Cool Museums and Artistic Places to Take Your Katy Kid.
History doesn’t always have to be learned from a school book, science doesn’t necessarily have to be spelled out on a smartboard, and art isn’t always water lilies on canvas. These museums and artistic institutions provide an outlet to experience art, relive history, and explore elements of the world around us. Take your school-age kiddos on a field trip they won’t soon forget.
By Kirsten Cornell | KATY MAGAZINE, September 2017
Children’s Museum of Houston
1500 Binz, Houston | cmhouston.org
There are tons of exhibits at Children’s Museum of Houston to help feed curiosity. Explore scientific concepts at the Science Station, see how pulleys make work easier at the Kid Lift, and encounter Amazing Airways, a 12-foot towering pneumatic tube system of air ducts and diverter boxes that will send objects traveling at high speeds. The fun doesn’t end there. They can build their own roller coaster, design a car, climb a 40-foot Power Tower, or earn a paycheck at Kidtropolis. Catch Free Family Night on Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. The museum is ideal for kiddos 0 to 12 years old.
Art Car Museum
140 Heights Blvd., Houston | artcarmuseum.com
The Art Car Museum takes art to a whole other dimension - 3-dimensional to be exact. The private institution is dedicated to contemporary art and is an exhibition forum for local, national, and international artists with an emphasis on art cars. Works have included anything from a vehicle decorated with game pieces to one covered in a variety of lights made to resemble a rocket ship. The “Roachster” is also a very popular piece and is as
creepy-crawly as you imagine.
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
5216 Montrose Blvd., Houston | camh.org
To gain the most from your visit, grab a family guide at the front desk which are designed for children of all ages, and provide opportunities for exploration, discovery, and conversation about the art on view. Founded in 1948, CAMH is a non-collecting institution so you’ll always find something new in the gallery. From German painters and South African videographers to Houston sculptors, you will be able to view work from many different cultures and backgrounds.
Heritage Society Museum
1100 Bagby St., Houston | heritagesociety.org
The Heritage Society Museum has taken great care in authentically restoring historic buildings and providing a looking glass into the past. See furnishings that reflect the lifestyles and cultural influences of Houston’s earliest residents, enjoy family-friendly activities, and hear experts tell the stories of the people who came here seeking new opportunities. Permanent exhibitions include Duncan General Store and a 1911 Ford Model T. While there is a cost for docent-guided tours, admission to the museum gallery is free.
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
4848 Main St., Houston | crafthouston.org
At Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC), you will see the full range of the creative process, from how an object is made to why the artist decided to create something the way they did. Gather a group together, minimum of 10 maximum of 30, and purchase a workshop along with their docent-led tour. Classes include book binding, clay mugs, fused glass, scratch-foam prints, and wet-felted bracelets. Stroll through the Craft Garden where you’ll find botanical collaborations from artists, community members, and gardeners.
Holocaust Museum Houston
5401 Caroline St., Houston | hmh.org
The Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) provides a handson history lesson. Their permanent exhibition, “Bear Witness: A Community Remembers,” focuses on the stories of Holocaust survivors living in the Houston metro area. HMH Vet clinic at Children’s Museum of Houston The Commons at CAMH Project Row Houses Alex Barber houses art and photographs, a 1942 WWII railcar display, an education center, memorial room, and Garden of Hope. Equally impressive is their Danish rescue boat exhibition, the type used to save more than 7,200 Jews. While there is a general admission charge, entry is free for students, HMH members, and college-level students. This museum is not recommended for children under 10.
Buffalo Soldiers National Museum
3816 Caroline St., Houston | buffalosoldiermuseum.com
This unique museum celebrates the Buffalo Soldiers, African Americans who have fought in military conflicts since colonial days. View history up close while perusing exhibits showcasing artifacts from the Civil War, Vietnam, and both World Wars. Their artillery exhibit provides plenty of artifacts for you and your kiddos to eyeball such as rifles, muskets, and cannonballs pulled directly from battlefields. Student admission is only $5 and the museum offers free admission on Thursdays from 1 to 5 p.m.
Lawndale Art Center
4912 Main St., Houston | lawndaleartcenter.org
Lawndale Art Center includes four museum-quality galleries, three artist studios, and an outdoor sculpture garden. One of their most anticipated events is the annual festival in October celebrating Día de Los Muertos featuring an opencall exhibition of over 250 contemporary interpretations of the Mexican folk art tradition, the retablo, created by area artists and enthusiasts. Visitors will have access to exhibitions, performances, lectures, film screenings, and events created by regional artists.
The Menil Collection
1515 Sul Ross St., Houston | menil.org
This museum sits on a 30-acre neighborhood of art. The main building houses special exhibitions and the permanent collection, and it anchors a campus with three other museum buildings. The Menil philosophy is to foster personal encounters with art which you’ll appreciate as you marvel through their displays of carefully chosen work. You’ll find everything from prehistoric era pottery to contemporary pieces among their collection.
Children's Museum of Houston
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
1001 Bissonnet, Houston | mfah.org
The MFAH art collections and exhibitions are presented primarily in the museum’s two main gallery buildings which are connected by the underground Wilson Tunnel. The Law Building features galleries for changing exhibitions as well as collections of Asian, African, Islamic, Native American, Oceanic, Pre-Columbian, and Modern and Contemporary art. Peruse the Beck Building for ancient art, European art, photography, prints and drawings, and American art to the mid-20th century. There’s something for every creative mind here.
Project Row Houses
2521 Holman St., Houston | projectrowhouses.org
Inconspicuously placed in Houston’s Third Ward, Project Row Houses exists to celebrate African-American art, history, and culture. Art lovers will certainly be able to strike up some interesting conversations as they mull about the space. Projects rotate with each session lasting approximately four months. Upcoming exhibitions can be found on their website.
The Silos on Sawyer
1502 Sawyer Street, Houston | thesilosonsawyer.com
A creative gem in Houston featuring what is believed to be the highest concentration of working artists in the state of Texas. Already the District is home to over 250 working artists. The public is welcome to visit the many artists open studios the second Saturday of the month.
Station Museum of Contemporary
1502 Alabama St., Houston | stationmuseum.com
A gem for contemporary art lovers; the museum has held comprehensive exhibitions from Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Congo, South Africa, Czech Republic, Austria, Palestine, Iraq, India, Afghanistan, and Russia. You will witness pieces from artists who engage in social, political, aesthetic, economic, and spiritual content and expressions.
MORE MUSEUMS & ARTSY PLACES
Czech Center Museum Houston
George Ranch Historical Park
The Health Museum
Houston Bicycle Museum
Houston Museum of African American Culture
Houston Museum of Natural Science
John C. Freeman Weather Museum
Katy Heritage Museum
Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts
San Jacinto Museum of History
KIRSTEN CORNELL is a Katy-based writer who mentors a young woman named Aurieal. They will be making their way through all of these museums very soon.
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