The Houston Museum of Natural Science
Prices vary, but many local companies provide a corporate discount.
I visited the HMNS a number of times since moving to Houston but this was my first visit since they completed renovations in 2012. The expansion is excellent. The dinosaur hall was one of the best I have seen and a definite improvement from the previous iteration. The multimedia and displays were of a very high quality. The way the flow was designed allowed the children to marvel at the dinosaur skeletons while the adults could learn as well as marvel.
I could have spent hours in the Egypt display and I am very glad that it is now a permanent exhibit. Each artifact has a lengthy description (my favorite part of going to museums = knowledge) and the exhibits were fascinating. There were numerous mummies and coffins (is that the word they used?) which is usually the main attraction for anything Egypt-related. Even the walls and lighting throughout the section gave you the sense of returning to ancient Egypt.
We also visited the Faberge exhibit (a temporary display). I had visited the Faberge exhibit a couple of years ago. The current version is much smaller and has fewer of the famed Easter eggs. But the artistry of the seemingly mundane objects is still amazing if you have never seen Faberge items up close.
The 2nd floor wildlife and gemstone exhibits are still as they were before the renovations so we didn’t spend much time there. They have an American Indian exhibit and we were debating whether that is new or not. Quite interesting to see the artifacts and traditions from the Aztecs, Mayans, Inuits, and other “Native American” cultures. There were a number of open areas that could house temporary exhibits, so I am excited to see what else is in store.
We did not see the Butterfly Center this time, but I’d highly recommend that if you have never visited.
WOULD YOU GO BACK? Absolutely.