Party Smarty at HMNS!
Why not let us help you and scratch one thing off your to-do list: planning the perfect birthday bash for your budding scientist.
The Party Smarty birthday party program (ages 11 and younger) at HMNS is your one-stop-shop for party planning - from selecting a theme and deciding on décor to securing activities and entertainment, we’ve got you covered.
Party Smarty Format
Party Smarty is about more than cake and candles. We make it our mission for your child to have an unforgettable time and to learn something while they’re at it.
Planning with us is easy. Here’s how it works:
Start by choosing from one our four themes. You can explore entomology in the Cockrell Butterfly Center, dig through 3 billion years of history in the new Hall of Paleontology, throw a soiree under the stars with our Astronomy theme or experience the mysteries of an ancient civilization in our new Hall of Ancient Egypt.
Each party is two hours long and divided into three segments - 30 minutes for crafts, 30-45 minutes to tour an exhibit and nourish those noggins, and 45 minutes for good old fashioned celebration.
The party formats are two hours in length with the possibility of “add-ons.” If you were to purchase an “add-on,” then your party will automatically get an extra 30 minutes added to your time (depending upon the “add-on”), which would mean that you would have a two and a half hour party instead of just two hours.
Without an “add-on,” the format of the parties will be consisting of three sections. The sections will be divided 30 minutes for a Craft and Coloring, 30-45 minutes for a tour of the Hall of Paleontology, the Cockrell Butterfly Center or the Hall of Ancient Egypt, (or a Planetarium show), and 45 minutes for Food/Cake. The craft for every party will be making slime so that guests will have a keepsake from the party.* The tour will consist of the birthday coordinators showing the children through out the Hall of Paleontology, the Cockrell Butterfly Center, or the new Hall of Ancient Egypt** (or a movie in the Planetarium)!***
Then the last 45 minutes is for food and/or cake! You also have the option of purchasing an extra 30 minutes for your party (without an “add-on”) for $100.
Payment: 50% of fee must be paid at time of booking with the remainder to paid within 7 days prior to the party date.
Holiday Fee: For parties booked on a Holiday, there will be an additional $100 charge. This applies even if holiday lands on a weekend day.
Rush Fee: For parties booked 7 days out or less, we will change an additional $50 Rush fee.
Rescheduling Fee: One date rescheduling per party is allowed. Any subsequent reschedulings will be subject to a $50 fee per change.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science prefers credit cards as a method of payment. If you would prefer to pay in cash, we will accept cash payments for a birthday party if it is paid one week prior to the date of the party.
No deposits are allowed and all birthday parties must be paid prior to the date of the party. Failure to do so will result in the birthday party being cancelled. We appreciate your cooperation.
* We have multiple craft options for each party and theme. Ask your Party Planner for more details.
**The Cockrell Butterfly Center and the new Hall of Ancient Egypt are located at the HMNS Main location only.
***HMNS Sugar Land has Astronomy and Dinosaurs as the party themes.
Party Smarty at HMNS at Sugar Land
Do you live in the Sugar Land area and want to keep the party a little closer to home? Party Smarty is also conveniently available at HMNS at Sugar Land The format is the same, with guests able to tour Dinosaur Alley or view a film in the Discovery Dome.
Pricing Basic Party Smarty Package - Ages 11 and younger (HMNS Main location or HMNS at Sugar Land):
Members: $350 Non-Members: $450
There is a $100 discount for birthday parties booked Monday – Friday.
Large Room Additional Charge: $150
Supplies From invitations and gift bags for your guests to balloons and flatware, we’ve got what you need.
Wildlife on Wheels: $275
Whether it’s creepy and crawly or cuddly and cute, we have the critter you need. Guests can experience some of our live animals, and touch if they dare, when they drop in for a visit. Animal availability may vary. (Recommended for children 4 years and older. Presentation lasts 45 minutes.)
$275 Our magician will astound guests with his mystifying magic! (Recommended for children 5 years and older. Presentation lasts 45 minutes.)
Bugs on Wheels:
$275 Giant millipedes, hissing cockroaches, stunning walking sticks and more will amaze guests. Our insect experts will introduce your guests to a bug’s world. Animal availability may vary. (Recommended for children 4 years and older. Presentation lasts 45 minutes.)
$125 From Disney characters to Corpse Flower Lois and everything in between, our balloon artists will delight your guests with their creations. (Recommended for all age groups. Presentation lasts 60 minutes.)
$150 Anything and everything your child (and their friends) can dream up can be painted on their face or arm. (Recommended for all age groups. Presentation lasts 60 minutes.)
$275 for an hour for 20 children and 20 adults. The Challenger Learning Center is a learning experience that engages children, transforming them into scientists, engineers or researchers on a simulated space mission. (Recommended for children 8 years and older.)
Deluxe Packages (ages 11 and younger): Members: $800 Non-Members: $900
Party among prehistoric beasts in HMNS’ expansive new Hall of Paleontology and enjoy a spectacular view from above.
The party has exclusive private access to the Second Floor overlooking the prehistoric beasts below.
Price includes the Wildlife on Wheels presentation and the opportunity to create your very own clay dinosaur!
Your Party Smarty coordinators will gather guests for a souvenir picture in front of your favorite dinosaur!
In addition to this deluxe party, you will also receive invitations and thank-you cards, and dinosaur centerpieces.
Note: This is the only party that is located on the Second Floor overlooking the new Morian Hall or Paleontology. This package is only available at the HMNS Main location. Please note no food or drinks (of any kind) are allowed in the first floor exhibit space of the new Morian Hall of Paleontology. Food and clear drinks are allowed on the Second Floor Morian Overlook; no helium balloons are allowed in this space. There is a maximum of 30 children and 30 adults allowed for this package option.
The Cockrell Butterfly Center provides a stunning backdrop for the ultimate butterfly or insect fan!
Price includes exclusive access to the Butterfly Center for two hours, the Bugs on Wheels presentation, and the opportunity for each child to release a butterfly or lady bug into the Rainforest!
The party is located in the custom-designed kid-friendly Hive on the main level and guests have access to all three floors of our distinctive venue.
Gather your guests for a group photograph with our Texas-sized caterpillar, located in the lobby of the Butterfly Center.
This package is available strictly on a first-come, first-served basis weekdays and weekends. (Contact your party planner for more details.)
In addition to this deluxe party, you will also receive invitations and thank-you cards for all of your guests, and one dozen balloons.
Note: This package is only offered at the HMNS Main location. Please note that no food and beverages of any kind are allowed inside the Rainforest at any moment during the party - we have to be mindful of our winged friends. Food and drinks are allowed in designated party area. There is a maximum amount of 30 children and 30 adults allowed for this package option.
Your guest will get to space out in the Arnold Space Hall for two hours and enjoy a planetarium show.
Price includes a Cool Chemistry presentation and the opportunity for your guests to create their own lava-lamp!
Your Party Smarty coordinators will gather guests for a souvenir photograph in front of the real Texas-sized moon rock.
In addition to this deluxe party, you will also receive invitations and thank-you cards for all of your guests and one dozen balloons.
Note: This package is only available at the HMNS Main location. Please note no food or drinks are allowed inside the Planetarium. Food and drinks are allowed in the Arnold Space Hall. There is a maximum of 30 children and 30 adults allowed for this package option.
Balloons: $20 (includes 1 dozen inflated latex balloons)
Invitations and Thank You Cards: $40 (includes 20 invitations with envelopes and 20 thank you cards with envelopes)
Our Museum Store offers gift bags to match all the Party Smarty themes from $3 to $12. You can also customize your own treat bag and get a 20 percent discount.
City Kitchen Catering, one of our exclusive caterers, is contracted to serve alcoholic beverages at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. They hold the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission license for the Museum. Alcoholic beverage service is only permitted for evening events. By law, no outside liquor may be brought onto the premises. Alchohol will not be tolerated or permitted under any circumstances during birthday party activities.
You're more than welcome to bring your own food or have food delivered to the museum for your party, however for the safety of our patrons the following items are not allowed: hot plates, crockpots, chafing dishes, sparkling candles or any other heating or warming device.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science does not offer any refunds on birthday parties.
Rescheduling of Parties:
The Houston Museum of Natural Science allows a one-time reschedule of a birthday party due to illness or family emergencies. Any add-ons that were booked for the original birthday party date are not guaranteed on the rescheduled date. However, the museum will make every effort to reschedule all original add-ons.