Located on a 90-acre site on the campus of Texas A&M University, the Bush Presidential Library and Museum entertains and educates with interactive exhibits and an exhaustive collection of artifacts. Opening September 1, the new Headed to the White House exhibit charts the presidential-election process from primaries to inauguration with hands-on activities, role-playing opportunities, and animatronic babies to kiss. Visitors can try running their own campaign, create their own election news story, or tour exhibits and sculptures including Life and Times of George Bush, and The Day the Wall Came Down.
The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History welcomes visitors to its 9,400-square-foot naturalistic nostalgia emporium stocked with exhibits and collections ranging from archeological anthologies to local historical tidbits. The popular Ice Age Mammals exhibit poses large fossils and casts for tangible perusal, and the Carter Creek Nature Trail takes trekkers through the museum's front yard for an earth-friendly jaunt narrated by botanist squirrels. Hit up the Discovery Room for up-close glimpses of both live and preserved reptiles and arachnids, or swing by The Republic of Texas exhibit, a celebration of Texas history filled with Lone Star State memorabilia such as Santa Anna's silverware and the cowboy hats of tumbleweeds who fought in the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836.
With a number of hands-on activities tailored to kids up to 12 years old, The Children's Museum of the Brazos Valley excites the brains of younglings with educational excursions into science, art, and more. Wee explorers embark on a mission of epic proportions by blasting off into exciting exhibits, such as the Spaceship and Control Center, where gravity-defying kids will feel at home exploring the black abyss. Future Mozarts get a taste for music in Sounds Around Town, where tiny head-bangers can learn how sounds are made and how sound waves travel. Precocious foodies and shopping fanatics can visit HEB Groceries and learn how to apply math and budgeting skills, ensuring there's always enough cash for a three-course meal of pixy stix, marshmallows, and chocolate-syrup-covered sugar packets .
If it weren’t for the railroad, there would be no Rosenberg. In 1880 the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe Company extended their tracks across those of another railway, creating a junction that they named after the railway’s president, Henry von Rosenberg. All that remains of this junction’s original depot, from which the town of Rosenberg grew, is the signal tower, which is now the centerpiece of Rosenberg Railroad Museum’s collection of historic railcars and other railway paraphernalia.
Representing the full spectrum of passenger railcars, the collection includes a caboose—the living quarters of a train conductor—and a Canadian government business car, which in the 1920s had been appointed to transport dignitaries and prime ministers in comfort. At the museum’s education center, an HO-gauge model train gives visitors a macro view of a rail network, and, up in the signal tower, an interlocking machine lets visitors play at train traffic control, using the same switches the towerman flipped back in 1903 to make sure only one train was routed through a junction at a time and no trains were routed down the tracks that just led straight off the edge of the world.
George Ranch Historical Park, only half an hour southwest of Houston, is more than a representation of Texas history?it?s the hundred-year story of a ranching family who lived their lives on the park?s very soil. The attractions tell their story, beginning with the Jones Stock Farm?a cattle operation circa 1830?where interpreters demonstrate old-fashioned skills amidst a traditional dog-trot log cabin. The Ryon Prairie Home unveils an 1860s image of a Texas Ranch home in the golden age of the cattle drive, and the Davis Mansion contains artifacts from Victorian-era Texas enjoyed by the wealthiest citizens of the 1890s. The final site, the George Ranch Complex, demonstrates ranching life as it happened in the 1930s, including barn structures and daily cattle demonstrations. Guides show off each building and era with historic tours, demonstrations, and living history exhibits such as a working blacksmith shop.
The park?s directors breathe life back into this history with interactive events, as well. They also schedule an array of yearly events such as military reenactments, and holiday-themed history lessons.
What was once a jumbled catch-all for the hunting trophies of Dr. E. A. Weinheimer, and a generous donation from Steve McManus, has been streamlined into a collection of well-organized exhibits at the El Campo Museum of Natural History. They feature these trophies along with others in realistic replicas of their original habitats.