Welcome to Xplorations Summer Science Adventures!
Parent’s guide to Xplorations Summer Camp
The basics of what you need to know! To help you prepare you and your camper for your first day of camp, we have compiled this basic list of answers to some frequently asked questions including information about lunches, before/after camp care, directions and what to expect on your first day. Download the guide here.
You child’s safety, learning environment and fun are our biggest concerns during their week at our Museum. We hope that this information will help to ensure that both your and your child’s camp experience go smoothly.
Sign in/Sign Out
For safety reasons, your child must be signed into camp every day; you may not “drop” your child off. The sign-in-out card includes spaces for emergency contact numbers and a spot to indicate if someone other than you is authorized to pick up your child. In the event of an emergency, we want to have the most accurate information.
Summer is always a busy time at the Houston Museum of Natural Science! Please allow yourself some extra time when bringing your child to, and collecting your child from, our Xplorations camps.
NEW MUSEUM GARAGE PARKING PLAN FOR SUMMER 2018
Free Parking will be available to Xplorations Summer Camp patrons in the museum garage at drop off and pick up. Free parking is dependent on availability. We will have reserved coned spaces for exclusive use by Xplorations Summer Camp patrons. Once the reserved coned spaces fill up, Xplorations Summer Camp patrons can park in any available space on the upper level of the museum garage dependent on availability for FREE.
Please note that the HMNS parking garage fills quickly and is extremely busy during drop-off and pick-up times. We advise you to carpool and/or arrive early if you plan to use the Museum garage. Camper pick-up begins at 3:00 with a 25 minute grace period to address parking. Any child not picked up by 3:25 will be escorted to After Camp. Rest assured, we will keep your child safe until you arrive!
RESERVED CONED PARKING SPACES ARE FREE AND LIMITED TO AVAILABILTY, EXCLUSIVELY FOR XPLORATIONS SUMMER CAMP PATRONS. DETAILS…
We know that parking can be a challenge during the summer at the museum; therefore, we will have approximately 80 coned off and reserved parking spaces exclusively for Xplorations Summer Camp patrons to use during drop off and pick up times during the weeks Xplorations Summer Camp is in session.
Xplorations Summer Camp is scheduled for the following weeks in 2018:
- Week of June 4–8, 2018
- Week of June 11–15, 2018
- Week of June 25–29, 2018
- Week of July 2–3, 5–6, 2018 (no summer camp on July 4th)
- Week of July 16–20, 2018
- Week of July 23–27, 2018
- Week of August 6–10, 2018
- Week of August 13–17, 2018
Each week we will offer the reserve spaces on the following schedule:
- 7:45 am–10:30 am daily staff will direct Xplorations Summer Camp patrons displaying Xplorations Summer Camp Parking Pass to available coned spaces on the lower levels of the museum garage.
- 2:15 pm–3:45 pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday- staff will direct summer camp patrons displaying Xplorations parking pass to available coned spaces on the lower levels of the museum garage.
- 2:15 pm–5:30 pm Thursdays (Free Day) – staff will direct summer camp patrons displaying Xplorations parking pass to available coned spaces on the lower levels of the museum garage.
What to do:
- PLEASE PRINT the SUMMER CAMP PARKING PASS. If you do not have access to a printer, we will also have SUMMER CAMP PARKING PASSES available at the garage entrance on Monday during drop-off and pick-up. SUMMER CAMP PARKING PASSES will also be available in the Education Office, at the Before Camp sign-in table, and in the classrooms.
- DISPLAY the SUMMER CAMP PARKING PASS on the dash of your vehicle. It must be visible to HMNS staff in order to access reserved parking spaces.
- As Xplorations Summer Camp patrons enter the garage, staff will help direct those vehicles with a SUMMER CAMP PARKING PASS into available spots. The reserved spaces will be located on the lower levels of the HMNS parking garage. Once the spots are full, you can park on the upper levels of the HMNS garage if spaces are available.
- The reserved spaces are not intended for patrons staying at the museum for an extended period.
- To EXIT the museum garage, we will provide complimentary parking coupons. These will be available in all Xplorations Summer Camp classrooms, Before-Camp sign-in table, and in the Education Office. Please hand the parking coupon to the garage attendance at the EXIT.
All Xplorations Summer Camp patrons planning to utilize the museum garage parking will need both the SUMMER CAMP PARKING PASS to display and a COMPLEMENTARY PARKING COUPON to give to the attendant at exit.
PLEASE CHECK BACK HERE FOR FUTURE UPDATES REGARDING SUMMER CAMP PARKING. WE ARE WORKING ON AN ADDITIONAL OPTION AND HOPE TO HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT SOON.
- We highly recommend you utilize the alternate parking areas if you plan to arrive at 3 p.m.
- Additional Free parking options include:
- Free 3-hour parking lot in the new Garden Center (Lot C)
- Metered parking on the streets around the Museum District
- Free 3-hour parking lot directly off the Circle, by the statue of Sam Houston (Lot A)
- Free-daily parking near the Zoo (Lots D, E, F, G, and H)
- Additional Paid Parking Options (At your own cost):
- Metered parking around the Museum District Museum Medical Tower
- Children’s Museum
- Holocaust Museum parking lot
- The MetroRail – The “Museum District”stop is only 3 blocks from HMNS.
View an Area Parking Map.
- What do campers do during lunch time?
Campers eat their lunch while watching an educational video. No videos or movies are shown during instructional time. Campers are supervised during this time.
- Does my child need to bring a lunch?
Campers ages 6 – 12 are supervised in their camp room while they eat lunch. Camper’s may bring a lunch or pre-order a meal to be delivered by McDonalds or the Park Grill at the main museum location and Chick-Fil-A at the Sugar Land location.
- How do I order a lunch for my child from McDonalds at the main museum location?
Campers are not permitted to purchase a meal during supervised lunchtime. McDonalds orders must be placed in person at McDonalds in the Museum on Mondays before 10:15 a.m. You can fill out this Lunch Order Form or get a form from the McDonalds in the museum. Due to the large volume of lunch requests, individual daily orders, and special meal requests are not possible.
- How do I order a lunch for my child from the Park Grill at the main museum location?
Campers are not permitted to purchase a meal during supervised lunchtime. Park Grill orders must be placed online at https://mavn.is/parkgrill/. Orders must be placed before 11:00 a.m.
- How do I order a lunch for my child from Chick-Fil-A at the Sugar Land location?
A Chick-Fil-A representative will be available at HMNS Sugar Land on Monday Mornings from 9 – 10:15 a.m. Orders are cash only. Please note: McDonalds lunches are not available for camps taking place at the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land. Download the Chick-Fil-A order form.
Get your Camper their own Xplorations t-shirt to remember their Summer Science Adventures at the Houston Museum of Natural Science!
T-shirts will be available for purchase during camp for $10 (cash and check only).
Bringing valuables like music players, electronic games, cell phones, etc. to camp for use during lunchtime, before and after camp is at the discretion of the parent and HMNS is not responsible for loss or damage to camper’s valuables.
We are happy to accommodate children with special needs. Please notify the Camp Manager of your child’s special needs PRIOR to your child’s first day of camp.
Help us help your child by completing the Camper Health Record Form and notifying us of any allergies, accessibility concerns, behavioral, psychological or emotional concerns, or any other special needs.
While we strive to offer these camps to as a wide a range of children as possible, it is not possible for us to offer one-on-one care. In the case of severe food allergies, it is not possible for us to monitor what other children bring to camp.
The Museum is NOT responsible for administering medication to children. please consult a pediatrician about altering the child’s dosage so that medication can be administered outside of camp hours.
Teachers review camper expectations on Monday. The following expectations are posted in the classrooms:
- Listen and follow instructions
- Participate in camp activities
- Respect others
- Respect property
- Have fun learning!
In case of severe behavior problems, we will call you and ask you to pick up your child. At our discretion, your child may be allowed to return to camp the following day.
Please call the Xplorations office at 713-639-4651 or 713-693-4625 and a staff member will deliver your message to the appropriate person.
Your comments and suggestions regarding our Summer Camps are essential to improving our programs. Please complete and return the Comment Form that is distributed on Thursdays, or email comments to email@example.com.