Have a Holly Jolly HMNS

Celebrate the Season

It’s that time of year again. Bustling city streets, family time and cooler temperatures and of course lots of shopping make the holiday season a busy time of year. This time of year looks different for every family. The wide breadth of celebrations, holidays and traditions offer untold opportunities to learn more about the world and the people around us. Your Yuletide traditions don’t have to stop at home; some of our favorite traditions are right here. Our halls are decked with gigantic trees, our seasonal exhibit Trains Over Texas is chugging along and the butterflies are fluttering with excitement at White Christmas. The only thing missing is you. From our family to yours, stay curious and enjoy the season.

Gift Memberships

A museum membership is the gift that gives all year long. The recipient of a gift membership receives all the benefits of membership — free permanent exhibit hall and HMNS at Sugar Land admission, discounts to all of our venues, and special exhibits, reduced rates to lectures, classes and summer camps, invitations to member exclusive events and so much more! There’s never been a better time to introduce your friends and family to HMNS because now through January 5, 2020, our gift memberships are discounted, and we will add another month to your current membership when you purchase a gift membership (valid for current members only). Click here to learn more!

Holiday Events for the Whole Family

+ Indicates a member exclusive event. Not a member? Become a member today!

Cookies with Santa (HMNS Hermann Park)+

Sunday, December 1, 9 – 11 a.m.

HMNS knows how to kick off December in style—Santa Style! Strike a pose with Santa and get a free photo. Decorate a holiday cookie. Release your inner artist while creating a holiday craft. Take a mini tour of Trains Over Texas. And don’t forget your goodie bag! This Members Only event is an HMNS favorite. Purchase your tickets here!

Accessible Holiday Party

December 2, 6 – 9 p.m.

In an effort to offer our sensory friendly modifications, tactile stations and holiday decor for extended hours and accommodate as many schedules as possible, we’re offering our first ever Accessible Holiday Party! This sensory-neutral and tactile event is designed to serve the needs of families and individuals with disabilities and special needs. This after-hours event will feature interactive activity stations, sensory-friendly and holiday-themed Burke Baker Planetarium shows and access to the Grand Hall and Cockrell Butterfly Center. This will give families and individuals with disabilities and special needs yet another opportunity to visit HMNS with some of the same modifications and offerings in place as our Sensory Friendly Events and Touch Tours. Tickets are available for purchase here.

If you have any questions or would like to request any accommodations, please contact accessprogramming@hmns.org or call 713-639-4620.

Lecture: The Science of the Christmas Star

Wednesday, December 4, 6:30 p.m.

In seeking a scientific explanation for the star the wise men followed to find the baby Jesus, Dr. Carolyn Sumners will tell the story of angels, shepherds, a plotting king and outstanding spectacles in the heavens above. This lecture will include a screening of “Mystery of the Christmas Star.” Purchase your tickets here!

Cookies with Santa (HMNS at Sugar Land location)

Saturday, December 7, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Santa Claus is coming to town! Join Mayor Joe Zimmerman and family as they open Santa Land.  Enjoy holiday crafts, traditional cookies and milk and a take away photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Feel free to strike a pose and snap your own holiday selfie at the reindeer station. Purchase your tickets here!

HMNS for the Holidays SOLD OUT

Sunday, December 8, 5 – 9 p.m.

It’s HMNS with added yuletide sparkle! Grab your family and friends and stroll through the halls during this one-day holiday celebration. Visit with dinosaurs, mummies and beautiful butterflies as you enjoy yummy treats and a 25% off discount in the museum store. If snuggling up in front of the big screen is more your style this season, the newly renovated Wortham Giant Screen Theatre will be enjoy screenings of Toy Story That Time Forgot and Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special in the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre!

Extended Second Saturday Holiday Fun

Saturday, December 14

8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Members Event, FREE
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Open to the Public, donation required

Get into the holiday spirit with music, crafts, gift wrapping, face painters, demonstrations and more. Click here to learn more.

Breakfast with Santa+ SOLD OUT

Sunday, December 15, 9 – 11 a.m.

What’s better than a delicious hot breakfast? Sharing it with Santa Claus—AND getting your photo taken with the jolly old guy! Dino Dave (Associate Curator of Paleontology David Temple) will also be reading and signing copies of his brand new children’s book, Big Adventures With Dino Dave, which takes place in HMNS! Mrs. Claus will be there, too. Enjoy arts and crafts and a mini tour of Trains over Texas. Purchase your tickets here!

Santa will be at the museum on December 15 from 12–3 p.m., included with permanent exhibit hall admission.

The Polar Express Pajama Party

Saturday, December 21, 12 – 4:30 p.m.

Bring the kids in their PJs for an event they’ll always remember! This pre-party is included with your ticket to our screening of the The Polar Express at the newly renovated Wortham Giant Screen Theater, now the state-of-the-art, 4K digital projection for extreme clarity and impact. There’s also free hot cocoa, arts and crafts and holiday fun. The show starts at 4:30 p.m.!

White Christmas Late Night

Thursday, December 19 through Sunday, December 22, 6 – 8 p.m.

Imagine a million white lights, gorgeous white blooms and hundreds of graceful white tropical butterflies—including the breathtaking White Morpho—all at the Cockrell Butterfly Center. Now imagine getting to enjoy it after dark! It’s a magical experience for every age—four nights only!

Special Exhibits

White Christmas

You don’t need snow to make the holidays merry and bright. Have a tropical, White Christmas surrounded by hundreds of white butterflies, like the guest favorite rice paper and white Morphos. Christmas trees and holiday lights transform our rainforest conservatory into a tropical wonderland. Included with admission to the Cockrell Butterfly Center.

Trains Over Texas

Take a holiday voyage through some historic Texas sights in our annual Trains Over exhibition. This O-scale model train layout is the size of a tennis court and takes visitors on a miniature journey to iconic Texas locations such as Enchanted Rock, The Alamo and Big Bend National Park. Invite the whole family to follow the tracks for hidden surprises! Included with admission to the Permanent Exhibits.


Tis the season for gift giving and that is exactly what the McFerrin Fabergé Collection showcases. The newly installed aquamarine tiara was a wedding gift to Alexandra of Hanover and Cumberland, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. See it and many other Fabergé treasures this holiday. Included with admission to the Permanent Exhibits.


Magical and mysterious, millions of people travel to the south of England year round to gaze upon the stones with their own eyes. This holiday season, step back in time to venture through the lives of those who once stood amongst Stonehenge with world-renowned archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson as your guide. Requires separate ticket purchase.

Art of the Brick

Allow us to give you the perfect Christmas gift idea for all ages. Named one of CNN’s Top Ten ‘Global Must –See Exhibitions,’ The Art of the Brick by artist Nathan Sawaya is one the whole family can enjoy! From child’s toy to sophisticated art form and beyond, the world’s largest display of LEGO art ever features original pieces, re-imagined versions of the world’s most famous art masterpieces, as well as a gallery showcasing an innovative, multimedia collection of LEGO brick infused photography produced in tandem with award-winning photographer Dean West. Requires separate ticket purchase.

Now Showing

Giant Screen Theatre

A Christmas Story

Friday, November 29, 6:30 p.m.

“You’ll shoot your eye out!” The epic Christmas misadventures of Ralphie Parker come to the newly renovated Giant Screen Theater. Will his dreams come true? Will Ralphie find that “Red Ryder air rifle” he’s wanted for so long? Or will he lose all hope in Santa and possibly his glasses, too?

The Polar Express

Saturday, December 21, 4:30 p.m.

Academy Award winners Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis team up for this inspiring children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg turned beautifully animated film. Follow along as a young boy takes an epic train ride to the North Pole in an unexpected journey of self-discovery.

Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special

Limited Engagement

Sid is up to his old antics again. Santa’s naughty list gains another unsuspecting victim when Sid accidentally destroys Manny’s heirloom Christmas rock. Now Manny and his prehistory friends must band together to save Christmas for the entire world.

Toy Story that Time Forgot

Limited Engagement

Disney and Pixar join together once again for another Toy Story adventure. The crew find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings during the holidays and what could be a chance to make new friends turns dark very quickly. It’s up to Trixie the triceratops to refuel everyone’s hopes and save the day!

Burke Baker Planetarium

The Mystery of the Christmas Star

Limited Engagement

We all know the story of the three wise men who followed the star in search of the baby Jesus, but what do we know about the star itself? Travel 2000 years into the past and discover the scientific reasoning behind this modern retelling of the Christmas story.

Support Science

If you want to support science this holiday season or as a part of your end-of-year giving, we encourage you to make a gift to our annual fund. This fund supports everything we do here at HMNS from our educational programming to feeding the butterflies in the Cockrell Butterfly Center. Click here to give today.

Located Here
HMNS at Hermann Park

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

Get Directions Offering varies by location

Stay in the know. Join our mailing list.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that receives no federal or state funding. Tax ID # 74-1036131.