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An Inside Look at Five of Austin's Top Museums

Jul 19, 2008
Austin, Texas, is well known for its nightlife, but there is plenty to do during daylight hours, too. With a wide variety of museums and cultural centers catering to most every interest, Austin provides visitors and residents alike with countless options for cultural outings. Here is a closer look at five of Austin's best.

1)Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum
Dedicated in 1971, the Lyndon B. Johnson presidential library and museum houses the single greatest collection of artifacts and memorabilia from the life and presidency of our nation's 36th president, including documents, photographs, clothing and automobiles. In addition to the permanent collection, the museum also houses traveling exhibits on American culture and lifestyle. Located on the edge of the University of Texas campus, the museum is open daily (except Christmas day) from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and admission is free.

2)Austin Children's Museum
The Austin Children's Museum, located downtown at the Dell Discover Center, was founded in the early 1980s by a grassroots coalition of parents and educators striving to equip and inspire the next generation of creative problem solvers. With more than 12,000 square feet of museum space, the Austin Children's Museum houses a wealth of interactive, thought-provoking displays and exhibits designed to get kids working together and thinking outside the box. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the museum also offers rotating exhibits and community programs to further engage young and old visitors alike some of these include Discovery Time, Science Sunday and various on-site Spring Break and summer camps. Museum hours and admission prices vary.

3)Pioneer Farm
Located in North East Austin, Pioneer Farm is Austin's one and only outdoor living history museum. With historically accurate clothing, tools, architecture, livestock, crops and furnishings, the Pioneer farm and its costumed interpreters portray the realities of rural Central Texas life in the 1880s. Pioneer Farm operates on a seasonal schedule, and admission fees vary.

4)Blanton Museum of Art
One of Austin's premier art museums, the Blanton Museum of Art (or simply the Blanton, as it's often called) is renowned for its modern and contemporary American works, Latin American art, European Old Master paintings and an extensive collection of prints and drawings. Affiliated with the University of Texas, the Blanton is in fact the largest university art museum in the country, and the largest museum in Texas. The Blanton offers a wide range of community and educational programs year round, including an artist-in-residence program. Museum hours and admission prices vary.

5)Austin Nature and Science Center
Located in Zilker Park, one of Austin's most popular outdoor attractions, the Austin Nature and Science Center is a hands-on eco-exploration of the city's natural habitat. With more than 50 unique native mammal and bird species housed in its various wildlife habitats and a wealth of ancient fossils, visitors to the Austin Nature and Science Center can experience first-hand the richness and diversity of the central Texas ecosystem, both past and present. Center hours vary, and admission fees entail a suggested donation of $2.
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Ki helps buyers in the Austin area. His site has a search of the Austin MLS and provides general information on Austin real estate and mortgage interest rates.
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