Things To Do
The TecH2O Water Resources Learning Center provides education and training to foster the understanding and appreciation of total water management in the Chihuahuan Desert. The 30,450 square-foot center of angles, curves, circles and waves inclludes a 250-seat auditorium for hosting forums; and interactive displays, exhibits and demonstration projects that bring water management to llife.
Created in 1936, the Centennial was the first museum in El Paso and one of the earliest buildings at the College of Mines, now UTEP. Permanent exhibits focus on the Chihuahuan Desert region, the largest desert in North America. Temporary exhibits are generally related to border life and culture, or more broadly to the Americas. The extensive Gardens display native plants in a variety of settings.
A unit of the National Park Service, the Chamizal National Memorial commemorates the 1963 Chamizal treaty that ended a century-old boundary dispute between the United States and Mexico caused by a change in the course of the Rio Grande. The memorial includes a museum, theatre and art galleries, and hosts many festivals and special events throughout the year. Admission is free.
This is the famous home of Richard F. Burges. The Burges House also serves as a historical research center. The Classical Revival style house features four large columns in the front supporting the roof. Burges was city attorney in 1908 and wrote the city charter. He became a member of the Texas House of Representative in 1913. He was instrumental in the development of Carlsbad Caverns and the building of the Elephant Butte Dam. The home is now the headquarters for the El Paso County Historical Society.
The El Paso Holocaust Museum & Study Center was established to educate the public about the Nazi Holocaust, and to honor those who perished and those who survived. The museum houses exhibits that trace the rise of the Third Reich, the mass deportations of millions of German and European citizens to ghettos and concentration camps, their valiant resistance efforts, and the liberation of the camps by Allied Forces in the closing days of World War II. Admission is free.
The museum is home to over 15 acres of nature trails with more than 250 varieties of Chihuahuan Desert native plants, outdoor exhibits and Indian gardens. Here visitors will discover the natural history, geology and cultural history of the El Paso area, the greater Southwest, and northern Mexico.
The El Paso Museum of Art (EPMA) houses a permanent collection of over 7,000 works of art from the Byzantine era to the present. Among the collection’s strengths in American, Mexican, and European art are Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces from the likes of Botticelli, Canaletto, and Van Dyck, as well as 20th century works by notable natives like Tom Lea. In addition, the museum hosts a robust schedule of temporary exhibitions. The museum school also offers diverse classes, hands-on workshops, and popular camps for adults and children alike.
The El Paso Museum of History is host to more than 16,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space featuring five galleries representing 400 years of U.S./Mexico border history. Two first floor galleries have featured traveling exhibitions highlighting the brilliant mind of Leonardo da Vinci as well as early Spanish exploration prior to the arrival of the Mayflower; borderland racing history, the history of medicine and much more. Second floor galleries include the Wall of Giants; an exhibition space dedicated to individuals and businesses that have impacted life in El Paso. The Changing Pass gallery explores centuries of cultural history. Las Villitas: Neighborhoods & Shared Memories, the museum’s newest permanent gallery, features artifacts from El Paso’s earliest neighborhoods.
Located at the entrance of the El Paso Museum of History, the 3-D Digital Wall is a vast collection of images and videos exploring El Paso’s past and present. It examines its people and its many cultures on giant 3-D touch-sensitive TV screens. Admission is free.
The museum features the 168-year history of Fort Bliss in El Paso, and the history of the 1st Armored Division from its organization before World War II until the present day. Among its many exhibits are over 40 tanks and other armored vehicles.
The Heritage House preserves the history of UTEP from its origin as the Texas College of Mines in 1914, and is located in a home built in 1921 by the first dean of the College. It features special exhibits for Homecoming, and from time to time during the year. Admission is free.
Together with the African and Western galleries, the Kolliker and the Mexican Revolution galleries, the Red Room Gallery makes up the permanent collection at the International Museum of Art of El Paso. The Red Room is devoted to contemporary local art and presents a selection of paintings and drawings by top artists from El Paso and the Southwest. Occupying the lower floor of the museum with a showcase of diverse artistic media and themes, the gallery is a great place to start your exploration of local art. Among the artists to see here are muralist Ernesto Martinez and beloved local mixed media artist Lawrence Benjamin Porter.
The museum is housed in an 1850s Territorial Style building in El Paso’s Mission Valley. Its exhibits focus on the rich and colorful historical legacies of San Elizario, including the “First Thanksgiving,” the Spanish presidio, the San Elizario Salt War of 1877, and the first county seat of El Paso county. Admission is free.
A striking adobe structure, Magoffin Home State Historic Site explores the stories of a multicultural family who actively participated in U.S. expansion and settlement, military service, trade on the Santa Fe–Chihuahua Trail, Civil War turmoil, and U.S.–Mexico relations. Built in 1875 for pioneer, politician, and civic leader Joseph Magoffin, the nineteen-room adobe home containing original family furnishings is El Paso’s only historic house museum and a prime example of Territorial style architecture.
Through the use of interactive exhibits, exhibit space, oral histories, audio-video presentations, workshops, cultural events, and other tools, Museo Mayachen is creating a space for the learning of history and culture that engages the community it serves.
The National Border Patrol Museum is the only one of its kind in the United States. It is a private, not for profit, museum where exhibits cover the history of the United States Border patrol, from the old West, Prohibition, and WWII, right up to current operations, through displays of weapons, paintings, documents, equipment, photos, artifacts, and “hands-on” vehicles such as the Jeep, Helicopter, Scarab boat, snowmobile and ATV. Guided tours may be booked in advance. Admission is free.
Housed by the University of Texas at El Paso since its opening in 2004, the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts is committed to bringing the most innovative trends in artistic practice to the region. Serving as a creative laboratory for art students and local emerging artists, the Rubin aims at creating a space where internationally recognized, cutting-edge art meets the inventiveness of home practitioners. Among the ongoing series of regular exhibitions, workshops, site-specific installations, and Biennial Faculty Exhibitions, a highlight is the current retrospective on jeweler and metal artist Rachelle Thiewes, Rachelle Thiewes: Something Gleams. Thiewes, in addition to being a professor at the university, is also an acclaimed sculptor with works displayed in Washington D.C., Scotland, New York and Chicago, among others.
The Tigua Indian Cultural Center of the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo celebrates over 300 years of tribal history in El Paso. Attractions include a museum, gift shops, the Cacique Cafe, and delicious fresh Indian bread. Indian social dance performances take place every weekend-call for schedule.
The museum features exhibits on the changing role of the Noncommissioned Officer in the U.S. Army from 1775 to the present, through displays of equipment and uniforms used by staff sergeants and other NCO’s.
The War Eagles Air Museum, located at the Dona Ana County Airport, features a collection of more than 30 military and civilian aircraft of the World War II-Korean War period, most of them flight-worthy, and over 40 classic or historic automobiles.