The Planetarium side of the Science Place is in a separate building and is known as Science Place II, a 1936 Art Deco building. Various programs are going on at the Planetarium and you need to check at the time of your visit. The Public Planetarium shows are only be available on weekends.
Open: Tuesday - Friday 9:30am - 4:30pm; Saturday 9:30am - 5:30pm; Sunday 11:30am - 5:30pm.
Also in the same building is WRR FM101 which is Texas' first commercial radio station and the second.
Though Fair Park is most famous for hosting the Texas State Fair every year, Fair Park is home to 8 museums year round: Hall of State, African American Museum, Age of Steam Railroad Museum, Dallas Aquarium, Dallas Museum of Natural History, Science Place, Texas Discovery Gardens, and Women’s Museum. Hall of State follows the history of Texas and famous Texans. We visited the week after the State Fair and the Hall of State seemed very empty. Several of the rooms didn’t have exhibits. The few rooms that did featured a few Texans that served in the Texas Revolution, World Wars, and Civil War. My husband and I didn’t find the Hall of State very interesting at all. The Dallas Aquarium features 6,000 aquatic animals, including many from the region and Gulf of Mexico. We watched the sharks being fed, which was fun. The Aquarium is not very big though. We spent only an hour there. The Texas Discovery Gardens is an outdoor botanical garden featuring local plants and blooms. Though the gardens aren’t very large either, it does feature a butterfly garden and lovely open area with a water fountain. Overall, I’m a little disappointed in the offerings of the museums at Fair Park. Though there is a little bit of everything, there wasn’t any exhibits that were particularly impressive. Fair Park is also home to the Cotton Bowl Stadium, Coliseum, and Texas Star Ferris Wheel.
The Dallas Museum of Natural History gives a good overview of natural history: animals, dinosaurs...and, of course, specializes in Texas natural history. Many exhibits about animals native to Texas - as well as animals and dinsosaurs and etc...that have lived in Texas in the past.
Open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Address: 3535 Grand Avenue
tel #: 214-421-DINO
The Science Place is a good place to take kids. There are exhibits on electricity, physics, dinosaurs, and much more...the good thing about it is that the exhibits are interactive...you get to participate while you learn. There's also an IMAX theatre...the best IMAX movies are always the ones that make you feel like you're on a rollercoaster or airplane.
address: 1318 2nd Ave
tel #: 214-428-5555
The Band Shell is right behind the Science Place. In 2000 it was refurbished back to its original 1936 look. All the lead paint was removed and new lighting was added. The shell has 3,800 permanent seats but can hold 4,500.
Just outside the Tropical Conservatory is the Leftwich Reflecting Pool which contains an aquatic plant collection that is maintained by the North Texas Water Garden Society. If you are lucky you will see some lily's flowering and you might just get to see the odd frog or two.
Each fall the State Fair of Texas comes alive in Fair Park. I love that time of year when the huge ferris wheel starts moving! It's home to the Texas/OU game, midway rides, corn dogs, fried snicker bars, and more. It's for families, girls, men, farmers, anyone really! I love it!! Some of the fun things to do: petting zoo, feeding the animals, concerts, craft fair shopping, bird show, rides, games, eating!
Now, because it falls in September and October people from outside of Texas might think...it gets cool, right? WRONG! It is summer until January here so please make sure to dress accordingly!
They have also started lining up famous country singers to perform on the weekends. So, take a look at the calendar, pick a day where one of your favorite singers is performing and come enjoy a great time!
*Plenty of alcohol is served!! So you can make a night of it. Great for a date, too :)
*Make sure to look into your transportation there. If you make a day for it I would recommend taking a bus. If you are just going at night for a few hours you might look into parking closer to the attractions.
If you like music theatre then check out the musical playing at the time with Dallas Summer Musicals. It makes a great couple of hours out of the sun. You can find their schedule at www.dallassummermusicals.org
Ok, so the fairpark is fairly difficult to navigate if you don't know the area. I actually drove on walkways! My mistake, however, the architecture and art around the fairpark is like treasure hunting, there is something unique around every corner.
Our trip there included going to the BodyWorlds exhibit. It was great, educational and exciting! The gift shop for the exhibit was wonderful too. Again, I love to shop if you haven't noticed. However, the cafe...horrible...the food was great but I could have eaten at a five star restaurant for what they charged for vending machine food.
The Sydney Smith Memorial Fountain sits outside the Music Hall in Fair Park. Sydney Smith was a long-time Secretary of the State Fair Association. Captain Smith was a Confederate veteran who fought during the Civil War and served 4 years in Company D. He died in 1912 at the age of 73 and is buried at Greenwoods Cemetery. The memorial was unveiled on October 14 in 1916 by his granddaughter. The statue is sculptured by a Dallas artist Clyde Gitner Chandler. It consists of 4 female figures which symbolise the characteristics of Texas - 'Mountain' is seated, 'Prairie' at her knee, 'Gulf' reclines and the winged 'Gulf Clouds'. At the time of this photo, the fountain was not operating.
The Tower Building is a focal point of the Centennial Exposition of Fair Park. It was formally called the Federal Building and was designed in 1936 by Dahl. In 1999 this 40,000sqft exhibition hall underwent restoration. The interior rotunda has 4 murals in each corner which represent the four compass regions of America. The ceiling is decorated with stenciling and floor is patterned. All the original furniture still remains in the room.
The bas relief on the front of the building were designed by Julian Garnsey and tells the story of the history of Texas.
From the terracotta looking paths you can see some unusual little bridges in the main lagoon where you can see the odd turtle or two sunning themselves. A regular pathway under shady trees connects both ends of the lagoon.
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