BY MIMI GREENWOOD
Are you an art enthusiast? History buff? Science geek? Space nerd? All of the above? Or do you just love learning and experiencing new things? If so, you’re in luck. The state of Texas offers outstanding museums in these disciplines and others to excite connoisseurs and neophytes alike. Here are five that have us excited.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
The science lover in your party will savor their time in either the primary campus located in Victory Park or the secondary campus in Fair Park — or both. Originally named in honor of Margot and Ross Perot, the Dallas-based museum offers something for every age. From early childhood classes to teen sleepovers and scouting adventures to a National Geographic speaking series, the two campuses offer a hands-on and varied science experience with exhibits from around the world and beyond. Delve a little deeper at PerotMuseum.org
Kimbell Art Museum
The Louis Kahn-designed building housing the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth is a work of art in itself. Inside, you can stroll past carefully curated collections from Africa, Asia, Ancient America, and European artwork in many art disciplines. Enjoy the extensive in-house collection — as well as frequent traveling exhibitions from around the globe, educational programs, and an extensive research library. There’s also a celebrated café and the Renzo Piano Pavilion. Can’t get to the Kimbell in person? Enjoy a virtual tour, watch lectures and programs, and explore the collection online at KimbellArt.org
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Wear your comfy shoes and plan to spend the day because you won’t want to leave The Houston Museum of Natural Science. With offerings such as the Burke Baker Planetarium, Wortham Giant Screen Theatre, Cockrell Butterfly Center, and over a dozen permanent exhibit areas, HMNS offers in-depth experiences in astronomy, paleontology, space, science, energy, chemistry, seashells, Native Americans, gems and minerals, Texas wildlife, and more. With 17 permanent exhibits and many rotating in from elsewhere, they also offer popular summer and holiday camps for kids with in-person and virtual options. Explore the video archives and virtual tours and sign up for Wednesday virtual classes at HMNS.org
Space Center Houston
This nonprofit educational museum offers extensive science education programs and an exciting hands-on space museum. The Houston area’s number one attraction for international visitors earned its Smithsonian affiliation in 2014. With engaging educational programs for teachers and students, SCH helps encourage boys and girls toward careers in STEM fields. And it’s just plain fun. The exploration learning center alone has more than 400 things to see and do and the largest collections of spacesuits and Moon rocks on public display in the world. Plan your adventure at SpaceCenter.org.
Bullock Texas State History Museum
Since 2001, over nine million visitors from around the world have visited
the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin to discover the ever-evolving story of Texas. Our official state history museum, the Bullock highlights Texas artifacts, culture, and innovation through exhibitions, films, symposiums, community events, field trips, and fun, family-centered programs. Exhibits are always changing, so if you haven’t visited recently, it’s definitely worth the trip. BTSHM also collects and archives first-person stories about Texas through the Texas Storwy Project, documenting the many people and things that make our state unique. Don’t miss the spooky science exhibit and airing of the best and worst Texas-centered cinema. Check it all out at TheStoryofTexas.com.