Houston is a great place for a day trip. Maybe you’re on a stopover, scooting through, or maybe you’ve decided to pack up the kids and head to H Town for a day.
You’ll find my ideas for more things to do in Houston in this post over on my main travel blog Blogger at Large, like the Space Center, sports games, where to eat and shop. Or if you’re in town on a Monday (like I usually am) I’ve written this post on Mondays in Houston covering what will be open and what to do.
But this post is specifically for a fun day out museum-hopping with the kids!
Houston is the fourth largest museum city in the United States, but not all of them will be favorites for the kids, so keep reading for the best children’s museums in Houston.
Children’s Museum Of Houston
The Children’s Museum of Houston is all about the little ones with world-class exhibits and attractions for kids of all ages. For example, the Tot*Spot for kids up to 24 months old includes a train table, a ball, and a pillow pit. Older kids will love exhibits like Invention Convention, EcoStation, and an indoor/outdoor area where they can observe turtles and other animals.
The Children’s Museum Houston is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. Admission is $12 for kids and adults, but there is an additional $7 fee for the spy game. Are you looking for a deal? Entrance fees are waived every Thursday from 5 to 8 pm for free family nights.
Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Museum
The Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center is a special project of the Children’s Museum of Houston (above). The Discovery Center is around 12,000 square feet featuring six incredible exhibits geared for children ages birth to 12 years. It gives children a chance to expand culturally and educationally.
With exhibits like Cum Yah Gullah, reviving the art and practices of the Gullah people, and the hands-on ‘How Does It Work?’ exhibit, your kids will have a great day here.
The Fort Bend Children’s Discover Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am-6 pm. Admission is $13 for both adults and children.
The Houston Museum Of Natural Science
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is fun for the whole family, with exhibits ranging from King Tut’s Tomb to the Cockerell Butterfly Center. The exhibits here are meant to be enjoyed by all ages. For children under 5 years, head to the Cabinet of Curiosities, where your kids will discover a collection of spectacular marvels from the natural world.
Older kids will enjoy the creatures beyond the bones, the dinosaurs of the Morian Hall of Paleontology, or the Herzstein Foucault Pendulum, where they can experience the Earth’s rotation.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $16 for children, and the museum is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.
The Woodlands Children’s Museum
Creating opportunities to educate, empower and excite children and families is the mission of The Woodlands Children’s Museum. They do this through play while inspiring a lifelong sense of wonder and discovery. Your kids can experience the dynamic programs here, which are designed for grades K4-5.
Kids can discover masks of the world, play different African musical instruments, and touch adornments from different cultures. Exhibits include the Little Ocean Wonders, Storybook Stage, and a Light Bright Wall.
The museum is open Tuesday through Thursday, 10 am-2 pm, Friday, 10 am-4 pm, and Saturday, 10 am-5 pm. Admission is $8 for both adults and children.
Space Center Houston
Houston, we have a problem! The Space Center Houston is the official visitors center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, the home of astronaut training and Mission Control.
This one is great for the entire family, and you can plan your day around one of the NASA tram rides. Of course, your kids will love visiting Mission Control or Building 9 (Astronaut Training Facility).
Inside the museum’s main building, you can explore the International Space Station, Starship Gallery, and the Blast-Off and Space Center theaters. Kids will love to catch the “Meet an Astronaut” talk, and across the street is the actual orbiter access arm and shuttle replica in Independence Plaza.
The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 am-5 pm and on weekends from 10 am-6 pm.
Lone Star Flight Museum
Probably the only museum in the world where you can actually fly in a warbird. For real! Not a simulator. Although they have those too. But if you’re an aircraft historian or just a huge fan of flight, this is the place for you.
The Lone Star Flight Museum is an aerospace museum with 24 historically significant aircraft on display that are still flyable, plus fantastic interactive exhibits.
Take a flight in a Boeing PT-17 Stearman, Cessna T-41 Mescalero, North American T-6 Texan, North American B-25 Mitchell. Prices vary depending on which you choose. Click here for the details and costs.
If the simulator rides are more your style, or your kids (aged 8 years and over) want to learn to fly, these flight simulators are great. They also have a free flight simulator bay available every weekend.
Located at Ellington Airport.
Little Beakers Science Lab
Little Beakers is all about science and exploration and hands-on fun for your kids. This science lab was built especially for kids, where parents can accompany them in an open lab selecting from up to 30 experiments. In addition, little Beakers has open labs, camps, workshops, and guided labs. Not only that, kids can participate in various age-appropriate dissection and science classes.
You can spend an hour to all day at the lab! They also host birthday parties, camps, field trips, after-school classes, guided sessions, scouts, group events, and team building. There are three different locations within the Houston area.
The lab is open from 12 pm-5 pm on weekdays, 11 am-6 pm Saturdays and Mondays, and closed Tuesdays.
Rosenberg Railroad Museum
Train spotters rejoice! The mission of the Rosenberg Railroad Museum is to preserve history and educate on the importance of the railroads.
For lovers of trains, this is the museum to visit. It is located near four train lines in downtown Historic Rosenberg and is a hidden gem set in park-like grounds. Step inside a MoPac Caboose and the “Quebec,” the beautiful, fully restored 1879 business railcar.
There is a model Garden Railway Exhibit and on the fourth Sunday of the month the Houston Area “G” Gaugers (HAGG) model train club meet to run their trains on the tracks of the exhibit.
During 2023 a limited-time exhibit, the Railroads and American Popular Music, explains how the railroad impacted the music industry.
There are several fun programs for kids, including the scouting adventures, the Wig Wag Pre-School Program, and several educational programs. All of those are part of regular admission, which is $9 for adults and $6 for kids. On the fourth Sunday of the month, the local
The Rosenberg Railroad Museum is open from 10 am-3 pm, Saturday and Sunday 1–4 pm, and closed Monday and Tuesday.
Bend their minds at Seismique! As one of the world’s most immersive art experiences, Seismique is the perfect inventive art experience for children. It’s also a fantastic spot for amazing selfies with 9 million LEDs!
This is Houston’s art experience of tomorrow, and kids will love it. The technology-fueled space has different rooms that various artists create. You will see more than 40 unique “galaxies” that your kids can explore and exercise their brains. The museum also offers educational workshops for anyone interested in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.
Seismique is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 12–9 pm, Fridays from 12–11 pm, Saturdays from 10 am- 11 pm, and Sundays from 10 am-9 pm. Admission is $35 for adults and $28 for children (ages 3-12).
Contemporary Art Museum Of Houston
In the heart of the museum district in Houston, you will discover the Contemporary Art Museum Of Houston, which is the perfect place to teach your kids about art.
The museum also provides a free art guide in both English and Spanish, and these guides help families with kids slow down and absorb the artwork.
The museum is also adding additional family programs throughout the year. It is open Thursday from 11 am-9 pm and Wednesday-Sunday from 11 am-6 pm. Admission to CAMH is always free due to the generosity of members and donors.
Taking your children to any of these museums listed will make for a fantastic day. Whether your child is interested in trains, art, or science, pick one of these fantastic Houston museums and everyone will be happy!
For more things to do in Houston I wrote a post over on Blogger at Large covering fun things to do on a Houston stopover.
You’re not far from Austin! Read my post on fun things to do on an Austin day trip here.
Keep everyone occupied on the road with this list of 52 hilarious road trip games. Note, they make good games nights too!