Perot Museum of Nature and Science
By Mina Frannea
Every time we drive by the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, I’m intrigued by the design and the building’s textured look. Coupled with the cool looking enclosed escalator on the outside of the building, the overall effect is really interesting and unusual.
We recently got a chance to visit the Perot. Up close, the building is an architectural treat!
There is so much to see and do at the Perot. Multi-level exhibits offer a chance to learn about animals, our planet, our bodies, technology, science, engineering and so much more. Those of you who visited the old Museum of Nature and Science may recall that it was split into two buildings. The new museum combines everything into one building that is convenient and easy to navigate. There’s also a children’s museum on the lower level for little ones.
All the exhibits we saw provided a digital information screen which made it easy for us to learn about and understand what we were viewing. Each exhibit floor can be accessed by elevator or stairs. The elevators are kind of slow, especially the single, manned elevator that takes guests to the bird exhibit at the top most level. Once you get on the elevators, you’ll enjoy the glass walls that allow a glimpse of each floor. The cool looking escalator wasn’t open when we were there which was kind of a bummer, but these minor inconveniences didn’t take away from the great time we had exploring what the Perot Museum of Nature and Science has to offer.
Along the walkway to the museum, our kids enjoyed making music in the xylophone “forest”.
Inside, we were impressed by the earthquake and tornado simulators, the “shadow” wall that mimics every move and the machines that enabled us to move ping pong balls with our thoughts!
The gemstone and mineral displays were absolutely gorgeous! One of the displays is a HUGE amethyst geode that opens and closes using a geared wheel.
Our son loved designing and engineering his own remote control robot then being able to play with his creation — pretty cool stuff!
The space exhibit had a ton of interesting information and lots of great visuals about our solar system and the universe. A fun part of the space exhibit was being able to “journey” to different planets throughout our solar system and to see what it would be like on the surface of a given planet.
The animal displays were realistic enough that little ones may need to be reminded that they’re just pretend. Some of the eco-system displays allowed us to smell scents associated with that eco-system — pretty neat!
Of course, the museum wouldn’t be complete without the prehistoric animals exhibit — just fantastic!
After experiencing the largesse of the other exhibits, the bird exhibit on the top floor was slightly disappointing because it’s in a very small, enclosed area and there didn’t seem to be a whole lot to see. The virtual flight simulator screen is pretty cool (you get to be the bird and see what it sees while flying), and our daughter enjoyed the scavenger hunt for clues to design her own bird, but otherwise, it was just okay. However, the view from up there of the dinosaurs was fabulous! (see photo on right above)
As we started to make our way downstairs in search of the children’s museum, we stopped to capture a view of downtown Dallas.
The children’s museum has been revamped into a play area that’s ideal for kids ages 5 and younger. There’s a mini grocery store, a water play table, a campsite and a craft station. Another neat feature is the slide and climbing area that looks like downtown Dallas. If it’s a nice day, parents can sit in the enclosed courtyard, while their child enjoys the big sandbox. The new children’s museum also provides a lot of seating areas for parents, similar to what you might find in a mall play area.
On the same level as the children’s museum, we discovered the Sports Hall which was a lot of fun! Among other things, our twins got a chance to race against each other and a cheetah, T-Rex or famous athlete. They also got to record and compare their moves in slow motion against pros in their favorite sport using a green screen in the Motion Lab – very cool! Also on the lower level was a temporary exhibit which showcased the design, planning and construction of the Perot.
We spent about four hours at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and there is still more that we didn’t get to see. We’ll definitely be going back.
Put the Perot Museum of Nature and Science on your must see list this winter break – it’s a great family experience! Get there early to avoid crowds. Both members and non-members are required to have tickets to see the general exhibits; ticketed entrance is timed in 30 minute intervals starting at 10am.
Admission and other information can be found at http://www.perotmuseum.org/.
Mina Frannea is an online media professional. She is the editor and social media manager at North Texas Kids Magazine as well as the Marketing and Public Relations Director for Actor Richard Hatch. Mina enjoys the Arts, Sci-Fi, new technology, cooking, enlightening discussions and sharing relevant information on her blog TheMomsJournal. Mina also provides PR services for conventions and other events.