The Perot Museum is one of the top attractions in Dallas and one of the best natural history and science museums in Texas. The museum first opened in 2012 as a result of three local Dallas museums joining forces and merging together. It’s famous for its enormous dinosaur displays, but there are amazing exhibits about planet Earth, outer space, and so much more.
A trip to the Perot Museum will leave you with a sense of how amazing our universe is. If you love dinosaurs and science, the Perot Museum should be on the top of your list of places to visit in Dallas.
The museum is located in a section of downtown Dallas called Victory Park. It’s a sprawling development that includes entertainment venues, restaurants, and retail stores. The biggest attraction is the American Airlines Center where the Dallas Mavericks play. The Dallas World Aquarium and the Sixth Floor Museum are also not far away.
Parking for museum visitors is located under the Woodall Rodgers Freeway, right across from the museum. A short crosswalk will take you across Broom Street. You then follow a ramp leading up to the museum entrance. In case the main parking lot is full, there’s an overflow parking lot in front of the museum.
Touring the Museum
The Perot Museum is a huge building that contains 4 floors of exhibits. When you enter the building, head down the main corridor towards the ticket counter. Once you have your ticket, you can begin your journey of touring the exhibits. The museum recommends you start on the 4th floor where the dinosaurs are located and then work your way down. That makes sense, the dinosaurs are the biggest attraction and you’ll probably spend the most time there. The popular Expanding Universe Hall is also located on the 4th floor.
The museum makes it easy to start at the top. There is an escalator that goes directly to the 4th floor, skipping the 2nd and 3rd floor altogether. It’s surrounded by glass walls and offers excellent views of downtown Dallas. At the top, you’ll be greeted by a giant T-Rex skeleton! The escalator section extends outward from the building and is visible from the outside. When you arrive at the museum, you can see it sticking out the side of the building
If you don’t like escalators or have a stroller, you can take the elevators to get to any floor. The elevators are fun to ride in because of their transparent glass walls. It’s mesmerizing to watch the building levels change as the elevator changes floors. It almost appears like the building is moving up or down, instead of the elevator.
Boone Pickens: Life Then and Now Hall
When you arrive on the 4th floor, I recommend heading straight to the Life Then and Now Hall. The dinosaurs and other fossils are nothing short of spectacular. Many of the skeletons are placed in action-like stances to make the displays more exciting. Some of the larger dinosaurs are even hanging from the lofty ceiling.
Alamosaurus and T-Rex
The first dinosaurs to grab your attention will be the Tyrannosaurus rex that’s getting ready to attack a full-grown Alamosaurus. Both of these dinosaur skeletons are huge, but the Alamosaurus is colossal. The beast is 74-feet long and longer than 2 school buses. It reaches 25 feet in height and totally dwarfs the T-Rex standing next to it.
A full-grown Alamosaurus might have been too much for Tyrannosaurus rex to handle. It was slow-moving but had a powerful tail to thwart off attackers. A juvenile was probably easy prey though for the quick and deadly T-Rex. A Tyrannosaurus rex weighed 6 tons, but it could chase down prey at 20 miles per hour.
This fossil of a Tylosaurus was discovered in Rockwall County, east of Dallas. It was the top predator of
The Protostega fossil was also discovered near Dallas. It’s about the size of a small car and is the largest Protostega fossil ever found. The Protostega has the appearance of a giant sea turtle. It has a large head and beaked mouth like the turtles you might see today.
Despite its size, the Protostega was hunted by large prehistoric sharks and marine dinosaurs. The fossil is suspended in mid-air to appear like it’s gliding through the ancient oceans of long ago.
Dinosaur Diets and Teeth
Scientists can learn a lot about an animal’s diet from examining their teeth. The display above features skulls from animals with different types of diets. Check out the Titanothere skull in the middle and its huge molars. The Titanothere was a herbivore with flat and wide molars designed to easily grind up plant material. Herbivores are plant eaters, carnivores are meat-eaters, and omnivores are animals that eat plants and meat.
This skeleton of a Colombian mammoth was discovered right here in Dallas County. It’s surrounded by other animals from the “Pleistocene Epoch” time period. That’s when large portions of North America were blanketed by glaciers, and the central part of North America was covered by grasslands. This type of mammoth ate hundreds of pounds of grass each day. It also used its huge tusks to dig into the ground for food and rub bark off trees to eat.
At the Paleo Lab, you can watch paleontologists work on dinosaur bones and other fossils in real-time. There are mounted TVs above each workstation, allowing you to see exactly what the scientists are working on. You never know what might be on the lab’s table, you could actually be watching a new dinosaur species being discovered.
Expanding Universe Hall
The Expanding Universe Hall is a 2,200 square-foot exhibit and next door to the
Dynamic Earth Hall
You can experience first-hand the Earth’s changing weather and landscape at the Dynamic Earth Hall. The learning stations are fun for both kids and adults. Some focus on the Earth’s climate, like the device that simulates an 8-feet tall tornado. There’s also a weather forecasting station where kids can pretend to be a TV meteorologist. Another favorite is the platform that simulates what a real-life earthquake feels like.
The Energy Hall teaches about how we discover and use oil, natural gas, and other natural resources, and how they were formed over time.
Gigantic Drill Bit
There’s a ginormous drill bit rotating through the museum’s faux rock wall. Drill bits are a lot smaller in real life. But this is a fun display that grabs your attention when you walk into the room.
Alternatives to Gasoline
The hybrid off-road race car on display is beyond
Gem and Minerals Hall
The entrance to the Gem and Minerals Hall is marked with a dazzling arch of golden cubes. It represents the fabulous formations of gemstones and minerals you’ll see inside the exhibit. There are stunning crystals, metals, and beautiful geodes from all over the world. The displays are encased in glass and illuminated from the inside. The lights bring out the awe-inspiring colors and finer details of each formation.
Ausrox Gold Nugget
The famous Ausrox Gold Nugget weighs over 51 pounds. It was discovered in 2010 by 3 miners using a metal detector. Talk about hitting the jackpot! That’s just a sample of what you’ll find inside the Gem and Minerals Hall. The exhibit is a geological paradise. Just about every shape and color of every gem and rock imaginable is on display.
Outside of the exhibit near the elevators is the breath-taking heart-shaped amethyst geode. The museum says it was found in Rio Grande do Sul, a region of Brazil widely known for its amethyst formations. Smaller amethyst stones are common, but this one shaped like a heart is over 3 feet wide.
Discovering Life Hall
The Discovering Life Hall is a 3,400 square-foot space that aims to educate visitors about nature and the ecosystems of planet Earth. There’s a wide range of displays that cover life on both land and sea. You will learn about genetics and how they help animals adapt to their changing surroundings over time.
Being Human Hall
Yes, that’s a real human brain and stem. It’s by no means gory. It’s actually fascinating to see up close. The interactive stations behind the brain teach you about the powerful human mind and how our brain sends signals throughout our body. The Being Human Hall is loaded with these types of learning stations. From DNA to facial expressions, you’ll discover what makes us all unique and “human”.
1st Floor & Lower Level Exhibits
When you first enter the museum on the 1st floor, you’ll see a gift shop and a small cafe to grab some food later if you get hungry. If you plan to watch a movie, The Hoglund Foundation Theater is next door to the cafe. It’s designed for 3D movies that rotate throughout the year.
If you have kids, the Sports Hall and Family Children’s Museum are worth checking out. Both are found in the Lower Level of the museum. The Sports Hall has a fun event where kids can race a T-Rex, cheetah, or a famous athlete. As they line up at the starting line, their virtual opponent is lined up next to them on a giant screen. A timer counts down to ten, and then it’s off to the races.
The Family Children’s Museum is right down the hall. It’s designed for toddlers and preschoolers. There are lots of things to climb and explore like the make-believe dinosaur dig. Kids can pretend to discover dinosaur bones like the real ones seen on the 4th floor.
|Cost:||Parking is $10.00 per vehicle.|
Admission is $20.00 for 13 and over.
Under 13 is $13.00.
|Address:||2201 N. Field St|
Dallas, TX 75201