Dallas and the Museum of Nature & Science

The Museum of Nature & Science houses the only public planetarium in Dallas County. The Science Place Planetarium, as it’s known to some is located in the Science Place Building 2 at 1318 Second Avenue Dallas, Texas. It’s a sort of hands-on museum with displays for kids that they can actually touch and sometimes, manipulate. Officially, the Science Place merged with the Dallas Museum of Natural History in 2006 to form a single institution called the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science. The main part of the Science Place is located in the middle of the Park, contiguous to the old Museum of Natural History, but the planetarium has its own building on the south end of the park. Dallas’ most-visited cultural institution, this museum brings nature and science alive for discoverers of all ages. Interactive exhibits, special kid programs, a school and summer camp, a brand new Children’s Museum and even IMAX movies have all been integrated in the museums line-up of activities.The planetarium itself is near the Aquarium, and shares space with the radio station, WFF, and a series of Project Head Start classrooms which is one of the good things about the planetarium. Being a part of the Science Place, its main goal is to provide education to kids. It has lots of simple- to-understand but interesting exhibits dotting the building, including one display where you can check what your weight and age will be on all the major planets, using special calculators attached to the wall. They’ve also got a variety of other displays, which many kids will find cool. Topping this array is a practice spacesuit from NASA and the only meteorite known to have fallen in Dallas County. The planetarium room itself is small with seats for only 20 people at a time. The seats are tilted back toward the ceiling for easy viewing. It is comfortable and cool inside with a white domed ceiling. They have a pool of half a dozen shows. This includes “Wonders of the Universe,” and takes you from the creation of the universe up to today in just 20 minutes. They have a line-up of fascinating and well executed documentaries.The Museum is also home to a Dental Gallery, a Tenet Rescue Unit, Hands-On Physics, Kids Place Playground, and Electric Theater. Kids will surely be mesmerized by the different hands-on activities the place offers. The Dental Gallery has an entrance resembling a big mouth and a Toothbot named Tony, which is a mechanical molar that teaches about dental hygiene, among other things. The Hands-On-Physics has more than 75 areas to learn about physics and math including rolling balls, shifting weights and moving platforms. The Electric Theater demonstrates major electricity discoveries, cryogenics, lasers, chemistry and astronomy. A hip place for learning science.

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