Spring means sunnier weather … most of the time. If you get caught in an April shower this month, we’re here to help you beat the blues with some museums and indoor activities that are just as fun. Bookmark this page or save some ideas for the next time the weather catches you by surprise!
Explore locomotive history in Galveston with one of the largest restored railroad collections in the country. The Galveston Railroad Museum features numerous railroad memorabilia and exhibits, including more than 40 pieces of locomotives and rolling stock. This museum also houses an actual working train! Peruse the museum and end your trip by taking a ride on the Harborside Express train.
Alvin’s Historical Museum has over 20 exhibits with features and memorabilia ranging from the prehistoric era to the formation of Texas and Alvin. With a collection of over 10,000 photographs and artifacts, you’re sure to learn something about the railroad, ranching or even indigenous populations during your next visit.
If your visit to the museum reignites your passion for trains, we recommend stopping at the Alvin Historic Train Depot, one of the original stops for passengers awaiting the Santa Fe Rail Line. This beautiful restoration was originally built in 1907 and is available for tours by appointment. Learn more here.
Lake Jackson’s Historical Museum in the Brazosport area chronicles the history of Lake Jackson from the pre-historic era to modern industry. With exhibits where you can learn about the prehistoric era, plantation era, petrochemical industry and founding of Lake Jackson, there’s plenty of the past to experience in the present. Plus, Selena fans will appreciate a tribute to the Queen of Tejano at the exhibit celebrating her life and early years in Lake Jackson.
Selena isn’t the only music icon being honored around Houston. Pre-historic and pop culture meet at The Museum of the Gulf Coast, where exhibits cover creatures that roamed the earth, an oil discovery that put Texas on the map, a new maritime gallery, and artists and sports greats with ties to the area. Check out original art by rock queen Janis Joplin or pose with a replica of her psychedelic Porsche. Tex Ritter, The Big Bopper, Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter and Tracy Byrd are just a few more musicians native to the Port Arthur area the museum honors in its Hall of Fame.
You can explore the history of Montgomery County with two stops - the Heritage Museum of Montgomery County and the Lonestar Monument and Historic Flag Park. In the museum, explore the history of Montgomery County from its early pioneer days to the growth of the oil and timer industries. Then venture over to the Monument and Flag Park where you can find Texas' colorful past proudly displayed in an outdoor museum that features 13 of the many flags that have flown. These 13 flags have been chosen to represent the number of colonies in Texas at the time of its independence.
If you’re loving learning more about the history of our region, we’ve got another spot to add to your list. Home to the world’s largest collection of historical artifacts, documents and artwork relating to the southwestern United States, the Bryan Museum presents the West as it will never be seen again. The former Galveston Orphans Home, built in 1895, is now a restored world-class museum that houses a collection as big as Texas, ranging from ancient Native American artifacts to 21st-century pieces. The property features a research library, children’s center, sculpture garden and a recently added conservatory.
Explore the world of petroleum science at the Texas Energy Museum. This museum houses a collection of historical photographs, maps and other materials related to Beaumont and southeast Texas oil fields. Interact with technology that pumps oil up from beneath the ground and learn more about how we keep the lights on using chemistry.
Strike oil for yourself at Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown Museum. This replica of a late 1800’s, early 1900’s town in Beaumont during the 1901 oil boom will have you feeling like a wildcatter. Walk around the town and experience what life was like in an old-time saloon, barber shop, ice cream parlor and more. Get to work with the resident blacksmith on site or stick around for the Lucas Gusher re-enactment and watch it blow.
These two museums are featured in our Texas Energy History Pass starting at just $17.95. Buy one for yourself at our Visit Houston Marketplace.