Visits to the Houston Museum of Natural Science on Christmas Eve have become a holiday tradition for my family. The museum's not very crowded and exhibits are open until 8 p.m. We recently saw Body Worlds 2 & the Brain, and having seen the first Body Worlds exhibit there two years ago, I've gotta say this latest collection of plastinated human bodies is just as jaw-dropping and informative.
Though the inner-workings of the brain are featured in this Body Worlds, the life-size bodies never cease to fascinate me. Many of the male and female figures are shown in action poses—”hitting a baseball, yoga, and skateboarding. Our favorites included an "exploding body", showing each layer of skin, muscle, veins and organs from head to toe, and a reclining body with 6 fingers on each hand and 6 toes per foot. The last body in the exhibit even had a tattoo still visible on the right hand. There's also a section showing the size progression of a fetus, and a female body during pregnancy. Don't miss browsing the newly expanded gift shop near the main entrance, and check out the large selection of Body Worlds-related merchandise, including plush-toy "diseases"—soft, cuddly versions of the flu, salmonella, plus a few that can't be mentioned here. We found them all "just awfully contagious"!