For an adventure that will help you discover your inner explorer, consider making a short trek to the Texas City Museum in Texas City. Located about 45 minutes south of Houston, the Texas City Museum sits inside a 30,000-square-foot building that used to be a JCPenney. It now boasts several unique exhibits to compliment any experience – whether you’re a history buff or just passing through the region. Among the artifacts on display – a Civil-war era Dahlgren cannon. This piece of artillery came from the USS Westfield, a restored Staten Island ferry that served as a vessel for the Union fleet. A reconstruction of the USS Westfield’s boilers and cylinder (parts of the ship) are also on display.
Dig deeper into Texas City’s past by journeying through one of the darkest days in U.S. history: the 1947 Texas City Disaster – a fertilizer explosion on the cargo ship, the S.S. Grandcamp. The events leading up to the disaster and following it are also well-documented as a special section in the main body of the museum. Featured segments on subjects such as blues musician Charles Brown, the World War I Army Camp, and High School Memorabilia live in this part of the museum as well. Note that you can further your throwback experience of the High School Memorabilia by viewing the extensive yearbook collection, available upon request.
Train enthusiasts should head to the second level of the museum where the Galveston County Model Railroad Club layouts are housed. The railroad-themed exhibit is open during museum hours (Tues – Sat, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), but you can peruse the layouts on Saturdays only. Have something to celebrate? The layouts are available for party rentals and pre-booked tours. The club and museum also host an annual train festival, held toward the end of October.
Kids visiting the Texas City Museum will have plenty to keep them busy in the Children’s Discovery Room. From learning about the pre-history of Texas City to interactive displays on the petro-chemical industry, the Children’s Discovery Room offers puzzles, toys and crafts for all ages, in addition to the opportunity for some quality time with the family. Swing by the room the last Friday of every month from 1pm-3pm to take part in an Afternoon Family Activity.