Houston Museums: Great Family-friendly Places to Play

Ranked among the World’s Best Places, according to Time magazine, Houston is known for diversity and culture. Visitors enjoy embracing both at these Houston museums, which display everything from space and art to science. The area has more than 150 options, here are some of the most popular to explore during vacation.

Houston Museums: Culture and Fun for All Ages

houston museums space center

Space Center Houston

One of the top attractions and Houston museums, the Space Center welcomes all ages to learn about space exploration. Outside guests will see space rockets and aircraft replicas. Once inside, guests explore exhibits that showcase milestones in space discovery. Examples include Gemini, Apollo, Artemis, deep space and the international space station.

In addition to exhibits and activities, Space Center Houston hosts special holiday events, meals with astronauts, overnight experiences and programs. For an in-depth look, schedule a VIP tour.

Houston Museum of Natural Science

Houston Museum of Natural Science showcases the great wonders of the world. The museum houses exhibits that range from animals and oddities to Texas wildlife and ancient Egypt. Additional traveling exhibits come to the area, including dinosaurs, amusement park science, American history and conservation.

After touring the exhibits, visitors enjoy Cockrell Butterfly Center. This attraction features live animals and interactive games. Burke Baker Planetarium offers daily shows such as Black Holes, Starry Night Express and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

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Children’s Museum Houston

Ranked among the top Houston museums for families with children, Children’s Museum Houston caters to children from birth to 12 years old. The attraction has specific exhibits based on age groups as well as ones for all ages. Birth to 2 love Tot Spot. Those aged 2 and 3 enjoy cyberchase, inventor’s workshops, and Heart and Seoul. Kids aged 4 to 6 can try new challenges, conduct investigations, climb and play, and pretend to run a city. Ages 8 and older can try 3D printers and science labs.

After a full day of learning and playing, families can eat at the onsite café. The menu features kid-friendly and vegetarian options. There is also a gift shop.

The Health Museum

The Health Museum is one of the top Houston museums for science and discovery. With a focus on the human body, the museum educates visitors about health and medical science.

Example exhibits display the local impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, military veteran health, air pollution and the amazing body gallery. This section has more than 30 inactive videos, a 22-foot backbone with ribs, and a 12-foot beating heart, to name a few. Families also interact in the cell lab, McGovern Theater and discovery camps.

texas attractions art

Museum of Fine Arts Houston

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH) showcases more than 70,000 works. Examples include American painting and sculpture, antiques, collections from Asia, Africa and Pacific Islanders, film, modern art, and photography. Additionally, dozens of countries are well represented from Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.

Those visiting with children love making activity books, taking classes and workshops, and creating art.

Houston Zoo

While Houston Zoo technically is not a museum, it is a must for families vacationing in Houston. The zoo provides a home to more than 6,000 animals representing 600 species. Guests will tour multiple exhibits to see elephants, primates, large cats, reptiles, flamingo, turtles and bugs.

While learning about animals and their habitats, families also ride the wildlife carousel, attend daily animal shows and book encounters. There are also family nature experiences and adventure programs.

Armand Bayou Nature Center

Armand Bayou Nature Center (ABNC) is another outdoor attraction that combines learning with fun. This nature center offers 5 miles of walking trails and activities suited for all ages. For some new things to do, book a kayak tour, pontoon boat cruise, guided hike, painting day, or nature photography workshop.

During certain times of year, visitors may also attend special events and festivals. Top picks include Indigenous People Day, Creepy Crawlers, Christmas Bird Count and Party for the Planet.

Learn more about vacationing in Houston and find more great destinations in Texas.