Children adore going to museums. The kids find them to be so entertaining and informative that they aren’t even aware of what they are learning as they play. At the Children’s Museum of Houston, children will feel right at home performing science experiments, learning about unfamiliar cultures, or building intricate LEGO creations. The museum, which was created to be a “Playground for the Mind,” places a strong emphasis on learning that is engaging for kids through interactive exhibits, hands-on seminars, and entertaining games.
Children will be entertained for hours on end at the Children’s Museum of Houston, a fantastic hands-on learning facility. But because it’s so large, you can feel overwhelmed. Therefore, we have compiled a list of the must-see displays and activities available at this museum to save you the trouble. Additionally, you will have a better understanding of the museum after reading this article.
Location: Children’s Museum Houston, 1500 Binz St, Houston, TX 77004
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 6 pm; Thursday 10 am to 8 pm; Sunday noon to 6 pm; closed Mondays.
Parking: Children’s Museum Houston’s parking garage offers plenty of parking. More than three hundred spaces, covered parking, pre-payment options, and three exits make for a hassle-free visit. On-street, metered parking is available for parking for up to 3 hours. The meters accept cash, credit cards, and pay-by-phone. On Sundays, metered parking is free all day.
Admission: Ages 1 and older pay while children under 1 are allowed free entry. A child’s accompanying adult must be at least 18 years old. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. are free for Family Night.
A brief history of the Children’s Museum of Houston
The Children’s Museum of Houston (CMH) is a children’s museum situated in Houston’s Museum District. It was established in 1980 and resides in a Robert Venturi-designed structure. The museum provides a range of innovative exhibitions and bilingual education programs for kids from newborns to twelve years old. Also, it’s controlled by a Board of Directors as a 501(c)(3) organization and provides services to over 1,400,000 persons annually. It is one of 190 kids’ museums in the US, 15 of which are in Texas. Additionally, there are activities like a Bubble Lab and a Tot Spot at this children’s museum in Houston.
Facts About Children’s Museum of Houston
- The Houston area has one of the highest child populations in the country, and the Children’s Museum Houston attracts more than 1 million kids and their families annually.
- It is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that depends on monetary donations from both the public and private sectors.
- A group of Houston parents established this museum in 1980 with the goal of making early childhood development a top concern for the entire city.
- It provides a wide range of innovative exhibits and bilingual educational activities for children ranging from birth to 12 years old.
- Lastly, the museum completed its massive expansion in 2009, doubling its space to a total of 83,000 square feet (7,700 m2).
Important Tips Before Visiting Children’s Museum of Houston
- The exhibits of the Children’s Museum Houston are intended for young and young-at-heart people, but they are also appropriate for infants to 12-year-olds. You must have a youngster in your group to enter the museum.
- To find out what’s happening on the day of your visit, check the calendar provide by the museum.
- The exhibitions are all bilingual in Spanish and English.
- It’s advised to make reservations in advance – book here for favourable rates.
- If possible use the rail. The Houston Metrorail line makes it easy to get to the Children’s Museum of Houston! Before even getting to the museum, using the rail is like a second adventure, plus the stroll from the station is beautiful. Parking is offered if you choose to use the road, though.
- Go early or go late. You have read that right. According to our research, some of the crowds can be avoided by arriving at the exact opening time (10 am). Additionally, we’ve discovered that if you go in the late afternoon, around 3:30 or 4 pm, it’s less congested.
- Get a membership, please! The membership will be worth it if you intend to visit the Children’s Museum of Houston at least three times per year.
20 Reasons To Visit the Children’s Museum of Houston
1. Get wet at Flow Works
Due to its air conditioning and indoor location, this museum is the ideal place to visit in the hot summertime. Kids will enjoy splashing at Flow Works when the temperature is in the 100s. Kids can use their hands to manipulate various components of this interactive water exhibit to help them comprehend the dynamics and properties of water. Although you aren’t required to go into the water and it isn’t a splash pad, it’s hard not to get soaked, especially when the 18-foot cauldron of water comes crashing down. Children can compete in teams to see who can tip the cauldron the quickest. Remember to carry extra clothes.
2. Put your body to the test at PowerPlay
There is something for everyone to try in PowerPlay thanks to its three levels of physical challenges designed to drive you to the next level! Explore strength, flexibility, and endurance as you jump, stretch, crank, dance, climb, and crawl your way around this exhibit. Measure your heart rate before and after each challenge, receive vital advice for maintaining good physical health, and figure out how to keep working on all three at home.
Heart rate monitors are used by PowerPlay at each activity station to demonstrate to students how the body reacts physiologically to exercise. This was produced through a collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine, made possible by a Science Education Partnership Award from the National Center of Research Resources. (NCRR).
3. Explore Nature At EcoStation
Children may explore firsthand how their actions affect the environment and learn what they can do to improve their neighborhood by participating in this one-of-a-kind display. Familiar activities like soil type discovery, water quality testing, and more are always available and can be used in the exhibit or taken home to conduct environmental studies in the backyard!
Furthermore, the EcoStation is recognized as a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.
4. Cyberchase—The Chase Is On!
Join the CyberSquad on their mission to defend Cyberspace by zooming into an extraordinary math adventure.
Based on the Emmy Award-winning PBS KIDS series Cyberchas it puts math in a fun, fast-paced setting where you’ll need to utilize your critical thinking abilities to save the day. The interactive CYBERCHASE – The Chase Is On! lives up to its name.
Kids may hang out with Digit the cyberbird, who makes costume character appearances throughout the exhibit. This interactive multimedia experience looks at how to make the most of math while still enjoying it.
5. Kidtropolis, USA
The value of good money management is something that should be passed down to future generations. At Houston’s Children’s Museum, Kidtropolis accomplishes exactly that.
Kidtropolis encourages kids to role-play professions that showcase the work of city officials, business owners, employees, and citizens; earn money via work; utilize money in a way that reflects real life; and engage in trial-and-error to learn the value of financial planning and money management. By playing these roles, children maintain the “city” while taking part in a complex, a simulated economy where they can earn and spend money on things and experiences all across the “city.”
Kids get the chance to experience making “adult” decisions thanks to Kidtropolis, USA’s economic system, which closely resembles that of the real world.
Tot*Spot is intended for kids from birth to 36 months to offer a stimulating atmosphere with activities that support young children’s growth and development. There are things for you and your toddler to do at each gallery along the Toddler Trail. Tot*Spot is also intended to be a collaborative experience between the parent or caregiver and the baby or toddler because each interaction will lead to new opportunities for expression, imagination, and creativity.
7. Parent Resource Library
Books, ebooks, DVDs, hot spots, databases, and more are available to parents and teachers in the Parent Resource Library, which is part of the Houston Public Library (HPL). HPL branches can deliver books to the Parent Resource Library if you request for that. The Parent Resource Library aims to support children’s literacy while offering parents useful parenting resources.
8. John P. McGovern Kids’ Hall
The John P. McGovern Kids’ Hall is the ideal place to go if you love to imagine, pretend, explore, study, read, make, and create. Every week, there are new activities for your family to enjoy at the Junktion Train tables. Also available are entertaining math games and face painting. To foster creativity and deepen our understanding of various cultures, the hall presents several cultural and artistic exhibitions.
Kids’ Hall hosts a variety of unique occasions all year long, including photo opportunities with well-known characters and must-attend events.
9. Power Science Lab
Explore the science of the body and health in this interactive chemical wet lab. It is recommended for kids above 8 years. The chemical laboratory includes studies with biological, biochemical, human body, and nutrition topics. The Texas Children’s Power Science Lab is mainly concerned with how biology and chemistry affect our anatomy and physiology. These 15-minute experiments provide kids with practical laboratory experience. They establish theories, carry out experiments, and draw conclusions.
10. The David And Jean Wiley Foundation Invention Convention
Inside this workshop loaded with kid-made gadgets and gizmos, let your creativity run wild. This section is best for kids who are 5 years and above. Create and build contraptions in a room filled with rafters with various instruments, project tables, schematics, and repurposed household items. The purpose of the Invention Convention is to guide kids through the engineering process of an invention.
Students develop and use their science, math, and social studies knowledge and abilities via imaginative problem-solving.
11. Heart and Seoul: Growing Up in Korea
You can explore Korea without ever leaving Houston. By following the daily lives of young people in Seoul, you may fully experience South Korean culture.
Discover time-honored cultural values and daily living in South Korea’s highly urbanized and technologically advanced culture as you hear personal stories recounted by Korean children and explore classic folktales.
Explore folktales, games, and everyday activities that demonstrate how principles like respect for parents and elders work, from touring a high-rise apartment to hanging out at a K-Pop studio. Children can learn about the similarities and differences between their lives in the United States and those of children in South Korea through Heart and Seoul.
12. Challenge Course
It’s time to put on your safety gear and begin a multi-obstacle ropes course. You must first defeat the Burma Buckets, the Rope Bridge, and the Cargo Net. Then, decide which route you want to take: either jump across 30 feet of lily pads OR climb over the kelp walk, stopping the rolling log. By climbing the Swinging Steps, you can complete the Challenge Course.
Children are given physical tasks on Challenge Course that help them develop their balance, strength, and endurance. Additionally, it gives children the chance to push themselves to take on new risks and tasks while still being secure in a harness.
13. SECRET Spy Game
Similar to an escape room, SECRET requires players to use their problem-solving and observational skills to solve puzzles and fulfill physical and mental tasks. Each SECRET Mission fosters the development of critical thinking, reading comprehension, and mathematics abilities. In this 60-minute adventure, put your team together, gather your equipment, and see the Museum like never before. The admission fee is $7 per mission. Best for kids above 6 years.
14. Matter Factory
Several constituents of matter make up the world as we know it. And the Periodic Table of Elements offers a fundamental foundation for learning about the atoms and elements that make up the physical world.
The Matter Factory is an incredible place for students to learn about the classification of elements, the chemical and physical properties of matter, and how to use this knowledge to create tools and products that have an impact on our daily lives.
15. Genius Station
The Invista Genius Station offers the chance to interact with qualified science educators to solve scientific puzzles, receive assistance with assignments or science fair projects, or simply geek out over a subject of interest. The Geeks will ignite your interest with thrilling experiences that elevate learning through their vast library of teaching materials, experiments, and demonstrations.
16. Show Your Creativity At Maker Annex
Children can create, build, and exhibit their work at the Chevron Maker Annex through scheduled programs and drop-in sessions. All courses aim to introduce participants to a variety of equipment, including hand tools, 3D printers, and laser cutters. It is perfect for puzzle solvers, gamers, techies, and creative thinkers. The recommended age is 8 years and above.
17. Building Zone
As children enter the kid-friendly building site known as Building Zone, they put on hard hats. They investigate the physics of building structures and the universe of forces, lifting large gravel sacks with pulleys and supporting an arch with the earth’s gravity. Additionally, they assume the role of civil engineers by investigating some of the crucial methods required to construct buildings that are resistant to strong winds or earthquakes.
18. Newton Know-How!
You can engage in hands-on, mental explorations in Newton’s Know-How to learn about the physics underlying the rules of motion. Children can explore various motions throughout the exhibit, including those that accelerate and decelerate, fall and bounce, spin and slide, and much more! Additionally, they can explore more advanced subjects including momentum transfer, collisions, chain reactions, angular momentum, the conversion of potential energy into kinetic energy, projectile motion, and more.
19. The Brown Foundation, Inc. Auditorium
Take in captivating live performances with your loved ones. Every performance, from traditional bands to ethnic displays, is brilliantly executed while keeping in mind both the educational and entertaining elements. There are 165 seats available in the theater. Take in a performance every Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. during Free Family Night, as well as every weekend during the Spotlight Performance series.
20. Dine At Fresh Café
Everyone in the family, even picky eaters, can find wholesome foods and pleasures at The Fresh Café. Enjoy a balanced meal with daily prepared vegetarian selections, fresh salads, and preservative-free sandwich bread. Their menu includes meals like hot sandwiches, hot dogs, veggie burgers, grilled chicken breast, teddy grahams, and more.
The Children’s Museum adheres to ADA standards in both the structure and the exhibitions. The wheelchair/stroller elevator can be used by people who need assistance or by parents who want to take their children to the second level of the How Does It Work? or Power Play displays. If a visitor needs a lift key, they should stop by the information booth and leave some sort of identification. Additionally, wheelchairs are available for checkout with an identification deposit on a first-come, first-served basis. The wheelchair ramp connects the deck and ground floors of the Museum’s new garage. The Houston Independent School District and the Museum collaborate six Mondays a year to offer special needs kids tours.
The Children’s Museum of Houston has received several awards in the past. Here are some of them:
- Top U.S. museums for families, according to the LA Times (2015)
- Listed by USA Today as one of the top children’s museums in the country (2014)
- Forbes listed it as one of the top 12 kids’ museums in the nation (2012).
- One of the Top 10 Children’s Museums to Visit This
- Parents magazine named it the nation’s top children’s museum (2011).
- Ranked No. 1 by MSN.com and No. 2 by Child magazine in children’s museums countrywide.