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5 Best Summer Museums

Houston's 5 best summer museum experiences: Kids and fun grownups both love these eye-opening exhibits

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Slideshow
Summer of Epic Adventure at Children's Museum of Houston
Welcome to the Superhero League skit at the Children's Museum of
Houston.
Children's Museum of Houston/Facebook
View of Houghton Hall's West Steps from the Picture Gallery.
View of Houghton Hall's West Steps. Photo by James Merrell.
Charles James exhibit at the Menil June 2014 dress_form_2
Charles James exhibit at the Menil. Photo by Adam Baker
The Rescuers: Picturing Moral Courage
The Holocaust Museum of Houston presents The Rescuers: Picturing Moral Courage exhibit. Photo by Riccardo Gangale
Summer of Epic Adventure at Children's Museum of Houston
View of Houghton Hall's West Steps from the Picture Gallery.
Charles James exhibit at the Menil June 2014 dress_form_2
The Rescuers: Picturing Moral Courage
Houston Museum of Natural Science: "World Trekkers - Destination: Egypt"

Summer travel season is in full swing, but there's no need to hit the road for a long trip. Houston offers a world of fun — and educational — activities at some of the best museums in the nation. Here are five sure-fire choices that are just around the corner:

1. The Children’s Museum of Houston

Exhibit: Summer of Epic Adventure - The Sequel!  is a fun-filled interactive activity that allows kids to become a superhero by completing a variety of science experiments to earn badges of honor. The educational adventure will continue through Sept. 3 at 12, 1 and 2 p.m. and is included in the general admission fee.

Specials: Admission is free for everyone on Thursday evenings from 5 to 8. 

2. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 

Exhibit: Pretend like you're a resident at Downton Abbey with a visit to this renowned collection of paintings, sculptures and decorative arts from Houghton Hall in England. Traveling to the United States for the first time, Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House will be on display from June 22 to Sept. 21.

Specials: Admission is free for children 12 and under every day. The cost for the Houghton Hall exhibition is $15 for visitors 13 and up. General MFAH admission is free on Thursdays, but a $15 ticket will still be required to see the exhibition.

3. Houston Museum of Natural Science

Exhibit: Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters explores the science behind the power of natural events and the impact on human lives through interactive experiences and videos. The exhibit, which is up through Sept. 14, also explains the stories behind natural disasters. 

Specials:  In The Friday Feeding Frenzy, staffers feed the museum's live animal collection, including snakes, centipedes and praying mantises, at 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. every Friday throughout the summer. Or explore the world without leaving Houston in the World Trekkers program, a series of cultural festivals for the whole family, featuring crafts, native cuisine and entertainment inspired by each featured country. The first stop is Brazil. This cultural adventure will take place on June 27 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. General admission is $10.

4. Holocaust Museum

Exhibit: The Rescuers: Picturing Moral Courage highlights those brave men and women who participated in rescues during the Holocaust and the genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia and Rwanda. The exhibition, on display through August 31, is based on the work of Leora Kahn.

Specials: Admission is free for children 18 and under and for college students with a valid ID.  On Thursdays from 2 to 5 p.m., admission is free for everyone.

5. Menil  Collection

Exhibit: Interested in fashion? A Thin Wall of Air: Charles James presents a selection of classic evening gowns, suits, coats and daywear from Dominique de Menil’s personal collection — all designed by James, along with furniture he created for the de Menil’s River Oaks home. This unique collection is on display through Sept. 7.

Specials: The Menil charges no entrance or exhibition fees. The museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

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