Frontier Texas in Abilene – Where the Old West Comes to Life

Museums are at the top of my list for attractions to visit in a new town. Even the smallest museum can give you tremendous insight into a location. So, when you come across a world-class museum like Frontier Texas in Abilene, where the Old West comes to life, it is an awesome bonus.

buffalo sculpture with text overlay: Frontier Texas! Where the Old West Comes to Life

Frontier Texas! opened in 2004 with just a visitor information center, a Texas-themed gift shop and the exhibit “The Century of Adventure.” In 2013 the museum opened the new $2 million exhibit entitled “Blood & Treasure on the Frontier” which is the exhibit you see today.

Frontier Texas!

From the moment you enter, the building is pretty impressive. High ceilings in the main room let in lots of light to showcase the massive sculpture near the center of the room. The walls in this room are lined with racks of brochures because the museum also serves as the visitor center for Abilene.

Interior of Frontier Texas! with large sculpture on table

To the right in this room is the cashier and the gift shop. The gift shop has more books on Old West history than I think I’ve seen in my entire life! They were oh so tempting but I couldn’t decide on one so didn’t get any. They also sell Texas souvenirs, toys and local artwork in the gift shop.

Blood and Treasure on the Frontier

Past the gift shop is the entrance to the theater where you view a video. The video gives you an overview of what to expect from the rest of the exhibits.

Beyond the theater, the museum is divided into six sections: A Wild Land, Comanche Empire, Buffalo Hide Trade, Military on the Frontier, Cowboys and Longhorns, and Frontier Settlements. Each section has detailed historical information and amazing artifacts.

Paint Rock depiction at Frontier Texas!

sign commenting on the Comanche Empire
statue of wolf and buffalo
buffalo bone trade display at Frontier Texas

large buffalo family sculptureevolution of the colt revolver with the Texas Rangers

State-of-the-art Technology

What sets this museum apart, though, are the nine hologram stations scattered throughout the sections. Frontier Texas! is one of the few museums in the world to feature life-size holographic figures.

Frontier Texas! is one of the few museums in the world to feature life-size holographic figures. Click To Tweet

These holograms are real characters from history, like Pat Garrett, who tell you their stories. The holograms are interactive. Each character’s story is divided into several parts and you can listen to as much or as little as you want. Just push the buttons for the stories you want to hear and the storyteller appears and begins speaking!

life-size hologram of Esibahitu at Frontier Texas

Esibahitu was a visionary Comanche leader who went from fighting the white man to meeting the President in the White House.

life-size hologram of Britt Johnson at Frontier Texas

Britt Johnson was born a slave. His wife and daughters were captured by Indians so he was granted freedom to search for them.

life-size hologram of Pat Garrett at Frontier Texas

Pat Garrett moved to Texas to hunt buffalo but later became a gunman and lawman.

Frontier Experience Theater

After nearly two hours of soaking in the history in the exhibits, I was ready to enter the Frontier Experience Theater. There’s a screen above the doors to the theater that lets you know how long it is until the next show begins.

The theater is a 360 degree experience. You’ll find yourself in the middle of buffalo stampedes, a shootout in the Bee Hive Saloon, a wolf attack and more. The seats swivel so you can turn to watch all the action.

In the Frontier Experience Theater, you'll find yourself in the middle of buffalo stampedes, a shootout, a wolf attack and more. Click To Tweet

The Details

Hours: Monday-Saturday 9-6, Sunday 1-5
Admission: Adults $10, Seniors & Military $7, Students & Teachers $6, Children (2 & under free) $5

You can follow Frontier Texas! on their Facebook page.

My Final Thoughts on Frontier Texas in Abilene

Frontier Texas! is definitely one of my favorite museums. The holograms intrigued me, but I especially appreciate the way it helped me put some historical events in perspective.

Have you visited a museum that has exhibits that include holograms? What were your thoughts?

buffalo and wolf display with text overlay: Frontier Texas! Where the Old West Comes to Life Abilene, Texas
buffalo bone trade display with text overlay: Frontier Texas! Where the Old West Comes to Life Abilene, Texas

A few other museums I’ve visited:

Until next time…

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  1. So interesting to learn that there is a world class museum in Abilene in Texas. I do love when a museum has a video that helps provide some information to put the museum contents in perspective. Always sends me searching specific things. Such a fascinating history covered in this museum. Holograms are a great way to bring the story to life.

  2. I love how well museums really put history to life these days – those holograms are amazing and really add an extra level to the experience. I’ve seen them once at the ABBA museum in Stockholm (where you can see with them!), but I think it would be fascinating to hear characters tell their stories!

  3. I also love visiting museums when I travel. I will be sure to check this one out when I visit Texas next.

  4. This looks like a great museum. I have to admit that often museums aren’t top of my list when visiting a new place but this looks really interesting. I love the way they have created something as engaging as holograms & films to watch. This hits my buttons when things are more interactive & engaging. I would definitely add this one to my list.

  5. I love interactive exhibits to learn about history. Really makes it come alive and I tend to actually remember the experience too!!! What a fascinating place this seems to be.

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