The health and safety of our campers is always our first priority. The Summer Camp at HMNS program has extensive health and safety procedures and staff training in place every year. This summer, in light of COVID-19, The Summer Camp at HMNS Team is updating these procedures extensively, informed by current recommendations from local, state, federal health officials, agencies, and authorities, including CDC guidelines. At this time, we are planning to proceed with our summer camps as scheduled, beginning June 1, with extensive health & safety modifications.
Our operational modifications include strongly urging advance online purchase of summer camp, before and after camp, and carpool at store.hmns.org , lunch at hmns.org/visit/dining and the emailing of completed Camper Health Record forms to firstname.lastname@example.org to enable “low-touch” entry to the Museum and communication with the Education Office staff.
Please review our planned modifications for summer camp visiting our Summer Camp Operational Modifications page.
How can I be sure to get the camps I want?
The best way is to become an upper level member (Family Flex or above) and register online during priority registration. 2019 Priority Member Registration begins on the following dates: Discoverer: Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, Family Flex: Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, Family Plus, Family, and Catalysts Family: Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, and General Public: Monday, March 23, 2020. Purchase, renew or upgrade a membership online here.
How can I find out which camps are available?
The HMNS on-line ticketing system will indicate which camps are available. If a camp date is not listed, it has been filled. We do not offer a waiting list.
For further information, please call the Summer Camp registrar at 713-639-4625.
What is the best way to register a group so that all children have camps on the same week?
Register online the same day as early as possible. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that all children will get their first choice camp.
May I register my gifted child for an older age group?
No, we strictly enforce age requirements. Your child must be the correct age or entering the grade level of the camp as of the first day of camp.
I just need Before or After Camp for one day. Can I do that?
Yes, but we require payment for the entire week.
Getting to Camp
How do I get to the Museum?
You can find directions online or by calling 713-639-4601.
What about parking and drop-off/pick-up?
Summer is usually a busy time at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. However, for this upcoming summer to allow for proper social distancing, we will be operating the museum at 25% capacity or less and summer camp enrollment will be half. For this summer of 2020, we will not have reserved and coned parking in the Museum Garage for the exclusive use of summer camp patrons during drop-off and pick-up. We will continue to offer free parking in the Museum Garage for our summer camp patrons. Please proceed to any available parking space in the Museum Garage for drop-off and pick-up.
We are continuing to address parking issues at the museum for our summer camp patrons. We will continue to offer, for $30 a week curbside drop-off and pick-up service for summer campers. Please note this service is limited to 25 spots per week.
Camper drop-off/pick-up carpool services:
Exclusively available to museum members.
The cost is $30 per week for a staff member to escort your camper to and from the classrooms and to ensure authorized pick-up/drop-off signature.
Limited to 25 patrons per week.
Not available on Monday mornings. Please use the museum garage or alternate parking, and escort your camper inside the museum to complete pick-up authorizations, order lunch and orient yourself and your child to the camp layout.
Qualifying camp patrons can purchase this service in advance, online at hmns.org.
Camp patrons must be authorized to pick up designated camper, and all the names of campers to be picked up must be provided to the program coordinator at the time of purchase. Any changes to camper pickup must be communicated to the program coordinator no later than 1 p.m. the day of service.
Purchase the service here:
- Week of June 1-5, 2020
- Week of June 8-12, 2020
- Week of June 22-26, 2020
- Week of June 29-July 2, 2020
- Week of July 13-17, 2020
- Week of July 20-24, 2020
- Week of August 3-7, 2020
- Week of August 10-14, 2020
Alternate Parking: View an Area Parking Map here.
Additional free parking options include:
- Free 3-hour parking lot in the 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.
What are the qualifications of your teachers and assistants?
Our teachers are certified school teachers or museum professionals. The all have experience working with children and enjoy hands-on activities.
How are campers supervised?
Campers are supervised at all times and are escorted on restroom breaks.
For your child’s security, all campers must be escorted to and from their camp room by a parent or guardian and must be signed in and out every day. You will be asked to provide emergency contact information at sign-in every day; this ensures we have the most accurate information in case of an emergency.
How should my child dress for camp?
In comfortable clothes that may get messy. For safety, we recommend closed-toe shoes. Campers may also need a sweater in case the camp room is cool.
HMNS Hermann Park:
We are thrilled to have Sodexo as our partner providing new dining options at the Houston Museum of Natural Science main museum location. Sodexo is introducing Catering by Periodic Table which will include limited box lunch options from the Periodic Table Café.
Does my child need to bring a lunch?
Camper’s may bring a lunch or pre-order a meal to be delivered by Catering by Periodic Table.
What do campers do during lunch time?
Campers ages 6 -12 are supervised in their camp room while they eat lunch. Campers eat their lunch while watching an educational video. No videos or movies are shown during instructional time.
How do I order a lunch for my child from Catering by Periodic Table at the main museum location?
To order a lunch for your child from Catering by Periodic Table Café at the Hermann Park location, please visit here and place the order online by 5pm the day before the lunch is to be delivered. For questions, please call Catering by Periodic Table at 713-639-4699.
HMNS at Sugar Land:
Does my child need to bring a lunch?
Yes, campers should bring a lunch from home for the Sugar Land location.
What do campers do during lunch time?
Campers ages 6 -12 are supervised in their camp room while they eat lunch. Campers eat their lunch while watching an educational video. No videos or movies are shown during instructional time. Campers are not permitted to purchase a meal during supervised lunchtime.
May parents stay in the classroom?
With our operational modifications, only campers and staff will be allowed in the classroom. Please review our planned modifications for summer camp visiting our Summer Camp Operational Modifications page.
If you feel that your child is unable to remain in camp without you, it may be best to wait a year before you send him/her to camp.
Our week-long camps are supervised by education professionals and aim to promote independent learning and socialization.
What are the behavior expectations for campers?
Camper expectations are posted in each room and are emphasized throughout the week. In the event of a severe behavior problem, we will call you to pick up your child. At our discretion, your child may be allowed to return to camp the following day.
Who can I contact during the day if I need to leave an emergency message concerning my child?
Please call the Education Office at 713-639-4651 or 713-639-4625 and a staff member will deliver your message to the appropriate person.