DALLAS – When Perot Museum of Nature and Science officials announced the building would open to the public a month ahead of schedule, they strongly advised buying tickets online.
The 180,000-square foot museum, located on the northwest corner of N. Field Street and Woodall Rodgers Freeway near Victory Park, shares an opening weekend with the Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade, which brings thousands of families downtown each year.
Couple that with a pristine forecast of 78 degrees during its 9:30 a.m. ribbon cutting ceremony and the newly open Klyde Warren Deck Park nearby and, well, planning is a must.
But, before we get to that, head here and watch a time-lapse video of the museum's construction. Trust us. It's very much worth three minutes of your time.
So, after the ceremony, the museum opens at 10 a.m. and closes at midnight. Buy tickets online and choose a staggered half-hour slot to arrive. Museum officials are letting folks in in waves throughout the day.
Overcrowding won’t be an issue, said Jennifer Scripps, the museum’s director of business and partnerships. About 1,500 have bought tickets so far.
“We’ve had over 2,000 in the building and it was just fine,” she said. “People come and go all day, so it’s a hard number to conceptualize what that even feels like.”
Single day admission will be $15. Anyone who becomes a member by the end of the year will be considered a charter member –– those will retail $45 for students, $65 for nonstudent adults and $80 for a dual membership.
There’s paid parking under Woodall Rodgers Freeway, south of Broom Street. Head here for a graphic of where else to park near the museum.
If you’re planning on heading in from downtown, streets will be closed from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. The parade begins at Ervay and Marilla and continues west, heading to Wood, north to Lamar and east to Commerce, where it will end.
If you’re planning on enjoying the parade, Children’s Medical Center officials advise getting downtown by 7 a.m. to secure a seat. It begins at 10 a.m.
Plan on walking to the museum after it wraps up. Portions of the streets in downtown's core surrounding the route –– including Jackson, Young and Akard –– will be closed until 11 a.m. Head here for a visual on that.
The easiest way to get downtown, though, will likely be via a Dallas Area Rapid Transit line. West End, Akard, Pearl, St. Paul and Pearl/Arts District are all a short walk to these downtown destinations. Head here to plan your trip.
Perot Museum officials are ready for the big day. Scripps said the museum opened to its members on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. This soft opening allowed employees to get a handle on when to turn exhibits on and off. It’s also identified a handful of what Scripps described as “duh moments.”
“A mother came out and said, ‘you need a trash can near the changing table,’” she said. “Until people are using the building and it’s really living in its truest since, you don’t know some of those things.”
“It’s been critical for building operations,” Scripps said of the soft opening.
If you have any questions while you’re there, Scripps said to simply search out an employee in a Perot polo.
“There will be lots of friendly staff everywhere,” she said.
And, with that, Dallas has a pretty good problem to have –– there's almost too much packed into a day. Enjoy it.