Top 12 Museums in Dallas

Last Updated on February 19, 2024 by Emily Johnson

As a cosmopolitan metropolis boasting world-class arts and culture, Dallas offers an array of top-notch museums guaranteed to engage visitors of all interests. From presidential history and sports legends to avant-garde modern art, the city’s diverse museums cover a wide spectrum of topics sure to intrigue both kids and adults.

Museum NameFocus Area
Perot Museum of Nature and ScienceNature and science
Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey PlazaJFK assassination
Dallas Museum of ArtArt across various cultures
Frontiers of Flight MuseumAviation history
Meadows MuseumSpanish art
Crow Museum of Asian ArtAsian art
National Videogame MuseumVideogame history
Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights MuseumHolocaust and human rights
Nasher Sculpture CenterModern sculpture
Amon Carter Museum of American ArtAmerican art
African American Museum at Fair ParkAfrican American culture and art
Museum of Biblical ArtArt inspired by the Bible

Interactive science centers let visitors’ inner child run wild while acclaimed fine art spaces nourish patrons’ creative souls. Whether you’re an architecture buff, jazz fan, or cowboy culture connoisseur, Dallas has a museum to feed every curiosity.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Name and Location: The Perot Museum is located downtown Dallas at 2201 N. Field Street in Victory Park, distinguished by its futuristic cube-like architectural style.

Collections and Exhibits: This interactive museum features 11 permanent exhibit halls focused on natural science from the origins of the universe to human innovation across five floors as well as outdoor spaces and an expandable 3D theater.

What to Expect: Guests can excavate dinosaur fossils, gaze at gems and minerals under microscopes, manipulate energy plasma balls, design robots, climb a vertical maze, and conducting dozens of hands-on STEM experiments across the innovative, educational, fun and dynamic exhibition spaces tailored for children and lifelong learners.

Visitor Information: Open 10am-5pm Mon-Sat, 11am-5pm Sun except Thanksgiving/Christmas. Ticket prices range from $13-$22 per person purchased online in advance. Parking available in adjacent Victory Park garage.

With its vibrant stone and glass façade slicing through the Dallas Arts District, the Perot Museum brings sleek architectural flair to its mission engaging young minds in nature and science. The Perot Museum dazzles with 11 permanent exhibit halls spanning from dazzling gems and minerals to dynamic dinosaur fossils. Visitors can gaze at a lifelike T-Rex skeleton, journey through space in the planetarium, or explore engineering concepts while touring an expansive children’s hall. For big kids, the Perot Museum also hosts after-hours social events on select evenings with craft cocktails, live music, and adults-only gallery access.

Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Name and Location: The Sixth Floor Museum sits inside the former Texas School Book Depository overlooking Dealey Plaza at 411 Elm St. in downtown Dallas where President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

Collections and Exhibits: The museum presents a chronological exhibit spanning Kennedy’s legacy, presidency through to assassination forensic evidence, conspiracy theories and aftermath using historic films, photos and artifacts contained within its seventh multimedia galleries.

What to Expect: Guests use provided audio guides while viewing impactful exhibits that document the events surrounding JFK’s Dallas trip before emerging near the infamous Grassy Knoll within Dealey Plaza outside. The space offers a vivid, immersive history experience.

Visitor Information: Open daily excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas. General admission is $18 with senior and youth discounts available online. The Museum Store and Cafe are located on premises.

Honoring Dallas’ most solemn chapter, the sixth floor of the former Texas School Book Depository building chronicles the assassination site of President John F. Kennedy. While passing through Dealey Plaza outside ignites goosebumps, the museum handles this sensitive history with grace and nuance. Interactive exhibits detail the timeline leading up to November 22, 1963 using photos, films, interview snippets, and over 40,000 artifacts. Visitors gain perspective on this pivotal tragedy that altered politics, civil rights, and the national psyche. For an emotional journey through one of Dallas’ most moving museums, the Sixth Floor tour proves gripping if also controversial.

Dallas Museum of Art

Name and Location: The Dallas Museum of Art sits within the downtown Dallas Arts District spanning over 375,000 square feet of exhibition spaces showcasing over 24,000 works at 1717 North Harwood St.

Collections and Exhibits: Spanning ancient to modern times across cultures, the DMA’s collections encompass African, Pacific and Native American tribal art, Classical Greek sculptures, modernist American design, and major European old master paintings with rotating traveling exhibits hosted annually.

What to Expect: Visitors explore collections highlighting decorative arts, pre-Columbian ceramics, African masks, Samurai armor, eighteenth-century French rooms, American frontier paintings, contemporary installation pieces and often experience special programming like Gallery talks, lectures, concerts, classes and interpretive activities.

Visitor Information: Open Tues-Sun 11am-5pm, Thurs 11am-9pm, closed Mondays. General admission is free with rotating exhibits requiring special ticketing. Parking is available in the underground garage.

With a collection spanning over 24,000 works across 7,000 years of creativity, the Dallas Museum of Art impresses art enthusiasts with pieces ranging from ancient to postmodern. Sprawling through nearly 400,000 square feet close to downtown, the DMA hosts outstanding strengths in its African, Pacific Islander, Islamic, and South Asian galleries. Additional highlights include an unparalleled Andean textile collection and growing repertoire of contemporary American and European pieces by famed artists like Mark Rothko. Through its free general admission and dynamic public programming, DMA opens formerly elite fine art to entire communities.

Frontiers of Flight Museum

Name and Location: Frontiers of Flight Museum is located just north of downtown at the southeast corner of Dallas Love Field Airport at 6911 Lemmon Avenue housing over 35 aircraft and immersive aviation exhibits.

Collections and Exhibits: The museum contains significant aircraft ranging from a Wright Flyer replica through supersonic jets and pioneering space capsules spanning commercial and military flight history alongside hands-on aviation programming perfect for inspiring future aviators and engineers.

What to Expect: Guests climb aboard aircraft mid-flight thanks to fuselage cutaways and acclaimed simulations experience spaceflight, aircraft carrier takeoffs plus Mach speed and aerial combat through interactive motion ride theaters before trying pilot reaction skills through engaging STEM galleries.

Visitor Information: Open daily 10am-5pm aside from select holidays. General admission runs $10 with senior, youth discounts. The on-site café hosts birthday packages while the gift shop offers aviation merch.

Aviation aficionados soar to new heights at the Frontiers of Flight Museum next to Dallas Love Field Airport. More than 35 aircraft and spacecraft plus accompanying exhibits detail North Texas’ history of aerospace innovation from early flight to future space travel. Museum showstoppers include the world’s only remaining B-24J Liberator bomber still in flight condition as well as Apollo 7 spacecraft that orbited Earth in 1968. Peek into flight simulators and a Federal Aviation Administration control tower to understand aviation jobs. The on-site Flying Museum café also looks straight onto the Dallas Love Field runway for plane-spotting over eats.

Meadows Museum

Name and Location: The Meadows Museum is part of Southern Methodist University showcasing its vast Spanish art collection within a modernist building designed by renowned Catalan architect Rafael Moneo at 5900 Bishop Blvd near the heart of campus.

Collections and Exhibits: With one of the largest international Spanish art collections outside of Spain, the Meadow’s holdings include masterpieces spanning from the tenth to twenty-first century across all media along with sculptures from the nineteenth through twenty-first centuries with temporary exhibitions hosted annually.

What to Expect: Patrons admire an encyclopedic array of preeminent works overflowing with Spanish flair including monumental canvases by Goya and El Greco plus transcendent sculptures from master craftsmen like Donatello rarely viewable outside Europe shown alongside emerging and local artists through regular programming.

Visitor Information: Open Tues-Sat 10am–5pm, Sun 1pm–5pm. Ticket prices range from free to $12 purchased on-site or online. Free parking available in the Token underground garage beneath museum.

Located on the Southern Methodist University campus, Meadows Museum holds the largest public collection of Spanish art outside Spain. From medieval religious works and royal portraits to modern abstracts, Meadows Museum captures over 1,000 years of Spanish artists’ masterpieces. Must-see galleries include ephemeral Spanish chalk drawings from the 19th century, monumental modern sculpture by Pablo Serrano, and the study showcasing “The Prisoner,” a larger-than-life bronze by 20th century sculptor Eduardo Chillida. Hosting new exhibitions every four months, Meadows Museum provides a continually updating window into Spanish creativity.

Crow Museum of Asian Art

Name and Location: The Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas spans over 40,000 square feet on the UT Dallas campus along the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) at 2010 Flora Street connecting the Dallas Arts District to Richardson.

Collections and Exhibits: Originated by a founder who discovered Asian arts while traveling abroad extensively, the Crow’s comprehensive holdings include over 1,000 works spanning China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia from 3500 BC to the early 20th century.

What to Expect: Patrons explore Asian cultures through arts like Chinese jades, delicate Japanese woodblock prints, awe-inspiring Hindu deity statues, and even entire dismantled teahouse rice granaries and shrine spirit houses rebuilt indoors across five serene galleries using natural lighting.

Visitor Information: Open Tues-Sun 11am-5pm with general admission $10 for adults or free Thursdays. Validated discounted parking available only on weekdays otherwise paid campus garages access from DART. Tours offered Saturdays.

Nestled downtown next to the acclaimed Nasher Sculpture Center, the serene Crow Museum of Asian Art showcases East and Southeast Asian artists from China, Japan, India and beyond. Intimate galleries of Chinese jade, South Asian sculpture, and contemporary mixed media feature audio tours helping visitors thoughtfully engage diverse Asian art forms. Temporary exhibitions might highlight avant-garde Korean textile artists, modern Japanese ceramics, or global pop artists remixing anime and manga. With free admission and public tea tastings, the Crow Museum provides an accessible, authentic look at Asian heritage resonating globally.

National Videogame Museum

Name and Location: The National Videogame Museum is located northwest of downtown within the Frisco Discovery Center at 8004 N Dallas Pkwy #105 showcasing decades of arcade games and console entertainment history through immersive, family-friendly exhibits and programming.

Collections and Exhibits: Tracing video games from coin-operated arcade beginnings across platforms through modern VR technology, the museum collection contains over 90 playable games like Pong, Pac Man, Super Mario, Sonic and Fortnite alongside concept art and gear that examines gaming’s influence on visual arts.

What to Expect: Guests experience hands-on nostalgia across five themed galleries playing retro arcade cabinets, vintage home consoles and current multiplayer setups to trace technological progress firsthand while learning the science, art, culture and history that shaped the still-booming gaming industry through immersive exhibits.

Visitor Information: Open Wed-Sun 12pm-5pm. General admission runs $12 with senior, military discounts available. The Frisco Discovery Center complex houses multiple museums across an indoor/outdoor campus with generous parking.

From retro arcade games to virtual reality, the National Videogame Museum traces gaming evolution spanning over 40 years of technological innovation and pop culture phenomena. Original consoles like Atari 2600s and Nintendo Entertainment Systems let visitors journey through childhood nostalgia or discover iconic games influencing contemporary media today. Interactive exhibits detail game studio production workflows, spotlighting developer careers in this burgeoning creative industry. With gaming stations to test new PlayStation and Xbox titles plus special after-hour events, this Richardson museum provides engrossing indoor fun for gamer couples, families, or solo visitors.

Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum

Name and Location: Located downtown near the Dallas Arts District, the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum resides in a striking 55,000 square foot facility filled with state-of-the-art exhibits at 300 North Houston Street facing historic Dealey Plaza and the Sixth Floor Museum.

Collections and Exhibits: Poignant artifacts, films, photos and multi-sensory displays convey Jewish suffering through the Holocaust while connecting lessons to human rights struggles worldwide including issues of inequality, discrimination, antisemitism and injustice against communities through impactful contemporary activism.

What to Expect: Self-guided audio tours lead guests on an emotional journey from Nazi Germany rise across three floors filled with eyewitness testimonies, dimly-lit boxcar simulators and 70 carefully curated exhibits spotlighting Dallas resident rescuers and upstanders who overcame atrocities through moral courage.

Visitor Information: Open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat-Sun 11am-5pm. Admission runs $16 with discounts, free first Wednesdays monthly. Validated garage parking connected by skybridge. Expect potential distress given solemn content. Counselors stand ready to aid anyone impacted.

Through immersive audiovisual spaces combined with authentic artifacts, the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum poignantly immerses visitors within traumatic 20th century events while drawing parallels to present-day human rights issues. Personal testimonies and films augment exhibits, putting human faces upon genocide tragedies from the European Holocaust to the Guatemalan Civil War to the Rwandan Massacre. While confronting past atrocities, the Museum also showcases Dallasites who stood up for moral courage when action mattered most. Expect a heavy yet profoundly moving experience inside this affecting downtown museum.

Nasher Sculpture Center

Name and Location: Located within the Dallas Arts District, the Nasher Sculpture Center contains a world-class collection of modern and contemporary sculptures exhibited within a striking landmark building featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and native Texas landscaping across two acres.

Collections and Exhibits: Encompassing over 350 masterpieces from luminaries like Matisse, Picasso, Degas and Rodin, the Nasher’s holdings include major European works of the early 20th century plus rotating displays of Greco-Roman statuary and American sculptures showcased through intimate galleries connected by enclosed courtyard garden spaces.

What to Expect: Patrons meander past indoor and outdoor installations appreciating influential sculptors spanning movements from Cubism to Abstract Expressionism before admiring experimental contemporary pieces and ancient relics juxtaposed by serene water features, exotic plants and seasonal displays celebrating harmony between art and nature so visitors experience peacefulness through fine art.

Visitor Information: Open Wed-Sun 11am-5pm. General admission is $10 for non-member adults with youth, senior discounts available. Validated parking offered weekdays or ride DART Rail to Pearl Street station.

With airy glass-walled galleries diffusing natural light upon world-renowned modern sculpture, the downtown Nasher Sculpture Center instantly impresses. Rotating exhibits pull from the Nasher’s own collection of nearly 300 masterpieces spanning Matisse, Giacometti, Rodin, Picasso, and more. Additional galleries showcase the best of contemporary sculpture like experimental multimedia works or environmental pieces. Nasher’s manicured indoor galleries and outdoor garden spaces sprinkled with Calder stabiles and Betty Gold bronzes delight art connoisseurs during Dallas cultural outings.

Amon Carter Museum of American Art

Name and Location: Situated in Fort Worth’s celebrated Cultural District, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art exhibits a preeminent collection of paintings, photography and sculptures celebrating American art history within an award-winning building complex overlooking the Will Rogers Memorial Center.

Collections and Exhibits: Boasting over 50,000 fine art holdings focused on American creativity from the early 19th century to present, the Carter’s paintings showcase luminaries like Winslow Homer and Georgia O’Keeffe while renowned entities like Ansel Adams represent pioneering photographic contributions.

What to Expect: Visitors connect to quintessential American symbols like signs, trains, flags and diverse faces immortalized by brushstrokes of realist masters before admiring classic western frontier artists, survey Ansel Adams’s moving environmental advocacy lens or salute avant-garde sculptors interpreting the nation’s character through compelling forms communicating resilience.

Visitor Information: Free general admission without tickets makes fine art welcome to all Tues-Sun 10am-5pm. The companion Cafe Modern serves seasonal fare while the bookstore offers creative gifts for art fans.

Spanning 50,000 square feet behind a stately façade in Fort Worth’s Cultural District, Amon Carter Museum impresses with one of the foremost American art collections including photography, painting, sculpture and more spanning 1835 through present day. The Amon Carter calls itself “the nation’s premier museum of Western art” with galleries dedicated to Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, Georgia O’Keeffe and other American West visual chroniclers. With free general admission, multimedia artist talks, special exhibits, and family-friendly art making activities, the Amon Carter provides exceptional artistic insight into the Western mythos underlying American identity.

African American Museum at Fair Park

Name and Location: The African American Museum at Fair Park resides just southeast of downtown Dallas surrounded by the 277-acre entertainment complex at 3536 Grand Ave. within the historic Hall of Negro Life facility dedicated during the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition.

Collections and Exhibits: As the lead museum dedicated to Black history preservation throughout Texas, holdings chronicle African American stories, culture and activism including fine art, costumes, textiles, artifacts, photos and oral histories interpreted across galleries and programs celebrating Black life.

What to Expect: Guests immerse within videos, archival exhibits and expansive oral histories highlighting communities changed by Black doctors, teachers, Pullman porters, Tuskegee Airmen, cowboys, ranchers and leaders who helped shape North Texas through courageous struggle against discrimination made visible to educate future change makers.

Visitor Information: Available tour hours run Fri-Tues 11am-5pm for a $10 admission fee. Free 2-hour parking is available at lots throughout Fair Park with DART bus access via Parry Avenue station with a short walk to the museums.

Highlighting local and national African American artists, performers, and leaders, the African American Museum at Fair Park explores Pan-African identity, creativity, and persevering spirit over obstacles. Music exhibits trace Dallas’ Deep Ellum roots incubating blues and jazz talents like Blind Lemon Jefferson and Bessie Smith beside today’s stars Erykah Badu and Kirk Franklin. Rotating fine art shows might feature quilters, sculptors, or painters interpreting Black experiences across history from 19th century slavery to 21st century #BlackLivesMatter movements. The museum also hosts workshops, author talks, and children’s art lessons cultivating cultural pride.

Museum of Biblical Art

Name and Location: The Museum of Biblical Art resides within a modern stone building graced by three towering arches in the heart of the Dallas Arts District at 1900 Pacific Avenue interpreted across three floors of religious relics and artifacts connected by outdoor courtyards.

Collections and Exhibits: As the preeminent cultural repository interpreting the Bible’s influence on human self-understanding and moral formation, exhibits traverse ancient stonework friezes near Eastern seals to medieval illuminated manuscripts through early modern period paintings alongside contemporary installation pieces across seven themed galleries.

What to Expect: Patrons examine sacramental silver, mosaic floors and monumental tympanums conveying biblical events while admiring religious symbolism embedded within Raphael sketches or Giovanni di Paolo renderings paired by Marc Chagalls modernist visions illuminated with insightful audio guide commentary placing diverse creations into historical context.

Visitor Information: Open Tues-Sun 11am-5pm with regular admission $8, or discounted Thursdays from noon to five. Validated parking available within nearby garages off Pearl Street. Special member previews grant early exhibition access among preferred scheduling benefits.

Investigating Scripture’s influential role inspiring canonical artists for over two millennia, Museum of Biblical Art wows visitors with religious masterworks both classic and modern. Galleries showcase scrappy Dead Sea Scroll fragments, medieval manuscript pages awash in gold leaf and ultramarine pigments, as well as haunting Rouault sketches created as prayer practice. Additional rotating exhibits might trace dynamic 20th century interpretations, from Marc Chagall’s joyous canvases to minimalist works by Sister Corita Kent and the Los Angeles Catholic Worker movement. Located north of Dallas in Allen, MOMA provides sacred art insight for spiritually inclined museum-goers.

Dallas Heritage Village

Name and Location: The Dallas Heritage Village occupies a 20-acre park located within the vibrant Cedars neighborhood south of downtown at 1515 South Harwood Street containing a collection of preserved 19th century pioneer structures and furnishings open for educational tours.

Collections and Exhibits: Serving as a unique outdoor history museum, the village contains Victorian houses, hall churches, shops, barns and schools molded from local limestone, pioneer cabins and even pre-Civil War slave dwellings authentically restored to convey 1840s through 1910 small town Texas living through self-guided visits across the grounds.

What to Expect: Visitors leisurely stroll dirt lanes peeking within dozens of heritage buildings fitted with period adornments—from general stores lined by glass jar goods to intricate quilts draped over beds inside cozy cabins—made accessible to experience by costumed interpreters revealing occupations and folkways marking America’s developing identity.

Visitor Information: Free 2-hour parking available at the small lot off Harwood St. Open Mon-Sat 10am-4pm, Sun noon-4pm with $9 admission granting access to all homes/structures and seasonal events like heritage craft fairs.

Step back into late 19th century Dallas at this immersive 12-acre living history museum tucked away near the heart of the city. Strolling these pastoral grounds dotted by heritage buildings, costumed interpreters share glimpses of post-Civil War Texas pioneering life filled with quilting bees, cowboy culture, one-room schoolhouses and more activities for hands-on history. Historic structures visitors can explore include the Millermore Plantation manor transplanted from Old City Park downtown and the Conner House, an authentic pioneer farmstead cabin from East Dallas dating back to 1860. Through reenactments, demonstrations, seasonal events and guided tours, Dallas Heritage Village transports visitors back in time with an experiential village-style museum.

Conclusion

These leading Dallas museums represent only a sliver of the city’s 200+ museums and galleries that enlighten visitors on topics spanning art, science, history, music, sports, food, drink and beyond. From presidential assassination and avant-garde sculpture to vintage cowboy gear and supersonic flight, Dallas museums capture the city’s premier status as an economic and cultural powerhouse. Through dynamic exhibitions, impressive architecture, and innovative programming, visitors continually find fresh museum experiences sure to engage and inspire.

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