Located at the base of the towering San Jacinto Monument, the San Jacinto Museum of History chronicles the formation of Texas lore. This year marks the 175th anniversary of Texas independence, and the museum provides festive fact-gatherers with a moveable feast of 17,000 local objects, 18,000 volumes, and 700 feet of historic party streamers gathered from Texas and New Spain, the United States, and Mexico. While admission to the museum is free, member benefits include access to special exhibits and the Jesse H. Jones Theatre. Members are also granted access to the San Jacinto Monument’s observation deck, which provides a hang-glider's view of the Houston skyline and the mighty Battleship Texas.
What makes your business stand out?
The Battleship Texas is located next to the San Jacinto Battleground, so visitors get an opportunity to experience two great historical sites in one location. Have a picnic under wonderful trees. Bring your camera and capture some great photographs.
What inspired you (or the owner) to start or run this business?
The Battleship Texas is the last remaining U.S. ship to serve in both WWI and WWII. It is also the last of the Dreadnought-style ships. We work hard to maintain her, and nothing makes us happier than when people come to visit The Might T.
What is your most popular offering?
Our Hard Hat Tours are offered five times each year. They occur in January, March, May, October, and November. You can make a reservation on on our website. We also offer an Overnight Education Program and we have hosted 40,000 children at our overnight camp.
Anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Visitors of all ages have visited The Texas since 1948 and continue to do so. Come walk the same decks where the heroes of yesterday answered our nation's call to protect America.
What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
Visiting [The] Texas can be deeply moving for many people. It is also highly educational for visitors of all ages. In 1914, The Texas was considered the most powerful weapon on the planet. To walk her decks provides memories for years to come.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
Meeting visitors and having the opportunity to see their reactions to the experience of being on The Might T.
Established: Before 1950
Handicap Accessible: No
Staff Size: 25–50
Parking: Parking lot
Reservations/Appointments: Not necessary
Most popular offering: Tour the Last Dreadnought—100 years old
Pro Tip: Bring a camera. The Texas is located next to The San Jacinto Monument and Battleground.
While many children learn by performing hands-on tasks, school systems have yet to figure out how to incorporate gardens, imagination workshops, and towering aqueduct mazes into their budgets. With 90,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits, the Children's Museum of Houston, which was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal, sparks creativity by allowing kids to explore 14 learning stations. Ranked No. 1 among the 10 best children's museums in the nation by Parents magazine, named one of the 12 best children's museums in the country by Forbes.com and one of the 10 best by USA TODAY, and voted Best Museum in 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014 by the Houston A-List Poll, the museum has accrued a lot of praise. The Huffington Post has also given a nod to the Children's Museum of Houston, which encourages children to explore their curious nature with a variety of interactive exhibits. Exhibits include the interactive EcoStation, a solar-powered outdoor utopia with activities such as stream creation and leaf rubbing that inspire kids to think about environmental responsibility. At the Invention Convention workshop, kids can explore engineering possibilities with building blocks, propellers, and even basic robotics. The sprawling cityscape of Kidtropolis invites children to participate in a simulated economy. The experience requires them to earn paychecks, budget money on pretend debit cards, vote for political candidates, and learn how to obsessively check milk expiration dates at the onsite grocery store. Their newest cultural exhibit, Heart and Seoul: Growing Up in Korea, explores the county's fashion, film, music, and cuisine, aiming to bring modern-day South Korea to the Houston area.
Designed by award-winning architect Gunnar Birkerts, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston's stainless steel building safeguards a multitude of work designed to intellectual engage viewers and invoke complex reactions. The museum's two galleries, the Brown Foundation Gallery and the Zilkha Gallery, collectively host 8?10 free exhibitions every year.
The Brown Foundation spotlights work by internationally renowned artists and pieces organized around themes; past exhibits include a Kiki Smith survey and a showcase of performance art by black artists. The Zilkha, meanwhile, hosts the museum's Perspective Series, which gathers the work of emerging artists. The museum's Teen Council curates a biyearly edition of Perspectives, unveiling work by young, Houston-area artists that mine for deeper feelings than the normal teenage angst toward parents, teachers, and singing animatronic bears. The Teen Council also contributes to the museum's numerous programs, which include lectures and discussions for each show, as well as Musiqa concerts based on each Brown Foundation Gallery exhibition.
Seven days a week, the Houston Museum of Natural Science cultivates knowledge with interactive exhibits that shuttle minds into such far-flung realms as tropical rainforests and outer space. Permanent exhibit halls house everything from the skeletons of brachiosauruses in the recently expanded Morian Hall of Paleontology to artifacts from ancient Egypt and the Americas.
Housed inside three stories of glass, the museum's Cockrell Butterfly Center habitat teems with more than 1,500 winged wonders from around the globe, which frolic around a 50-foot waterfall, and flutter through exotic plants. Visitors can also gaze skyward in the Burke Baker Planetarium, which casts more than 10 daily shows with curve-mirror projection technology. Eyes marvel at the planetarium's 30'x18' full-dome digital theater, capable of transporting families to the aurora borealis in the Arctic Circle or to the nougat-flavored center of a black hole.
After retiring from his upholstering job at the Southern Pacific Railroad, John Milkovisch spent his free time building structures around his house and drinking beers with his wife Mary. But when he ran out of space for building, he decided to use up his extra beer cans to create a shiny siding for his structures and his house. He began in 1968, and within 20 years he had completely covered his property with an estimated 50,000 aluminum and glass cans. The result was both fashionable and functional, with swaying garlands tinkling in the breeze, strings of cans adding a luster to all surfaces of the house, and the protective weight of the cans even helping cut the house?s energy costs. But you can?t have a house this striking and not get noticed. So pretty soon people began making trips to see this can-covered house, and in 2007, it was moved into the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art. Now guests can peer inside the house and examine the structures without getting chased by the owner's beer can-covered dog. The house?s guided tours also feature a documentary that covers the history of the project since its inception forty years ago.