If military history is your thing, the Texas Military Forces Museum, tucked away deep inside the active Camp Mabry, is a great way to pass a few hours. Located a few miles north of downtown and just off of Mopac, the museum houses a bunch of cool exhibits and memorabilia from Texas’ military past. Entry is free but donations are welcome. You’ll need a photo ID to get past security at the camp entrance, and a keen eye to make sure you don’t take a wrong turn while navigating to the museum…remember, those army Humvees will make a real mess of your SUV!
The history starts in the 1800s when Stephen F Austin first rallied his militia together, and spans through the Mexican War, the Spanish-American War, the First and Second World Wars, Korea, the Cold War and right through to the present day. The museum’s 45,000 square feet are home to jeeps, helicopters, guns, aircraft and several well-presented displays and information boards. Some stuff, like an F-16 cockpit and a field kitchen, are open for public access so your kids (and you, if you like) can get in and play around.
The museum carries out on outside were there’s a kinda tank parking lot, with literally dozens of army tanks, dozers, big guns and other heavy stuff in full action camo paintwork. If you want to get close to these metal dinosaurs you can, as close as you like. Photo opportunities abound.
While the museum itself is usually fairly quiet, Camp Mabry hosts several really popular events each year. When we say popular, we mean Austin popular, which can equal long, long lines to get into the camp and the same again to park. If you’re looking to make a relaxed visit to the museum we recommend checking the website first to make sure you visit during the quieter times. You can find out more here: http://www.texasmilitaryforcesmuseum.org and about other Austin museums here: http://www.austinmuseums.org