Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Sun: 12 PM to 5 PM
With its very controversial exterior design, spending time outside this museum is almost as interesting as enjoying the exhibits and displays on the inside.
The first thing that stands out is the 54-foot, continuous-flow escalator contained in a 150-foot, glass-enclosed, tube-like structure that dramatically hangs off the side of the cube-shaped building. The exterior is “wrapped” in a way that detractors say is reminiscent of a mummy. Fans remark that the look is of flowing water or shifting sands.
What isn’t immediately obvious is how eco-friendly the entire building and grounds are, including a rainwater collection system, LED lighting and solar-powered water heating. An acre of roof is planted with native Texas drought-resistant grasses to naturally cool the structure and even the parking lot is designed to capture runoff water for the cistern system.
Open till 6pm during the summer months.
Five floors house 11 permanent exhibit halls containing state-of-the-art video with 3D computer animation and life-like simulations so that visitors can enjoy hands-on activities and educational games. The lower level of the cube houses a modular traveling-exhibit hall; an education wing with six learning labs; a flexible space auditorium; and a children's museum including outdoor play space and courtyard. Be sure to allow time for whatever is showing in the 298-seat, multimedia, 3-D theater.
Even the website, http://www.perotmuseum.org/ is interactive and fun.