Plan Your Visit to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science
The Perot Museum in Dallas is a natural history and science museum throttled into overdrive. With five floors and 11 exhibits jam-packed with hands-on activities and 3D animation, this mind-blowing destination is sure to keep you spellbound for hours.
If you can tear yourself away from the 35-foot Malawisaurus fossil glowering over the Main Lobby, head over to the 11,000-square-foot T. Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall to gape at rare fossils and virtual paleo-habitats. Or ogle the 2-foot-tall mineral in Lyda Hall—nicknamed "The Eyes of Africa"—and learn about its 10-year journey from the trunk of the excavator’s Mercedes to its current home.
With so much to choose from, plan your trip carefully to avoid spending a week exploring the museum! Of course, if you chose to spend a week there, you’d probably have the time of your life.
Exhibits at the Perot Museum
You name, they have it. It’s hard to choose which one to investigate first.
Moody Family Children’s Museum
If you’re visiting with younger tots (ages five and under), check out the Moody’s exhibit. Your kids will be able to climb a miniature Reunion Tower, trek through an indoor nature hike, and dig for replica fossils in the shaded outdoor dig area.
Lamar Hunt Family Sports Hall
Burn off some energy by turning a few cartwheels, throwing a fastball, or kicking a soccer ball, and then review your efforts—all of which will be captured on a high-speed camera. You can check out X-rays and MRIs of common sports injuries, and learn how a healthy diet and lifestyle can keep you in tip-top shape and prevent injuries.
Discovering Life Hall
You could spend all day in this 3,400-square-foot wonderland. Create your own virtual baby dragon (no feeding required!) and learn how environmental stressors like pollution and climate change can lead to adaptation or extinction. Don’t forget to carve out a few minutes to read about the theories of the origin of life in the interactive digital book.
Being Human Hall
Learn what it means to be a human being through interactive exhibits like the one that illustrates how your brain captures memories, or how we compare to other species on Earth. You can even use brain waves to launch a ping-pong ball!
Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall
Budding geologists take note: you’ll want to spend all day in this immersive exhibit. Check out how certain minerals change color under UV light and learn how beautiful crystals form over thousands of years.
Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall
Engineers are the people who transform dreams into reality. From iPads to air-conditioning, every invention you take for granted today was made possible thanks to engineers. Here, you can make your own sound effects or build a model skyscraper strong enough to withstand an earthquake. With engineering, there are no limits.
The Rees-Jones Foundation Dynamic Earth Hall
Have you ever wanted to walk through a tornado or feel the ground shake beneath your feet during an earthquake? This is your chance to experience both of those natural disruptions and more, all in a safe environment.
Tom Hunt Energy Hall
You’ll get up close and personal with the entire process of excavating resources from the earth and using them to power our electrical grids and cars. Virtually explore thousands of miles of pipelines hidden unseen below the earth’s surface, or operate the valves of a giant wellhead. It’s all at your fingertips in the Tom Hunt Energy Hall.
Expanding Universe Hall
It’s almost inconceivable to imagine a continuously expanding universe. But you’ll learn loads more about that here, along with other fascinating knowledge (like what’s it like to travel through space to each planet or how to classify stars by their light spectrum).
T. Boone Pickens Life Now and Then Hall
This hall is packed with more than just ancient fossils (although they are pretty cool). You’ll get to create a virtual animal and see how it fares in battle, and learn about the ancient origins of Dallas, all the way from its undersea beginnings to the Ice Age to present day.
Rose Hall of Birds
If you think birds and dinosaurs could not be more different, think again. The Rose Hall of Birds will have you imagining the robin at your birdfeeder as a giant T-rex in no time. See how hawks view the world with super strong vision or try out the full-body flight simulator to experience life as a soaring bird.
In addition to the permanent Exhibit Halls, the Perot Museum also hosts Special Exhibitions that change every few months, an immersive 3D Theater, and a Café operated by Wolfgang Puck.
It’s also an ecologically-friendly building. The building components are made from locally sourced and recycled materials, and in the summer the museum’s plumbing and irrigation demands are provided by recaptured air-conditioning condensation. Now that’s impressive!
Buying Tickets for the Perot Museum
First things first: One option is purchasing tickets for the Perot Museum as part of the Dallas CityPASS (which will give you a hefty discount off the list price, and also includes admission to other cool destinations like the Reunion Tower GeO-Deck). Or you can buy tickets online through the Perot Museum website. The CityPASS admission includes a ticket for a jaw-dropping film in the lavish 3D theater. All you have to do is present your booklet or voucher at the box office in the Perot Museum lobby for timed-entry admission.
Perot Museum Prices
If you opt to buy tickets directly from the Perot Museum, you can choose from several options ranging from simple admission to the museum or theater to a couple of exciting packages that include entry to special exhibits. Bear in mind that if you choose the CityPASS option, you’ll get adult admission and a film ticket along with access to three other Dallas attractions for .
Perot Museum Parking
The Perot Museum has a vast parking lot (that includes accessible parking) for visitors. This covered parking lot is well-lit and is located under the Woodall Rogers Freeway. You can either pay for parking as you exit the lot or via the Box Office. If you are unable to find parking in the Main Museum Parking Lot (or opt to look elsewhere), there are unaffiliated parking options close by.
Perot Museum Hours
The Dallas Perot Museum is open seven days a week. If you’re visiting during the week, the best time to visit is after 2pm, when all the school kids have gone home. During the summer and weekends, get there as early as you can to snag a good parking spot and enjoy as much of the museum as possible.
No matter what age you are, you’ll be sure to find something fascinating at the Perot Museum. Next time you’re in Dallas, make sure you save time for this exceptional institution.
Header image Courtesy of Perot Museum of Nature and Science