On December 1, 2012, the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science will open to the public!
I’m sure you’ve seen it. . . .
That strange spaceship-like building that’s been rising up out of the ground down in Victory Park for almost 2 years now.
I’m not sure about you, but the contributors of Dallas Moms Blog have been eagerly awaiting the grand opening for months now; especially since the old Children’s Museum in Fair Park has been closed since before the Fair!
Well, thanks to a special Media Day, we were finally able to sneak inside and get a peek at Dallas’s all new Perot Museum of Nature and Science; including the brand new Moody Family Children’s Museum!
All I can say is that it is 5 levels of amazing! There’s so much to see, do, touch, and feel, it will become slightly overwhelming! That’s why instead of giving you a review of the museum (that you can find on almost any Dallas news site), we’re going to give you a floor by floor guide to what you can find in the exhibits; including some special features you’ll see along the way!
And you can literally go up! Straight up!
In the center of the main floor, you’ll find a set of 54 foot escalators that takes you straight up to the top! You can safely enjoy the views of downtown with your kids as you make your way up along the inside perimeter of the building.
The dinosaurs have returned with the T. Boone Pickens Life Then & Now Hall. See the only completed Alamosaurus standing almost 2 bus lengths high! Then, head up to the 4M level where you’ll find the Rose Hall of Birds to create your own virtual bird. Custom pick their features; from predator or prey, flying technique, and feather type!
Discover all about Earth Science in the Lyda Hill Gems & Minerals Hall, and turn a wheel to reveal a giant “Grape Jelly” geode. Experience up close in the Tom Hunt Energy Hall what it’s like inside of the Barnett Shale. Then, move over to The Rees-Jones Foundation Dynamic Earth Hall and experience first-hand what an actual earthquake would feel like. You can control the intensity as you stand on the platform to compare different magnitudes.
Did you notice? As you’re heading down the elevators, you’ll be able to see who is in the elevator next to you! All of the elevators are glass enclosed which allow you to not only see the inner workings of a pully system, but let you to wave to the people going up or down next to you!
In the TI Engineering and Innovation Hall, you can design and build robots to race through a maze with others in informal competitions. If you’re a homeschool parent, you’ll love to bring your kids to the Discovering Life Hall where you can learn all about plant and animal life right here in Dallas. For the older kids, head over to the Being Human Hall where you’re able to see inside the human body!
This is where we started our journey, but there’s one more floor to make our way down to. But before you leave the museum, make sure you’ve had time to visit the 35-foot long Malawisaurus skeleton in the lobby!
If you have older kids or children into sports, swing into the Sports Hall right across from the elevators. It contains a Motion Lab where you can learn about your body’s movement and how it compares to famous athletes using a high-speed camera. Test your reflexes and race against a friend or host of virtual competitors on a running track.
And of course, for children under the age of 5, you’ll not want to miss the Moody Family Children’s Museum.
Similar to the museum in Fair Park, you’ll find many of the same exhibits, but with an upgrade. Some favorites have been brought back like the water table and farming area, and some new experiences like the Dallas Skyline playground and Trinity River Forest discovery area.
(Although I’m not sure of the size comparision, I believe the new Children’s Museum is slightly smaller than it was at Fair Park, and all the exploration stations are now in 1 big room instead of divided up into different rooms.)
You’ll also find they’ve brought back the Baby and Toddler area; however, you’ll notice it’s much smaller than before with no padding or safety gate. On the PLUS side, you can now be in the same room with all the rest of your kids without having to choose where you need to be!
Did you notice? Instead of taking the elevators back up to the 1st floor, use the Musical Stairs! Each step you take plays a musical note as you head back up to the lobby!
This museum is so different from the one at Fair Park, if you’re considering a membership I highly recommend giving it a test run first!
For some families, you’ll find yourself spending twice as much time in Uptown, and it will save you a fortune. For others, you might find it’s not as “toddler” friendly as it once was, and may not go nearly as often. (We’d also love to see how crowded the Children’s Museum will now get with the rooms being smaller!)
Museum Admission has also slightly gone up. Adults are $15, Children 2-11 are $10, and students 12-17 are $12 (Children under 2 are still free!).
You can buy tickets in advance starting on December 1st to select the day and time you’d like to arrive, or you can take your chances during the first few months it’s open and just show up; however, you might be asked to wait on more crowded days.
There is Perot Museum parking located underneath Woodall Rogers right across the street for only $5 per car; however, you can also purchase discounted tickets online that will save you a $1 and reserve a spot.