Five Houston Museums Worth Visiting

Seismic Musieum galaxy
Galaxy at Seismic Museum. Seismic Museum photo.

Immersive and Interactive Museums in Houston

By Aysia Reed

Interested in paintings? How about a gigantic LED light display, or walking through a massive brain exhibit?

Houston, Texas has a museum for everyone! This guide will give you an itinerary of 5 different museums in Houston that are all worth a trip! From interactive experiences to educational sessions, these museums have it all.

Seismic 

Paintcorner display. Seismic Museum photo.
Paintcorner display. Seismic Museum photo.

First up on the itinerary is known as the “Art Experience of Tomorrow” and an otherworldly museum. It’s called the Seismic Museum, located in Houston!

The Immersive, interactive, and inspiring aspects of Seismic make the museum a thrilling experience that connects the greater Houston area with fun experiences for all. 

The galleries are known as the galaxies, and they span over 40,000 square feet of Seismic. Each room has a personalized unique and modern experience.

A net jungle, rain room, and intergalactic maze are some of the galaxies that will all make you feel like a child again! 

Instagrammable moments are a must these days, and the intergalactic display of lights is perfect for this. Over 9 million LED lights illuminate the display, accompanied by sound, color, and natural elements. It’s out of this world!

Venus display. Christopher Brielmaier photo.
Venus display. Christopher Brielmaier photo.

A gigantic multicolored hammock, known as Venus, is one of the galaxies worth exploring. Japanese sculpture and creator of Venus is Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam, who encourages museum goers to climb all over and explore the hammock. What other museum lets you actually touch an exhibit? 

The Health Museum

Calling all brainiacs and information junkies!

Ever wanted to walk through a brain or massive eyeball? Well now’s your chance.

The Health Museum is a small and personable museum in the heart of Houston that focuses on the human body, health, and medical science. The museum came about after the “Victory Over Polio” campaign in 1962 that was sponsored by medical experts, Harris County Medical Society being one of them. The experts believed it was necessary to have permanent health exhibits for the public to be able to visit. 

Hands-on experiences in the museum include a walk through a 12 foot beating heart, a 10 foot tall brain, a large eyeball display, and a skeleton riding a bicycle. The pieces are all interactive, and have their own educational twists to incorporate both fun, and learning. Another entertaining piece is the Giant Human Heart Wheel, which has a biometric system that checks your heart rate while you are either running or walking. 

Interactive exhibits at the Museum of Health. Museum of Health photo.
Interactive exhibits at the Museum of Health. Museum of Health photo.

Native from Houston, Texas, Anne G., visited the museum with her family.

“Excellent family destination that is full of actively engaging interactions and mind-opening encounters. From the DeBakey Cell Lab, which I strongly recommend to both children of all ages and adults of all ages, the Health Museum is a treasure trove of self-exploration and need-to-know hands-on knowledge of one’s body, how it works, why it works the way it does, and disease and the cures work the way they do,” she said.

Not only does the museum explore physical health, but mental health too. 

Menninger Clinic, a nationally recognized mental health leader in Houston, offers tips and helpful information for those who are interested in mental health.

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

The mission of the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, is to exemplify the art of modern day. A plethora of cultures and different backgrounds gracefully fill the museum with sculptures and art pieces. 

It is a non-collecting art institution with dynamic, scholarly, and educational exhibits. 

In recent years, the Contemporary Arts Museum has been awarded Best Show Involving Digital Media, Video, Film, or Performance” by the AICA, all thanks to the magnificent Stan VanDerBeek: The Culture Intercom exhibit. The piece highlights VanderBeek’s pivotal contribution to modern day media-based artistic practices. The artist’s collages, paintings, pioneering films, documents, and immersive projects are all on display. 

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is one of the largest museums in all of the United States! The museum is home to over 65,000 art pieces and more than 6,000 years of history. French Impressionism, African and pre-Columbian gold, European and American decorative arts, post-1945 European and American sculptures and paintings, and photography make up the pieces.

Contemporary Art Museum, Houston.
Contemporary Art Museum, Houston.

A notable art gallery at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is the Arts of Asia and the Islamic World. One of the pieces in the gallery is Tiger in the Landscape by Kishi Ganku, a Japanese artist.

It was created in the mid 18th century and is made of ink and watercolor on a six-panel folding screen.

 The museum is made up of several different facility buildings: Caroline Wiess Law Building, The Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Center for Conservation, Central Administration and Glassell Junior School of Art Building, Glassell School of Art, The Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden, Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, Audrey Jones Beck Building, Caroline and the Wiess Law Building.

Other facilities include Rienzi and Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, which feature furniture and decorative art.

The Orange Show

In 1980, the Orange Show opened up in Houston, Texas! 

The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art is a folk-art gallery that features handmade architecture. Jeff McKissack, a mail carrier in Houston, Texas, is the mastermind behind the museum. McKissack transformed a tiny suburban lot close to his home in order to honor his favorite fruit, an orange. 

The Orange Show.
The Orange Show.

This quirky attraction has everything but the kitchen sink, and Franziska B., a traveler who recently visited the museum with her family, can attest. 

“We discovered this weird magical place by accident. It’s placed right next to all these small houses. You can’t even really describe what this is- a park, a museum, a playground, an art show- you just have to discover the history of this place for yourself! We certainly loved it, the vibe around this place is so positive and just beautiful to look at! It takes you away from busy Houston and puts you in a magical state of mind,” she said.

The Orange Show is completely outdoors and is set up as a 3,000 square foot maze. A pond, wishing well, museum, oasis, and gift shop are all of the fun features. 

This landmark is a fun, and unusual place to visit when in Houston, especially for citrus lovers!

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