Downtown Beaumont Museums

One of the really neat things about living in Southeast Texas is that you’re never lacking for a place to go to learn something about science or history. Within the tri-city area, there are 78 different ‘attractions’ that you can visit, and almost all of them are related in some way to one of those fields of study. Many of our local museums even have a downloadable curriculum that you can use to prepare for your trip or review what you learned, making school field trips very appealing.Our homeschool group tries very hard to plan one field trip per week.

This week’s trip was to three of the museums in historic downtown Beaumont. We went to the Fire Museum of Texas, which boasts the 3rd largest fire hydrant in the world (it was THE largest, but you know what happens when you make ‘The’ of anything…) and a huge collection of vintage fire fighting equipment. The highlight of this trip every time we’ve been is the museum’s once-functional barracks, complete with firemen’s poles), 911 training center and miniature home so the kids can practice their fire safety skills.

After that, we walked down the street to the Edison Museum, which in retrospect, I think most of the kids we had with us were a little young for, but they had a good time anyway. The Edison Museum is housed in the historic Travis Street Substation building and is actually a functioning power station, fueling Crockett Street Entertainment District.

The original plan had been to break for lunch at that point, but the kids were getting restless (it was humid and hot today, which always makes for difficulty in long excursions) so those of us with kids in need of food got them a quick snack and we headed over to the Art Museum of SETX for a tour and craft with the incomparable Mr. Andy of Art-to-Go from the Summer Reading Club. Unlike most tour guides, Mr. Andy had no trouble at all engaging all of the different age levels (from 3-16, plus moms…) in his presentation. The kids learned a lot about the different types of art and about the specific exhibits that are on display now in the gallery.

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