Quirky Attraction: Museum of the Weird in Austin, Texas

museum of the weird

Museum of the Weird 
Location: Austin, Texas (412 E. 6th Street, Austin TX)
When to visit: Open 10 am – 7 pm everyday
Cost: $13 for adults, $9 for kids
Time needed: 30 minutes

Austin is really living up to its “Keep Austin Weird” mantra with the Museum of the Weird, an awesomely bizarre facility located in the heart of downtown. 

The museum of the weird has rooms full of stuff that is weird, unusual, or unbelievable, from two-headed cows to Bigfoot to a fish that supposedly grew fur.

Some of their exhibits may be real, and some are clearly not. But that’s all part of the fun.

Read on to learn what you can see inside the museum, see pictures of its exhibits, and get advice on the best time to visit!

strange museum exhibits

What You’ll See in the Museum of the Weird

Start with the Collection of Oddities room and its shrunken heads display. The heads are kinda creepy.

Guests can read the informational signs to learn about which groups used to shrink human heads, and the steps they took to do it.

shrunken heads

There’s a wax statue of Chang and Eng Bunker, one of the first well-known sets of conjoined twins, who toured America in the 1800s.

Visitors can also see displays about the Elephant Man, carnival performers, the fiji mermaid, a Cyclops pig, Austin’s haunted Driskell Hotel, an alleged “UFO crash of 1897,” and various other unsolved mysteries.

This exhibit showcases “Bigfoot plaster casts.” While there is precisely zero chance that a Bigfoot species could have actually existed for centuries without being detected, many people do enjoy the Bigfoot legend.

bigfoot plaster casts

Holy mummy! One of the most striking oddities in the museum is this mummy, which is supposedly one of the last mummies available for public viewing in the U.S.

The museum says this one is still being studied to determine if it might be the remains of a royal pharoah from 3000 years ago. 

mummy exhibit

Climb a spiral staircase to the second floor — Johnny Depp once lived in the adjacent apartment here! — to see more exhibits.

The “Freak Show” room highlights strange animal mutations. The freaks of nature, so to speak. Like this three-eyed, two-faced cow.

two faced cow

It was reportedly born in Pennsylvania and managed to live two weeks before its body finally gave out. Then it was apparently stuffed and brought here.

There’s also this two-headed chicken. If you’re thinking that this looks like something an artist created to look like a two-headed chicken, well, you might be right. 

two headed chicken

Even the sign says “Could it be real?” That’s the question with many of the items on display here. Folks who expect realism and authenticity from their museums will have to suspend their disbelief a bit to fully enjoy the Museum of the Weird.

Here’s an item that I think we can all agree is fake: a fur-bearing trout. This one was purportedly caught in Lake Superior in Ontario. Imagine if furry fish were real!

fur-bearing trout

There’s an exhibit about Monsters of the Sea, featuring sea serpents and the legendary kraken, a mythical creature similar to a giant squid. That exhibit reminded me of the displays at the Mermaid Museum in Washington state.

The Horror Cinema is another popular special exhibit at the museum. It’s a movie monster wax museum featuring life-size displays of characters from iconic movies.

hunchback notre dame

Among the movies featured: Dracula, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frankenstein, Nosferatu, The Wolf Man, and Creature of the Black Lagoon.

​The King Kong scene allows visitors to insert themselves into the beast’s hands, just like in the classic film.

king kong museum

These movie props are among the most popular items in the museum, even if the other weird stuff might be more entertaining.

Logistics of Visiting: Tickets, Hours, Parking

Curator and owner Steve Busti opened the Museum of the Weird in 2007. Some people refer to it as a classic dime museum, given its focus on strange animals, bizarre exhibits, horror films, and wax figures.

Business hours are 10 am to 7 pm every day of the year, except Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. 

museum weird austin texas

As of this writing, adult admission is $13, while tickets for kids are $9. You can buy in person at the museum.

It’s right in the middle of downtown Austin on Sixth Street, so it doesn’t have a parking lot. But street parking is fairly easy to find within a block or two.

Come earlier in the day for smaller crowds and more available parking spaces.

The museum has a large gift shop with all sorts of novelty and unusual items. The shop is known as Lucky Lizard Curios & Gifts.

museum of the weird gift shop

Products range from magic tricks to “Keep Austin Weird” airplane pillows to Bigfoot bandanas to a strange toy called “self-adhesive mustaches for girls.”

While you’re in Austin, check out the famous bat viewing at the Congress Avenue Bridge, have a drink at the unique Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, and explore some of the best Austin outdoor activities.

See also our itinerary for a southwest United States road trip between Austin and Los Angeles.

Would you visit a place as strange as the Museum of the Weird?

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