Houston Museum of Natural Science

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The Houston Museum of Natural Science, one of the most heavily attended museums in the U.S., features the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre, Burke Baker Planetarium, Cockrell Butterfly Center, permanent exhibit halls and traveling exhibitions.

NEW: Farish Hall of Texas Wildlife
The Farish Hall underwent a major renovation, reopening in fall 2014. With more than 425 specimens, representing well over 250 species on display, the hall offers the most species-rich assemblage of Texas wildlife anywhere. On display are a diverse array of species that one might encounter here in Texas, both presently and in the past. Current-day specimens like alligators, waterfowl, and white-tailed deer are on display, as are endangered and extinct species like ocelots, whooping cranes, jaguars, and the passenger pigeon. Some animals, such as a rattlesnake and skunk, actually “come to life” with robotic movements and sounds after being activated by museum visitors. A total of 7 dioramas within the exhibit replicate the natural environments that the animals lived in. Through the dioramas, and additional kiosks, patrons learn of invasive species that threaten native species and their habitats, as well as extinct and vanishing species, and aberrantly colored individual animals.

The museum is free on Thursdays 2-6 p.m.
The permanent exhibit halls are free from 3-6pm during the summer and holidays and from 2-5pm the rest of the year.

Hall of Ancient Egypt
When you have a lot of space to work with, new ideas just bubble up. In 2013, the Houston Museum of Natural Science opened its enormous Morian Paleontology Hall. Spanning the length of a football field, the hall gives a wonderful perspective of how dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures once lived and interacted with one another. But the new building also offered an opportunity to add more items to the museum’s dynamic permanent collection. And one area that continues to fascinate the Western World is Ancient Egypt.

With hundreds of artifacts dating back more than 5,000 years, the hall is divided up not by time period but by theme. Five areas offer a glimpse into Egyptian life: environment, religion, politics, mummies and mummification and the discovery of ancient Egypt. HMNS partnered with museums in Boston, Germany and the United Kingdom to rotate artifacts for a more dynamic and ever-changing exhibit experience.

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