Visiting the Best Museums in Dallas

by Jenny Harrison
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museums in dallas Courtesy Joseph Haubert Dallas Art museums

Texas is home to several dozen incredible museums, each of which cover an array of captivating and fascinating topics; from the Children’s Museum of Houston to the National Museum of the Pacific War. Dallas, Texas boasts one of the richest museum and arts scenes in the U.S., which grab tourists’ interest like nothing else. Between its museums and unique festivals, including Soluna and Aurora, the famous downtown Arts District in the city has continually been praised (and also voted) as one of the leading destinations for art buffs. Whether you are interested in history, art, science or nature, these family-friendly and exquisite museums in Dallas offer the perfect activity for hot and humid summer days. Providing engaging and interactive educational and informative experiences for museum-lovers of all ages, these are some of the best museums you should visit in Dallas.

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The Dallas Arts District is one of the city’s most popular areas (Photo copyrighted by Carter Rose, courtesy of Visit Dalls)

The Sixth Floor Museum

Exploring the life, legacy, and assassination of the great President John F. Kennedy, this museum at the monumental Dealey Plaza is an incredible and one-of-a-kind multi-media experience for tourists within the historical context of the political and social landscape in the 1960s.

The Sixth Floor Museum reflects on the tragic events of November 22, 1963, when the gun of Lee Harvey Oswald echoed through Dealey Plaza, causing chaos.

This historic green space in downtown Dallas is now immortalized with a wide variety of exhibits which detail JFK’s presidency, life, and assassination on the 6th floor of the ex-Texas School Book Depository.

In this museum, you will find touch screens which detail the various events of the tragic day, along with audio guides and live streaming webcam.

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The Sixth Floor Art Museum (Photo courtesy Visit Dallas)

Dallas Museum of Art

The Dallas Museum of Art in Downtown Dallas features an extensive collection of art and ornaments which embraces everything from classic European paintings to modern sculptures. Stunning limestone galleries elegantly spiral from the center of the museum and ensure outstanding viewing and easy navigation for the visitors.

Inside the Dallas Museum of Art. Photo courtesy Visit Dallas museums in dallas

Inside the Dallas Museum of Art (Photo courtesy Visit Dallas)

The museum has much to offer. There are several notable international exhibits, like the famous Ancient American Art collection which has masks from the ancient Olmec culture. The museum has ancient Mediterranean art to 20th century American and European art and works by famous artists such as Pollock, O’Keeffe, Warhol and even the great Van Gogh. In case Impressionism is your thing, then check out a few works by masters such as Paul Gauguin and Edouard Manet.

The museum also has a variety of rotating exhibitions on the display, along with a broad variety of some fabulous permanent collections, like the Ancient Mediterranean art collection and African collection. You can’t miss a trip to this amazing museum.

Inside the Dallas Museum of Art. Photo courtesy Visit Dallas museums in dallas

The Dallas Museum of Art (Photo courtesy Visit Dallas)

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Within the confines of the contemporary Perot Museum of Nature and Science sits a technological, scientific, and naturally historic world open for exploration. Some permanent and popular exhibits include a being human hall, sports hall, and an engineering, instruments, and innovation exhibit.

There is also a great in-house movie theater which only screens various National Geographic films, varying in topics. Visitors are greeted gracefully by a “dancing water” molecule exhibit and Malawisaurus dinosaur fossil in the museum’s lobby.

It is an awesome place for children, as Perot Museum now offers sleepovers, camps, birthday party programs, art programs, story time, and a lot more. However, it does not matter whether you are a kid, adult, teenager or a senior, there is something for all at Perot.

A majority of museums in this area educate visitors on the rich history of Texas; however, Perot Museum is different as it teaches the history of the entire world and also shows where our civilization might be soon.

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The Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Photo copyrighted by Mark Knight Photography, courtesy of Visit Dallas)

Old Red Museum

Initially, an ancient courthouse constructed in 1892, the much-loved Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture is now home to a lot of Dallas’ culture and history you won’t find anywhere else.

This museum is made of the very bright red sandstone. It also features many exquisite architectural features, such as a clock tower, terracotta serpents on its roof, stained glass windows, and a grand staircase, among others.

An eclectic and grand collection if there ever were one, this museum has everything from fossils (which represent Dallas’ prehistory) to Lee Harvey Oswald’s handcuffs and Tom Landry’s fedora.

Old Red, as the museum is now affectionately known, provides many programs for both youth and adults; it is also a popular venue for special events.

The Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture originally served as a courthouse (Photo copyright and courtesy Visit Dallas)

The Dallas Holocaust Museum

The Dallas Holocaust Museum was established in 1984 by a group of survivors who wanted to preserve the unsettling memories of what they endured. The Dallas Holocaust Museum, also known as the Center for Education and Tolerance, opens our eyes to the horrors and tragedies of the past.

The Dallas Holocaust Museum was founded in 1984 (Photo courtesy the Dallas Holocaust Museum)

The museum features various self-guided audio tours and a wide collection of memorabilia from the tragic Holocaust. It features artwork showing life in many concentration camps, a museum, and a library.

Volunteer survivors, by request, are available to recount their stories and experiences. This museum often presents special and engaging lectures from different World War II veterans along with those who endured the atrocities and horrors of genocide first-hand.

Keep in mind that because of the  nature of some subject matter, several portions of these exhibits aren’t recommended for young kids. That said, the Dallas Holocaust Museum is an essential education when it comes to hope, humanity, and courage. And, please do not miss the famous Garden of Remembrance when concluding your tour.

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An exhibit at the Dallas Holocaust Museum (Photo courtesy the Dallas Holocaust Museum)

Our Picks for Some of the  Top Museums in Dallas

These are my picks for best museums in Dallas. The city also has incredible culinary, sports and outdoors scenes.

The Dallas Arts District at night (Photo courtesy Visit Dallas) museums in Dallas

The Dallas Arts District at night (Photo courtesy Visit Dallas)

For More:

– Cover photo of the Dallas Arts District by Joseph Haubert, photo courtesy Visit Dallas Tourism. Other photos as credited.

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