Kids learn best when they don’t know they’re being taught, which is why clever parents simply stir shredded encyclopedias into their children’s pudding. Mix education and recreation with today's Groupon: for $8, you get two admissions to the Children's Museum of Houston (up to a $16 value). The museum is free every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Children younger than a year old are always admitted free.
Named Click2Houston’s Best Museum of 2010 and ranked number-one among the 10 best children's museums in the nation by Parents magazine, the Children's Museum of Houston earns acclaim by stoking lifelong learning with 90,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits. The museum crams its cavernous quarters with 14 interactive exhibits designed to engage the minds of children up to age 12. Kids can splash their way to a degree in hydro engineering at the aqueduct maze and simulated floodplain stations that comprise the FlowWorks exhibit, or they can tinker with gizmos and gadgets, including Legos, propellers, and batteries, at the Invention Convention workshop. The city of Kidtropolis is run entirely by tots, who wield pretend debit cards as they steer through a simulated economy that requires them to spend responsibly and take jobs as vets, store clerks, newscasters, and full-time stamp lickers.
In addition to its permanent exhibits, the Museum hosts such activities as guided lab experiments and Storytime, all listed on its events calendar so that visitors don’t have to tap the museum’s phone system for information. While outside food is not permitted in the museum, a café stocks health-minded and vegetarian items (not included in today's Groupon). Be sure to check out the FAQ for more tips.
Children’s Museum of Houston
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 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 and one of the 10 best by USA Today, and voted Best Museum in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 by the Houston A-List Poll, the museum has accrued a lot of praise.
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.
At one of the newer museum exhibits, kids are invited to enlist in the Special Elite Crime Resolution and Espionage Team (aka S.E.C.R.E.T.) to crack codes, uncover clues, and outsmart villains. S.E.C.R.E.T. is the Children’s Museum of Houston’s all-new interactive spy experience. This revolutionary experience is designed to take a child’s museum visit to the next level. Kids report to duty and are assigned to go on secret missions throughout the museum. Using state-of-the-art technology, agents gear up to solve puzzles, discover hidden agendas, and thwart the villains’ schemes.
The Museum District
1500 Binz St.
Houston, Texas 77004Get Directions