In December 2012, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science opened it’s doors and saw an overwhelming response from the community. You see, kids love to learn in unique ways. They like to touch things, experiment, see themselves in different ways, use all 5 senses and laugh. They call it fun, we call it learning. No matter what you call it, this museum does it well.
Thanks to the generosity of the five children of Ross & Margot Perot (a $50 million dollar), this amazing museum was brought to life. Right smack dab in the heart of downtown Dallas, it has been selling-out daily since it’s opening 2 months ago. Word has gotten out how great it is.
Tickets are sold in timed increments, so as the museum-goer can have a pleasant experience and get to try all the hands-on experiments without having to wait too long. Luckily, we had the first group of tickets for the day, so we headed right upstairs to the 4th floor, taking the fun escalator up.
As I have mentioned, the museum is full of hands-on experiments, many of which are easy to follow and understand what you are doing for most ages. What I liked the most was that there were several wandering “educators” on each floor, that would just right in and explain to the kids what they were doing (i.e. lifting a bowling ball on each planet) and why it was important.
There are 5 levels to the museum, each full of fun. We especially enjoyed the third level, where we were able to feel an earthquake, touch a funnel cloud, and forecast the weather.
As it’s a new museum, everything is so bright and colorful. You find each exhibit incredibly engaging. On Level 2, your senses are taken to a new level as you walk through the Discovering Life Hall. Fully sense the Texas Blackland Prairie by hearing the prairie dog call, feeling the prickly pear cactus and smelling the desert marigold (or coyote urine, if you dare!).
If you have enough time, check out the BioLab on Level 2. Children get to experiment with staining their cheek cells, DNA extraction, testing germ killers, or looking a chromosomes from fruit flies. The museum provides educators in this area to help the children. You may have bit of a wait, but for those interested in the human body, this is a pretty cool exhibit.
My little engineer spent a good 30 minutes on programming a robot to go through a maze. He worked diligently on one of two stations and was successful on his first try. The other kids roamed around the Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall making music, learning how to dace, playing in front of a geo-thermal wall, and more while he plugged away. I was able to sit on a set of steps and relax a bit, able to see them taking their time to master whatever they were trying.
For little ones (5 and under) the museum offers the Moody Family Children’s Museum on the Lower Level. This area has a giant Dallas skyline to climb, slide, and play on that really caught my 3-year old’s fancy. He also donned a Dallas Farmer’s Market apron and organized fruit for a while. There is also a water play station, craft area, and camping site to capture all interests. It is a great place to allow your little guys to run and play.