Last Updated on: 8th April 2024, 04:14 am

If you aren’t sure of what to do in Midland TX, then look no further than the Museum of the Southwest. First established in 1965 after the Junior League of Midland voted to establish an art and science museum, the Museum of the Southwest is now one of the best museums in all of West Texas. This incredible museum offers a great blend of art, history, science, and culture and is a must-see attraction for visitors of all ages. Let your imagination run wild and learn more about the best museum in Midland TX.

Museum of the Southwest General Information

The Museum of the Southwest officially opened in 1966 and was located at 3201 West Wall Avenue. Just a few years later, in 1968, The Museum of the Southwest moved to the Turner Mansion, which is the establishment’s current location. Before it was a museum, the Turner Mansion was the house of Fred Turner, who was a successful businessman in the 1930s. Mr. Turner and his wife, with the help of the famous Texas architect Anton F. Korn, Jr., designed the beautiful house, which cost over $250,000 to build in 1936. It was the first home in Midland to have a swimming pool and the house also featured a tennis court as well as stables for the Turner’s horses.

In September of 1988, the Turner Mansion House and Stables were recognized as national historic landmarks and were listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Although the museum has adapted some of the space, efforts have always been made to preserve the original condition of the home.

Today, the Museum of the Southwest is one of the most iconic Texas museums. This West Texas attraction draws in thousands of visitors every year and employs around 20 part-time and full-time workers.

Museum of the Southwest Admission, Hours & Directions

The Museum of the Southwest is located in Downtown Midland, so make sure to explore the nearby area when visiting! There are also several possibilities for dining before or after your visit to the attraction.

If you are heading toward the museum from the Big Spring area, you’ll want to follow I-20 W to I-20BL W in Midland County and then take exit 144 from I-20 W. If you are coming from Odessa, head northeast on I-20BL E/E 2nd St/E Business Loop 20 toward E.

Museum of the Southwest Pricing, Tickets, and Membership

The Museum of the Southwest is not only one of the best Midland TX attractions, but it is also the best museum in Midland TX for those on a budget.

Museum of the Southwest Admission Prices:

  • Adults: $10
  • Children & seniors: $5
  • 0-2 years: free
  • Members: free

Additionally, the museum is free to explore on Sundays, thanks to Corterra Energy Inc.

If you think you want to visit this West Texas attraction more than once or twice a year, then you may want to consider purchasing a membership. The Museum of the Southwest offers several different membership options, each with their own specific details and perks. An individual yearly membership costs $75 and includes free daily admission as well as exclusive invitations to member-only events. A household yearly membership costs $125 and provides two adults and children under 18 with unlimited access to the museum. The family membership is great for those who want to enjoy unlimited access to the children’s museum, which offers several exploration opportunities for children of all ages.

What to See and Do at the Museum of the Southwest

When visiting the Museum of the Southwest, there are several different fun attractions for you to enjoy. Whether you want to play with paint at the interactive children’s museum, admire the world of space at the planetarium, or take a look at the gorgeous artwork displayed in the Lissa Noël Wagner Wing, there is something for you at the Museum of the Southwest. Here’s a look at the details of the museum’s different exhibitions.

Historic Turner Mansion

The Historic Turner Mansion is the main attraction at the Museum of the Southwest. This section of the museum is dedicated to the exploration of the story of Midland, the history of the house, and the relationship between the family and the Kentucky Derby. Inside the mansion, you will find several artifacts on display that showcase the background of the house and its importance to the daily family life of the Turners. Additionally, the house paints a picture of the culture of the Kentucky Derby, an event that the Turners participated in for several years in a row.

Lissa Noël Wagner Wing

The Lissa Noël Wagner Wing opens a whole realm of new possibilities for visitors enjoying the Museum of the Southwest. Full of art, history, and culture, the Lissa Noël Wagner Wing features art, both old and new, on display all year round. In addition to the artwork housed inside, make sure you don’t miss all of the sculptures on display in the garden!


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Blakemore Planetarium

Uncover your love of science in the Marian West and William Blanton Blakemore Planetarium, which offers star talks and dome shows on a 360-degree state-of-the-art Digistar 5 system with 3D capabilities. The planetarium is located just next to the children’s museum and offers learning opportunities for people of all ages.

Fredda Turner Durham Children’s Museum

The Fredda Turner Durham Children’s Museum is a can’t-miss for those visiting the Museum of the Southwest. This children’s museum encourages exploration and imagination, offering fun art, science, and history exhibits for kids of all ages. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the children’s museum offers several rotating exhibits throughout the year, so you can explore something new every time you visit the Museum of the Southwest. Additionally, the children’s museum hosts several fun events such as “Mommy & Me,” and “Works of Art!” classes.

Events at the Museum of the Southwest

The Museum of the Southwest is not only known for its amazing exhibits, but also for its fun interactive events and programs. Whether you are looking to learn more about history, art, culture, or science, the Museum of the Southwest has an event for you. These are just a few of the events that the best museum in Midland TX has to offer.

Kids Summer Workshops

When you sign up for Kids Summer Workshops at the Museum of the Southwest, your kids can learn more about science, art, history, and more. The art and STEM workshops at the Museum of the Southwest are designed for children of all ages. Registration is required.

This year’s summer workshops at the Museum of the Southwest include sculpture workshops, mosaics workshops, and LEGO robots workshops.

Family Fridays

Visiting the Museum of the Southwest isn’t complete without partaking in a Family Friday day. Family Fridays are held every Friday from 10 am to 2 pm at the Museum of the Southwest and include special hands-on activities, science experiments, and more. This event promotes interaction between families and creates a fun, laid-back learning experience for everyone. Admission to Family Fridays is included in your ticket to the Museum of the Southwest.


Head over to the Museum of the Southwest on the last Friday of the month from May to October to watch a movie projected on the planetarium dome. Registration is required in advance, so make sure to claim your tickets online.

Summer Sunday Lawn Concerts

Enjoy some fun in the sun at the Museum of the Southwest and take part in the Summer Sunday Lawn Concert events. These free events are held on the front lawn of the Museum of the Southwest in June and July. You can feel free to bring your own food and drinks and explore the art at the museum before, during, and after the event.


SeptemberFest is an annual event hosted by the Museum of the Southwest every fall. SeptemberFest is an arts and crafts show, featuring dozens of different local Texas vendors showcasing their art. This event is a great way to explore the arts and culture in the Midland area.

Christmas at the Mansion

Christmas at the Mansion turns the Museum of the Southwest into a winter wonderland. Join other Museum of the Southwest visitors for events such as pictures with Santa, holiday tea, and a Christmas luncheon.

Think! Make! Spring Break!

Grab the kids and head over to the Museum of the Southwest for a week of fun spring break events every March. During this week in March, visitors of all ages can enjoy STEM classes, Works of Art classes, Dome Shows, and Science on a Sphere demonstrations. This Museum of the Southwest event is free with admission.

Plan Your Visit to the Museum of the Southwest

Are you ready to plan your visit to the Museum of the Southwest? The Museum of the Southwest is the best museum in Midland TX and is sure to offer hours of entertainment for visitors of all ages. Before you visit, make sure you check the details on the Museum of the Southwest website to ensure that the attraction is open on the day you plan to arrive.

If you are moving into or out of the Midland, Texas area, then feel free to get in touch with Brothers Moving & Storage. Our Midland movers are always happy to provide you with a free moving quote and give you additional recommendations for fun Midland TX attractions. Call 432-219-2829 for more information.