4 Best Museums in Tyler, TX

May 30th, 2022 by

If you find yourself looking for something educational to do in the town of Tyler in East Texas, then you will have plenty of options. This town of over 100,000 people has a lot to offer, from a range of museums to a historical society and science center. Whether you live in Tyler or are visiting for the day, you can learn a lot about a place and its history as well as its future from stopping by some educational centers. Kids and adults can all enjoy learning, exploring, and appreciating what Tyler has to offer.

Tyler Museum of Art

The Tyler Museum of Art is a great place to start any visit to the city or to have a day out in town if you live here. The museum is located at 1300 S. Mahon Ave. near the Tyler Junior College and is open on weekends and weekdays except for Monday. Tuesday to Saturday its hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday’s hours are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, and free for museum members and children under 12, making it an affordable day out for the whole family.

This museum has a focus on contemporary Texas artists and has one of the largest Mexican and Latin American folk art in the country. Due to the volume of the museum’s permanent collection, not everything can be displayed at once, so you can see something new each time you visit. Its exhibits draw from the permanent collection as well as collaborations with other collections such as the current exhibit, The Little Black Dress, in partnership with the Texas Fashion Collection of the University of North Texas College of Visual Arts and Design, which you can see until Jan. 30, 2022.

Smith County Historical Society

Smith County Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the history of Smith County and features a museum just south of the Tyler City square at 125 S. College Ave. The museum is housed in the front rooms of the historic Carnegie Library that dates from 1904. It has exhibits throughout the year showing a glimpse into the history of the area. Admission is free but visits to the museum and archives must be reserved in advance, with up to eight people per group. You can reserve a time from Tuesday to Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The Smith County Historical Society’s museum has much to see and learn about, including a permanent exhibit called 20th Century of Progress that offers a look at the changes Tyler and Smith County have gone through during the last century. Old photos and memorabilia give you a peek at what life was like in East Texas in a bygone era, from farming to the discovery of oil. You’ll also find temporary exhibits from its other collections at the museum, showcasing different eras or historic occasions and showing their effects in the area.

Tyler Rose Garden Center and Rose Museum

Bird's eye view of the Tyler Rose Garden

Tyler is home to the largest rose garden in the country, where over 600 cultivars and 32,000 specimens are grown. Here you’ll find beautifully sculpted rose gardens and paths to walk. After exploring the rose gardens you can stop by and visit the Rose Garden Center and Rose Museum where you can learn more about rose cultivation and all that goes into selecting varieties as well as the history of the gardens and the annual Rose Festival that is held in Tyler every year. Memorabilia from festivals past are on display showing highlights from over the years.

The museum and gift shop at the Rose Garden Center are currently closed on Sunday and Monday. Its hours the rest of the week are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. It’s located at 420 Rose Park Drive, however, it must be entered from the rose garden as the front drive is currently closed. If you want to take a souvenir home then check out the museum gift shop where you can find rose-themed gifts, from stationery and books to tote bags and coffee mugs.

Discovery Science Place

The Discovery Science Place is an educational center that offers opportunities for young people to learn about the wonders of science through exhibits, events, and educational programs. It is located at 308 Broadway Ave. in Tyler, just a short walk north of the town square. Admission costs $10 for adults and children over 12 and $8 for younger children and seniors. Its hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, and it is closed on Monday. Hands-on exhibits provide a fun learning experience that will have kids asking to come back.

You can bring the whole family for a fun afternoon of learning, or drop your kids off for the day camps offered for enrolled K-5th graders. Exhibits at Discovery Science Place include a model train set, a room dedicated to teaching about space exploration and the moon landings, a kinetics gallery, and a 3D cinesphere. It also offers special events throughout the year including participating in a holiday open house where the museums of downtown Tyler offer an evening of holiday festivities. You can even book a birthday party at the center for 30 kids to have a great time.

Museums and educational centers offer places to learn about the past, the present, and take a look into the future. You can take your kids to the science center, learn the history of Smith County, or enjoy an afternoon of viewing the best of modern Texas art. Whichever museum you visit you can learn, discover, and appreciate something new. At Classic Toyota we hope you’ve taken inspiration from this list and are excited to check out some of the local museums in Tyler. Drop us a line and tell us which educational attraction you are planning to check out first.


Image by formulaone Licensed via CC BY-SA 2.0

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