in Houston, TX

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Did you know that there are approximately 850 million visits to museums every year in America? They contribute $50 billion to the U.S. economy each year. If you think about how marvelous museums are, these numbers make sense. Museums can transport you to old worlds, future worlds, worlds you never thought you could be a part of.

If you’re looking to add some of those unknown worlds to your day, check out our list of museums in the area. They are all within driving distance and offer a variety of topics that will enchant every member of the family.
Art Car Museum
Art Car Museum

(713) 861-5526

140 Heights Blvd
Houston, TX 77007   Directions Website

Visit the 'Garage Mahal' of art and chrome at the Art Car Museum, a madcap foray into post-modern and avante garde artistic expression. The cars become the canvas for political, social and economic statements.

The Art Car Museum in downtown Houston showcases avante garde and post-modern art, with an emphasis on art cars, fine arts and obscure artists.

Nicknamed the "Garage Mahal," the Art Car Museum opened in 1988 at the height of the art car movement.

Talented curators and arts patrons founded the museum, especially those with a keen interest in raising awareness of the political, social and economic aspects of art. This art is so personal, that it defines the artists' mode of transportation in creative form.

But these are no ordinary custom wheels. The cars that are showcased in this museum are elaborate art cars, low riders, and other forms of transportation that are transformed into functional pieces of art. It's up to the viewer to decide how far to go.

Take the Art Car Museum for a spin. It'll take your perception of art farther than it's ever gone before.

Buffalo Soldiers National Museum
Buffalo Soldiers National Museum

(713) 942-8920

3816 Caroline
Houston, TX 77004   Directions Website

Celebrate the contributions of African-American soldiers at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum. Here you'll see historical documents and artifacts that tell the story of how the fighting cavalries gained respect over the years.

The Buffalo Soldiers Museum chronicles and explores the role of African-American soldiers in every major U.S. war, from 1770 to 2000.

As the only museum in the U.S. to honor the legacy of the Buffalo Soldier, the museum features interactive, multi-media exhibits to entertain and educate visitors about African-American military history.

The Buffalo Soldiers where given their nickname by the Cheyenne Indians, who were impressed with the fighting prowess of the 10th cavalry, one of the first all-black U.S. Army units. The legacy of the Buffalo Soldier is carefully preserved in the museum, where exhibits chronicle how the all-black units shaped the development and defense of the United States, from the Revolutionary War to the Persian Gulf War.

Among the museum's collection are historical artifacts, documents, videos, prints and other historical memorabilia

Children's Museum of Houston
Children's Museum of Houston

(713) 522-1138

1500 Binz St
Houston, TX 77004   Directions Website

Let your kids go on a discovery tour of a museum built just for them. At the Children's Museum of Houston, all of the exhibits and attractions are meant to be touched. Tons of interactive fun including the EcoStation, FlowWorks, Invention Convention and more.

The Children's Museum of Houston sets the standard for today's hands-on, interactive museums of learning and discovery, built especially for younger patrons.

The 90,000-square-foot museum has a 5-star rating on social network sites, was voted "Ultimate Kid-Friendly Attraction" in a Houston Chronicle readers' poll, and tied for the No. 1 spot as the nation's best children's museum in Child magazine.

The exhibits are bilingual and the museum serves children ages birth to 12 years.

Permanent exhibits include:

  • FlowWorks - This exhibit unleashes the power of water for children to explore and research the concept of energy flow. Plus, it's got plenty of wild, wet fun that young imaginations can't resist!
  • Kidtropolis, USA - Finally, a chance for kids to rule the world! Here at Kidtropolis, the under-12 bunch do everything adults do, and more! Youngsters can start a business, hold a job, elect each other into city government and get a business loan. Learn about real life in a game-style atmosphere.
  • Power Play - This newest exhibit teams up to teach kids about health and physical fitness. While they're jumping around and having fun, kids learn that exercise is fun and good for you.
  • CYBERCHASE - The Chase Is On! - It's up to kids to thwart the evil Hacker who's on a mission to take over the Internet! This exciting math exhibit takes kids on a technical adventure and shows them how to play digital detective.
  • Invention Convention - Gadgets and gizmos galore are laid out for kids to connect, create and construct anything their heart desires. Here they'll learn to imagine it and create it!
  • EcoStation - Kids naturally care about the Earth, and this exhibit teaches them to understand how our actions impact the environment - and what we can all do about it! Kids become empowered after learning about water quality testing, soil exploration and other tests they can take home and perform in their own backyards.
  • How Does It Work? - Answers to the most pressing questions of the day, like "How does a wireless phone work?" and "Why can't people see in the dark?" Explore a real '66 Mustang to discover what makes a car go, and lift yourself 5 feet into the air to learn how a simple pulley system can move even the heaviest of objects.

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

(713) 284-8250

5216 Montrose Blvd
Houston, TX 77006   Directions Website

Immerse yourself in today's cutting-edge arts scene at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. The non-collecting institution hosts a stellar rotation of attractions and exhibits in print, photography, graphic arts and other mediums.

The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston is a museum of passion and honesty, committed to providing the best in contemporary new art and exploring the advent of modern art through the years.

Founded in 1948, the museum features international, national and regional art in rotating exhibits. New artwork is presented along with educational materials and scholarly publications, all meant to enrich the visitor's overall experience, appreciation and understanding.

The institution is located downtown in the heart of the Houston Museum District. Its building is a widely recognized stainless steel structure created by award-winning architect Gunnar Birkerts. The new location opened in 1972.

Ongoing exhibits have included "Perspectives," a series of works by emerging and well-known artists that have not yet shown in Houston.

Thematic presentations recently have included Finders/Keepers, where the museum has asked patrons to lend back pieces of art that were originally shown years ago at the museum; Elvis + Marilyn: Two Times Immortal; Abstract Painting Once Removed; and Other Narratives.

Holocaust Museum Houston
Holocaust Museum Houston

(713) 942-8000

5401 Caroline Ste 100
Houston, TX 77004   Directions Website

Your tour of the Holocaust Museum Houston begins with a look at life before the Holocaust and the beginning of Nazism. The exhibit then shows its insidious progression, from segregation, to imprisonment, to extermination. 

Artifacts, film reels, photographs, and text panels tell the story and set the backdrop for personal accounts from local survivors in the short films "Voices" and "Voices II." Included among the many items on display is a World War II Holocaust railcar that was used to carry millions of Jews to concentration camps and, ultimately, to their deaths; and a 1942 Danish rescue boat depicting the type that saved more than 7,200 Jews from almost certain execution at the hands of Nazi Germany.

The museum is an ever-evolving, living museum that includes a permanent exhibit and temporary exhibits on loan from other Holocaust Museums around the country. Many who have visited here - survivors, adults, schoolchildren - have left notes, poems, artwork and gifts to express their feelings upon seeing the exhibits.

Houston Center for Photography
Houston Center for Photography

(713) 529-4755

1441 W Alabama St
Houston, TX 77006   Directions Website

Capture a moment in time at the Houston Center for Photography, which exhibits work by emerging and established photographers. You'll find evolving exhibits and plenty of spur-of-the-moment workshops to brush up on your photography skills.

Houston Police Department Museum
Houston Police Department Museum

(281) 230-2353

1200 Travis
Houston, TX 77002   Directions Website

Satisfy your curiosity about the inner workings of a city police department at the Houston Police Department Museum. The museum features a memorial wall, badges, uniforms and other equipment utilized over the years.

Lone Star Flight Museum
Lone Star Flight Museum

(346) 708-2517

11551 Aerospace Avenue
Houston, TX 77034   Directions Website

Climb aboard a WWII-era bomber or a flight-training plane at the Lone Star Flight Museum. After a thrilling 45-minute ride, you'll want to tour the museum and check out the exhibits and collections on display.

National Museum of Funeral History
National Museum of Funeral History

(281) 876-3063

415 Barren Springs Dr
Houston, TX 77090   Directions Website

The National Museum of Funeral History provides a unique experience. Where else would you be able to view the embalming machine used to embalm President Truman? 

Here's your opportunity to discover America’s largest collection of authentic, historical funeral service items and learn about caskets, coffins, and hearses through history, plus the funerals of Presidents, Popes, celebrities and more. Witness the cultural heritage of the funeral service industry.

Remember to visit the Museum's gift shop and choose from one-of-a-kind trinkets and treasures. 

National United States Armed Forces Museum
National United States Armed Forces Museum

(713) 673-1234

8611 Wallisville Rd
Houston, TX 77029   Directions Website
The Health Museum
The Health Museum

(713) 521-1515

1515 Hermann Dr
Houston, TX 77004   Directions Website

Take a walk through a giant replica of the human body, watch real organ dissections and more at The Health Museum, located in the Texas Medical Center, the largest center of its kind in the U.S. Experience hands-on interactive educational exhibits and attractions, and the 3-D "Planet You" that tells the story of the microscopic creatures that live on our skin and inside of our bodies. 

Additional museum exhibits include: real organ dissections; obesity prevention and nutritional awareness; science mini-classes and mini-med schools; the McGovern 4D Theater; the Sue Trammell Whitfield Gallery; seasonal exhibits; and learning centers.

The Houston Fire Museum
The Houston Fire Museum

(713) 524-2526

3219 Milam St
Houston, TX 77006   Directions Website

Explore the heroic world of firefighters at the Houston Fire Museum, where you'll see antique firefighting equipment and uniforms on display. The museum is located in what was originally Fire Station No. 7, the first fire station built by the Houston Fire Department after it went fully paid in 1895.

The Houston Museum District
The Houston Museum District

(832) 668-4410

4912 Main St
Houston, TX 77002   Directions Website

Tour 18 different museums within The Houston Museum District located in downtown Houston. They all feature free admission on certain days and 11 of them have free admission all the time. After your museum tours, explore exhibits, collections, worskshops and take in a few live performances. The 1.5-mile area is bordered by Rice University and the Texas Medical Center, with the Mecom Fountain at its epicenter. 

The museums that comprise the district are: Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum, Children's Museum of Houston, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Czech Cultural Center Houston, The Health Museum, Holocaust Museum Houston, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston Center for Photography, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston Zoo, The John C. Freeman Weather Museum, The Jung Center Of Houston, Lawndale Art Center, The Menil Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts - Houston, Rice University Art Gallery, The Rothko Chapel.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science
The Houston Museum of Natural Science

(713) 639-4629

5555 Hermann Park Dr
Houston, TX 77030   Directions Website

Explore the origins of earth and man at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Awesome displays of dinosaur skeletons, natural gems and other attractions will keep you occupied for hours.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is located in the city's museum district and is one of the most heavily attended museums in the U.S., on par with heavyweight institutions like the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History, both in New York City.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1909 and today welcomes more than 2 million visitors a year, 600,000 of them schoolchildren. More than 1 million pieces of objects and specimens are housed in the museum's vast, four-story complex.

Special sections of the museum include the Wortham IMAX Theatre, Cockrell Butterfly Center, Burke Baker Planetarium and the George Observatory.

More than a dozen permanent exhibits explore the worlds of astronomy and space science, Native Americans, chemistry, energy, paleontology and Texas wildlife.

The Menil Collection | Art Museum
The Menil Collection | Art Museum

(713) 525-9400

1533 Sul Ross St
Houston, TX 77006   Directions Website

View one of the most important private collections at The Menil Collection, an art museum that began with the more than 19,000 pieces collected by a Houston couple beginning in the early 1940s. The collection is significant in its European art, including paintings by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

The Menil Collection is an art museum founded by its namesake couple, John and Dominique Menil, who relocated from France to Houston and became pivotal figures in the growth of Houston's burgeoning cultural life.

The couple cherished art and architecture and eventually built the museum that bears the family name. They began collecting art in the 1940s and promoted modern art through several area organizations at the time.

Even after the founders' deaths, the museum continues to collect pieces in the true spirit of the couple, who believe that art revealed and explored what it means to be human. The couple strategically included in their collection pieces from different cultures and eras to reflect the full arc of human existence.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

(713) 639-7300

1001 Bissonnet
Houston, TX 77005   Directions Website

Take a stroll through the artful Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden, located at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. The garden is home to more than 25 works from the museum's collection, including sculptures by Henri Matisse.

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston is a masterpiece of historic proportions, with a collection of more than 57,000 works of art and more than 300,000 square feet of exhibit space. It is one of the largest museums in the U.S. with the collection dating from antiquity to modern-day. Works include Italian Renaissance paintings, French Impressionist works, photographs, American and European decorative arts, African and Pre-Columbian gold, American art, and European and American paintings and sculpture.

The Printing Museum
The Printing Museum

(713) 522-4652

1324 W Clay St
Houston, TX 77019   Directions Website

Take a tour through history at The Printing Museum, chronicled by the advent and modernization of printing methods, and learn how the printed word transformed modern culture. 

Your tour starts with the development of ancient Mesopotamian clay tablets, then the invention of moveable type and Gutenberg's printing press. Along the way, gain a better understanding of how newspaper accounts of major wars, the distribution of the Gutenberg Bible, the Declaration of Independence, and other pivotal documents chronicle the printing revolution and its impact on society. Before your departure, stop by the gift shop to take a part of printing history with you.

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