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Guide To Moody Family Children’s Museum

April 4, 2014 8:00 AM

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In 2006, the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science merged with the Dallas Children’s Museum and the Science Place at their previous location in Fair Park. Today, being opened a little over a year now, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in downtown Dallas continues the relationships and houses the Moody Family Children’s Museum on the bottom floor. Read on for a guide to this wonderful museum, made especially for children.

Moody Family Children’s Museum
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
2201 N. Field St.
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 428-5555
www.perotmuseum.org

Admission: Adult (ages 18 – 64) $15; Children (ages 2-11) $10; Youth (ages 12 – 17) $12; Senior (ages 65+) $12This special little section at the Perot Museum is dedicated to the youngest generations of Dallas-Fort Worth residents. A home to call their own for infants to five-year-olds, this specialized “museum within a museum” gives babies, toddlers and young children real hands-on exhibits for early childhood learning and allows parents and caregivers to interact with young children as well for a shared experience.

As soon as you enter this place, you are greeted with a shimmering blue pathway that meanders along each exhibit. It’s a pint-sized exhibit that begins with a nature hike and exploring how plants grow, a fallen log and their own pint-sized campsite. Pretend play is enhanced with a kid-sized version of the Dallas Farmers’ Market where kids can pretend to be delivery drivers, a farmer and more. One of the great things about the Moody Family Children’s Museum is that it offers up popular places within Dallas for kids to explore in their very own pint-sized version. Explore the Trinity River corridor and terrarium animals such as spiders, bugs and insects.

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Kids can then go from being a biologist to becoming a civil engineer by discovering a smaller version of downtown Dallas. Explore a scaled Margarent Hunt Hill bridge along with the building of the Dallas city skyline. Another favorite exhibit for young kids is one of the biggest sandboxes you’ve ever seen in the dinosaur dig. Inspired by real dinosaur digs in the West Texas area of Big Bend, your child becomes a young paleontologist.

There is also an area for your budding artist. The Art Place allows kids to take part in drop-in art programs or explore science experiments using color, texture, science and nature. All of the exhibits here are guided by early childhood professionals. Every month there are special programs that explore different cultures and the world along with creating special crafts. These special exhibits require registration.

The Youngest VisitorsOne of the unique things about these exhibits is that there is a specific place for babies and toddlers to explore and develop sensory perception skills. Babies and toddlers have their own enclosure apart from the other areas so they are not overrun by older kids. They can crawl through oversized replicas of a nest and a mole hole. They can use knobs and pull levers.

Story Time at the Planetarium

www.perotmuseum.org/story-timeOne of the most popular programs at the children’s museum is Storytime under the Stars, offered on certain dates and times. Located in the learning lab, the museum creates a portable planetarium. Kids ages four to six years old and caregivers get to enjoy children’s literature and explore the moon, stars and constellations in this special program. This exhibit is free but space is limited to 12 kids and parents. Registration is required.

Special Programs and CampsIf your budding scientist wants to explore more, take advantage of special camps and programs at the museum. Some of these special programs are available for an additional cost and registration is required. Kids ages three to five can explore: Scribbles and DribblesLittle LeonardosGallery Explorers and Kid Doodles.

Programs for Older Kids and TeensThere are also special programs for older kids and teens. If your kids are home schooled, there are age-appropriate programs offered at the museum at specific times for an additional charge. Classes supplement home school programs and are offered in two sessions. If your child is in the boy scouts or girl scouts, the museum also offers special programs to help earn badges and explore the world.

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Places to Eat and Explore Around the MuseumThe nearby Klyde Warren Park  is an urban oasis and close to the museum. It offers families their very own children’s park along with museum-sponsored family activities for free on the first Saturday of every month with hands-on exhibits.

The Museum Cafe offers up meals and snacks from Wolfgang Puck including pizza, pasta, sandwiches and more. It opens one hour after the museum opens. On weekends, the cafe can get very busy, so plan accordingly. If you choose to dine nearby, some favorites include the food trucks at Klyde Warren Park that are there daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Other favorite places for families around the museum include the El Fenix right next door, offering up Tex-Mex favorites. Another great place within walking distance is the Hard Rock Cafe Dallas located near the west end of the museum on Houston street.

Best Times to Visit the MuseumWeekends at the museum are very busy so purchasing tickets online and registering online if you are a member in advance is highly encouraged. If you can get there as soon as it opens, the museum is less busy and you have room to move strollers around. The Moody Children’s Museum has stroller parking so little ones can maneuver that level. There are no strollers for rent at the museum. For parking, the earlier you go, the better your spot will be. You can also take DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) and get off at the west end or the Akard station. Learn more at dart.org for your public transportation options.

Whatever your passion, the museum offers free wifi within the museum and surrounding areas so stay connected and share your experience on social media.

Heather Buen is a social media and communications consultant as well as a mother of three that has lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for over ten years. She covers all things family and has experience as both a writer and single mom. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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