FAQ


How do I book a party?
You may either email reservations@hmns.org, fill out this interest form, or call 713 639 4659 to begin the booking process. It is recommended that you book your party 4–6 weeks in advance. Parties are booked on a first-come basis, and full payment is preferred at the time of booking, but a non-refundable deposit of 50% of the party fee is due in order to confirm you party. If you book your party within a month of the party date, spaces may be unavailable and while we will try to accommodate any additional services or amenities, we cannot guarantee availability. All birthday parties must be fully paid prior to the date of the party. Failure to do so will result in the birthday party being cancelled. If it is possible to accommodate any additional services that are requested on the date of the party, or if damages are incurred by a party group, these will be invoiced no later than the following week and due within 14 days of invoice.
When do parties take place?
Birthday Parties can occur any day of the week. While they typically occur during the hours the Museum is open, we can offer Large Room parties until 7pm as space is available. The Museum is unable to offer parties on the following days:  New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Holiday weekends are especially busy for the Museum in general. If you book a party on these weekends, we suggest that you and your guests plan to arrive early to allow enough time to find parking.
Do members get a discount?
Yes! To be eligible for the member discount you must be a current family level member or above, both at the time the reservation is made and at the time of the party.  If you are not currently a member, we are happy to assist you with purchasing or renewing your membership at the time you make your reservation so you can receive the discount.
What is your rescheduling/cancellation policy?
Due to high demand and limited availability, each sale will be considered final. Anything paid towards the birthday party is non-refundable. You may reschedule to another available day and time once at no additional charge. The party must be rescheduled within a year of the original date. Parties cannot be rescheduled within 10 days of the originally booked date. If you require more than one date change, any subsequent rescheduling will be subject to a $50 fee per change. Please contact the Birthday Party team at reservations@hmns.org for assistance to reschedule a booked party. Birthday Parties are held rain or shine but in the case of severe weather we will contact you for alternate arrangements.
Can the party be for two children at the same time?
Absolutely! If you would like host a joint party, an additional fee of $250 will apply for each added birthday child. The joint party fee does not apply to siblings. Please note all Guests of Honor when reserving the party, and be mindful of the maximum capacity of the party rooms.
Does the party include the cost of admission for my guests?
Yes! The price of a party includes the price of admission to the permanent exhibit halls – a value of $300 to $750 depending on the size of your party.
A guest at my party has sensory issues. Are you able to make accommodations?
We will make every reasonable attempt to make accommodations for you and your guests. We want every birthday to be as successful as possible! We will talk to you about your concerns when we contact you, but some of the possible accommodations include lowering lights, having a sensory backpack on hand and museum visual vocabulary cards to help your kiddo prepare for your time with us.
For more information on the Museum’s accessibility accommodations, click here.
Does the Museum provide food or cake for the party?
Food and drinks are not included in the party pricing, but we can help you arrange some items for an additional fee.
  • Large, 1-topping or cheese pizzas – $13 each (includes tip)
  • Small, gluten-free, 1-topping or cheese pizzas – $13 each (includes tip)
  • Juice Drink – $5 for 10 assorted flavors
  • 12 Cupcakes (chocolate, vanilla or sprinkles) – $50

These are subject to availability and must be organized at least 2 weeks prior to your party date.  Please let us know if you would like us to take care of this for you!

Can we bring our own food in?
Yes, you are welcome to bring in your own food or have it delivered, but there are some restrictions: no alcoholic beverages, no heating devices, and no full-scale catering. Please email us ahead of time with information regarding any deliveries you may be expecting. This will help us ensure your party goes smoothly!
How will the party room be set up?
A single party room will contain 4 rectangular tables, 72” long and 30” wide, and 30 seats. A double party room will contain up to 8 rectangular tables, 72” long and 30” wide, and 75 seats. The tables will be covered in kraft paper so the party guests can decorate them with crayons between activities. Additional surfaces will be available to set up food, presents and cake. Rooms at HMNS Hermann Park will also contain an assortment of permanent, reusable, non-helium balloons.
Can I tour the party space before I book it? When do you normally do site visits?
To give you an idea of what your party room might look like, visit here for images of HMNS in Hermann Park and here for images of HMNS in Sugar Land. Our booking coordinators are also happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your booked space.
Site visits, up to one hour, are available for a $200 fee. Because our party rooms are reserved 7 days per week for private events and educational programs, we require advanced notice and a reservation to conduct a site visit.
How many people will help me with my party?
You are guaranteed 1 HMNS Birthday Party Facilitator who will be your liaison between the Museum and your party. If you are expecting more than 15 children at your party, consider adding an additional facilitator to your party. An extra birthday facilitator takes stress off the party family, and helps focus energy on learning and celebrating. Large and Deluxe parties include an additional facilitator.
Can I bring my own decorations?
Yes, but please remember you just have the 30 minutes before your party to set-up. There are a few rules regarding decorations:
    • Party decorations cannot be hung or taped to walls.
    • Helium balloons are prohibited.
    • Alcoholic beverages are not permitted.
    • Confetti/glitter are prohibited.
    • Traditional piñatas are not permitted. Pinatas with a pull string are allowed.
    • Smash Cakes are not permitted
    • Sternos, chafers, crock pots, or any other equipment that may require fire or power is not permitted

These rules are in place for the safety of you, your guests, the museum and its collections. Please note that prohibited items will be confiscated if they are brought inside the building.

Why are helium balloons not allowed at the Museum?
Loose helium balloons can cause serious problems for Museum displays. They are also hazards when entering the environment. Loose, balloons can pose a threat to many animals. Birds, turtles and other animals commonly mistake balloons for food, which can harm or even kill them. In addition, many animals can become entangled in balloon strings, which can strangle them or hurt their limbs. Earth’s helium resources are becoming depleted, but they are critical in countless applications such as MRIs, sea exploration and hospital ventilators. As such, we have chosen to eliminate helium balloons from our birthday parties. Don’t worry though! Instead of single use helium balloons, we have opted to decorate with environmentally-friendly, reusable balloons.
Where do guests go when they arrive?
Party guests should enter through the Museum’s main entrance or through the Museum Store to the Grand Hall. They should then head to the party via the Permanent Exhibit Hall Entrance. If they are unsure where to go, Birthday Party staff will have signage for guests to follow to their party location. Museum staff will also be able to direct them! For your guests’ convenience, all we require is that they tell us the birthday child’s name or the name of the parent who made the reservation. Parking can be difficult in the Museum District on weekends. We recommend that you tell your guests to arrive early to ensure their timeliness to your birthday party.
How early can I arrive to set-up?
You will be allowed access to the space 30 minutes before your party time to set up any items you may bring. If you arrive prior to this window, you will not have access to your birthday party space.
Are party hosts responsible for cleaning up after the party?
Yes! We take care of the clean-up for you! The museum will provide a cart to assist with transporting your items out of the party room and then the museum staff will take care of cleaning up the room after your room time ends.
Should I tip my host?
Our hosts cannot accept tips. If you would like to recognize outstanding service, please consider telling other families about your event, donating to HMNS or renewing/purchasing a membership!
What if I am running late?
Because other parties may be booked after your allotted time, we are unable extend your reserved time if you are late. Birthday Party staff will do their best to adjust your schedule accordingly.
Is there a cut-off date to purchase an upgrade for the parties?
To make sure we have ample supplies for your party, party upgrades must be purchased at least 1 week before your event, but are subject to availability. We recommend allowing at least 2 weeks notice to better your chance of upgrades being available.
What if your upgrade isn’t available? Can I hire my own?
We have contracted with a variety of vendors to ensure your birthday experience is an easy, efficient one-stop shop for parents. These vendors are familiar with Museum protocols and safety procedures and are trained to provide an entertaining and easy addition to your party experience. As such, we do not allow outside vendors for services we offer.
However, if you are interested in an addition to your party that we do not offer, we may allow the outside service on a case by case basis.  Please email reservations@hmns.org to request permission to hire an outside vendor.
Can I extend my party time past the 2 hours?
We recommend that parties stay within the 2 hour limit to maximize the guest experience with party activities and museum exploration.  This allows ample time to enjoy the party food and festivities as well as the museum.
If you would like to add more time, you are able to purchase an additional 30 or 60 minutes in the party space. However, if you choose to do this, it is highly recommended that you also purchase an upgrade to provide structure, discovery and fun.  Additional time must be schedule 1 week prior to your party date.
What upgrades are available?
View our Birthday Party Upgrades for package information.
What are the birthday party activities?
Birthday party activities are age and theme appropriate. To see what is offered by theme and age at HMNS Hermann Park, click here. To see what is offered by theme and age at HMNS Sugar Land.
How many people can your party rooms accommodate?
We can accommodate up to 30 people in a regular party room and up to 75 people in a large party room. For deluxe parties, a small deluxe party can accommodate 50 people and a large deluxe party can accommodate 75 people. If you have more than 75 people, we can discuss a couple of other options for you.
Can you make exceptions to the party capacities?
Fire code restrictions prevent the museum from making exceptions. For parties with more than 30 guests, we require renting a second room. A second room rental will more than double the included guests, from 30 to 75, and include a second facilitator to help manage your experience. For parties larger than 75 guests, we can speak to you about your options. Contact us at reservations@hmns.org to see what option is right for you!
Are infants and toddlers counted in the headcount for the party?
All attendees will be included in the head count. Children must be accompanied by a caregiver at all times. For children’s safety, we do not allow birthday guest parents to drop off and leave their children during birthday parties.
Is the birthday family counted in the overall number of children and adults allotted in the party rooms?
Yes. The number of guests included in the reservation is based on the maximum occupancy of the party room.
What happens if we arrive with more guests than the room can accommodate?
Space available, your party will be moved to a room large enough to accommodate all of your guests and you will be invoiced for the additional fee. If space is not available, up to 30 guests may remain in the booked space. Every child must have at least one caregiver. Additional guests will be free to tour the permanent exhibit halls, and you will be invoiced for their admission.
Please refer to the Party Parking Options document for more information on parking in the area.
How do I bring my supplies to the museum?
About a week before your party, you will receive instruction on how to access staff to help you bring supplies into the Museum on the day of your party.
Where should I park?
At the Hermann Park location, park in the Museum’s garage, if space is available. Party families will receive two free parking vouchers for the Museum garage.

For Sugar Land birthday parties, complimentary parking is available in the lot directly in front of the main entrance to the Museum.

Where do my guests park?
For birthday parties at Hermann Park, guests are welcome to use the Museum’s parking garage or other area parking. Guests will receive the discounted rate of $10 per vehicle if they park in the HMNS Museum Parking Garage. Party facilitators will instruct guests as to how they can receive this parking rate at the end of your party.

For Sugar Land birthday parties, complimentary parking is available in the lot directly in front of the main entrance to the Museum.

Can I pay for my guests' parking? (Hermann Park)
Absolutely! All we need to know is the number of parking vouchers you will need. We can add the additional amount to your booking and send you a payment link. The facilitator will have your vouchers available for your guests the day of the party. Guest parking will be $10 per vehicle and must be paid in advance.
The Museum Parking Garage is full, where should our guests park? (Hermann Park)
There are several free lots as well as other parking garages surrounding the Museum. Please refer to the Party Parking Options document for more information on parking in the area.

Please note: we can only offer a discount at our parking garage.

Does Sugar Land have a parking garage?
No. The Sugar Land location has free lot parking outside the facility.
HMNS at Hermann Park

5555 Hermann Park Dr.
Houston,Texas 77030
(713) 639-4629


Get Directions Offering varies by location
HMNS at Sugar Land

13016 University Blvd.
Sugar Land, Texas 77479
(281) 313-2277


Get Directions Offering varies by location
George Observatory

21901 FM 762 Rd.
Needville, Texas 77461
(281) 242-3055

Hours
Tuesday - Saturday By Reservation
Saturdays 3:00PM - 10:00PM
Saturdays (DST) 3:00PM - 11:00PM
DST = Daylight Savings Time.
Please call for holiday hours. Entry to Brazos Bend State Park ends at 9:30 p.m. daily
Get Directions Offering varies by location

Stay in the know. Join our mailing list.



The Houston Museum of Natural Science is funded in part by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that receives no federal or state funding. Tax ID # 74-1036131.