Houston Museum of Natural Science

#5 in Best Things To Do in Houston
Courtesy Visit Houston (Julie Soefer)

Key Info

5555 Hermann Park Drive


Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend


  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Situated in the Museum District near the Houston Zoo, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Holocaust Museum, the Houston Museum of Natural Science offers a variety of permanent exhibits. Visitors can explore everything from dinosaur fossils in the paleontology hall to sparkling emeralds, rubies and sapphires in the gem vault to interactive exhibits in the chemistry hall.

The museum's exhibit halls cover a wide range of subjects, which is why this attraction is such a popular site in Houston – there's something for everyone. The building also houses a few special exhibits, such as the Planetarium and the Cockrell Butterfly Center, though these do cost extra. If you have to pick one, travelers say the butterflies are pretty impressive. The Cockrell Butterfly Center is home to a glass-enclosed rainforest conservatory populated with exotic flora and hundreds of colorful butterflies. 

Recent visitors were also quick to commend the venue's extensive collection of dinosaur artifacts and well-curated displays. What's more, travelers say this museum's interactive exhibits are engaging for both children and adults.

The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., though keep in mind other parts of the museum like the Planetarium and Giant Screen Theater operate different hours. Admission costs $25 for adults and $15 for students, seniors and kids ages 3 to 11; kids 2 and younger can enter for free.

If you're hoping to save some money, you can purchase the CityPASS, which offers discounts on several of the city's top attractions, or plan to visit on a Thursday when admission to the museum is free from 3 to 6 p.m. Parking is available in the museum's on-site garage ($20 for non-museum members) and limited street parking is also available. For more information, visit the museum's website.

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#1 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

No trip to Texas is complete without a visit to a rodeo. And in Houston, there's no better place to watch riders saddle up than the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. When competition season rolls around (typically between late February and early March), crowds descend on NRG Stadium to watch daily rodeo shows that feature a variety of competitions, such as bareback riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, barrel racing and more. Livestock shows, which also occur during rodeo competition season, feature traditional events such as livestock auctions, calf scrambles and horse shows. 

Travelers who were visiting Houston during rodeo season said the events are a blast. Those who said they've been to rodeos or livestock shows before say the Houston Rodeo is one of the best they've ever attended, and encouraged families to bring kids as they'll be fascinated by all of the animals. Even if you aren't particularly into rodeos, visitors say a trip here is still worth your time because the venue offers so many attractions, activities and events. Some of these include an amusement park, concerts (which in the past have included the likes of Kacey Musgraves and Cardi B), parades, barbecue contests, trail rides and more.

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Courtesy of Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
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