One of my favorite things about homeschooling is how you get to learn alongside of your children. One of my favorite things about adventure schooling is that we get to dive into experience based learning together. Last term, we moved into studying ancient history. When we arrived at Ancient Egypt, my children were absolutely captivated. While a trip to see the wonders of the ancient world in real life isn’t in the cards for us right now, we could take a look at ancient Egypt in Texas! Keep reading to see how you can also enjoy this immersive learning experience.
Getting to the museum.
This massive museum is located in the heart of downtown Houston. When you arrive, plan on parking in a parking garage. Otherwise, you may be looking for on street parking for a while. There is one parking garage that is connected to the museum. This museum is not an ASTC member museum, so you’ll need to plan on paying admission. Admission is $23 for adults and $16 for children, and a military discount of $10 per ticket (with military ID). However, it is cheaper if you have a CityPass and plan on spending more time doing things in Houston. There is free admission to the permanent exhibits on Thursdays from 2 to 5 pm. Add on experiences include the butterfly exhibit, giant dome theater, and planetarium. The museum opens at 9 AM daily and closes at 6 pm on weekdays, 5 pm on weekends.
King Tut’s Tomb Discovery Experience
One of the most incredible ways to experience ancient Egypt in Texas is with the King Tut’s Tomb Discovery Experience. This immersive exhibit takes you behind the scenes and into the story of Howard Carter’s discovery of the tomb in the Valley of the Kings. The first part of the exhibit walks you through some history, with information about the expedition and a basic overview of archaeology. The next part of the exhibit invites you to walk down a forced perspective hallway that recreates the feeling of descending into the tomb of King Tut. My favorite part of this was hearing my children whisper excitedly as they recognized items in the tomb, thanks to our studies beforehand. The recreated tomb room is set up to show it exactly as Howard Carter and his team would have when they first entered over 100 years ago.
As you continue through the experience you come face to face with recreations of the various sarcophagi used in the tomb. A really fascinating cutaway showed how many layers there were to the burial, including three coffins! It was so much fun to watch as my children recognized various symbols we had studied. The exhibit is really well done and we loved every part of it. The King Tut Tomb Discovery experience is included with regular admission, but you need to reserve your time slot to see it when you purchase your tickets. Check out a video about the full exhibit HERE.
The Hall of Ancient Egypt
When we visited the Houston Museum of Natural Science, they had just recently finished renovating the Ancient Egypt exhibit.It’s located right outside of the King Tut exhibit, and the entrance is astounding. We really felt as though we had been transported to the temple of Karnak. The gallery itself is over 10,00 square feet! Artifacts in the exhibit range from the Old Kingdom of 2500 BC to the Roman era of 200 AD. When we started studying the burial practices of the era, my son said the only thing he wanted to see was a mummy. I researched and stumbled on the HMNS exhibit website and realized that I could actually make that happen. This exhibit has real mummies and you can experience ancient Egypt in Texas.
A little heads up.
My daughter was uncomfortable viewing some of the mummies (and there are lots). Luckily, the Ancient Egypt exhibit has plenty of things to distract from the mummies. Her and I explored a different room that had a replica of the Rosetta Stone. There was also a large, golden room filled with hieroglyphics that makes an excellent place to play “I spy” with younger children. After that, you can wonder into one final room that is filled with paintings representative of ancient Egyptian religion and lifestyle. It’s truly breathtaking!
The rest of the museum.
If you’ve never been to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, you have to go! It’s absolutely worth a trip and I would plan to spend an entire day. We spent most of one day and it almost wasn’t enough time. There is so much to see and every gallery is unique. This museum is also a great destination if you’re studying fossils, paleontology, geology, or seashores and seashells. It’s almost impossible to choose a favorite exhibit, but I really loved the giant curiosity cabinet gallery, it took up nearly four rooms! The Texas wildlife diorama is incredible, as is the entire museum. I know that we will go again because there are so many parts of it that we just didn’t have time for.
Some Ancient Egypt resources.
We based our history study around the Story of World history curriculum. It tells history in story format and it is not time consuming. It’s a delightful way to study history. There are additional resources listed in the Story of the World student activity packs. Disney Plus and National Geographic have plenty of great documentaries as well. I also supplemented with the following books:
- National Geographic Ultimate Visual History of the World – this book is pricey but it’s absolutely worth it. It’s a treasure trove of history from ancient to modern time, and includes societies from all over the world.
- Egyptology and the accompanying Egyptology Handbook
- Usborne Introduction to Archaeology
- Explore 360 Tomb of Tutankhamun
- Ancient Games: History of Sports and Gaming
- Mummies and Pyramids
- A Visitor’s Guide to the Ancient World
- Exploring History Illustrated Encyclopedia
Even more adventure schooling.
I like to call our style of homeschool “adventure schooling.” It’s how I bridge what we’re studying in our books to hands on, real world experiences. One of our favorites? Reading Misty of Chincoteague then road tripping to the Atlantic to explore Assateague Island for ourselves. We’ve also done this for several Beautiful Feet Books studies, like Paddle to the Sea and Tree in the Trail. We’ve also camped out at NASA after our space study, did you even know you can do that?! Check out a recap HERE.
For hotels and more points of interest, check out my custom map!
Thanks so much for reading this whole post. I hope that it encourages you to explore a little ancient Egypt in Texas! Be sure to follow me on Instagram to stay up to date on all of our adventure school shenanigans!
Nichole is a homeschool mother to two, based in southwest Arkansas. Her and her husband, Ryan, have been homeschooling them for the last eight years. They believe in life long, enriching learning experiences along with lots of outdoor adventure. Nichole is also on the Executive Team for Run Wild My Child and enjoys chasing all kinds of shenanigans with her children, by exploring both near and far.