Friday, September 21, 2012

Perot Museum Set to Open (Early) on December 1

Crediting strong fundraising efforts and an ambitious construction schedule aided by good weather, Perot Museum officials announced yesterday the museum will debut a full month earlier than last announced – and just in time for the holidays – on Saturday, December 1, 2012.

"It's been our objective to not only finish on time but to beat our deadlines on multiple fronts. Thanks to the hard work of our board leadership, project team and the museum staff, our $185-million fundraising goal was met more than a year ahead of schedule, and now we will open our doors before the end of the year," said Nicole G. Small, The Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer.

The museum sits on a 4.7-acre site at the corner of N. Field Street and Woodall Rodgers Freeway in Victory Park, just north of downtown Dallas. The Perot Museum has been named in honor of Margot and Ross Perot, the result of a $50-million gift announced in May 2008 by their adult children – Ross Perot, Jr.; Nancy Perot; Suzanne McGee; Carolyn Rathjen; and Katherine Reeves.

The "Building the Building" exhibit, which highlights the Perot Museum's creative and construction processes from start to finish, will be the first temporary exhibit shown in the Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones Exhibition Hall. Visitors can expect a stellar cinematic experience in the 297-seat The Hoglund Foundation Theater, which boasts state-of-the-art 4K digital projection, the most widely used technology for watching 3-D films in theaters. The holiday season film lineup of both 2-D (traditional) and 3-D films includes Meerkats 3-D and Sea Monsters 3-D.

The museum lobby includes a 35-foot-long Malawisaurus dinosaur fossil and the "dancing water" interactive spheres where 88 models of water molecules (H20) suspended from the ceiling perform an animated dance in response to visitors passing underneath them.

On the plaza, visitors will experience the "musical forest" where large musical instruments are tuned to pentatonic scales allowing musicians and non-musicians alike to improvise and make beautiful music with the push of a finger, mallets and even gravel to sound the notes. Also, placed amongst pond cypress trees, 13 bright and playful frog sculptures will encourage visitors to explore the piney forests of East Texas next to the entry plaza. Lighted from within, the bright green and blue frogs will also be a focal point in the forest once the sun has set.

The Texas-driven landscape design celebrates an abstract cross-section of the Lone Star State, from an East Texas-inspired forest of large native canopy trees to the plains of the Texas Panhandle. Tucked within the bosque of mature trees near the forest is an urban plaza that will contain café tables and interactive water features.

Because the Perot Museum's mission is to "inspire minds through nature and science," the new museum fully embraces the natural and manmade worlds, focusing on earth and space sciences, life and natural sciences, chemistry, physical sciences and engineering.  The Museum will feature five floors of public space with 11 permanent exhibit halls, including a children's museum complete with outdoor play space/courtyard, and a state-of-the art hall designed to host worldclass traveling exhibitions.

The halls will feature state-of-the-art video and 3-D computer animation with thrilling, life-like simulation. Tabletop landscapes and computer-generated flyovers will provide eye-popping enhancement supported with timely, relevant and engaging educational lessons and programs. Hands-on activities, interactive kiosks and educational games will engage and excite visitors of every age.

Beginning December 1, the Perot Museum will operate year round Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. with the exception of Thanksgiving (closed), Christmas Eve (close at 3 p.m.), Christmas (closed), New Year's Eve (close at 3 p.m.). Please check the website for special holidays, extended hours and unexpected closings.
General admission and film tickets will go on sale online Tuesday, October 2 at  Registration is currently available for many 2013 Museum programs including birthday parties, sleepovers, scouting adventures/badge workshops and field trips.

Charter Memberships are available only during the Museum's flagship year through December 31, 2013, and include free general exhibit admission and discounts on admission to the theater, ticketed exhibits, programs and other activities. Charter Memberships (both personal and gift) are available, starting at $45 for students, $65 for individuals, and $80 for dual memberships. Household memberships are $100 for Family, $160 for Family Plus, and $200 for Family Plus Platinum. Patron level memberships also are available for $250 and up.

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