Address: 12121 N. Sam Houston Parkway East, Humble, TX 77396
Cost: Free! (But you need a reservation)
Appropriate Age: Any age is welcome. Pre-Schoolers through Adult will get the most out of it.
The WaterWorks Education Center is located at the City of Houston's Northeast Water Purification Plant near the shores of Lake Houston. Educational groups are invited to visit the interactive exhibits and tour the facility, with a reservation, for FREE!
So what do you do if you want to visit? Just organize a group of classmates, homeschoolers, preschoolers or whatever. The BigKidSmallCity crew wanted to go, so we organized a group over the summer. There was a 2 month wait, but we got a reservation for August.
My kids have watched the Magic School Bus episode on the water cycle approximately 1,000 times, so we were very excited to learn more about this precious resource.
Our group of 20 kids, ages 2 - 10, and 10 parents went to Humble for our adventure. We were not sure if we were headed to a water treatment plant, a classroom or what... but we were very happy with what we found. The WaterWorks Education Center is a well done museum, designed to educate Houston's children!
After everyone arrived, we went to the auditorium. Our tour guides greeted the kids and were very welcoming. We watched a short 5 minute video about a mouse that learns to conserve water.
Afterwards, the kids each grabbed a clipboard with scavenger hunt pictures and headed down the pipeline! (There was also a more difficult questionnaire for big kids to fill out as they toured the education center.)
This was the cool part. The kids "swam" through the pipe, just like water. As they did , they learned where the water comes from, how it gets cleaned and how it gets to your house. Along the way, the kids checked off the pictures on their clipboards.
At the end of the "pipe", there is a large room with interactive exhibits with lots of buttons to push and things to do. There is a life sized boat to drive, talkie tubes to send messages across the room and more.
After we had thoroughly explored this room, we went to the classroom. Here there was a demonstration and activity.
The entire visit took an hour, which was perfect for our young group. For older groups, the tours can take longer 1.5+ hours.
We enjoyed our educational adventure and would have paid money to go. I can't believe this hosted field trip, in this nice facility, is free. Be sure to check it out!
You will need to schedule a few months in advance, but the staff tells me that September and October are often slow months.
When you go, be sure to check the driving "instructions" on the website. Getting to the facility in not hard, but there are a few tricky turns to prepare for. Also be sure that each adult has a photo ID for the guard at the gate.