There’s nothing better than spending a Sunday afternoon in a good museum. Luckily, Houston is an epicenter for museums, from art to science and everything in between. So, whether you love to spend your day with Degas or dinosaur bones, there is a museum on this list for you. These are the best museums in Houston you need to visit.
Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH)
If you’re an art or history buff, the Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH) is the place for you. You could spend days walking between the modern and contemporary art collections to the antiquities; there’s just so much to see! MFAH also hosts several events. Go on Thursdays between 5 PM and 8 PM for Happy Hour in the Beck Building, or hit up one of their MFAH Mixed Media Nights. Or, if solo contemplation of the arts is more your scene, be sure to see one of the many independent films they feature. You can find more information at www.mfah.org
The Holocaust Museum
The Holocaust Museum is currently closed for renovations (they plan to expand the museum to double its current size), but this is a must see when it opens back up. This little-known museum is so powerful and reverent, that it absolutely deserves a spot on this list. Admission is free on Sundays, but well worth the money any other day.
The Museum of Natural Science
The museum of natural science is perfect for all the science nerds out there! This museum has 16 permanent exhibitions, including a permanent paleontology collection and a Fabergé egg collection! The planetarium and butterfly center is also well worth the visit. The HMNS features several Mixer’s & Elixer happy hours. Their next one is a Star Wars themed for May 4th! Learn more about this event and others at www.hmns.org
The Children’s Museum
You don’t have to be a kid to love this museum (although it might be easier to climb through some of the exhibits). The Children’s Museum calls itself “A Playground for Your Mind” and they’re totally right! They have so many cool exhibits from The Invention Convention to the Inventor’s Workshop. This is the perfect place to bring a kid, or bring out your inner kid! Check it out at www.cmhouston.org
Space Center Houston
Space Center Houston is another museum that’s perfect for you and your little one! Located in Clear Lake Texas, Space Center Houston is full of cool space facts, history and actual space ships! Be sure to visit the Mission Mars exhibit, or go on Fridays to the Meet an Astronaut event. You can even schedule lunch with an astronaut and hear all about their adventures in space! To learn more, go to www.spacecenter.org
The Printing Museum
If you ever wanted to learn about how books were made, The Printing Museum is the place for you! Go see an old school printing press and even a workshop on the skills and processes used in historical and contemporary printing. The Printing Museum has several permanent collections, including a Renaissance Gallery, where you can see a Gutenberg press, and The Hearst Newspaper Gallery, which shows you a 20th century Linotype, used to create newspapers in the early 1900s. If this sounds right up your alley, go to www.printingmuseum.org for more information.
San Jacinto Monument
If you were ever curious about Texas history, look no further than the Birthplace of Texas and the San Jacinto Monument. For those who slept through Texas history, the San Jacinto Monument is where Texas won its independence from Mexico, under the leadership of Sam Houston. Walk on the ground where the Battle of San Jacinto took place, and explore the museum, as well as monument that honors it. You can even watch the reenactment this Saturday, April 21st! For more information, go to www.sanjacinto-museum.org
Buffalo Soldiers National Museum
If you’re a history buff, you must visit the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum. The Buffalo Soldiers, comprised of former slaves, freemen, and Black Civil War soldiers, were the first African Americans to serve during peacetime in the United States. This is a truly cool museum, especially if you are interested in war memorabilia. They have exhibitions ranging from the Civil War all the way up to WWII. Go on Thursdays for free admission between 1PM and 5PM. Learn more at www.buffalosoldiermuseum.com
The Menil is a must see if you live in Houston (or if you’re visiting). The Menil has featured works from Andy Warhol to René Magritte (the museum has an extensive collection of surrealist paintings). The Menil sits in the middle of Menil Park, which is littered with large oak trees. It’s the perfect place to have a picnic. Or, if you’d rather a chair than a lawn, have brunch or a glass of wine at Bistro Menil. You’ll have the extra cash since The Menil offers free admission every day! Go to www.menil.org for more info.
If you are visiting The Menil, be sure to stroll over to Rothko Chapel. Rothko Chapel is a non-denominational chapel founded by John and Dominque Menil. You won’t get hundreds of rooms to walk through here. Rothko is all about quiet contemplation and the reverence of silence. This place is very sacred, so make sure you respect the purpose of the silence.
Out of all the best museums in Houston, which one is your favorite? Let us know down below!
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Megan graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Creative Writing and an education in food, bars, and sarcasm. You can find her scoping out the latest Houston restaurant, watching the Astros or drinking an iced coffee.