Tired of dreary, cold, wet days? A quick trip north on I-45 takes you to the city of Huntsville, which is an unique blend of a college town, prison system, and historic city. There are many things to see and do in Huntsville, but today we are focusing on family-friendly indoor activities where you can stay as dry and warm as possible. Find out all the reasons why you should visit the Huntsville museums: Sam Houston Memorial Museum, Texas Prison Museum, and H.E.A.R.T.S. Veteran Museum.
Sam Houston Memorial Museum
One of the most popular of the Huntsville museums is the Sam Houston Memorial Museum. 15 acres of land in Huntsville encompasses part of the actual Sam Houston family land, including their homestead and such. Sam Houston played a huge role in the birth and life of Texas. Therefore, Texas history and family memories fill the museum. There are many buildings to explore and exhibits to see. Make sure to check out the Rotunda, which has artifacts from the Republic of Texas through its annexation to the United States of America and beyond. There is also a gift shop for souvenirs in the Wigwam Neosho.
Admission for adults is $5. Children older than 6 enter for $3 and younger children are free. They do offer discounts for seniors and students. However, they are closed on Monday. Tuesday through Saturday the doors are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Because of Covid, face masks are required. If you forget, they will give you a complimentary mask. For more information, check out their website.
Texas Prison Museum
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea; however, over 34,000 people visit the Texas Prison Museum each year. This museum explores what life is like for imprisoned citizens behind the high fence and razor wire. Prisons play an integral part to keep our society safe and this museum enables you to learn the history of the prison system in Texas. A popular exhibit is “Old Sparky,” which was an electric chair used in executions. Also see exhibits about the Texas Prison Rodeo and a connection to the infamous couple, Bonnie and Clyde.
Admission is $7 for adults. Children get in for $4 while those under 6 are free. They offer discounts for military, first responders, students, and seniors. As the situation in the pandemic changes day to day, check out their website to ensure they will be operating when you want to visit.
H.E.A.R.T.S. Veteran Museum
According to their website, “We are not a typical military museum, in fact, we don’t consider ourselves a military museum at all. We are a museum about people. Particularly the veterans who have served to protect our nation, preserve our freedom, and to secure the freedom of people around the world.” This unique museum has tanks, planes, and helicopters on display, but the heart of the museum is highlighting the people who have served our nation. Unfortunately because of Covid, all exhibits are hands-free; therefore, they are not as interactive as they have been in the past. However, there is much to see and learn about our veterans.
Every first Saturday of the month, they offer a free breakfast to any veteran. If this applies to you, then you might want to schedule your visit to coincide with a free meal. Otherwise their hours of operation are 10 a.m.to 5 p.m. on Monday through Saturday. Admission for adults is $8. Discounts are available for veterans, seniors, and students.
Huntsville museums offer fun, family-friendly, educational activities that are also indoor. Staying dry and warm during our winter months is a great advantage to this easy day trip from the Lake Conroe area. Regardless if you visit all three or just one museum, either pack a lunch and eat in a public park or travel to the downtown area and choose one of many cute restaurants. Two that come to mind are Farmhouse Cafe and City Hall Cafe, but in a bustling college town like Huntsville there are many great dining options. Huntsville is a great day trip.