Houston parents all know the the Children’s Museum, HMNS, MFAH, etc. Read on for ideas to mix things up and visit some of Houston’s lesser known but still really cool museums.
Orange Show for Visionary Art—Not sure you’d technically call this a museum, but it should be. The Orange Show is eclectic, unique and entirely constructed of found objects. Think broken ceramics, figurines, discarded old wheels and even a steam engine of sorts. The display was created by former postal worker, Jeff McKissack, who is fascinating to read about. Definitely spring for the $1 guide. Kids will love wandering the maze-like structure and exploring all of the objects, nooks and crannies. As a bonus, the wonderful mosaic-decorated Smither Park is next door. Go on a cool or cloudy day as the Orange Show is mostly ope
- 1940 Air Terminal Museum—This museum is housed in Houston’s original airport, which back in the day, ferried only the rich and famous to and from Houston. The building is a fantastic example of Art Deco (not that your kids care about that). But they will enjoy some of the aviation memorabilia like old pilot uniforms. Personally, I loved the funky Emilio Pucci-designed flight attendant outfits. The highlight is definitely climbing into the vintage aircraft outside. My son’s favorite part, though, was the up-close view of planes coming into land at Hobby Airport.
- Houston Police Museum—Located on the ground floor of the HPD in downtown Houston, this museum is small but definitely worth a visit. Police memorabilia include a motorcycle, vintage police car, helicopter and police robot. Displays recount the history of the mounted patrol and show you how police uniforms have changed over time. And, importantly, it pays tribute to those who have served as Houston police. It’s only open during the week and is a must for any kid who loves sirens.
Lone Star Flight Museum—This museum is beyond awesome! It is my family’s favorite museum in Houston. The vintage airplanes are amazing. The enormous B-17 is not to be missed. In addition to the museum’s large aircraft collection, there is also an amazing STEM learning center. Kids can learn about the the physics of flight in a fun and interactive way. Who wouldn’t want to try out a hang glider simulator. The museum hosts lots of events, so check their calendar for the latest. And don’t miss the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame to learn about the history of Texas’ great aviators.
- National Museum of Funeral History—Sounds morbid huh? If your child has ever been intrigued by Dracula, then a tour of coffins, caskets and hearses just might be up their alley. Exhibits detail the funeral ceremonies of U.S. Presidents, Popes and other celebs. You can even see coffins from as far away as Ghana, learn how the Day of the Dead is celebrated and find out what a ventilating coffin is.
If you really want an off the beaten path museum, check out the Presidio La Bahia museum in Goliad. It’s a fabulous old Spanish fort and fun way to experience Texas history.
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Take care and have fun!