Inaugural Dino Fest Takes Over The Perot Museum Of Nature And Science Sept. 1-2, Plus New Paleo Lab Officially Debuts Labor Day Weekend

As the “summer of the dinosaur” nears extinction, the Perot Museum pulls out the stops for two-day fest featuring dino dig pits, T. rex sports challenges, paleo demos, a beer garden, live music, art activities, dissections and more, plus Paleo Lab gives visitors a chance to see Museum paleontologists unearth fossils in real-time 

Culminating the “summer of the dinosaur,” the Perot Museum of Nature and Science will celebrate all things dinosaur with its inaugural Dino Fest Sept. 1-2. Activities will invade all five levels of the Museum, bringing loads of fun from fossil hunts and dissections, to the exploration of meteorites and coprolites (aka dinosaur poop)! Dino Fest is free to members and included with general admission for non-members. Select activities require a surcharge.

Headlining Dino Fest is the debut of the Paleo Lab in the Perot Museum’s T. Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall on Level 4. The new glass-encased permanent exhibit will give guests real-time views of the dynamic dinosaur research of Museum paleontologists as they process and prepare fossils fresh from the field. Cameras in the lab will project close-up examinations of live fossil preparation while Museum Brainiacs explain and demonstrate the tools and techniques, and how this work connects to the specimens displayed throughout the exhibit hall. Guests just might witness the unearthing of a new prehistoric species.


NOTE: The paleo team has already made several big discoveries, including Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, the polar tyrannosaur that will greet guests from atop the new Paleo Lab. A pint-sized cousin of the T. rexNanuqsaurus was discovered and named by the Perot Museum’s renowned paleontologists, Dr. Tony Fiorillo and Dr. Ron Tykoski, in 2014. The new skeletal reconstruction of Nanuqsaurus for the Paleo Lab is the first ever on display.

Stealing the show in the Museum Lobby will be an immersive augmented reality experience that puts guests up-close with dinosaurs such as DiplodocusVelociraptor and T. rex. Visitors will see themselves side by side with life-sized, realistic 3D animated dinosaurs on an interactive screen. A definite must-do dino photo op!

Other highlights of Dino Fest will include hands-on fossil digs, live music and a beer garden on the plaza, live bird (aka modern-day dinosaur) interactions, T. rex sports challenges, face painting, trivia games, paleo demos and lectures, dino encounters and much more. Younger guests can become junior paleontologists as they learn all about Arctic dinosaurs, plus all ages can engage with paleontologists Dr. Fiorillo and Dr. Tykoski. For a full schedule of Dino Fest activities, go here.

Guests will also have an opportunity to share some dino love with a foster child through a community CASAsaurus sculpture. For a $5 materials fee, participants will receive a pair of toy dinosaurs and fun facts about that species. After filling out a gift tag for a foster child, guests will add one dinosaur to the sculpture and have one to keep as a souvenir. All dinosaurs donated to the sculpture will be distributed to foster children through CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).

It’s all part of the Perot Museum’s “summer of the dinosaur,” which Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings so pricelessly proclaimed (see video here). Other prehistoric must-sees include the Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibition (open through Jan. 6, 2019), which spotlights 17 rarely seen, exotic species from the southern hemisphere including the Giganotosaurus (South America’s “king of the jungle” predator) and Argentinosaurus (the world’s heaviest dinosaur). Presented in English and French (with a Spanish audio guide available), Ultimate Dinosaurs is presented locally by Highland Capital Management. Plus, the newly renamed T. rexcalator now features a life-sized model of “Stan,” the 2nd largest intact T. rex skeleton ever discovered, to greet guests at the top of the Museum’s well-known glass-enclosed escalator. At night, “Stan” is brightly lit in colorful lights to wow passersby. And in the T. Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall on Level 4, guests can dance with their own raptor avatar at the “Dancing Dino” interactive, while discovering how paleontologists use footprints to study dinosaur anatomy and behavior. Also on display for the first time are Protohadros dinosaur tracks found decades ago at Grapevine Lake.

And for Snapchatters, download the first-ever Snapchat lens of Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum, the previously unknown dinosaur species also discovered and named by Dr. Fiorillo and Dr. Tykoski.

HOURS. Dino Fest activities will take place 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1 (beer garden open until 7 p.m.) and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2. Dino Fest will be open to members during member-only hours 9-10 a.m. Saturday and 10-11 a.m. Sunday.

Through Sept. 3, the Perot Museum will be open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.The Museum will be closed for routine annual maintenance Sept. 4-6. General hours of operation, which resume Sept. 7, are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

TICKETS. Museum general admission is $20 for adults (13-64), $13 for youth (2-12) and $14 for seniors (65+). Museum general admission is free for members. Children under 2 are always free. For groups of 10 or more, call for special rates at 214-428-5555 ext. 8. All prices are subject to change.

Ultimate Dinosaurs is presented by the Science Museum of Minnesota and is supported locally by Hilton hotels of Dallas-Fort Worth and the “Explore Like a Local” program. More information at

The Perot Museum is located at 2201 N. Field Street in Dallas, Texas. Museum general admission is free for members. For ticket information, parking maps and other details visit or call 214-428-5555.

The Perot Museum is DARTable with easy access on the DART bus and rail system. For route information

Highland Capital Management is the 2017-2018 Premier Partner of the Perot Museum.

About the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The top cultural attraction in Dallas/Fort Worth and a Michelin Green Guide three-star destination, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a nonprofit educational organization located in Victory Park in the heart of Dallas, Texas. With a mission to inspire minds through nature and science, the Perot Museum delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor and outreach experiences through its education, exhibition, and research and collections programming for children, students, teachers, families and life-long learners. The 180,000-square-foot facility in Victory Park opened in December 2012 and is now recognized as the symbolic gateway to the Dallas Arts District. Future scientists, mathematicians and engineers will find inspiration and enlightenment through 11 permanent exhibit halls on five floors of public space; a children’s museum; a state-of-the art traveling exhibition hall; and The Hoglund Foundation Theater, a National Geographic Experience. Designed by 2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Thom Mayne and his firm Morphosis Architects, the Victory Park museum has been lauded for its artistry and sustainability. To learn more, please visit


Featured photo by JerSean Golatt courtesy Perot Museum.


Principal of Philanthropy Lifestyles (formerly, the award-winning eBuzzNewsletter and Adams Communications Public Relations, a boutique PR firm specializing in media and community relations for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Sharon is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Dallas Business Journal, Katy Trail Weekly, People Newspapers (Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People/North Dallas People), Preston Hollow Life magazine, The Park Cities News, White Rock Lake Weekly, numerous blogs and websites and more.