Houston Museum of Natural Science

Riders on the Orphan Train, Historical Account with Live Music

Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019 – Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019

06:30 PM


The largest child migration in history took place between 1854 and 1929 when over 250,000 orphans and unwanted children were taken out of New York City and given away at train stations across America. Children were sent to every state in the continental United States. The last train stopped in Texas in 1929.

This effort, primarily organized by the Children's Aid Society of New York, the Methodist Church and the Catholic Church, in a mission to rid the streets and overcrowded orphanages of homeless children and provide them with an opportunity to find new homes.

Designed to inspire and raise awareness about this little-known part of history, this special event combines live music by Phillip Lancaster and Alison Moore, archival photographs, video clips of survivors, and a dramatic reading from the 2012 novel "Riders on the Orphan Train." Filled with the entire spectrum of human emotion, this event reveals the successes and failures of the American Dream as portrayed in this seventy-six year experiment in child relocation.

Houston area relatives and acquaintances of Orphan Train Riders in attended will be invited to share their stories.

Humanities scholar Alison Moore and musician Phil Lancaster have been working together to preserve the stories of the Orphan Trains since 1998 through the outreach programs of the National Orphan Train Complex Museum and Research Center located in Concordia, Kansas.

This event is co-sponsored by Humanities Texas.

Early Bird pricing until 11/26, Regular pricing begins on 11/27



  • Monday - Sunday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Permanent Exhibits
    • Adult Ticket: $25 (ages 12 and up)
    • Child Ticket: $16 (ages 3–11)
    • Children ages 2 and under: FREE
    • College Students with ID: $16
    • Seniors (62+): $16
    • Military (with ID): $10
    • Groups (10+): $10
    • School Groups (Pre-K–12th Grade): $4
    • Members Pricing:
    • Member Adult: FREE
    • Member Child: FREE
    Permanent Exhibits Free on Thursdays, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm. Roam the Serengeti, walk with dinosaurs and discover the world’s mineral wonders—all for free!

Directions & Parking

  • Paid Parking
  • Street Parking
  • Parking is available in our 6-story garage located on Caroline just south of Hermann Drive. The parking garage is $10 for museum members and $20 for all others. Some curbside parking is available near the Museum entrance and in Hermann Park.

Special Offers / Dining

The Museum offers easy access to a quick meal at McDonald's in the Grand Entry Hall. Open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. McDonald's also offers the option to pre-order meals for field trips.

Please note: Food and beverages are not allowed inside the Museum exhibit halls or theaters.

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