Ultimate Dinosaurs, Being Human and Racing a Cheetah among the Summer’s highlights
By Brian Gage
If you’re looking to “amaze your brain” this summer, look no further than the internationally acclaimed Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas.
A Michelin Green Guide Three-Star destination, the Perot Museum is the top cultural attraction in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, located right in Victory Park. The museum is a nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to provide inspiration to budding scientists, mathematicians, and engineers through its five-floor facility, containing 11 permanent exhibit halls, a children’s museum, a traveling exhibit hall and a theater showcasing the National Geographic Experience.
Admission cost ranges from $13-$38 depending on the experience you are looking to enjoy, and the museum is open 10am-6pm Monday-Saturday and 11am-6pm on Sundays for special summer hours. There is a great deal to be excited about at the Perot Museum this summer, so be sure to make your reservations soon!
This past June, the museum unveiled a fantastic new traveling exhibit called Ultimate Dinosaurs. This exciting exhibition showcases 17 fascinating and extremely rare breeds of dinosaurs that thrived in Africa and South America, most being quite unfamiliar to the average North American.
Ranging from the larger-than-life Gigantosaurus to the puny Eoraptor, these rambunctious reptiles ruled the world millions of years ago and are now on display for the public to behold.
Among the selection of fantastic beasts is the world’s first installation of an 85-foot Alamosaurus and the skull cast of the Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, a smaller cousin of the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
The Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibit tells the origin story of our continents, how they once were fully connected as a supercontinent called Pangea, and how their separation resulted in such massive evolutionary diversity in dinosaurs.
The exhibit also houses 15 full sized dinosaur casts, a plethora of prehistoric artifacts, an augmented reality experience that allows visitors to come face to face with some of the most ferocious dinos in the flesh, and many hands-on features that allow visitors to feel fossilized remains and interact with miniature dioramas.
Ultimate Dinosaurs is presented in English and French (with a Spanish audio guide available) and the whole experience costs somewhere in the range of $21-$30. Entry to the 11 permanent exhibits is included with the purchase of a ticket for the exhibit, as well as your choice of one of three fascinating 3-D films.
After closing for a brief period, the Being Human exhibit at the Perot Museum has returned bigger and better than ever! The first completely transformed exhibit hall since the museum’s opening five years ago, Being Human explores several key aspects essential to the human journey.
Since its reintroduction, the Being Human exhibit has doubled its number of interactive displays and added a huge assortment of innovative content and fascinating experiments.
The exhibit features an intact, preserved human brain and spinal cord which demonstrates to visitors the inner mechanisms of their most important organ.
The exhibit focuses on many of the traits and abilities that have evolved in humans over thousands of years which make us stick out as intellectual and exceedingly social creatures.
As such, the exhibit allows for children and adults alike to work together and use their brains to perform experiments like examining the electricity within a living worm and exploring the DNA of wheat under a microscope.
In addition, the exhibit contains a state-of-the-art virtual reality experience that places visitors in the center of a South African cave that is home to the new discovery of Homo naledi, a human ancestor.
Other Exciting Displays
Along with its newer additions, the Perot Museum has a truly enormous amount of interesting permanent displays to behold for those who have never visited.
The Lamar Hunt Family Sports Hall grants visitors with a scientifically driven means of getting active. You can race simulated versions of top athletes, a cheetah or a T. Rex on the 55-foot Run Wall, perform a variety of athletic feats in front of a high-speed camera to compare your skills with
professional athletes, and measure your reaction time with a light board and timer. This exhibit is definitely the place for the more stir crazy of visitors.
In the Expanding Universe Hall, visitors can get a first class ticket on a journey around the solar system.
A cutting-edge simulation allows guests to cruise through the night sky from planet to planet and get a good look at many of the fascinating aspects of the massive tract of space that makes up our solar neighborhood.
You can also play an interactive game about the asteroid belt and take a selfie with a floating astronaut.
And in the Lyda Hill Gems and Mineral Hall, you are able to crack open a 5-foot geode and check out one of the biggest gold nuggets still in existence.
We’ve merely scratched the surface of the massive amount of exciting features the Perot Museum has to offer, and a visit to the facility is sure to keep guests of all ages entertained for hours.
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Brian Gage is a resident of Amherst, Massachusetts and a lover of all things outdoors. He enjoys traveling to exciting new locations, attempting to take in the most beautiful natural sites he can see. He is an avid hiker and climber and can be found at the Hadley Central Rock Gym on many of his free days.