David Abolafia

Houston: A City of Possibilities

David Abolafia

Houston skyline, freeway, and river

No matter what you call it – be it “Space City,” “H-Town” or “Capital of the Sunbelt” – Houston is an exceptional destination. You can be a connoisseur of culture, a sports fan, a nature lover or an astronautic enthusiast, and you’ll find plenty to see and enjoy in “Clutch City.”

Museums abound in Houston, with an entire district devoted to these permanent exhibition spaces – a district full of great architecture and lovely green spaces, that you can enjoy even if you don’t go in to see any of the displays. But that would mean missing out on what these incredible institutions have to offer:

  1. The Houston Museum of Natural Science offers a multimedia mix of exhibits, including more than a dozen permanent exhibits, special exhibitions, a planetarium, a butterfly center and a 394-seat giant screen theater featuring 4K digital with advanced 3D technology.
  2. Children’s Museum of Houston – Rated America’s No. 1 children’s museum by Parents magazine, Children’s Museum of Houston sparks a passion for lifelong learning. Housed in a whimsical building designed by internationally acclaimed architect Robert Venturi, it offers a multitude of exhibits bursting with action-packed fun that engages kids in the ultimate learning experience.
  3. Holocaust Museum Houston – A center charged with educating students and the public about the dangers of prejudice and hatred in society. Impassioned notes, poems, artwork and other gifts, from school children and adults alike, attest to the life-changing thoughts generated by just one visit to this unique facility. The permanent exhibition is “Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers,” and focuses on the stories of Holocaust survivors living in the Houston metropolitan area.
  4. National Museum of Funeral History – Home to the country’s largest collection of funeral service artifacts and features renowned exhibits on one of man’s oldest cultural customs. Come discover the mourning rituals of ancient civilizations, see up-close the authentic items used in the funerals of U.S. presidents and popes, and explore the rich heritage of the industry which cares for the dead.

For the sports fan, Minute Maid Park – home to Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros – offers daily tours, game-day experiences, birthday parties and a unique educational program – with lesson plans that include virtual classroom presentations with representatives from the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The Toyota Center – where the NBA’s Houston Rockets play home games – has the largest lower level of any arena in the nation, and is the first professional sports facility in Texas to earn the Silver Certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The Houston Texans’ home field, NRG Stadium, is the only rodeo and NFL indoor/outdoor retractable roof, natural grass stadium. And for sheer historic value, no sports fan should skip the Astrodome – the world’s first domed stadium when it opened in 1965. The iconic structure served as an important sports and performance facility for nearly 40 years, was billed as “The Eighth Wonder of the World” and was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.

If you prefer to listen to the call of the wild, rather than a call from the broadcast booth, Houston is an extraordinary place to commune with Mother Nature. The Cockrell Butterfly Center and Brown Hall of Entomology provide entertainment and education for the whole family. Walk through a living butterfly habitat and marvel at living examples of some of the world’s largest and weirdest arthropods. Discover spectacular preserved specimens and enjoy interactive games and quizzes. The Houston Zoo provides a fun, unique and inspirational experience fostering appreciation, knowledge, and care for the natural world. The zoo has over 6,000 permanent “residents,” and receives 2 million guests each year, who come to experience the incredible variety of animals and ecosystems. Other outdoor experiences to enjoy include:

  • Buffalo Bayou Park – This lush retreat offers 124 acres of beautiful scenery and skyline views, as well as one of the city’s iconic fountains, one of the best skate parks in the nation and – an extreme rarity for Houston – sloping terrain with a biking and jogging trail.
  • Glenwood Cemetery – Designed in the tradition of other romantic rural cemetery parks of the 19th century, Glenwood’s beautiful landscape and towering trees provide the visitor a place of quiet respite just one mile west of downtown Houston. Its collection of statuary and monuments are reminders of Houston’s rich history and the men and women who shaped it.
  • Discovery Green – A beautiful, vibrant 12-acre park in the heart of downtown Houston. The park includes a lake, bandstands and venues for public performances, two dog runs, a children’s area and multiple recreational areas.

From outdoors to outer space, Houston takes you to the stars. Space Center Houston is the Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center and the only Smithsonian Affiliate in the greater Houston area. The center features more than 400 space artifacts, permanent and traveling exhibits, attractions and theaters related to the exciting future and remarkable past of America’s human space-flight program. Known around the world as the home of NASA Mission Control, International Space Station Mission Control and astronaut training, Space Center Houston has the world’s largest collection of moon rocks and lunar samples for public view. In addition, guests are taken behind the scenes to see NASA Johnson Space Center.

So from the blastoff to simply having a blast, Houston is a one-of-a-kind place to visit for the whole family. To book your vacation to “The Big Heart,” or any of our other terrific destinations, give us a call at (888) 269-0182.

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