The Museum District is a special neighborhood in Houston, Texas that provides lot of places to explore. People looking for an educational experience can enjoy many different museums focused on art, science, history and other topics as well. Outdoor activities also lurk in the Museum District and provide entertainment for more active Houstonians. We have provided ten different museums and landmarks you do not want to miss while visiting the Museum District.
The Museum District is a learning center for the Houston community. Offering a variety of educational exhibits directed towards children, the Children’s Museum of Houston is a landmark learning center of the Museum District. This is a great place for parents to bring their kids and give them a chance to learn about the world around them, as well as engage in quality family time. Exhibits range from Cyberchase, which is a clever mix of math skills and technology, to Kidtropolis that gives kids a chance to explore a metropolis complete with all the aspects of a real city. There are over 15 exhibits to see and interact with, making the Children’s Museum a great place for multiple visits.
Hermann Park is a big, beautiful piece of greenery lying at the heart of the Museum District. The park is maintained by the Hermann Park Conservancy, and is run by the citizens of Houston. Offering a large variety of things to see and do, Hermann Park is the perfect place to spend a Saturday or Sunday. Experience nature by exploring plants and wildlife in the Bayou Parkland or enjoying the water along Brays Bayou. Unique and one of a kind statues, art pieces, and landmarks dot Hermann Park as well including the Bill Coats Bridge, the Mecom Fountain, and the Sam Houston Monument. Enjoy a walk through the Japanese Garden, take a ride on Hermann Park Railroad or take a walk over to the Houston Zoo that lies on the park’s border. Hermann Park is for all ages, and caters to all interests and lifestyles. Bring the dog and let him enjoy the dog park as well.
Every major city has a zoo, and the way to enjoy wildlife in Houston is at the Houston Zoo. Sitting on 55 acres, the Houston Zoo provides a plethora of animals for visitors to view and learn about. There are 11 different exhibits such as birds, the aquarium, carnivores, primates, elephants, and many more. Each different exhibit features one or more animals living in habitats that mirror those they would inhabit in the wild. The zoo also offers different classes and opportunities to see the animals up-close. Kids are always welcome at the zoo and can enjoy the interactive Children’s Zoo. The Children’s Zoo features a petting zoo and a playground where children actually get to interact with the animals while they zoom through the playground. Take an early morning trip to experience the animals before many of them are driven into the safety of the shade from the Texas heat.
One of the most special and well-loved museums in the Museum District is the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS). HMNS offers visitors of all ages a chance to interact with a variety of different topics within the world of natural science. Exhibits range from the recently redesigned Morian Hall of Paleontology to the dazzling Cullen Hall of Minerals and Gems to the Welch Hall of Chemistry. The Houston Museum of Natural Science offers three floors of permanent and special exhibits. A planetarium, an IMAX Theater, and the Butterfly Center await visitors after the exhibits. The museum resides close to the center of the Museum District and is a great starting point for any day of museum hopping. Enjoy everything that the Houston Museum of Natural Science has to offer to individuals, couples, and families alike.
The staple of classic and modern art in Houston is the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). Consisting of over eight different buildings, MFAH has five different gallery and outdoors spaces housing their collection and four more educationally involved centers. Visitors could come every day for a week, rain or shine, and they would not see every work of art in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The artwork at MFAH ranges from ancient art, prints/drawings, photography, sculptures, and works from artists worldwide. Open every day except Monday, MFAH offers free admission to all visitors on Thursdays. Any art enthusiast would enjoy all that MFAH has to offer for one visit or more.
Change and evolution are thriving missions at the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston. This museum is special because it has no permanent exhibits. Rotating in new art from regional to international artists, the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston gives visitors a new experience every time they walk through the doors. While the exhibits may be constantly changing throughout the year, the impressive exterior of the museum remains the same. Opened in 1972, the museum is a unique steel structure designed by Gunnar Birkerts and has become a landmark of the Museum District. The Contemporary Arts Museum is a unique way to experience the evolution of modern art.
Nestled in Hermann Park, Miller Outdoor Theatre is a venue and meeting space catering to the citizens of Houston. All performances and concerts are always free to the public and Miller Outdoor Theatre encourages a sense of togetherness within community. This venue offers a full stage and light/sound setup for an intense concert experience. The stage resides under a large covered awning, with seating for the audience as well as surrounding lawn seating for those wanting to enjoy the outdoors uncovered. Miller Outdoor Theatre has multiple events occurring weekly that range from musical performances to theater and film. Members of the Houston community can get together and enjoy the power of performance day or night, and all for free.
A part of the Texas Medical Center, the The Health Museum, better known as The Health Museum, offers visitors a look into the medical field, the human body, and health in general. There are a variety of exhibits to explore, including the Debakey Cell Lab that provides a microscopic look into cells of the human body. One of the most special exhibits is the Amazing Body Pavilion, which gives an enlarged, internal view at the human body. The Amazing Body Pavilion has an enormous rib cage that shapes the entirety of the ceiling and allows visitors to interact with systems of the body. The Health Museum also has a variety of other exhibits and interactive experiences that include traveling exhibits that rotate throughout the year. An inside look at health, medicine, and the body awaits anyone who steps through the doors of The Health Museum.
James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace at Rice University
Artists have a major impact on any city. Outdoor artwork especially influences the people and architecture around it. One such influential piece is titled “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace by James Turrell at Rice University. James Turrell has created mixtures of architecture and artwork all over the world. The Skyspace is Turrell’s 73rd work and has two stories. Resembling a pyramid, the Skyspace frequently hosts concerts by the music students at Rice University. Just before sunrise and sunset, the LED lights built into the ceiling of the Skyspace change to complement the sky over head. A large square hole in the ceiling allows viewers an enhanced experience of the sky with the LED lights. James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace is a one of a kind experience during performances. This work of art and architecture is definitely a must-visit spot in the Museum District. The skyspace is open one hour before sunrise and is closed on Tuesday.
Honoring a dark part of world history, Holocaust Museum Houston brings visitors into the past to experience an event that should never be forgotten. An important message is being brought to the people of Houston at the Holocaust Museum: to examine and document the hatred and suffering that occurred during this catastrophe. When first walking up to the museum, you will notice that the building is distinctive and unique. Each piece of the architecture is meant to be a reminder of a piece of Holocaust history. After entering the building, visitors get a look into the museum’s permanent exhibits including a Holocaust railcar and the Destroyed Communities Memorial. The Holocaust Museum also offers traveling exhibits that rotate throughout the year. Anyone visiting the Holocaust Museum of Houston will receive an education in history and will help contribute to keeping the memory of the lives lost during the Holocaust alive.