As you'd expect from an exceptionally well-funded science museum that opened its doors in 2012, the Perot uses every contemporary trick in the book to engage its visitors. These range from light shows that visitors can manipulate to learn about the "emissions spectrum" to massive plates one can stand on to experience earthquakes of different magnitudes. Visitors are invited to push buttons, watch videos, touch replicas of dinosaur teeth, and do whatever it takes to make science come to life. Aiding in this process is a veritable army of docents—really, there's at least four in each exhibit space—who have been coached to be dramatic ("Mars has a volcano the size of Arizona!" one exclaimed in the astronomy pavilion to a group of wide-eyed seniors.) This low tech/high tech approach works like gangbusters, I must say.

The Museum (formerly the Dallas Science Museum) is set on two campuses, the main one being in Victory Park. That building, an enormous cube set atop a plinth (and designed by award-winning architect Thomas Mayne) offers up 180,000 feet of exhibition space on six floors, so choose what interests you most, as you'll likely run out of time. Along with changing exhibits, permanent ones explore such topics as the "Expanding Universe" (astronomy), "Life Then and Now" (evolution), and how energy is created—a nod to the Lone Star State's star industry. While many of the exhibits are geared towards children, they're so smartly done that adults will enjoy them too, and come away feeling like they're learned a heckuva lot (at least this adult did).

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The downside to touring here: School groups crowd the place. To avoid them, come right when the doors open or after 2pm.