Seeking to instill in young people an appreciation of the human body and a high regard for health, this museum (affiliated with Texas Medical Center) takes education to a new level. The facility's biggest attraction is its "Amazing Body Pavilion," whose enormous replicas of the human form let kids explore (and walk through) the brain, the heart, the rib cage, and more. Interactive displays provide instruction about memory, vision, circulation, and hearing. Videos, games, and an outdoor sensory garden also further the cause.
If it's found in nature, you can probably learn about it here. This fascinating museum, established in 1909, instructs visitors on energy, wildlife, astronomy, and much more. As you enter the main room, dinosaurs loom overhead; beyond them are exhibits about the Serengeti plains, historic displays in the Hall of the Americas, and an arresting showcase of more than 600 gems and minerals. Additional levels present fossils and other features of the natural world. Added attractions include the Cockrell Butterfly Center, where dozens of species fly freely, and the Wortham IMAX theater.
For security reasons, visitors aren't allowed to see all of the Space Center operations, but regular tram tours let them visit most of the working facility, where they can ogle a Saturn rocket or observe shuttle payload bays. Exhibits cover the history of manned spaceflight and hoped-for future explorations, while the Mission Status Center provides live updates on current flights. In addition, the Kids' Space Place offers interactive exhibits, an IMAX theater, a full-scale model of the space shuttle, and moon rocks that you can actually touch.
This state historical park commemorates the place where Texas gained independence from Mexico in 1836 when Gen. Sam Houston defeated Gen. Santa Ana. The memorial column that distinguishes the site stands 15 feet taller than the Washington Monument and is crowned by an enormous star; a museum can also be found in the monument's base. At the top of the monument (elevator accessible), visitors can take in expansive views of the Houston Shipping Channel and the surrounding area. The Battleship Texas Memorial is also located on the grounds.
Dominique and John de Menil commissioned architect Renzo Piano to design this steel-and-cypress building to showcase their extensive art holdings Ã¯Â¿Â½ considered one of the country's finest private collections. Modern works, tribal and ethnic art, and antiquities are well-represented, and surrealist works are prominent, especially those by Magritte. Also included in the complex are the Cy Twombly Gallery, Rothko Chapel, Richmond Hall (a Dan Flavin installation), Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum, and a bookstore. An amazing assemblage of periods and works.
Incredibly well-attended, this colorful, popular museum is clearly designed for kids. Like most facilities of its type, it promotes experiential learning and offers lots of interactive exhibits. Science, culture, geography, and creativity are all given due reverence. Build robots in Invention Convention; anchor the news; run a business; get elected as mayor in Kidtropolis, USA; explore nanotechnology in Matter Factory; portal through a mathematical quest in Cyberchase: The Chase Is On!, based on the PBS cartoon; take a wet, wild adventure in FlowWorks; and climb a three-story tower in PowerPlay. Traveling exhibits ensure that nothing ever gets stale for visiting young ones.
Centrally located, Hermann Park boasts lots of attractions, including the zoo, an outdoor theater, a Japanese garden and a golf course. Visitors can enjoy a picnic under the pines, ride the miniature train, rent paddle boats, or simply stroll about and enjoy the scenery. Plus, Houston Museum of Natural Science is within walking distance, as is the Medical Center. Hermann Park is also home to a children's playground, a lovely reflection pool, and a jogging and exercise trail.
Sam Houston Park was carved from family-owned land and transformed in 1900 into a pastoral haven for city residents. In the 1950s, the Heritage Society was created to preserve the property's Kellum-Noble House; the group later began relocating other historic homes to the park and restoring them. Currently, eight structures exist, dressed in period-appropriate furnishings. They include a cabin, a home built by a freed slave, a church, and grander, oil-financed structures. The Museum of Texas History also sits in the park. The grounds and museum are free of charge, but the homes are accessible only by guided tour.
Helping to revitalize the eastern part of downtown Houston, this engaging ballfield premiered in 2000 and has proven to be a fan favorite. The home of Astros baseball was constructed on parking lots near the old train station and even incorporates part of Union Station in its design. The intimate venue boasts a spectacular, retractable roof that opens when the weather's mild and closes when rain appears or when air-conditioning is needed. The natural grass field has old-school appeal, as do manual scoreboxes and upclose seating. One-hour tours are available, and restaurants and bars are located in the vicinity.
Founded in 1900, the MFAH is Texas's first art museum and one of the nation's largest. Its holdings represent the range of history, and its collections include Renaissance and Baroque items, Impressionist and post-Impressionist art, and African gold pieces. Along with the museum's campus structures, the MFAH includes Cullen Sculpture Garden, 18 acres of public gardens, and two historic house museums in the River Oaks neighborhood: Bayou Bend and Rienzi. Traveling exhibitions bolster the museum's own 51,000 works. Cafe on premises.