List Of Museums and Cultural Institutions In Houston

List Of Museums and Cultural Institutions In Houston

With more than nine million annual visits, the Houston Museum District is one of the top cultural districts in the country. Discover the nineteen institutions that make up the Houston Museum District below.

Asia Society Texas Center 

Asia Society Texas Center engages the diversity of Houston through enriching programs and events within the pillars of arts and culture, business and policy, exhibitions, and education and community outreach. As one of the nation's most ethnically diverse cities, Houston is home to a rapidly growing Asian American population. Through a multi-disciplinary approach, Asia Society educates the greater community on relevant ideas and issues of our time, preparing future generations for stronger East-West understanding and interaction.


·         Tuesday - Friday, 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
          Saturday & Sunday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
          Closed Mondays and major holidays

·         Free Hours: Admission to the building and Grand Hall exhibition is free.           Admission to the Sarofim Gallery is free for Asia Society members; $5 for nonmembers.


 Buffalo Soldier National Museum 

Come and visit the historical Buffalo Soldier National Museum and learn more about not only African American history but American history as well. The goal of the Buffalo Soldier Museum is to interpret articulate collect display and preserve historical artifacts documents videos prints and other historical memorabilia which details the history of the brave men and women who overcame extreme adversity while gallantly fighting the great American wars. African Americans have served proudly in every great American war. In 1866 through an act of Congress legislation was adopted to create six all African American Army units. The units were identified as the 9th and 10th cavalry and the 38th 39th 40th and 41st infantry regiments. The four infantry regiments were later reorganized to form the 24th and 25th infantry regiments. These fighting men represented the first Black professional soldiers in a peacetime army. The recruits came from varied backgrounds including former slaves and veterans from service in the Civil War.


·         Monday - Friday, 10 am - 5 pm
Saturday , 10 am - 4 pm
Closed Sunday  

·         General Admission: $10 per person; $5.00-Students/Seniors 62+ and Military W/ID: 5 and under Free

 Children’s Museum of Houston 

Voted America’s No. 1 Children’s Museum” by Parents Magazine listed among Forbes’ “Best Children’s Museums in the U.S.” winner of Houston A-List “Best Museum 2012 & 2013” and Nickelodeon Parents’ Picks “Best Museum in Houston 2009 & 2010” the Children’s Museum of Houston is a’s nationwide 5-star children’s museum. It is dedicated to transforming communities through innovative child-centered learning with a vision to spark a passion for lifelong learning in all children.

Founded in 1980 and housed in a whimsical building designed by internationally acclaimed architect Robert Venturi the Children’s Museum of Houston offers a multitude of innovative exhibits and bilingual learning programs for kids ages birth to 12 years.


·         Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday, 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Sunday, Noon - 6:00 pm
Open Monday during Spring Break, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Summer: Open Mondays Memorial Day through Labor Day. Closed Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.  

·         General Admission: $12 per person and $11 for seniors 65 years and older. FREE for children under one and Museum Members. Free Hours: FREE FAMILY NIGHT: Thursdays 5 pm - 8 pm.


 Contemporary Arts Museum Houston 

The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston is a non-collecting institution dedicated to presenting the best and most exciting international national and regional art of the last 40 years. Founded in 1948 the Museum prides itself on presenting new art and documenting its role in modern life through exhibitions lectures original publications and a variety of educational programs and events. The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston occupies the famous stainless steel building in the heart of the Houston Museum District. This highly recognizable building was designed for the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston by award-winning architect Gunnar Birkerts and opened in 1972. The Museum Shop at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston offers a diverse selection of books periodicals and exhibition catalogues related to contemporary art as well as a wide array of unusual gifts including artist and designer-made jewelry and educational toys and games for children.


·         Tuesday - Wednesday, 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thursday, 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Friday, 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Saturday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday, 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Closed Monday, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day

·         Free Hours: Always free!


 Czech Center Museum Houston 

The Center was created to celebrate, share and promote the rich cultural abundance of a major Slavic ethnic group and their history. With a worldwide membership composed of members with multiple heritages, its museum and cultural center are considered essential resources for learning about one of our nation's diverse cultures and interwoven histories with others. The goal of the Center is to continue to offer presentations of non-biased, non-political and non-religious events, resulting in a blend of harmonious experiences for people of all ethnicities interested in the culture of a group of Slavs that settled in the central region of Europe and in particular their connection with the Austro-Hungarian Empire out of which multiple nations have derived.


·         Monday - Saturday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Closed Sunday FREE last Monday of the month 12 - 4 pm

·         General Admission: $6.00 for a docent tour, $3.00 for children; Gift shop admission free



 DiverseWorks commissions and presents new visual performing and literary art. DiverseWorks values the artistic process and encourages artists to test new ideas in the public arena. By investigating the social cultural and artistic issues of our time, DiverseWorks builds educates and sustains audiences for contemporary art.

Founded by artists in 1982 DiverseWorks has been a recognized national leader for its ground-breaking programming; as a resource for the innovative and meaningful engagement of communities; as a commissioner of contemporary works in multiple media; and as a force that has shaped contemporary thought and practice in Houston and the nation.

DiverseWorks serves as a forum for issues and works that have no other public outlet in Houston and plays a similar role nationally. DiverseWorks provides first-time commissioning opportunities for emerging artists continued support for innovative mid-career artists and acts as a launching pad for young artists. DiverseWorks supports artists and projects that inspire dialogue about contemporary culture among artists audiences and the greater community.


·         Wednesday-Thursday, Noon - 6:00 pm
Friday-Saturday, Noon - 8:00 pm

·         Gallery is always free.


Holocaust Museum Houston

 Holocaust Museum Houston is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and millions of other innocent victims and honoring the survivors' legacy. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, the Museum teaches the dangers of hatred prejudice and apathy to tens of thousands of people worldwide each year. Our changing exhibit galleries house special exhibitions complementing and further exploring the issues presented in our Permanent Exhibit entitled "Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers." Our changing exhibitions are designed to be intellectually and aesthetically challenging and to encourage visitors to study the Holocaust, contemporary genocides and related topics in greater detail and from a variety of perspectives. The Permanent Exhibit concludes with the continuously running 30-minute films "Voices" and "Voices II" which share the lessons of the Holocaust in the words of Houston-area residents who lived through that experience. The Museum's newest additions include an authentic 1942 World War II rail car of the type used to carry millions of Jews to their deaths and a Danish fishing boat of the type used to save more than 7200 Danish Jews from almost certain execution.


·         Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday , 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday, Noon - 5:00 pm

·         General Admission: "Members, children, students, and college-level students (with valid ID) receive free admission. $12 per person $8 per person Active-Duty Military, Seniors 65+ and AARP members (with valid ID). Free Hours: Thursday 2 pm - 5 pm and specific holidays.


Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is a nonprofit arts organization founded to advance education about the process product and history of craft. HCCC's major emphasis is on objects of art made primarily from craft materials: clay fiber glass metal wood or found/recycled materials.

Since opening in September of 2001 HCCC has emerged as an important cultural and educational resource for Houston and the Southwest—one of the few venues in the country dedicated exclusively to craft at the highest level. HCCC provides exhibition retail and studio spaces to support the work of local and national artists and serves as a resource for artists educators and the community-at-large. In addition, HCCC reaches thousands of children a year through educational and outreach programming.


·         Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday, Noon - 5:00 pm
(Closed Sundays, July 4th through Labor Day)

·         Free Hours: Always free!


Houston Center for Photography

Come visit Houston Center for Photography! The exhibition gallery - free to the public - features some of the finest works of contemporary photography. HCP also offers over 300 photography classes and workshops year-round. Varying in competency levels, these classes are all taught by esteemed photographers and lecturers.


·         Wednesday - Sunday, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday, 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Closed Monday and Tuesday

·         Free Hours: Always free!


Houston Museum of African American Culture

The Houston Museum of African American Culture (HMAAC) explores stories inspired by themes of opportunity, empowerment, creativity, and innovation and cultural interrelationships through the lens of the African American experience. The Museum seeks to engage visitors of every race and background through discovery-driven learning and preserve African American history.


·         Sunday, Noon - 6:00 pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday, 11:00 am - 8:00 pm

·         General Admission is $5, Youth (Ages 6-17) and Seniors (55 and older - $3 and children (5 and under) - Free. Free Hours: The museum is free every Thursday 6 pm - 8 pm


Houston Museum of Natural Science 

The Houston Museum of Natural Science houses the Burke Baker Planetarium, Wortham Giant Screen Theatre, Cockrell Butterfly Center, and over a dozen permanent exhibit areas that examine astronomy, space, science, Native Americans, paleontology, energy, chemistry, gems and minerals, seashells, Texas wildlife, and more. In addition, the museum frequently presents traveling exhibitions on a variety of topics.

The Museum also maintains two satellite facilities: The George Observatory in Fort Bend County which houses one of the largest telescopes in the country that is available for public viewing; and The Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land which has exhibits on dinosaurs, mineralogy, exotic live insects, and more.


·         Monday - Sunday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

·         Permanent Exhibits

o    Adult Ticket: $25 (ages 12 and up)

o    Child Ticket: $15 (ages 3-11)

o    Children ages 2 and under: FREE

o    College Students with ID: $15

o    Seniors (62+): $15

o    Military (with ID): $8

o    Groups (10+): $8

o    School Groups: $3.50

o    Members Pricing:

o    Member Adult: FREE

o    Member Child: FREE


Houston Zoo

 The Houston Zoo provides a fun, unique, and inspirational experience fostering appreciation, knowledge, and care for the natural world. Where else can you see African lions, Asian elephants, and California sea lions...all without leaving the city of Houston? Each year 2.3 million guests take part in the wonder and magnificence of creatures big and small from all over the globe and learn ways in which they can contribute to the protection of the animals they get to know and love.

Visit the Houston Zoo to discover playful bears and majestic giraffes, adventure through the African Forest and get eye-to-eye with curious chimpanzees. New in 2015, the Houston Zoo is home to seven western lowland gorillas. See them up-close and incredible. Find your new favorite animal among the more than 6,000 animals who call the Houston Zoo home. Make sure to stop by the "Plan Your Day" kiosk upon arrival for information on special animal activities that will take place during your time at the Zoo.


·         Daylight Savings Time, 9:00 am - 7:00 pm (last admission 6pm)
Central Standard Time, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm (last admission 5pm)
Closed on Christmas Day.

·         Adults 12-64 –$16 Children 2-11 – $12 Senior 65+ – $9.50 Children Under 2 – FREE Free Hours: ALWAYS FREE for members and children under 2 years The Houston Zoo offers free admission to guests on the first Tuesday of each month September through May from 12:00 pm until closing. June July and August do not have Free Afternoons.


Lawndale Art Center

 Lawndale Art Center is one of the only institutions in Houston that is dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art with an emphasis on work by regional artists. Located at the edge of Downtown in the Museum District, the organization utilizes its accessible location to present exhibitions, performances, lectures, film screenings, and events, and offers an annual residency program to further the creative exchange of ideas among Houston's diverse communities. In all programming and activities, Lawndale strives to extend the center's outreach.

Lawndale includes four museum-quality galleries, three artist studios, and an outdoor sculpture garden that facilitate its role as a vital cultural resource for Houston. A board Programming Committee made up of area artists and arts professionals meet twice per year to consider proposals and select artists and exhibitions for presentation.


·         Wednesday, Noon - 6:00 pm
Thursday, Noon - 8:00 pm
Friday, Noon - 6:00 pm
Saturday - Sunday, Noon - 5:00 pm
Closed Monday & Tuesday

Rice Gallery

The only university museum devoted to site-specific installation art Rice Gallery invites artists, architects and designers to create room-sized works of art that transform the gallery space. The gallery presents temporary large-scale environments that visitors can enter and explore. The gallery is open to both school groups and the general public.


·         Tuesday - Saturday, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday, Noon - 5:00 pm
Hours change based on exhibition.

·         Free Hours: Always free and open to the public. Closed Mondays, University Holidays, and during installation periods. Please check our website to confirm an exhibition is on view before planning your visit.


Rothko Chapel

 The mission of the Rothko Chapel is to inspire people to action through art and contemplation, to nurture reverence for the highest aspirations of humanity, and to provide a forum to explore matters of worldwide concern.

The Rothko Chapel, founded by Houston philanthropists John and Dominique de Menil, was dedicated in 1971 as an intimate sanctuary available to people of every belief. A tranquil meditative environment inspired by the mural canvases of American painter Mark Rothko, the Chapel welcomes over 60,000 visitors each year - people of every faith and from all parts of the world. On the plaza, Barnett Newman's majestic sculpture "Broken Obelisk" stands in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Rothko Chapel is an independent institution, a sacred place open to all people, every day. In 2001, the Chapel was listed in the National Register of Historic Places, an honor awarded before the institution was fifty years old. The Chapel has two vocations: contemplation and action. Action takes the form of supporting human rights, particularly in its 50 plus public programs per year and thus the Chapel has become a rallying place for all people concerned with peace, freedom, and social justice throughout the world.


·         Monday-Sunday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Open every day of the year from 10 am - 6 pm.

·         Free Hours: Always free


The Health Museum

The Health Museum is an interactive science center and a member-institution of the Texas Medical Center.

Take a larger-than-life walking tour of the Amazing Body Pavilion and get an up-close look at the human body and how it works. Ride a bicycle with a skeleton find out how hard your heart works to pump blood and sit on giant teeth!

Join fellow museum visitors in a learning environment that allows investigation into the who, what, when, where, and how of you at "You: The Exhibit." Using multi-media and special effects technology The Health Museum has created an experience that will take museum visitors on a journey to explore their physical mental and future selves. Identify your personality view your internal organs, see what you will look like in 30 years, and much more! Experience science in 4D at Houston's first 4D theater the McGovern 4D Theater and see our latest 3D film "Planet You." Journey into a world you've never seen least not quite like this! Take a 3D microscopic adventure into the alien landscape of your own skin and find out all about the creepy crawly things that live on us - dust mites lice and ticks!


·         Tuesday - Saturday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday, Noon - 5:00 pm
Mondays, June - August, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Special exhibits may require an additional fee

·         General Admission: $9 per adult; $7 per child (ages 3-12); $7 per senior (ages 65+); Free for members and children under 2 yrs. Free Hours: Free Thursdays 2 - 7 pm.


 The Jung Center

 The Jung Center offers more than 200 classes each year on topics ranging from relationships to ethics, religious studies to expressive arts, writing to meditation. Visit our bookstore to browse gifts, cards, books, and the most complete collection of books on depth psychology in the Southwest. And come to our gallery to experience rotating art exhibits from emerging and established local, regional, and national artists.


·         Monday - Thursday, 9:00 am - 7:30 pm
Friday, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

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