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Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum and Education Center

Ocean Star Drilling Museum Rig
Address:  Pier 19, Galveston, Texas
Hours: Open Daily, 10:00am – 5:00pm. Check HERE for updates.

UPDATE: Please see the latest review HERE!

My 5 year old, Joe, can spend hours looking at the Weiss Energy Hall at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.  In an effort to encourage his curiosity but add a little variety (for his parents), we headed to Galveston to the Ocean Star Offshore Rig Museum.

The Ocean Star Museum is housed in a retired jackup drilling rig.  There are three floors of models and interactive displays that show the history of offshore oil and gas.  There are movies, scale models, actual drill bits, vehicles and more.  There is also a third floor skywalk to the drill floor of the rig.  Check out the virtual tour HERE and HERE.

Ocean Star Drilling Museum Equipment
We arrived just before lunch time over summer break.  We did not see free parking so we parked in a nearby lot.  The museum is wheelchair accessible, so I assume a stroller would be easy enough to navigate, but we just had the big kids walk and James hang out in the Baby Bjorn.

Ocean Star Drilling Museum Walkway

The kids and I entered through the gift shop, purchased tickets and took the little pedestrian bridge to the rig.  The kids loved walking over the water and Oilman Joe felt very important going out to a real oil rig.

Inside the rig, we were greeted and given passports for the kids,  The staff gave us an overview of the museum and offered to answer any questions that we had.  We started the self guided tour, starting with a personnel basket that quickly held my big kids.  We spent nearly 10 minutes imaging that the basket was high in the air, in the middle of the ocean, moving us to another ship.

The kids could have stayed in it all day, but I pealed them away to check out the rest of the museum. There were several other families in the museum, but it was not crowded.  The kids could easily look around without getting lost in the chaos.

Ocean Star Drilling Museum Equipment
We walked around looking at the exhibits and talking about what each thing was used for.  We tried to watch the movie, in the theater, but quickly gave up when James started talking back to the screen.  Instead we headed out to the first floor pipe deck.  Here James could babble while Joe and Brooke checked out the equipment.

Ocean Star Drilling Museum Outside
The kids then thought that we should revisit the personnel basket, but were glad when we eventually ventured to the third floor.  Here we found the skywalk.  Outside there is a walkway that takes you over to the drill floor of the rig.  We looked up at the rig, out at all the ships and down at the animals and water.  This turned out to be our very favorite thing (followed closely by the basket).

It took us about an hour to tour the rig before heading out to lunch and the beach.  I recommend you check out Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum next time you are in Galveston.  I know Oilman Joe will take us there again soon!


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  1. August 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm — Reply

    Glad to read that you enjoyed your visit! FYI, the second Saturday of every month is Family Day, where kids are free with the purchase of adult tickets. Each Family Day has a different theme pertaining to one of our exhibit areas, and there is a small activity project set up where kids can do something hands on with one of our staff members.

    Hope to see you again sometime!

    • August 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm — Reply

      Great! Thanks for sharing!

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