Seeking summer fun that helps you beat the Texas heat? We suggest a nice cool museum. The Natural History Science Museum Houston is a treasure trove of knowledge and wonder, offering an amazing array of exhibits and activities for visitors of all ages. It’s also an easy drive up Highway 288 from Sierra Vista. Here are some of the must-see attractions:
So Many Permanent Exhibits
There are 16 permanent exhibits to explore. Children will most likely gravitate to the Morian Hall of Paleontology. Rather than a static row of skeletons, the hall shows them chasing, eating and escaping. The Hall of Ancient Egypt is a fascinating look at one of the world’s great civilizations. Spanning 10,000 square feet, the exhibits include coffins and sarcophagi as well as preserved mummies. For the technologically inclined, the Wiess Energy Hall is one of the largest and most fascinating explorations of the science and technology of energy in the world. Other exhibits focus on wildlife, gems, ecology, chemistry and physics.
What’s On This Summer?
Special exhibits are only at the museum for a limited amount of time. King Tut’s Tomb Discovery Experiencetakes you back in time to the discovery of King Tut’s tomb. You will experience the dark and winding tunnels that led to Tutankhamen’s burial chambers, see the boy king’s golden treasures and explore the brightly colored, floor-to-ceiling hieroglyphs that detail his life. If you’ve ever wanted to pet a shark, now’s the time. Sharks! The Meg, The Monsters, & The Myths takes up an entire floor of the museum. You’ll get a chance to touch a shark and discover what makes these creatures unique. The Art of Texas State Parksincludes 30 paintings of our state parks commissioned by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to celebrate their beauty.
Beautiful butterflies flutter around you as you walk through a living butterfly habitat. The habitat is found in the stunning Rainforest Conservatory, a three-story glass structure built around a 50-foot waterfall. Simulating a tropical rainforest, the exhibit boasts more than 1,500 butterflies and extensive vegetation. Don’t miss the Brown Hall of Entomology with bug models and interactive games. Children can attend Butterfly Flight School.
Burke Baker Planetarium
The Burke Baker Planetarium offers stunning visual displays and immersive shows that transport you to distant galaxies, explore the wonders of our solar system and delve into the mysteries of the universe. Sit back, relax and let the wonders of space unfold before your eyes.
Wortham Giant Screen Theatre
Houston’s very first IMAX theatre offers state-of-the-art, 4K digital projection producing incredible 3D images nearly eight stories high. The theater was recently renovated and now boasts new rocker seats, cool new flooring and a high-dynamic-range (HDR) screen that wraps audiences in larger-than-life stories. New state-of-the art digital sound and lights complete the immersive effect.
The museum is located at 5555 Hermann Park Drive. Admission is $25 for ages 12 and up, $16 for ages 3-ll and college students with ID. Seniors 62 and up and military are $10. Admission is free 5 to 8 p.m. every Thursday. Prices for special exhibits vary. Separate admission to the butterfly exhibit, planetarium and theater is required. Membership provides many benefits including unlimited free admission for your family. It’s perfect for Sierra Vista residents because the museum is an easy drive from the community — they can go all the time! Summer hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Sunday until August 13.