Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Houston Museum of Natural Science

Over the weekend, while my husband was off, we took a trip with the boys to the Houston Museum of Natural Science. I haven't been there since I was a kid on some sort of elementary school field trip. Not much has changed although the exhibits were much more expansive and expensive.

Upon arrival, we noted that the parking garage fee was $20 to park!!!!!!!!!! Holy cow! So when we went inside to purchase our tickets, we were a little shell shocked by those prices as well. It was $27 for adults and $20 for children for each special exhibit (Titanic and the Warrior's Exhibits). There were three 3D IMAX movies to choose from (Flying Monsters, The Last Reef, and Tornado Alley) for $11 per adult and $9 per child. There were several planetarium movies to choose from (Mayan Prophecies, Cosmic Collision, Experience the Aurora, Led Zepplin Concert, Secret of the Cardboard Rocket, We Choose Space, Black Holes, Dark Side of the Moon, Night of the Titanic, Passport to the Universe, Starry Night Express, and Earth's Wild Ride) for $8 per adult and $7 per child. PLUS tickets just to get in the museum to see the regular exhibits were $15 for adults and $10 for children.

We had hoped to take the kids to do something that was not too expensive but would still be fun and educational. This was not looking like something we could do here.

So when we got to the box office and talked to the employee, she encouraged us to buy a year-long Family Members Pass, which would get all of our family members into the museum for free each time we came in.

Here is the low down on how much it would cost this family of 4 to participate in their events:

  • $50 just to walk in the door and see the regular exhibits
  • $94 to see the Titanic Exhibit and $94 for the Chinese Warriors
  • $40 to see one of the 3D IMAX movies
  • $30 for one planetarium show
  • $20 to park
This doesn't include extras like making your own geode, buying souveniers, or eating at their restaurant. 

The 4 of us becoming members cost us $95 for a one time, year-long, unlimited use pass for the Houston and Sugar Land locations. It gives you free entrance for the regular exhibits (saving us $50 each time), instead of $94 for the special exhibits we would pay $42 each time we came, $20 for each IMAX movie, roughly $15 for each planetarium show, and $5 for parking. It also gives us a 10% discount in the gift shop. 

We parked, saw all the regular exhibits, and saw one planetarium show this trip for a total of $130. This member pass will pay for itself with our next trip...for just the entrance being free! If we go twice in one year and don't even see any of the shows, it pays for itself. There are so many other shows we want to see so we can't wait to go back. 

The boys were the most excited about the Hall of Paleontology. The museum has such an extensive collection of fossils, skeletons, and recreations that my boys were going crazy! They were fascinated by all the names, the set ups, and the sheer size of everything. Two enthusiastic thumbs up for the Houston Museum of Natural Science. 

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