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House of Travel
Houston, we have a problem.
These were the famous words uttered by Jack Swigert, one of the astronauts onboard the Apollo 13 spacecraft whose oxygen tank exploded some 320,000 kilometres from Earth.
If you're travelling to Houston, the only problem you're likely to face is deciding what to do. The biggest city in Texas - which is in turn the largest state in contiguous United States - is a thriving metropolis of contrasts, where cowboy boots and ten-gallon hats brush up against world-class museums and superb dining options. Classic southern hospitality is evident everywhere you go, and the locals are always prepared to go the extra mile to make you feel at home.
There's a staggering number of attractions vying for your attention, but no visit to Houston is complete without taking a closer look at some of the many family-friendly museums dotted around the region. Far from being stuffy yawn-inducing collections of art, these museums are guaranteed to amaze and inspire young minds.
Space Center Houston
Nothing on Earth is quite as mesmerising as the mysteries of space, and there are few places in the world that can provide you with as deep an insight into the cosmos as Space Center Houston. Since opening in 1992, the centre has ushered more than 17 million visitors through its doors. Spread across 17,000 metres, there's more than enough here to keep you occupied for days on end.
The facility nicely strikes the balance between entertainment and education, making it perfect for adults and children alike. By demonstrating how science has helped astronauts explore space, the centre aims to ignite a passion for engineering, technology and mathematics.
Countless interactive exhibits await star-gazers of all ages. Some of our favourite experiences are getting a close-up look at real space suits, seeing the 36-stories tall Saturn V rocket and feeling what launching into space is like in the Blast-off theatre.
Children's Museum of Houston
As you might have guessed from its name, this museum is designed to be fun for kids - and who knows, they might even learn a thing or two along the way! Bright, engaging and fantastically laid out, this is the perfect place to introduce kids to new ideas and get them excited about science. You'll spend the better part of a day here exploring the many permanent and travelling exhibits that are on offer.
Involvement is the name of the game here, and all the exhibits will have the kids interacting with tools, games, each other and the world them. At EcoStation, children have the chance to study the environment and get a better understanding of the role flora plays in our lives, while over at the Invention Convention, imaginations are in overdrive as kids put their creativity to use and construct all manner of weird and wonderful gizmos.
For the young - and young at heart - a visit to the Children's Museum of Houston is an unforgettable experience. No matter where your children's interests lie, they're sure to find something that captivates their attention.
With Air NZ announcing Houston as its fifth North American gateway, the thriving city has never been closer. Flights are commencing in December, 2015 - pop into your nearest House of Travel agent and find out how we can make your Texas dream holiday a reality!
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