I got a rare Saturday off last week. Elizabeth already had plans to go to Six Flags with a friend that day, so I asked Luke if there was anything he would like to do. He immediately suggested the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, which has been on his to-do list pretty much since we first moved here.
The museum is architecturally striking.
Its visible components are mainly glass and unpainted concrete inside and out, which sounds like it should be ugly but is surprisingly attractive. It gave me the sense of being at an archeological site in progress, which may have been what they were going for.
The best way to experience the Perot is to start at the fourth floor and work your way down. There are stairs and elevators, but a glass-walled escalator near the museum entrance will take you directly to the top and provide some nice views on the way up.
Obligatory logo shot:
A window near a fourth-floor bench offers this view:
The fourth floor features exhibits focusing on the beginning of the universe, the basics of physics and prehistoric fossil records. And also this guy:
Lots of hands-on exhibits throughout the museum.
This one is fun. You control red, green and blue RGB outputs to change the color of the big column. It all looks white in the photos, but in person there were actual colors. Luke and I were trying hard to make the column turn brown, but we never succeeded. Orange was as close as we got.
Dinosaur bones! Love this hall. There are two levels here, so you can get a good look at the larger/higher skeletons.
The turtle skeleton is very cool.
This might be the most metal-looking skull I have ever seen:
Obligatory selfie with the T Rex
We had bought our museum tickets in advance, including special tickets for a 3D film about America’s national park system. When we finished up on the fourth floor, it was time to head back down to the first floor for the movie. That was 45 minutes well spent; the film was awesome. It reinspired my resolution to visit at least half of the national parks at some point.
After the movie, we got a surprisingly tasty lunch at the museum cafe, and then we picked up the exhibits where we had left off.
The third floor houses, among other things, the energy exhibits. The energy hall sings the praises of fracking with a bizarre level of enthusiasm.
There’s even a flight-simulator-type ride that “shrinks” you and takes you underground into the fracking process. I suppose the message is supposed to be “fracking is fun!” but I got off the ride even more horrified by the entire concept than when I got on. I’m probably not the target audience, though.
On the second floor, we found some more modern fauna…
…including these “slices” of humans captured by MRI technology.
The second floor also houses the “engineering and innovation” hall, which was far and away Luke’s favorite.
On the basement level there is a children’s museum with an adorable walkable model of Dallas.
The Perot is a pretty awesome museum, I’m glad Luke finally talked me into taking him. It’s a nice way to escape the Texas summer heat, too.
As a side note, there is another “branch” of the Perot Museum in Fair Park, but it is currently closed for refurbishment. It’s on our list, though.