Science can be a frightening word, particularly when it's listed under "cause of death" and followed by three exclamation points. Overcome your fear of knowledge with today's Groupon: for $29, you get two tickets to Spirits & Skeletons on Friday, October 28, at 8 p.m. at the Houston Museum of Natural Science (a $60 value).
Under eerie lights and towering skeletons that once occupied prehistoric beasts, costumed carousers gather at the Houston Museum of Natural Science for Spirits & Skeletons, an evening of spooky, retro entertainment and epicurean concoctions. While '80s-themed rock band Molly & The Ringwalds conjure the ghosts of legwarmers past, a cash bar dispenses libations, and the museum's Bug Chef tempts the brave with creepy, crawly treats. Though the menu is subject to change, Café Natalie will supply party-goers with a buffet of snacks ranging from caprese skewers to pumpkin-spiced macaroons. Meanwhile, a magician tests the strongest of skeptics and the most scrupulously emptied of top hats with paranormal prestidigitation. Guests can memorialize the evening in zombified caricatures and a phantom photographer before sitting in on a planetarium show, where vivid shapes and images zip through the darkness to the sounds of Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd.
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Seven days a week, the Houston Museum of Natural Science cultivates knowledge with interactive exhibits that shuttle minds into such far-flung realms as tropical rainforests and outer space. Permanent exhibit halls house everything from the skeletons of brachiosauruses in the recently expanded Morian Hall of Paleontology to artifacts from ancient Egypt and the Americas.
Housed inside three stories of glass, the museum's Cockrell Butterfly Center habitat teems with more than 1,500 winged wonders from around the globe, which frolic around a 50-foot waterfall, and flutter through exotic plants. Visitors can also gaze skyward in the Burke Baker Planetarium, which casts more than 10 daily shows with curve-mirror projection technology. Eyes marvel at the planetarium's 30'x18' full-dome digital theater, capable of transporting families to the aurora borealis in the Arctic Circle or to the nougat-flavored center of a black hole.