The Children’s Museum Houston is a kid-sized wonderland in the heart of the Museum District in Houston, TX. The exhibits range from the Tot*Spot for toddlers to a hands-on engineering workshop and EcoStation where kids connect with nature.
Kids learn about science, math, and the arts in 14 galleries anchored by ongoing exhibitions. Exhibits are designed with Texas Essential Knowledge Skills (TEKS) and national education standards in mind.
The kids’ favorites include the Hall of Paleontology, where giant dinosaur skeletons are posed to demonstrate how they hunted, ate, and escaped prehistoric life. They also love the Cabinet of Curiosities, where a wood-paneled room is filled with drawers containing curious natural and manmade objects.
The museum hosts rotating international art and sculptural installations alongside its permanent galleries, which are home to a large collection of hands-on interactives. Guests can become an anchor in the newsroom; run their own company; be elected mayor in Kidtropolis, USA; build robots in Invention Convention; portal through a mathematical quest in Cyberchase; or take a wet, wild adventure in FlowWorks. There’s something new to discover every time you visit.
In addition to the Children’s Museum Houston, families visiting Texas can also explore the Menil Collection, a renowned art museum showcasing an extensive collection of modern and contemporary art.
The Human Body area of the museum is one of the most interactive and fun exhibits for children. They can take a larger-than-life walking tour of the Amazing Body Pavilion; ride a skeleton bike, find out how hard your heart works to pump blood, and peek their heads inside a giant colon. They can also play the Gut Game, a game that helps them figure out what their digestive system is doing to help maintain good health.
The kids can also challenge themselves physically at PowerPlay, where they can see how their bodies respond to physical challenges like climbing up the three-story tower, stretching through a 3-D version of Twister, and jamming to music with Dance Mania. They can even calculate their own heart rates at the Power Tower, and discover how exercise is good for their body with activities like Jump it Out and the Scream Booth (which records the loudest scream). The museum holds Sensory Friendly Days on certain Mondays for children with Autism or other sensory processing differences; reduced lighting and sounds, smaller crowds, and visual signage.
In the city that houses the space travel training, research, and flight control center NASA Johnson Space Center, it is only fitting that Houston’s children’s museum features exhibits about the wonders of space. Founded in 1980, the Museum elevates early childhood development to a community-wide priority. Designers Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi envisioned a building that embodied both institutional monumentality and playfulness suited for a museum dedicated to kids.
Kidtropolis, USA, an interactive city for kids (run by kids), Matter Factory, and FlowWorks are just some of the many hands-on activities available at the Museum. For families with young kids, the third-floor Tot*Spot offers a safe, enclosed area that gives toddlers and pre-schoolers freedom to explore with a parent. Older kids may enjoy the Chevron Maker Annex, which encourages creativity by letting them experiment with tools and materials from hand tools to 3D printers.
At the Museum, we’re always on the lookout for ways to incorporate technology into our exhibits. Our most notable example is a discovery that popped up during the construction of the new museum expansion in 2007. When excavation crews were digging for the foundation, they uncovered a vein of crystals that generated energy. Working with local universities, CMH developed a research agenda to determine the source of this energy.
Inventors, tinkerers, and creators can hone their skills in the Chevron Maker Annex, a creative space with 3D printers, laser cutters, and more. Kids can also learn about the environment in the hands-on chemical wet lab.
The all-new PowerPlay exhibit empowers kids to explore their own physical limits and see that exercise is both fun and good for you! And the Genius Station gives children the chance to work with a museum educator on scientific questions, science fair projects or just geek out.
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The Children’s Museum Houston is a kid-sized wonderland filled with interactive exhibits that spark imagination and learning. With climbing structures, hands-on activities, and role-play areas, this museum delights and educates children through the power of play.
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