What has giant claws, a shaking floor and a 2,700-pound geode? The Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas!
Hailed as an internationally renowned museum, this 180,000-square-foot educational institution is home to 11 exhibit halls, a children’s museum, a 1-acre Urban Forest and 3D theater. A Michelin Green Guide three-star destination and the only Green Globe-certified museum in the U.S. (a standard for sustainability), the Perot Museum has welcomed more than 6 million visitors through its doors and via outreach programs since opening in December 2012. With award-winning architecture created by 2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Thom Mayne and his firm Morphosis Architects, the museum also features an external, glass-enclosed escalator dubbed the T. rexcalator for the large T. rex that greets guests at the top and a Paleo Lab where guests can watch paleontologists uncover history in real time.
The Perot Museum opened its current location in Victory Park in 2012, but the museum’s history goes back much further.
On June 6, 1936, the Dallas Museum of Natural History opened to the public as part of the 1936 Texas Centennial Exhibition. Ten years later, the Dallas Health Museum was founded and was later renamed as The Science Place in 1981. And in 1995, the Dallas Children’s Museum was founded.
While exciting to have so many science and history-focused museums in the area, Museum leadership recognized the strength in combining resources for one truly renowned learning center.
In 2006, then-museum CEO Nicole Small oversaw the uniting of the three museums, forming the Museum of Nature and Science. Six years later, the museum opened at its current location as the Perot Museum of Nature and Science after a $50 million gift was made by the Perot children in honor of their parents, Margot and Ross Perot.
Since it’s opening, the Perot Museum has attracted learners young and old from around the region and across the country. It’s ignited the love of STEM for school children, providing them hands-on learning of everything from geology and natural history to robotics and health. Recognizing the impact the Perot Museum has on STEM learning, it was one of eight museums to be awarded a $496,860 grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as part of its IMLS CARES Act Grants program to support the role of museums and libraries in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. With a mission to keep content fresh and relevant, the Perot Museum has renovated several of its halls in recent years, including the Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall, Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall, Lamar Hunt Family Sports Hall and the Being Human Hall.
The Perot Museum is open during the pandemic, still providing good, clean fun and learning opportunities for all. Plus, the T. rex gets lonely without his gaggle of budding scientists visiting him often.
NOTE: The Museum is currently operating at limited capacity and with reduced hours and strict safety protocols in place. Please reserve tickets in advance and check for the latest hours and updates at perotmuseum.org.