The city's science and natural history museum has increased its remarkable popularity even more with the adjacent HEB Science ... More
The city's science and natural history museum has increased its remarkable popularity even more with the adjacent HEB Science Tree house: a collection of interactive exhibits and activities for visitors of all ages. Permanent exhibits include ones featuring Native American cave paintings, archaeological artifacts, an Egyptian mummy, native Texan mammals, reptiles and insects and much more. Past touring exhibits have included gowns and memorabilia from Fiesta's Order of the Alamo coronation pageants, Dinosaurs Alive! and Microbes.
I put the full amount on "value" because we went on a Tuesday afternoon. They are free every Tuesday from 3-8pm. The main museum isn't anything special and is pretty small though my son did enjoy the dinosaur and the wildlife sections. However the HEB Science Treehouse is awesome. We all loved it (1 1/2 year old, 6 year old, and 2 adults). There are a lot of hands on exhibits including weather, sound/music, air, etc. It's kind of like a mini version of the Franklin Institute in Philly... very mini but also a lot cheaper if you get in free so it worked for us. My son loved the motion mat thing (not sure what it was called) and was really upset when we left.
There is also a Dinosaur Exhibit going on until September that costs $3 per person. It was really neat and had animated lifesized dinosaurs, a couple skeletons and fossils, and a "dinosaur dig" for the kids. Both boys thoroughly enjoyed this as well.
The new fine arts exhibit is very nice looking, but was in stark contrast to the rest of the displays. The archaeology and natural history displays are in dire need of renovation and look old. Photo murals were severely faded. The carpeting in the biology exhibit was worn and unbelievably stained. The sound of the various video programs (which we mostly enjoyed) tended to compete against each other and created an irritating level of noise in the upper galleries. We finally gave up on trying to listen to the video program about the pictographs/petroglyphs, besides the noise it would have helped to have a bench to sit on. The Egyptian exhibit was disappointing and imparted very little information, not sure why it was even there. I didn't like the "what do you think happened" educational questions that were posed, I'm there to learn something. What is the point of reconstructing the Egyptian mural and then having it knocked down by a floor board?
I love the witte, its a friendly atmosphere, with a lot of information. The staff is nice, and it's truly wild fun!! The dinosaur display was awesome, it's fun look at all the bees in that they have. Plus all the bugs, and it's very hands on. Kids would thoroughly enjoy it as well as Adults.
I thought that was planty of fun things to do and it's a great place to learn about the city. I love the section on local ecosystems. The Science Tree House is great also.
Just make sure your dinosaur craze preschoolers understand that the number of dinosaur bones are limited. We came from LA and our 3 yr old was dissapointed that there are only one room of dinosaurs. May be the upcoming special exhibit on dinosaurs would be a little more satisfying.
I would definitely recommend the place. It's right next to the Brakenbridge Park with the river and wild water fowls. The playground is not too far away too. The train is also cool, but you have to buy tickets by the zoo in order to get on at the Witte.
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