One of my favorite things on the weekend is exploring new places, such as museums, farmer’s markets, and art exhibits. Being a lover of fine art, it got me wondering, are there any places in Houston with great exhibits to experience that I haven’t already checked out?
So before I put together this guide, I visited some new exhibits and some of my old favorites so that I could give you all the information you need to discover the finest works of art in Houston.
Best Houston Art Exhibits And What They Have to Offer
So, what was I looking for while visiting exhibits across Houston? Firstly, I was looking at what works of art they have on display which is a must-see.
Aside from that, I have also been looking at what else the places offer. Such as whether they have anywhere to enjoy their lunch or things to do with the kids.
Lastly, I took the time to find out what times the exhibits are open and whether or not they have any admission fees.
So, on that note, and in no particular order, let’s see what I found out while exploring the best houston art exhibits.
1. Blaffer Art Museum
|Location||120 Fine Arts Building, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204|
|Opening Times||Tuesday - Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Saturday - Sunday: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm, Monday: Closed|
Blaffer Art Museum is situated at Houston University. It was founded in 1973 and provided education about contemporary art through its notable exhibitions and public classes.
All the programs and exhibitions here are free, making them accessible to everyone and perfect for a budget-friendly day out with the family.
They have many events that take place here, and the exhibitions they put on are exquisite.
The staff here are super friendly and accommodating. As soon as you enter the museum, someone is there to assist you and give you any information you need before exploring.
Parking is extremely convenient, and plenty of spaces are available right outside the museum.
Regarding the variety of the exhibits, there is everything from photography to performance arts. There is something for everyone’s tastes.
They have a quiet space here too, where you can experience interactive activities, read books on artists, and even buy a few selected items.
This museum is constantly updating and changing its activities and exhibits, meaning it’s a great spot to revisit time and time again.
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2. Museum of Fine Arts
|Location||1001 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005|
|Opening Times||Monday - Tuesday: Closed, Wednesday: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm, Thursday: 11:00 am - 9:00 pm, Friday - Saturday: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm, Sunday: 12:30 pm - 6:00 pm|
|Admission Fee||Adults: $19.00, Seniors: $16.00, Age 13 - 18: $12.00, Children under 12: Free, Military: Free|
The Museum of Fine Arts invites its guests to explore some of Houston’s most exceptional exhibitions and virtual programming.
On display here, you can expect to see exhibitions such as The Sugar Shack, a 1976 painting by Ernie Barns. This beautiful painting takes pride in place in the museum’s permanent collection. Other works of art include the Eye on Houston exhibition, Looking South: Collecting the Arts of Mexico.
This museum is the most important cultural institution in the US Southwest. It consists of around 70,000 artifacts from all over the world.
It took me around 4 or 5 hours to visit every part of the museum, but I was taking my time as the museum geek. I would say it would be possible to get the entire thing done in around 3 hours if you wanted.
One of the things that I loved the most about this place was that to get to each part of the museum, you have to do so by going through tunnels, which are awesome to look at on their own.
If you want to save money, you should visit on a Thursday because admission is free, but it can be a little busier on Thursdays.
There is ample parking as well, which is handy.
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3. Houston Museum of Natural Science
|Location||5555 Herman Park Dr. Houston, TX 77030|
|Opening Times||Monday - Sunday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm|
|Admission Fee||Adult: $25.00, Children age 3-11 and students: $16.00, Under 3: Free, Seniors: $16.00, Military: $10.00, Members: Free|
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is built on the ground that science can be a part of everyone’s lives. It was founded in 1909 and is the most visited museum in America.
The museum is spread over five floors, so I recommend giving yourself plenty of time to look around here, as there is so much to see.
There are things such as Native American culture, energy, space science, and astronomy among their permanent exhibits.
I have a few personal favorites regarding the exhibitions here, one of which is the Morian Hall of Paleontology. It is full of prehistoric beasts of all kinds. Instead of being the standard stationary artifacts, they come to life, chasing, hunting, and eating. It’s an outstanding experience.
The African Wildlife exhibition is also brilliant. Overall they have around 120 specimens on display. This is also part of their permanent collection, including watching bird migrations and learning about various species and habitats.
I could sit here all day and tell you about even more of the mind-blowing displays they have to see, but I must leave some of it for you to discover yourself.
So, let’s get to some of the practicalities of the museum. Overall, the experience was brilliant from start to finish. The staff went above and beyond and are all extremely knowledgeable.
There is on-site dining available, but it is restricted and mainly fast food. However, there are plenty of other cafes and restaurants right nearby.
This is somewhere you can return to and be guaranteed to witness something new every time. It’s completely worth the admission fee, but if you want to bypass that, they are open for a few hours on a Thursday afternoon when the museum and specific exhibits are free.
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4. The Health Museum
|Location||1515 Hermann Dr, Houston, TX 77004-7126|
|Opening Times||Tuesday - Wednesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Thursday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm, Friday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Sunday: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm, Monday: Closed|
|Admission Fee||Adults: $10.00, Seniors: $8.00, Children age 3-12: $8.00, Children under 3: Free|
I have visited the Health Museum many times in the past, but while researching for this guide, I noticed they had put on a new exhibition relating to the recent COVID-19 pandemic. This piqued my interest, and I decided to go and check it out, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Throughout the exhibit, you have the opportunity to learn about how people worldwide fight epidemics and explore how the human, environment, and animal worlds are all connected.
You also get the chance to delve into personal experiences and studies from those who fought through epidemics worldwide and how critical outbreaks affected the people of Houston.
There are some interactive games where you’re challenged to mimic identifying and containing outbreaks. These were great fun and something most kids would love to get involved with.
Overall, the museum is tiny compared to some of the other immense sites in this guide. However, it’s still a great experience, and there is plenty to see. So if you’re looking for somewhere to go for a quick visit, this is an excellent choice as you can do it in less than one hour.
I also recommend popping in between 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm on Thursdays if you want to avoid the admission fees.
5. Contemporary Arts Museum
|Location||5216 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006|
|Opening Times||Wednesday - Sunday: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm|
This modern and contemporary art museum in Houston hosts some spectacular art exhibitions.
Most recently, I was interested in checking out the Troy Montes Michie exhibition called the Rock of Eye, looking at the artist’s previous colleges and some newer sculptures related to the history of zoot suits.
The collection was insightful and included a 40-foot piece that included elements such as garments, hangers, and catalog pages which have been sewn together along with images of women wearing zoot suits.
The museum is free to visit, which makes it a must-visit, and it’s also located very close to the Museum of Fine Arts, so it would be possible to do both during the same trip should you wish to.
To look at the museum, doesn’t it look like the most appealing of places, it’s pretty unattractive from the outside, and it also doesn’t have any designated parking, meaning you have to use the spots available at the MFAH. However, despite these minor downsides, this museum is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.
I loved the little gift shop here, which was packed with goodies. Although not massively related to the museum, it’s still a great little spot to pick up some souvenirs.
Overall this is a great little spot for anyone interested in arts and culture.
6. National Museum of Funeral History
|Location||415 Barren Springs Drive, Houston, TX 77090 - 5918|
|Opening Times||Monday - Friday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Sunday: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm|
|Admission Fee||Adults: $10.00, Seniors/Veterans: $9.00, Children age 6-11: $7.00, Children 5 and under: Free.|
This museum might not be up everyone’s street, and some may think it sounds like a bit of a morbid trip out; however, for me personally, this is my idea of fascination.
The National Museum of Funeral History holds the largest display of funeral artifacts in the United States and falls over 30,500 square feet.
The museum focuses primarily on the history of funerals, including subjects like famous Presidential funerals, historic hearses, and memorabilia from some of the most famous funerals from the past.
I have visited this museum many times, and it never fails to captivate me. On this occasion, though, I was here for one exhibition, particularly the annual haunted house experience that takes place every year throughout October.
This family-friendly experience is suitable for kids aged seven and up. If you want something creepy to do for the spooky season, then what better place to walk around than a haunted house inside an actual funeral museum? It’s perfect.
The exhibit is excellent, and there is a sinister surprise around every corner, and as you move around the eerily green-lit space, you will hear souls groaning and other sounds that send shivers down your spine. It’s just great, and I loved it. I was ready to go around again as soon as it was over.
Aside from the creepy Halloween exhibition, there are also plenty of permanent exhibits on display, such as the George Bush memorial, lives and deaths of popes, and a brilliant day of the dead exhibition, which is another of my personal favorites.
The gift shop here is really quirky, too. I end up buying something new every time I go. I just can’t help it.
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7. Station Museum of Contemporary Art
|Location||1502 Alabama St, Houston, TX 77004|
|Opening Times||Wednesday - Sunday 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm|
Street art and murals haven’t always been something that I have been interested in. However, when I was looking for some must-see exhibitions in Houston, someone recommended that I head over to the Station Museum of Contemporary Art and check out their display of mural art by Jonah Elijah.
I didn’t go here with the highest expectations because, as I say, it’s not something that’s ever been at the forefront of my interests. However, I was pleasantly surprised and moved by the fine art displayed in this exhibit.
The exhibit is based on the erasure of black people throughout American history. It is influenced heavily by the artist’s perception of life as an African-American in the modern world.
Aside from this exhibition, I took time to explore the rest of this museum, as it was one I hadn’t visited before. There were plenty of other exhibits, such as the virtual tour of 50 years of Earth Day and No Man’s Island, artwork done by artists from four continents. Their pieces represent colonialism and intervention’s legacy and relate to diaspora and migration.
This museum has a very solemn vibe, and it’s not full of interactive games and exciting exhibitions aimed at science and technology. So, it’s perhaps not the place you want to take the kids unless they have a serious interest in intellectual subjects.
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So, there we have it; those were my top picks for some of the must-see houston art exhibits. Some aimed at the whole family for a great day out, and others for a more solemn, educational experience.
I hope you’ve found this article helpful in deciding your next visit to an art exhibition, and if you have, you should also check out these guides to the Most Popular Hindu Temples of Houston and the Best Live Music Restaurants And Bars in Houston.