We recently visited the Perot Museum for the first time in about two years. When the museum first opened, we had a membership. I let the membership expire after two years. My children at that point were 8,4, and 2. It was more chaos than fun as soon as my youngest started having opinions!
Since then, my kids have repeatedly begged to go back. It’s rather expensive without a membership, especially if you think you’ll be back again within a year. I saw the museum post about needing families for a user study, so I quickly signed up! Being apart of the study would get us into the museum for free. My children were over the moon excited when we found out we could participate in the survey.
The only catch was that we were going to be follow around by an anthropologist! I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but for a free visit, I was game.
We met the anthropologist, Rose, in the museum parking lot. She was charged with observing us from the moment we stepped onto the museum grounds until we left again. During the visit she timed how long we were at different exhibits and asked us questions about how we felt when we stopped for lunch.
I was pleasantly surprised by my children this visit. Previously I had dragged out at least one whining child who had clearly overstayed their welcome. Being now that my children had grown a few years, they ALL were able to really interact with the museum. We didn’t even have to go to the children’s museum as a compromise.
We started at the bottom because despite racing a T-Rex 5,000 times in the past, we had to do it again. The options for racing hadn’t changed since the last time we were there, but that didn’t bother my children. We then decided to go up to the top level and work our way back down.
The bird floor, which had never really held their attention before, was a big hit. They also got more of a kick out of the robotics floor. Unfortunately, we landed there at the end of our visit. We had to be somewhere by 4pm that day so we didn’t get as much time as they wanted.
This time I had to drag three sad kids away from the museum. They really want to go back again soon, and I’m ready to oblige! It was fun to have someone follow us around. I got to voice my opinion (and opinions I’ve heard from other homeschoolers) on the museum. Things like…it’s SO crowded ALL day. It was so hard when we were members to navigate the museum when there were hundreds of school children around. I suggested one or two days a month where they could promise no field trips. They had that in the past, but it was a weekly thing. I think that was too much because it didn’t last too long.
Will we go back? Yes. Although I need to figure out when we can avoid school field trips. Maybe during STAAR testing (or whatever they’re calling it now). I was pleasantly surprised how two years of maturing made the museum fun. Personally, if you have children of varying ages, I would wait until they’re all old enough to actually pause and look at things. My four year old has really good concentrations and the museum was finally able to hold her interest. She even enjoyed the gem hall because the rocks were pretty.
(I was not asked to write this blog post. We did receive a gift card from the museum for participating in the survey. I didn’t know I was going to get that at the end. It was a nice surprise. The review here is my own and no one influenced what I wrote here!)