8 Museums Worth the Travel Time for DFW Kids


Facade of Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum in Atchison, Kansas.

Museums offer both children and adults the chance to explore and learn together in a fun and interactive environment. In the Dallas area, there are buckets of museums that cater to families. And just a short trip down the road — eight hours or less — there are even more educational and entertaining sites to behold.

Read ahead as we highlight these eight family-friendly museums near and far, their unique features, and why they are worth a visit.

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1. Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum

Everyone in the family will be entertained at the hands-on Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum in Earhart’s hometown of Atchison, Kansas. It hooked us with its interactive displays and AI technology. The story of her life is beautifully displayed, leaving room to let you ponder the assumptions concerning her death. I love how the creators encourage her pioneering spirit to all who attend. Pro tip :: Pay the extra $5 plus tax for the virtual reality flight. You won’t regret it.

2. Buffalo Soldiers National Museum 

Visit the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum in Houston. If you aren’t familiar with the Buffalo Soldiers, they were Black soldiers who fought during the Indian Wars and earned their name from the Native Americans because of their bravery. Since that time, buffalo soldiers have played a major role in almost every American war. The museum strives to raise knowledge regarding these significant soldiers, as well as showcasing wars all the way back to the Revolution. Pro tip :: Plan your trip on a Thursday from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. when everyone gets in free!

Facade of Buffalo Soldiers National Museum in Houston

3. Dr. Pepper Museum

Not only do you get to learn about good ol’ D.P., but you can see one of the oldest and deepest wells in America right inside the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco. Created in 1888, Dr. Pepper is one of the original soft drinks created in America. Its unique taste was said to be created by a Waco pharmacist, and later introduced at the 1904 World’s Fair. Visitors can learn more about the history and the manufacturing of this iconic soda when they visit this interactive museum. All paid admission also receives a free Dr. Pepper! Pro tip :: Sign up in advance for one of the extra experiences, such as taste testing and making your own soda! 

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4. Galveston Railroad Museum

Everyone knows that Galveston offers relaxing time at the beach, but you also need to check out Galveston Railroad Museum. Built in 1933, this historic building and museum will transport you back in time when train travel was the way to go. Our kids loved interacting with the “Peoples Gallery,” which is a collection of sculptures from Ghosts of Travelers Past. Live models were actually used to depict the travelers. My favorite part was being able to tour all the locomotives on display in the yard. Pro tip :: While in town, check out all the historic ships docked in the Galveston Harbor, right next door! 

5. National WWI Museum and Memorial

In 1919, Kansas City citizens raised 2.5 million dollars to build this amazing memorial and museum. The National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, currently houses the world’s largest WWI collection featuring weapons, uniforms, and artifacts from the Great War. The museum has material suited for a wide range of ages, including many interactive experiences throughout. We personally loved how the museum tells stories of everyone involved in the war. Pro tip :: The museum offers a guided tour at no charge! 

Facade of National WW2 Museum in Louisiana with American Flag in front of it.

6. Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

America’s pastime is always a family-friendly outing, but how much do you know about the amazing African American players and their start in baseball? The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, has wonderful displays with tons of eye-catching memorabilia and engaging hands-on history. We spent hours enjoying this space and would even venture to see it again. My favorite part was the baseball field in the middle of the museum that you can actually walk out on. Pro tip :: Discounted tickets are available on Groupon!

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7. Titanic Museum

Branson, Missouri, offers a wide variety of family-friendly entertainment, but the Titanic Museum is a must on any road trip. The museum itself is hard to miss, featuring a life-sized Titanic ship outside the building. As you enter, you are assigned a real life person. At the end, you learn his or her fate on that historic day. We loved being transported in time, and witnessing the recreated elements from the Titanic. Our favorites included the ballroom, and dipping our hands into 28-degree water — similar to the frigid temperatures the passengers faced. The whole experience was very moving. Pro tip :: Use its website to make reservations in advance as it is often full! 

8. WWII Museum

We have visited the huge WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, twice, and still feel like we haven’t viewed all the wonderful exhibits and information inside. Be prepared to spend hours, if not days, seeing everything it has to offer. One of our favorite parts was the 4-D movie, produced and narrated by Tom Hanks. This museum has something for all ages, but obviously some parts are more suited for older children. As always, you should use your best judgment regarding which exhibits to view with your own children. Pro tip :: Use its information-packed website to plan your visit before going.


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