I bought a Houston City Pass for this Texas trip as I brought my boyfriend along and I knew we’d want to do more tourist stuff than I would usually do in a trip. Firstly, the pass is really good value. Secondly, it meant I visit the museum for the first time as it’s not somewhere I would usually visit; although the dinosaurs have always tempted me!
Our initial reaction on arrival was ‘oh dear lord’ as there were so many school kids arriving in buses it was pretty overwhelming. We also weren’t necessarily prepared for the fact that not all of the exhibits were included in the pass; for example, there was a Lego exhibition on we wanted to see but it was extra. I will say though, the discount we got for the chargeable add ons was still pretty good. I think we paid about $40 for us both to go into the Lego exhibit, the death exhibit and to watch one of the planetarium shows.
The main (free) museum exhibitions had such a variety. The entry was made up of a giant moon in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing by Luke Jerram. It was pretty cool and there were facts all over letting you know what had happened on different sections. It seemed super fitting it would be in Houston too.
There was a section off the downstairs foyer called Life In Stone which was little animal engravings made out of different stones… it wasn’t really my cup of tea but I did get a picture of a cool orangutan…
Upstairs were some stones I was more interested in, precious stones the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals. There were some humongous diamonds, emeralds, all sorts of sparkly pretty things. There was even a section which was in a giant safe because they were so big and expensive. My favourite was the 850lb amethyst, as well as some super pretty diamonds I could have some lovely jewellery made out of.
I was kind of turned off by all of the stuffed animals in Hall of African Wildlife and also the Hall of Texas Wildlife, I love looking at animals and I am rather fond of a zoo, but I feel that when they’re dead they should be allowed to rest in peace. I don’t know why but it creeps me out a bit. They look super weird too. The Cabinet of Curiosities was equally as freaky too.
The giant screen theatre was closed but we bought tickets to watch the Apollo and Beyond movie. It started super good, however, I lost interest when they started talking about colonising on the moon… Give me the facts people when you’re talking about science and space not the “future”.
I was super excited about the Lego exhibition: The Art of Bricks by Nathan Sawaya, although I was worried it would be overrun with school kids, but surprisingly there were none in sight. It was super cool to look at and of course I loved all of the bright colours. There was a section which showed lego props which were physically there but then also photographed in some artwork next to it. I really wished they had them in postcards of greetings cards because I totally would have bought one! You could also build some Lego at the end which was a nice fun touch.
The other exhibit we bought tickets to was Death by Natural Causes. I was unsure what it was going to consist of but I think a part of me was hoping it would be morbid like Bodies which I had seen before; which consists of different bodies showing different muscles, tendons, bones etc. However, it was a lot softer than that and discussed ways in which individuals could and had died. It started pretty interesting but resulted in being a lot of displays about poisons and animal bites. Probably wasn’t really worth the money.
As I had looked at visiting the museum for a number of years I had seen that in the Morian Hall of Paleontology there were dinosaur skeletons. However, I was not prepared for the sheer volume of them; I literally had to Facetime my friend to show her. It was super exciting. Although I must say I wasn’t very interested in anything else in the hall, although I did try reading stuff and creating some interest it just didn’t hold my attention at all.
There were lots of areas of the museum we didn’t visit; and there were also others we visit which just weren’t memorable enough to mention. However, it was definitely a full day for us. I would definitely go back in a few years if there were more special exhibitions that caught my attention, and I imagine it really is a good family day out with lots to keep people occupied. But I couldn’t go back anytime soon as I feel like I “did” the museum.