowned Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals, whose mineral collection is widely considered to be the best in the world; the John P. McGovern Hall of the Americas; the Texas-size Wiess Energy Hall, which is now a model for all others; the Welch Chemistry Hall with interactive, hands-on displays, exhibits, and a live demonstration theater; and more.
In addition to creating its own exhibits like Lucy’s Legacy: The Hidden Treasures of Ethiopia ; Kremlin Gold: 1000 Years of Russian Gems and Jewels and The Human Genome: Reading the Book of Life , the Museum is host to a great variety of traveling exhibits from around the world that encourage visitors to return often. Some of these exhibits have included Body Worlds 3: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies ; Dead Sea Scrolls ; Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor ; Fabergé: Imperial Jeweler to the Tsars ; Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit and Saint Peter and the Vatican: The Legacy of the Popes .
The Burke Baker Planetarium features immersive action technology called “Sky Vision” with high-resolution full color images completely controlled by computers. This projector system enhances images, giving them a “wrap-around” full-dome effect, putting audiences in the middle of the action.
The Museum is one of two museums world-wide that produce and distribute large format films. Since 1994, the Museum has distributed five films, including Africa: The Serengeti (1994), the Academy Award™ nominated Alaska: Spirit of the Wild (1997), Amazing Journeys (1999), Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa (2002) and Australia: Land Beyond Time (2002).
The Houston Museum of Natural Science—one of the nation’s most heavily attended museums—is a centerpiece of the Houston Museum District. With four floors of permanent exhibit halls, and the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre, Cockrell Butterfly Center, Burke Baker Planetarium, and George Observatory and as host to world-class and ever-changing touring exhibitions, the Museum has something to delight every age group. With such diverse and extraordinary offerings, a trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, located at 5555 Hermann Park Drive in the heart of the Museum District, is always an adventure.