Perot Museum in Dallas, Texas was built in 2012 as a living science lesson to teach children and adults alike about science through interactive experiences. With 11 exhibit halls full of activities and hands-on learning, Perot Museum is an educational and fun way to spend a day when visiting the Dallas area with family.
One of my favorite things about our recent relocation to Texas was getting to explore a whole new state full of surprises. Every Wednesday I take my 3-year-old on a new adventure and this past week we went to a dinosaur adventure. I spent an hour looking for places to see dinosaurs near our new home and finally settled on Perot Museum in Dallas, Texas.
The Perot Museum opened in December 2012, and my mother-in-law has been trying to add it to our agenda every single time we’ve visited Texas since opening day. I had no intentions of writing about our visit to the museum but as soon as we’d wandered around just one floor of exhibits, I knew I needed to share one of the neatest museums I’ve ever visited. And that’s saying a lot coming from the girl who just moved from living minutes away from the entire fleet of free Smithsonian museums in Washington D.C.
I visited with my toddler, but there were also parents there with kids of all ages and quite a few adults sans kids. One of the most impressive things about the museum is how they incorporate learning and education in a way that is fun for all ages. For example, in the Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall, my son was driving a robotic car right alongside a tween and a grown adult; I couldn’t tell who was having more fun.
Each of the eleven permanent exhibit halls is filled with hands-on activities to not only learn about each of the topics but to really apply each of the principles being taught. Another favorite? The adapter reactor near the world of animals exhibit. It was hilarious to see how the animated animal adapted to different temperatures and climates.
Even the Moody Children’s Museum on the bottom floor of the museum went above and beyond with teaching through play. My son joined a couple of other kids in the city area and spent almost an hour building towers by moving blocks to the top using a manual conveyor belt. I’ve seen this type of activity at other children’s museums, but the Perot Museum is the only place that I’ve seen tower silhouettes for kids to build using the blocks they shuttle to the top of the city. And if they don’t want to build towers, the shoots were separated by shape, like a life-size version of the popular children’s shape sorter. My son was practicing his motor skills without having a clue.
We only had two hours to visit the museum, and it wasn’t nearly enough time to visit all of the exhibits or explore outside. If we didn’t have the dreaded nap time to deal with, we could easily have spent all day learning and playing our way through the floors of exhibits.
The Perot Museum has a great membership, and we took advantage of it by purchasing a family pass that includes two adults, children, two guest passes, and 50% free parking ($5 instead of $10 when we visited).
In addition to the 11 permanent exhibits, the Perot Museum always has special exhibits, a National Geographic Experience theater to watch special 3D films, and a cafe serving up regular museum fare for kids like corn dogs, mac and cheese, and french fries. We grabbed some french fries to eat on our way home and they were okay, not great. So maybe skip the cafe and grab lunch at one of these five places to eat in the Dallas Forth Worth area instead.
Traveling Mom Tip: Make sure to check museum hours before you visit. There are specific hours open only to members, hours that the children’s museum isn’t open, and other hour specific things you’ll want to know when planning your visit.