Question about hosting an event at HMNS?
What kind of events can the Museum accommodate?
Some typical events include: dinners, cocktail receptions, meetings, weddings, galas, award ceremonies, presentations, client appreciation events, bar and bat mitzvahs, etc.
What is the maximum capacity of the Museum for an event?
The Museum can accommodate up to 2,500 guests for a cocktail reception.
What is the earliest time my event can start?
During the summer months, the earliest events can typically begin is at 7:00 p.m. and the rest of the year at 6:00 p.m. Classrooms and meeting spaces are available for rentals during the day.
What are the steps in planning an event at the Museum?
The first step is to relax - planning an event at the Museum is an easy process! Here at the Museum, we have everything down to a science - including event planning.
The second step is to decide which Museum venue would be the best fit for your event.
Please contact the Special Events department to discuss which location would be the best fit for your event needs.
The third step is to consider catering - the biggest component in planning an event at the Museum. The Museum has several exclusive caterers that are contracted to provide food for any event. For more information, please visit our Catering page.
The final step is to contact the Special Events department to secure your date.
Typically with any event, once you have your venue everything else falls into place.
Can I use my own caterer?
No, you must use one of the Museum’s exclusive catering companies.
Can alcohol be served at my event?
Yes. City Kitchen Catering holds the Museum’s liquor license, so all alcoholic beverages must be provided by them. Please contact them directly for more information. City Kitchen Catering is a full service catering company, so you may use them for both your food and beverage needs. If you decide to use them for just your alcoholic beverage needs, you may also select any of our other caterers for food.
Is red wine allowed?
Red wine is allowed in all of the halls where food and drinks can be served. Please note that no food or drinks can be served on the 3rd floor or in the newly renovated William Stamps Farish Hall of Texas Wildlife.
What information should I have ready when I contact the caterer?
Let the caterer know your anticipated date, guest count, and budget. Budget is one of the most important pieces of information, as it assists the caterer in providing you a more accurate proposal. Also, have an idea of whether you want a seated dinner, a buffet, food stations or a cocktail reception. Please access the Catering Information page for definitions of each event type and catering contact information. The more details you can provide, the better.
How do I secure a date for my special event?
Return your signed contract and deposit to secure a date.
What does the rental fee include for evening events?
For evening events, the rental fee includes security, an onsite event manager, house staff and building manager. The fee does not include food, beverage and equipment such as tables, chairs, linens, etc. All of those things are an additional cost and would be handled by one of our four caterers. Please contact the caterers directly for that information.
What unique features of the Museum can be combined with a reception, dinner, or meeting?
To make your event extra special, view a special exhibit, add a tour guide, participate in a corporate teambuilding Challenger Mission or view a film in our Planetarium or Giant Screen Theatre.
Do you offer any event package options?
The Special Events department customizes the event according to your event needs.
How is parking handled?
Parking in the Museum’s garage is complimentary for all special events rentals. If you would like valet parking, this service is available for an additional cost and can be arranged through any of our catering companies. Please contact them directly for information on costs.
Can my event be the only event in the building?
Please keep in mind that we often have events occurring simultaneously on any given evening and take all the necessary steps to keep each event private - including separate entrances, security and support staff.
However, we do offer full Museum usage based on needs and availability. Please contact us to discuss that option.
Do my guests have access to the entire Museum?
For evening events, your guests have access to the spaces that are rented. For daytime events, your guests have complimentary access to any of the Museum’s permanent exhibit halls.
Do you offer any A/V equipment or do I supply my own?
The Museum has a limited amount of A/V equipment that can be provided. Please contact us to discuss your needs.
Can I have a band or D.J. at my event?
Yes, there are many great locations throughout the Museum where a band or D.J. can set up.
Do you offer non-profit discounts or corporate sponsorship discounts?
The Museum offers a 20% discount off the rental of exhibit halls, conference rooms and classrooms for non-profits. For information on corporate sponsorship discounts, please contact the Museum’s development department.
When can I arrange for a site visit?
Site visits are available with the Museum Monday-Friday from 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact us to schedule an appointment.