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Now That's Entertainment!
There’s always something for locals and visitors to do in the Houston area. In particular, the dynamic downtown area is rife with entertaining cultural and leisure opportunities in its clustered districts as well as its expansive park system. A world-class metropolitan environment, the Bayou City has high culture that equals any major U.S. city in its offerings, but if getting out of the urban environment is more your speed, take a short day trip to Galveston Island on the Gulf of Mexico just an hour’s drive from the heart of downtown. Here, the waterfront offers shops, restaurants and diverse attractions like the brand-new Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier.

Downtown district diversions

Although some may not know it at first glance, Houston is an eclectic metropolitan city that is filled with excellent entertainment opportunities of all kinds, including high culture, sporting events and lots of great ways to enjoy the outdoors. As a city with an incredibly well-planned downtown, Houston has various districts that focus on particular genres to make the diversions very accessible to citizens and visitors alike. Learn what Downtown Houston and its acclaimed museum district, theater district, sports districts and parks can offer you and your groups when Houston becomes your event destination.

— Houston Museum District
The Houston Museum District Association is a collaborative of 19 museums within a 1.5-mile radius of the Mecom Fountain at the corner of Hermann Park. The association promotes the Houston Museum District as a destination that maximizes the use of the artistic, scientific and educational resources of its member institutions. Here residents can find a variety of museums dedicated to art, culture and history, science and nature and child development through hands-on exploration.

Art Museums
Houston has a vibrant and prolific art community that celebrates both the past and present. Art lovers can enjoy extensive private collections, such as The Menil Collection with art from antiquity through the 20th century, and public institutions, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which has more than 63,000 works of art in 300,000 square feet in two major museums, two learning facilities, two historic houses, a sculpture garden and 18 acres of public gardens.

For those interested solely in contemporary art, Houston offers the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, which presents the best international, national and regional art from the last 40 years and documents its role in modern life. Plus, the Lawndale Art Center focuses on contemporary works done by local Houston-area artists. For a truly up-to-the-minute look at contemporary art, the Rice University Art Gallery is devoted to site-specific installation art where artists, architects and designers create temporary room-sized environments that visitors can explore.

Houston also has quite a few art museums that focus on specific forms of artistic expression. The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft educates people about the how and why process, product and history of crafts made from clay, fiber, glass, metal, wood or found/recycled materials. The Houston Center for Photography strives to increase society’s appreciation of photography in its many applications and its expanding role in the contemporary digital age.

Cultural and Historical Museums

As a multicultural city that embraces its diversity, Houston fittingly is home to several museums dedicated to various world cultures from continents from all over the globe. From the Asia Society Texas Center and Houston Museum of African American Culture to the Czech Center Museum Houston, which celebrates the cultures of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and Slovakia, Houston maintains and showcases its worldly perspective and appreciation for all its residents. On that note, the Rothko Chapel is a meditative sanctuary open to all cultures and faiths and is intended to inspire people to action through art and contemplation, nurture reverence for human aspiration and explore worldwide concerns.

Inextricably entwined with culture is history, and Houston has museums dedicated specifically to groups that have been involved in historically significant time periods and events. The Buffalo Soldier Museum preserves historical memorabilia about the brave African-American men and women who overcame prejudicial adversity to gallantly fight in American wars while the Holocaust Museum Houston teaches about the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy by remembering the millions of Jews and other innocent people from all nationalities who were victims of the horrific genocide and honoring the survivors’ legacy.

Science and Nature Museums
Houston offers several museums geared toward learning about the human race and the natural world around it. To venture within and take a look at both the physical body, right down to larger-than-life human organs, and the workings of the mind, check out the interactive Health Museum. Alternatively, for a journey into the inner workings of human psychology, philosophy and religion, visit The Jung Center of Houston.

Considered the No. 1 children’s museum in the United States, the Children’s Museum of Houston offers 90,000 square feet of interactive, hands-on exhibits for kids of all ages. It focuses its interactive exhibits on water, energy, inventions and technology, society and the cognitive, social-emotional and physical development of children.

For exploring the world around us, Houston offers the acclaimed Houston Museum of Natural Science, which examines all the areas of science from paleontology and anthropology to astronomy, chemistry and biology as well as maintains one of the largest public-viewing telescopes in the country. In addition, the Houston Zoo showcases many of the world’s ecosystems in one place with more than 4,500 animals and countless plant species from all over the planet. For something different, the John C. Freeman Weather Museum, the first and only of its kind in the country, educates people with hands-on exhibits about weather and safety to inspire the next generation of meteorologists and engineers.

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