While Spring Break may invoke visions of beach or mountain vacations, many residents opt for a weeklong staycation instead. While the largest waterpark in America is slated to open later this year in Round Rock, Temple and Bell County offer some gems that are available to the public now. For starters, take a free journey through time at the Bell County Museum.

While education may take a temporary hiatus during Spring Break, research from the Smithsonian Institution indicates that museums create a uniquely positive learning environment for children that can influence their disciplinary studies later. Located in nearby Belton, the Bell County Museum offers historical, archaeological and rotating exhibits for students young and old. Here are a few of the exhibits on permanent display that you can expect to see on your next visit:

  • Passport Through Time invites visitors to explore Bell County by focusing on its people, places, and historical events. The exhibit portrays Bell County’s unique place in Texas history and examines Central Texas’ first inhabitants, Wild West spirit (including an on-site chuck wagon!), and place in state and national history.
  • The Gault Site is a permanent exhibit that features large murals, discovery drawers, microscopes and the film, “The Gault Project: An Adventure in Time,” funded by the Texas Historical Foundation. Home to human beings for more than 13,000 years, the Gault Site is strategically located in the Balcones Ecotone, the boundary zone of the Edwards Plateau and the Black Prairie/Coastal Plain Ecozone and provides archaeologists a unique look into the life and culture of some of the earliest people in North America. An experiential exhibit, the Gault Site at Bell County Museum includes an interactive dig pit, cave drawing chalkboard and discovery drawers for the Indiana Jones in your group!
  • The Little River Log Cabin offers guests the opportunity to imagine life in a “single-pen” or one-room house common in the 1850s. Since 2001, this dovetail cabin featuring original logs and stones has been on display at Bell County Museum.

If you’re hoping to find something more eclectic during your visit, you can find that, too! The museum houses an extensive moustache tea cup collection, designed to protection distinguished mustaches from coffee and tea stains in the 1800s; miniature Bell County homes designed by a Texas A&M engineer; and a historic account of Texas’ first female governor, Bell County native and University of Mary-Hardin Baylor graduate, Miriam Ferguson.

Whether you are new in town, have an affinity for mustaches, or just want to get in touch with your roots, the Bell County Museum offers something for everyone. Be sure to share your visit with us on social media using the hashtag #MeetTemple, and follow Temple EDC on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest updates from our growing community.