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Perot Museum Hits 1 Million Visitor Milestone Months Earlier Than Expected

Less than eight months since its December 1 debut to the general public, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science has topped the 1 million mark in visitors coming through the doors, a milestone reached much earlier than museum officials anticipated. Additionally, the Perot Museum has served more than 90,000 through off-site experiences, including its ScienceCast distance-learning programs, educational programs taught in school auditoriums and classrooms, and the Portable Universe planetarium programs.

We opened the Perot Museum on December 1 knowing there was a gap in science education, and we hoped the new museum would play a major role in filling it,” said Nicole Small, Eugene McDermott chief executive officer of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.We are absolutely thrilled that people from across North Texas, the state and even the world have so enthusiastically embraced our mission to inspire minds through nature and science.

Since opening, the Perot Museum has played host to visitors who’ve participated in over a million visitor experiences – from engaging in activities and displays in the 11 exhibit halls and viewing films in The Hoglund Foundation Theater, to participating in spring break and summer camps, sleepovers, birthday parties, public programs, and adult social gatherings and evening events. While the majority of patrons come from the North Texas area, as word gets out about the Perot Museum, a growing number are traveling to Dallas from states across the Southwest, from both coasts, and dozens of countries representing every continent in the world.

In watching the travel review sites, it’s really fun to see where visitors are coming from and their impressions,” said Small. In the past few weeks alone, we’ve seen visitors from Kenya, Pakistan, Scotland and most parts of the U.S.

During popular holidays and on many weekends, the Perot Museum has sold out. Its camp programs, adult programs and more have typically sold out within weeks and sometimes days within being announced.

Who ever heard of a science museum selling out? The idea that people of all ages – from cradle to gray – are getting really jazzed about science and finding it compelling is what we hoped for all along,” said Small. Who knows, maybe we’ll play a role in one or more of those children someday becoming a future Nobel Laureate, the next Steve Jobs or the person to cure cancer?

Because of the sell-outs and because the Perot Museum is selling timed tickets, visitors – including Perot Museum members – are encouraged to get tickets online in advance at perotmuseum.org.

Perot Museum vice president of programs Steve Hinkley also reports that more than 200,000 children have participated in nearly 3,000 interactive Museum programs – through field trips, distance learning, and public and in-school education programs.

Of those, over 80,000 were students from 25 school districts, who, without the scholarship support received from our generous donors, wouldn’t have been able to experience the Museum,” said Hinkley.

This summer visitors also have explored Recycle Reef, a Museum-curated temporary exhibit on display through August 25 that allows visitors to learn about recycling and participate in building an underwater-themed exhibit using recyclable materials. Also, Plastiki, a 60-foot catamaran made of 12,500 recycled bottles and other recyclable materials, is on display in the outdoor plaza through September 9. Also available are two 3D films – Waking the T. rex 3D: The Story of SUE, which explores the story of SUE, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever found; and Wildest Weather in the Solar System 3D, a National Geographic film that lets viewers witness the most powerful and mysterious weather phenomena in the solar system.

Hinkley adds that later this summer the museum will announce details regarding several upcoming traveling exhibitions.

As a science museum, our goal is to continue to expand the horizons and challenge our visitors with new experiences and content, and we believe these traveling exhibitions will accomplish that in a big way, said Hinkley.

Small acknowledges that the first eight months have been an exciting learning experience for the Museum as well.

The Perot Museum staff is very grateful to have so many visitors engaging with us, writing us letters, sending us emails and making calls about what they like and love as well as things they think we can do better,” said Small.

Our hope is that the educational and ‘aha’ moments never stop and improvements never cease. Because inspiring minds is what we are about, and we want to be here for generations to come.

General information, ticket prices, parking and more.

During the summer, the Perot Museum will be open daily until 6 p.m. to offer visitors an additional hour of discovery. From now through Aug. 25, 2013, the Museum will be open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday – Saturday and from noon-6 p.m. Sunday. On the first Thursday of August (Aug. 1), the Museum will remain open until 9 p.m. for one of its public late night events, which includes Lab Remix where visitors can learn about a new topic of discovery. On Labor Day weekend, the Museum will be open Friday, Aug. 30 - Saturday, Aug. 31, from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Regular hours resume Sunday, Sept. 1, from noon-5 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 2, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. From 8:30-10 a.m. every Saturday and 10 a.m.-noon every Sunday, members can enjoy exclusive pre-general public access to the Perot Museum, plus special early access from 8:30-10 a.m. on Labor Day (Sept. 2). In addition, there are member-only Late Nights July 17 and Aug. 13 from 6-9 p.m.

General admission to the exhibit halls is $15 for adults (18-64), $12 for students (12-17) and seniors (65+), and $10 for children (2-11). For members, general exhibit hall admission is always free. During the summer, admission to the theater is $5 for both members and non-members. Admission to Recycle Reef is free for members or requires a general exhibit admission ticket plus a $2 surcharge per person for non-members.

Visitors, including members, are strongly encouraged to purchase/reserve tickets in advance at
perotmuseum.org to avoid sell-outs, waiting in line or delayed entrance.

General parking and handicap parking is available in the main Museum parking lot, a pay-to-exit lot located under Woodall Rodgers Freeway across from the Museum. Limited additional handicap and hybrid/electric vehicle parking is available in the Special Permit lot, located directly west of the Museum. Pricing is $6 per car when paid on-site (at box office, lobby kiosk or upon exiting the lot) and $3 for Museum members (on-site at box office or lobby kiosk).