After an 18-month hiatus spent revamping the museum, curators of the Texas Science & Natural History Museum will host a grand reopening Sept. 23 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The details

Located at 2400 Trinity St., Austin, on the campus of The University of Texas, the free community event will offer live music, science activities and snacks.

What's new

Managing Director Carolyn Connerat said her favorite new exhibit is the 33-foot tyrannosaur—which was constructed in the museum's Great Hall and modeled after bones found by UT researchers.

“It joins another Texas Titan, Quetzalcoatlus northropi, a pterosaur with a 33-foot wingspan and the largest flying creature to ever live,” Conerat said. “Doug Lawson, a former UT graduate student, found Quetzalcoatlus-northropi and the maxilla in Big Bend National Park.”

Some of the new exhibits include:
  • Texas Titans in the Great Hall: dinosaur displays based on maxilla found at Big Bend National Park
  • Texas Transformation in the Great Hall: which provides an overview of more than 600 millions years of life using various media
  • The College of Natural Sciences Showcase in the North Hall Gallery: varying exhibits focused on new technologies in science
  • Decimation Proclamation near the Trinity Street entrance: displayed artwork featuring more than 650 butterflies donated to the university
Some of the current exhibits include:
  • A paleontology gallery
  • A discovery center
  • A geology gallery
  • A Texas wildlife gallery
The backstory

Formerly called the Texas Memorial Museum, officials made the decision to temporarily close in March 2022 to make much-needed renovations and refocus on their mission of providing STEM education for K-12 students, Connerat said.

“The museum, which is the Austin area's only science and natural history museum, was built as a part of the Texas Centennial in 1936 to celebrate the independence of Texas,” Connerat said. “It opened its doors in 1939 and hadn’t had many updates in over 80 years.”

Quote of note

“[The museum] lets visitors of all ages experience science and natural history through informative, accessible and unique exhibits and experiences,” Connerat said. “After visiting, I hope people are excited by what they saw and learned and that it’s a place that continues to spark their curiosity and inspires them to return.”