Why You & the Family Need to Visit the Perot this Summer

by N.L.Thi-Hamrick on June 24, 2019 in Living Texas, Dallas/Fort Worth,
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Everywhere you look, there is a visual spectacle sure to delight the senses at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, with educational galleries and programs for all ages.

The Perot first opened its doors in December 2012, and it remains an integral part of downtown Dallas, judged by many as the best museum in the area. With its award-winning 11 halls of permanent exhibits, and multitude of opportunities to cultivate growing minds, one visit is never enough to experience the breadth of adventure waiting inside.

Step into the five-floor campus in Victory Park and beat the summer Texas heat in style with all the Perot has to offer. There are sleepovers and Discovery Camps for children and teens, as well as informative events geared towards adults.

This summer, the Perot has Discovery Camps for children and teens, as well as informative events geared towards adults. Various discounts run year-long, including free entry for military personnel, veterans, first responders and educators, making the Perot truly a museum for everyone. Photo Jason Janik/Perot Museum of Nature and Science

The museum is currently home to the popular traveling exhibit “The Art of the Brick,” offered in both English and Spanish. This is the largest display of Lego art in the world, and been named by CNN as one of its global top 10 “must-see” exhibits. Using only the beloved, recognizable toy as his medium, internationally renowned contemporary artist Nathan Sawaya amazes us with captivating original pieces that take us on a sensuous joyride reflective of his own emotional journey, including his transition from corporate lawyer to artist.

The fan favorite “Yellow” at “The Art of the Brick” exhibit is a life-size sculpture of a man ripping his chest open with thousands of yellow Lego bricks cascading from the cavity. (Yellow has gained pop-culture fame appearing on fashion labels, album covers and even in Lady Gaga’s music video “G.U.Y.”) Photo JerSean Golatt/Perot Museum of Nature and Science

“Yellow,” the iconic piece often featured on posters, etc. of the exhibit, depicts a man composed of hundreds of mustard-hued Lego blocks, opening his chest to reveal a hollowed space with individual bricks spilling out. “Everlasting” shows us a mature, wizened couple walking hand-in-hand, scaled with precision and encapsulating a tender moment of timeless love. We are also treated to reimaginations of Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night,” Corinne Brinkerhoff’s “American Gothic,” and Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” breathing dynamic, 3D life into these 2D classics.

A young girl reads about the ancient Egyptian queen Nefertiti sculpture in The Art of the Brick traveling exhibition at the Perot through August 18. Photo JerSean Golatt/Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Another eye-catching collection includes sculptures of monolithic, worldly wonders, including the realistic bust of a Mo’ai, also commonly referred to as an Easter Island head. Elsewhere we are brought face to face with a T-Rex comprised of over 80,000 Legos. It’s tempting to walk quickly, feasting our eyes on each new wonder, but be sure to peruse slowly and indulgently; while considering the time and effort it must have taken to create each work of art.

Lastly, the piece de resistance may lie in the cathartic finale. Itching tiny hands wanting to touch each Lego during the exhibit can be liberated in the interactive area. Here, nimble fingers are welcome to build, break and showcase their creations. Different stations prompt children to construct works of art with their eyes closed, or using only five blocks. Popularity has tickets selling out fast, get yours before it’s too late!

Younger guests at the Perot can leave dinosaur tracks by donning dino boots and stomping around their own canvas. Photo JerSean Golatt/Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Finish your visit by stopping by the Hoglund Foundation Theatre to see “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition,” celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Witness and listen to never-before-seen or heard footage and audio recordings from this historic milestone. Or catch “Superpower Dogs 3D” and follow moving stories of six real-life, four-legged heroes and their two-legged companions. It’s a feel-good movie the kids will love about love, trust and bravery. There’s Ricochet, a rambunctious golden retriever and famous surfing hound who has transformed the lives of many she’s met, including veterans suffering from PTSD and children like Logan, with special needs and a fear of surfing. The powerful, 40-minute film is narrated by none other than Captain America himself, actor Chris Evans, who says, “the bond is what makes them a super team.” It is a must-see this summer season and one that will leave adults and children alike filled with gratitude and awe.

Splash around in the Perot Museum of Nature and Science’s plaza this summer. Photo JerSean Golatt/Perot Museum of Nature and Science

The Perot is hosting the “Origins: Fossils From The Cradle of Humankind” exhibition from October 19 – March 22, 2020, which features fossils of two ancient human species. Discovered in 2008, the hominin skeleton was the most complete fossilized skeleton ever found. Five years later, The Perot’s Dr. Becca Peixotto, with the help of a Wits University team, unearthed the fossils of a new ancient relative, the Homo naledi. Together, these two remarkable discoveries provide further evidence of the complex processes of human evolution.

The Origins exhibition will mark the first time ancient hominin fossils have traveled for public display since “Lucy” (Australopithecus afarensis) between 2007 and 2013. Photo courtesy Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Various discounts run year-long, including free entry for military personnel, veterans, first responders, and educators, making the Perot truly a museum for everyone! Visit the Perot’s website to confirm hours and special event schedules, get tickets, and begin your epic adventure. And, consider becoming a member! Located at 2201 N. Field Street in Dallas.

Cover: Roxy the Raptor made a trip down to greet guests. Photo Denzel Golatt/Perot Museum of Nature and Science

 N.L.Thi-Hamrick is devoted to all things that bring joy: good food, writing freely, lots of smiles, and pursuing things that make you feel worthwhile.