We are officially ending our second full week of summer break here in South Texas and it is HOT, HOT, HOT!! We have spent most of our free time after camp at the local libraries and have in fact visited 4 libraries this week. So this week, we are going to take our Mom Approved Adventure indoors, to the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
This museum, which sits amid a variety of others in Houston’s Museum District, is one of 19 museums in 4 walkable zones in Houston, Texas. It is one of our favorite places to explore since returning to Houston after our time in the Army 6 years ago. We have been members the past 2 years and are still discovering new things. Recently, we explored the Hall of Ancient Egypt with Jamie’s SEARCH class at school and fell in love with this amazing exhibit.
The Hall of Ancient Egypt is a permanent exhibit at the museum that presents artifacts collected during the early days of investigating in the late 18th century, and also compares old-style archaeology with 21st-century approaches, such as using satellite imagery and remote sensing to locate and map ancient settlements (as described on the exhibits website).
We had attempted to go one a few of our family visits, but since we had read some books about Egypt and mummies, Jamie was a little hesitant and we would increase our distance and exploration when we went. Mummies are nothing to joke about with that kid!
But that’s the great thing about memberships is we didn’t feel pressured to make him walk through the whole exhibit because we could always come back and try when he was more comfortable. For us that “comfort” time came when his class was going to the museum on a field trip while studying Egypt.
The accelerated 2nd graders had been studying various aspects of Egypt during this extra-curricular program and in conclusion to the project all the grade-level participants went to the museum and participated in a school-themed tour by volunteers at the museum. To begin with, the staff and volunteers had this school program down to a science (no pun intended). The nearly 40 students were broken down into groups of 5-7 students with a parent chaperone or two with each group (we were the only group to have 3 parents so it made it a breeze with each of us grabbing 2 kids).
The volunteer tour guide took us to the exhibit with each group starting in different places and staggering so there wouldn’t be any large clusters. They stopped at each exhibit giving information and asking the kids “quiz” type questions to keep them involved.
We learned everything from early childhood and family structure to royal treatment and mummies.
Afterwards, they children were brought into classrooms in small groups and had a hands-on interactive session with another volunteer where they learned about Egyptian Architecture and more. All in all, it was an amazing experience, and since that visit in March, we have returned 2 more times to explore the exhibit and others a little bit more.
To learn more about the Hall of Ancient Egypt or read related Museum blog posts visit HMNS website.
Here is more information if you are considering this trip …
Price ranges for Houston Museum of Natural Science (at the time of posting):
- General Admission Adult: $25 (ages 12 and up)
- General Admission Child: $15 (ages 3–11), Children ages 2 and under are free
- Special Pricing for College Students with ID, Seniors (62+), Military (with ID) and Groups of more than 10.
- Membership Prices can be found here.
Bonus Points for Mom:
- Variety of exhibits for kids and adults of all ages and interests. Some large and small, so you can alternate to ones that are quicker to get through if you have little kids who get tired.
- There are two gift shops and the one by the Cockrell Butterfly Center is smaller and has more budget-friendly options.
- Onsite McDonald’s located in the main lobby so you can grab lunch or snack and rest before exploring more.
- Clean Bathroom Facilities. They have several throughout the museum and my sister was quite happy with the baby changing area for her toddler.
- Strollers and bags are welcome. The aisles in most exhibits are accommodating and staff can help you identify what areas you can park your stroller when needed.
- There are various benches and resting spots, and staff can help you find one if you need to rest with little ones because it is a lot to see.
- Alfred C. Glassell, Jr. Hall offers an breathe-taking view of marine life and has an interactive digital viewing screen where kids and adults can “interact” with arctic animals. (See image below.) I’ll also update this when I figure out what its called.
Here is a slide show of our visit to the Houston Museum of Natural Science Hall of Ancient Egypt: