Like a doting schoolteacher, history helps humankind celebrate its discoveries, learn from its mistakes, and find new, creative uses for pipe cleaners. Better the future by probing the past with today's Groupon: for $20, you get two tickets to Texas! The Exhibition and Exhibit Hall at The Houston Museum of Natural Science (up to a $50 value).
Texas! The Exhibition explores the history of the Lone Star State with an array of artifacts and action-packed tales about colonists, pioneers, war heroes, inventors, and sports stars. Map enthusiasts can glimpse Stephen F. Austin's 1830 Tanner map of Texas and adjoining states, and bone buffs can hear the story of the oldest human-skeleton remains, unearthed near Midland in the early 1950s. Visitors can also learn how Davy Crockett helped Texas win its independence and how this eventually led to the invention of the coonskin cap. Groupon holders can also peruse the Exhibit Hall's three floors of permanent exhibitions, which include more than 450 dinosaur fossils, a gallery of Egyptian artifacts, and a gilded gem vault. Before learning adventures come to a close, kids can gather animal factoids in the African wildlife area while parents create hologram doppelgängers inside the space-age chemistry lab.
Houston Museum of Natural Science
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.