Get a taste of Tony-award-winning theater in the heart of Houston at the Alley Theatre. Visiting artists from around the globe make every production special. During the holidays, you'll see family favorites like "Peter Pan" and "A Christmas Carol" in full-scale Broadway production mode.
The Tony-award winning Alley Theatre in Downtown Houston is the crown jewel in H-Town's thriving stage arts scene. The talented cast, crew and producers never fail to challenge themselves with a wide variety of plays each season.
The Alley Theatre company was founded in 1947 and has thrived by staging new plays, classics, unearthed pieces that have regained new life, and modern musical theater pieces.
The professional theater company uses a 75,000-square-foot facility to build sets and rehearse. The Alley Theatre Center for Theatre Production is the largest facility of its kind.
The result is season after season of highly regarded productions that rival the original Broadway and off-Broadway runs.
As one of the most prestigious resident theaters in the U.S, the Alley Theatre typically stages 11 productions each season. The theater seats 824 for the main stage and 310 for the more intimate Neuhaus stage.
Plays previously performed include: "The Mousetrap," "St. Nicholas," "A Behanding in Spokane," "A Christmas Carol," "Peter Pan," "Amadeus" and "Pygmalion."
The Alley continues its educational and outreach efforts each year, encouraging young playwrights, performers and future patrons to participate and explore. Programs include From Stage to Page, HYPE (Houston Young Playwrights Exchange) and the Young Performers Studio.
Let your kids go on a discovery tour of a museum built just for them. At the Children's Museum of Houston, all of the exhibits and attractions are meant to be touched. Tons of interactive fun including the EcoStation, FlowWorks, Invention Convention and more.
The Children's Museum of Houston sets the standard for today's hands-on, interactive museums of learning and discovery, built especially for younger patrons.
The 90,000-square-foot museum has a 5-star rating on social network sites, was voted "Ultimate Kid-Friendly Attraction" in a Houston Chronicle readers' poll, and tied for the No. 1 spot as the nation's best children's museum in Child magazine.
The exhibits are bilingual and the museum serves children ages birth to 12 years.
Permanent exhibits include:
Immerse yourself in today's cutting-edge arts scene at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. The non-collecting institution hosts a stellar rotation of attractions and exhibits in print, photography, graphic arts and other mediums.
The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston is a museum of passion and honesty, committed to providing the best in contemporary new art and exploring the advent of modern art through the years.
Founded in 1948, the museum features international, national and regional art in rotating exhibits. New artwork is presented along with educational materials and scholarly publications, all meant to enrich the visitor's overall experience, appreciation and understanding.
The institution is located downtown in the heart of the Houston Museum District. Its building is a widely recognized stainless steel structure created by award-winning architect Gunnar Birkerts. The new location opened in 1972.
Ongoing exhibits have included "Perspectives," a series of works by emerging and well-known artists that have not yet shown in Houston.
Thematic presentations recently have included Finders/Keepers, where the museum has asked patrons to lend back pieces of art that were originally shown years ago at the museum; Elvis + Marilyn: Two Times Immortal; Abstract Painting Once Removed; and Other Narratives.
Join the good times at the area's largest indoor fun attraction, the Fun Plex. There's something for everyone here, including video games, a bowling alley, movie theaters, carnival rides, go karts and more.
Every day is like an indoor carnival at the Fun Plex! The towering facility manages to put it all under one roof, literally. The activities here will satisfy kids of all ages.
Located in downtown Houston, the Fun Plex is a playtime oasis that includes carnival rides, movie theaters, a miniature golf course, a bowling alley, roller skating rink and modern arcade games.
Concession stands with food and drink provide plenty of fuel to go all day. After all, there's tons to explore.
Just a few of the rides, games and entertainment at the Fun Plex include:
Journey to a place and time where cattle and cotton are king and Texas is a country all on its own. Visit the George Ranch Historical Park and discover a treasury of Texas traditions. The George Ranch Historical Park is a living history museum that tracks four generations of one family over one hundred years of Texas history. Visit the 1830's Jones Stock Farm, the 1860's Ryon Prairie Home, the 1890's Davis Mansion, and the 1930's George Ranch Complex. Enjoy historic home tours, cattle-working demonstrations, a working blacksmith shop and more.
Gain a deeper understanding of how genocide can grow into the near decimation of an entire culture at the Holocaust Museum Houston. The museum presents unedited memories of the Holocaust, and visitors say they leave with a sense of hope for future generations.
The Houston Holocaust Museum was spurred by one man's epiphany: Survivors who lived in the Houston area were getting older, and their stories of the Holocaust would fade - along with the lesson of unchecked prejudice and the power of peace.
For more than 10 years Siegi Izakson focused on his mission to create a suitable memorial and educational center. Then, in 1990, a well-known Jewish community leader embraced his idea. She used her influence to begin a successful capital campaign for a Holocaust museum in Houston.
The Houston Holocaust Museum is located in the Houston Museum district and opened in 1996, to which Izakson proclaimed, "This means the Holocaust story will not go away."
The museum is an ever-evolving, living museum. It includes a permanent exhibit and temporary exhibits on loan from other Holocaust Museums around the country.
Many who have visited here - survivors, adults, schoolchildren - have left notes, poems, artwork and gifts to express their feelings upon seeing the exhibits.
The Permanent Exhibition at the Museum is called "Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers." The tour begins with a look at life before the Holocaust and the beginning of Nazism. The exhibit then shows its insidious progression, from segregation, to imprisonment, to extermination.
Artifacts, film reels, photographs, and text panels tell the story and set the backdrop for personal accounts from local survivors in the short films "Voices" and "Voices II."
The many items on display include:
Two areas of the museum encourage reflection and meditation. They are the Lack Family Memorial Room, which contains the Wall of Remembrance, the Wall of Tears and the Wall of Hope. The Memorial Wall is a place where local Holocaust survivors can commemorate their lost loved ones.
The other area for quiet reflection is called the Eric Alexander Garden of Hope, a garden dedicated to the memory of the 1.5 million children who died in the Holocaust.
Be a part of a love affair between the Bayou City and its beloved Major League Baseball team, the Houston Astros. Rendezvous at the old-style Minute Maid Park, where going to a baseball game feels nostalgic, but with all the modern-day perks and attractions included.
The Houston Astros are hometown heroes in the city of Houston, where residents take their sports teams very seriously.
Since 2000, the team has played at their newest home venue, Minute Maid stadium, which fans call "The Juice Box." Before then, they played at the Astrodome, a first-of-its-kind stadium with a domed roof, that also saw the advent of 'Astroturf' as a playing surface.
Minute Maid stadium and its grass field is an old-school style baseball park, and fans like to claim that there are no bad seats in the stadium. The stadium's domed roof is retractable, allowing fans and players to enjoy cooler weather in the fall, and to escape Houston's notorious humidity during the dog days of summer.
The beloved team is actually the oldest franchise from a single city to have never won the World Series. They've come heart-breakingly close, making the playoffs in 1980, 1981, 1986 and multiple times again through the early 2000's. Finally, in 2005, the Astros made their World Series debut against the Chicago White Sox, who won the series.
Catch a family-friendly production at the Houston Family Arts Center. Mainstage productions include plays like "The Money in Uncle George's Suitcase," "Willie Wonka," and "All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten."
Explore the origins of earth and man at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Awesome displays of dinosaur skeletons, natural gems and other attractions will keep you occupied for hours.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is located in the city's museum district and is one of the most heavily attended museums in the U.S., on par with heavyweight institutions like the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History, both in New York City.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1909 and today welcomes more than 2 million visitors a year, 600,000 of them schoolchildren. More than 1 million pieces of objects and specimens are housed in the museum's vast, four-story complex.
Special sections of the museum include the Wortham IMAX Theatre, Cockrell Butterfly Center, Burke Baker Planetarium and the George Observatory.
More than a dozen permanent exhibits explore the worlds of astronomy and space science, Native Americans, chemistry, energy, paleontology and Texas wildlife.
Explore the attractions at the Houston Zoo and comeface-to-face with thousands of animals representing hundreds of species. Download the iPhone app for a totally cool educational experience, and catch a "meet the keeper talk" to see zoo animals in action with their keepers.
The Houston Zoo is home to more than 4,500 animals in a 55-acre park within downtown Houston. More than 900 species are represented, and the zoo is the seventh most-visited zoo in the nation.
In the early 1900s, the city zoo was located in Sam Houston Park and boasted an assortment of monkeys, prairie dogs and an alligator pond.
The growing collection through the years spurred the city to improve and expand the Houston Zoo.
Featured areas now include the Kipp Aquarium, The Fischer Bird Gardens, Tropical Bird House, a Children's Zoo with a petting zoo and water playground, the World of Primates, Wildlife Carousel, the McNair Asian Elephant Habitat and the Reptile & Amphibian Building.
The latest addition to the zoo is the African Forest, a $100 million project that will transform 6.5 acres into a wilderness habitat featuring chimpanzees, rhinos, and giraffes in a forest environment typically seen in western Africa.
The fun never stops at Kemah Boardwalk, a mini-city on the water that has everything you need for all-day entertainment. Attractions, street performers, more than 8 restaurants and bars, and fun festivals and activities will keep you coming back for more.
Explore a world of science and adventure at Moody Gardens, where there's always something new and exciting to discover. The tourist attraction features three main pyramids with an aquarium, rainforest and discovery center. There's also an IMAX Theater, a paddle-wheel cruise boat, a hotel and a convention center.
Experience the world through the collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The institution displays art attractions from around the globe, including pieces from China, Europe, Ancient Nigeria and Latin America. Many of the well-known masters are represented, but there are plenty of surprises to be found as well.
The Museum of Fine Arts Houston is a masterpiece of historic proportions, with a collection of more than 57,000 works of art and more than 300,000 square feet of exhibit space. It is one of the largest museums in the U.S.
The collection dates from antiquity to modern-day. Works include Italian Renaissance paintings, French Impressionist works, photographs, American and European decorative arts, African and Pre-Columbian gold, American art, and European and American paintings and sculpture.
The complex is home to two museum buildings: the Caroline Wiess Law Building and the Audrey Jones Beck Building. To nurture and facilitate the work of studying artists, the museum also runs a studio school for adults and a junior school for young artists. The definition of art is expanded and enriched with 18 acres of public gardens and the Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden.
More than 2.5 million people visit the MFAH each year.
Walk through a giant replica of the human body, watch real organ dissections and more at the Museum of Health and Medical Science. Budding health workers will enjoy the hands-on exhibits and attractions, and the 3-D "Planet You" that tells the story of the microscopic creatures that live on our skin and inside of our bodies.
The Health Museum in Houston is located in the Texas Medical Center, the largest center of its kind in the U.S. The museum educates visitors on health and the human body, while also encouraging healthier lifestyles and physical fitness, as well as positive mental and spiritual well-being.
The museum opened in 1996 with an emphasis on interactive, educational experiences to keep visitors engaged, enlightened and entertained during their visits. The primary goal of the museum is to promote a healthier lifestyle. Ultimately, visitors will leave with the tools to enjoy a better quality-of-life while lowering health-care costs associated with an unhealthy lifestyle.
Museum exhibits include:
In addition to permanent exhibits, other attractions include the McGovern 4D Theater, the Sue Trammell Whitfield Gallery, seasonal exhibits, and learning centers.
Have a blast at the Space Center Houston, where future astronauts and rocket scientists can explore and learn about the US Space Program. Attractions include a tour through NASA's Johnson Space Center, a film about how future astronauts are accepted into the space program, and more.
The Space Center Houston is where imaginations soar and dreams become possible. As the official visitors center of NASA's Johnson Space Center, the Space Center Houston teaches visitors all about human adventures into space - from when it all began to the future of space exploration in the 21st century.
Throughout the Space Center, you'll find exhibits, attractions, special presentations and hands-on activities to learn about NASA's manned space flight program.
Here you can watch astronauts train for missions, touch a real moon rock and take a behind-the-scenes tour of NASA.
Future spacecraft engineers, designers and budding astronauts learn how science and math are essential in the field of space exploration.
The quaint and nostalgic side of Houston is well-preserved by The Heritage Society At Sam Houston Park and its enclave of historic buildings. The structures include turn-of-the-century buildings that served as hospitals, private homes and a school house.
The Heritage Society is located in Sam Houston Park, where it maintains an enclave of historic homes and a museum open to the public.
Historic structures that have been preserved are from the early 1800s and the turn-of-the century.
The buildings include:
Visitors will want to check out the Heritage Society Museum at Sam Houston Park, which gives more detailed information about each structure. It's also a great place to begin your walking tour.
A surprise tucked into the museum is the Duncan store, a general store built in 1878 in Egypt, Houston. It sold everything from food, to meat, to lumber to coffins.
Enjoy lunch in the Tea Room and take home a souvenir of Houston history from the gift shop.
View one of the most important private collections at The Menil Collection, an art museum that began with the more than 19,000 pieces collected by a Houston couple beginning in the early 1940s. The collection is significant in its European art, including paintings by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.
The Menil Collection is an art museum founded by its namesake couple, John and Dominique Menil, who relocated from France to Houston and became pivotal figures in the growth of Houston's burgeoning cultural life.
The couple cherished art and architecture and eventually built the museum that bears the family name. They began collecting art in the 1940s and promoted modern art through several area organizations at the time.
Even after the founders' deaths, the museum continues to collect pieces in the true spirit of the couple, who believe that art revealed and explored what it means to be human. The couple strategically included in their collection pieces from different cultures and eras to reflect the full arc of human existence.
Beat the heat at Wet'n'Wild Splashtown, one of the largest waterparks in the U.S. Torpedo down one of the dozens of slides, ride the whitewater rapids raft rides or just relax in a wave pool. There's plenty of attractions for the entire family.
If you've been searching for a 40-acre water park with more than 2 million gallons of excitement, look no further than SplashTown in Houston.
One of the most popular attractions at the park is the Tornado, which shoots riders down a 132-foot-long tunnel and blasts them into a giant funnel. If you've ever wondered what it feels like to be in the middle of a tornado, here's your chance.
Other rides include:
Other activities and rides include: The Texas Freefall, Big Spin, Zoom Flumes, Wild Wave Pool, Shotgun Falls, Space Rapids and Treehouse Island.
Round up the gang for fun and games at Zuma Fun Center in South Houston. Attractions like kiddie rides, miniature golf, go-karts, bumper boats, a huge arcade and batting cages mean plenty of options for the whole family.