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The Museum of Nature & Science is the result of a 2006 merging, unlike any in the nation, of three cultural institutions – the Dallas Museum of Natural History (est. 1936), The Science Place (est. 1946) and the Dallas Children’s Museum (est. 1995). The combination of the Dallas Museum of Natural History and the Science Place was completed in June of 2006. The Children’s Museum combination was completed the following October. These combinations have resulted in an exciting family destination, which is able to better serve the community and steward its investment in the institution. The Museum’s mission is to inspire minds through nature and science!
At present, the museum is proceeding with plans for a new state-of-the-art facility in the Victory Park area of downtown Dallas. Further details can be found in the Museum Expansion section of our Information page on our website.
Dallas Museum of Natural History was founded in 1936 as part of the Texas Centennial and was one of the first natural history museums in the region. It is now included in the National Register of Historic Places and is the only public collections-based, research driven, Natural History Museum in the region. It has contributed to major discoveries including the validation of the Monte Verde findings and the excavation and transport of Sauropod dinosaur fossils from Big Bend. DMNH earned Smithsonian Institution Affiliate Museum status in 1999.
The Science Place was founded in 1946 as the Dallas Health Museum and is one of the oldest science museums in the nation, accredited by both the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) and the American Association of Museums (AAM). It was the first museum in Dallas to receive AAM accreditation and is one of seven museums that founded ASTC. TSP celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2006.
Dallas Children's Museum was founded in 1995 and served as a hands-on early childhood learning destination.
The Museum occupies three landmark structures in Fair Park and owns an offsite warehouse for storage. In its "Nature Building" are housed more than 200,000 items in its collections comprised of artifacts, eco-facts, entomology, vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, malacology, ichthyology, herpetology, ornithology, and mammal specimens. The collections cover approximately 1.7 billion years of Earth’s history and are illustrated through exhibitions focused on geology, earth sciences, biodiversity, a fossil prep lab and a live animal room. In the Science Building are more than 200 permanent hands-on exhibits on physics, astronomy, health, robotics, nature, and special young children’s venues. Over one-million dollars in notable additional exhibit/gallery launches were recently completed. This includes NetWorks! digital communications, The Dental Gallery, and The Little Urban Farm. This facility is also home to special exhibitions, galleries, an auditorium, the early childhood galleries and the TI Founders IMAX® Theatre. The IMAX® was opened in 1996 with a 323 seat auditorium that provides an immersion educational experience with a 79-foot domed screen and 12,000 watts of surround and overhead sound. The third building is the Planetarium, the only public one in the City, and through a generous grant from The Crystal Charity Ball, a new Digistar 3 System has been installed, offering a continual roster of programs about astronomy and space exploration.