A few weeks ago, we took a midweek family day (homeschool perks, baby!) and skipped off on a day trip to Houston to experience SEISMIQUE.
I first encountered Seismique on Instagram, and knew instantly we needed to visit, the sooner the better! It seemed like exactly the kind of place my oldest (and let’s be honest, my husband too since my oldest is essentially his clone) would absolutely love. Hands-on and technology is their love language.
Seismique is described on their website as:
A technology-fueled experiential art museum featuring over 40 unique galaxies (galleries) spanning 40,000 square feet complete with extra-terrestrial beings, artificial intelligence, immersive experiences, gamification, and dazzling displays of light, color, sound, and natural elements.
Seismique will transport visitors of all ages to an entirely new and unforeseen universe of creative inspiration and artistic manifestation. The galaxies are designed to stimulate imagination, heighten curiosity, inspire wonder, and – most importantly – deliver an extreme dose of fun.
I don’t even know why I’m telling you this, because it’s 100% one of those things you have to experience for yourself to truly grasp. I took so many photos, and videos, and I feel like I studied up by taking in all the content I could find on Instagram to try to figure out how my boys would react in certain rooms, etc, and I was still just blown away.
The best description I’ve come up with yet is: it’s like a children’s museum for aliens.
When you first enter the lobby/ticketing area, it’s all very monochrome and completely stark. Even the cartoons playing on the big screens are black and white. It’s certainly not boring though. The whole thing from the floors to the furniture has a doodled/sketched design and there were little surprises hidden everywhere. And the total sensory deprivation in the lobby just makes the explosion of color and design once you enter all the more shocking and amazing.
As previously noted, Seismique was designed to be interactive, immersive, hands-on, and 100% kid friendly. It is absolutely JAM-PACKED with STEM and learning opportunities, but don’t feel guilty for letting this just be a day of fun experiences. I was honestly too in awe and distracted the entire time to try to make links to education, but we’ve referenced back to it several times since our visit. Homeschooling has made me realize kids are usually learning best when they don’t realize it anyway.
Seismique was created around a desire to help and support the local art community. 12 of its 40 galleries (they call them galaxies, which I find just precious), were reserved specifically for Houston-based artists, both established and emerging.
One of our favorite parts was this little alien. He sits in the lobby between the café and the restrooms, waiting for someone to notice him. I thought he was adorable, so I brought the boys over to take a photo with him. As I was trying to herd them into some semblance of order, we heard a high-pitched, sweet little voice saying hello. I looked up to see his eye and mouth moving. He quickly began complimenting the boys on their specific clothing items, telling my oldest how much he liked his Pokémon hoodie, etc. All of the human staff wear two-way radios with ear pieces, and my husband and I quickly realized that the staff member at the door was able to speak through the little alien. I’m not sure my kids ever realized, and it was hilarious. My husband discreetly fed him their names, and I think my oldest probably believes he was a real, psychic extraterrestrial.
I will say the still photos, while beautiful and inspiring and amazing, do this gallery ZERO justice. If you’d like to get a little closer to the experience before visiting, check out the story highlight on my instagram!
Things to note:
- Seismique is completely self-guided and designed to be free-form. There is an app if you need help navigating.
- There are flashing lights/sounds that little kids or those with sensory sensitivities may find overwhelming. My little one wasn’t sure at first, but a few minutes back in the lobby and he gathered his courage and bravely walked in on his own.
- There is a cafe in the lobby that provides a small selection of food and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic); however, food and drinks are understandably not allowed in the exhibits.
- There is a small gift shop, but it’s off to the side and easy enough to steer kids away. My kids always feel like they need a souvenir, and I think all the stimulation inside the exhibits left them satisfied enough that they weren’t interested in shopping.
- Comfortable shoes are encouraged. There’s lots of walking. High heels are strictly forbidden inside the exhibits.
- Strollers and large items like backpacks, luggage, etc are also not allowed.
- Advance purchase of tickets is strongly encouraged. Tickets are sold in small numbers in 15-minute increments. If you show up without tickets, you may have to wait for a time slot to become available. If you pre-purchase tickets, arrive 15 minutes before the time on your ticket.
- There is a large parking lot. Parking is free of charge.
- According to their website, visitors usually spend 1.5-2 hours viewing and exploring the galaxies. I’m forgetful in my old age, but I want to say we were there around 2 hours. You may leave the exhibits and go back into the lobby as many times as you want, but there is a strict no re-entry policy once you leave the building.
Seismique also offers private parties and field trip labs that give students (K-12) an opportunity to learn about science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) in a hands-on, fun environment. Contact them directly here for more info!
Seismique is located at 2306 Highway 6 S, Houston, Tx 77077.
Closed Tuesdays. Check their website to verify dates, times, availability and other info.