This diverse, crowd-pleasing museum has only gotten better in recent years. Among its permanent exhibits are a hall of paleontology featuring ancient skeletons, including a mummified Triceratops, posed mid-action; a dazzling array of gems and minerals; a state-of-the-art, interactive display on the production of energy (a big deal here in Houston); and the latest addition, an immersive, 10,000-square-foot space detailing ancient Egyptian culture. One of the museum's biggest draws is the Cockrell Butterfly Center, where visitors can stroll among the fluttering creatures in a simulated rainforest with a 50-foot waterfall. There's also a giant screen movie theater with 4K digital projection and 3D capability, plus a planetarium with shows on black holes, asteroids and Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon." Temporary exhibitions may include a peek at an original edition of the Magna Carta, or a collection of objets d’art from the House of Fabergé.