This is the thirteenth and final post about our family's visit to Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. I suggest that you read the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth posts before this one. Because I blog about educational travel, some of the places mentioned below gave me free admission tickets, media rates, discounts, and other benefits. Other locations we toured are free for everyone. We paid full price for the rest. None of that has any bearing on my reviews. Everything I'm sharing is something that I recommend without hesitation. If there are gaps in my narrative, it is because I didn't love that particular attraction, hotel, or restaurant enough to recommend it, regardless of how much I paid or didn't pay.
Scouting is a big deal in our family. I'm the proud mom of an Eagle Scout. Steve reached Life Scout (the rank right below Eagle), worked at a Scout camp as a young adult, and currently holds positions at the troop, district, and council levels. I'm part of the troop leadership, and both Steve and I are merit badge counselors. So it should come as no surprise that Steve suggested we swing by the National BSA Headquarters in Irving, Texas. They weren't open on a Saturday, but we took photos out front.
And then we found a geocache on the property.
National BSA Headquarters used to be the home of the National Scouting Museum, which we definitely would have visited if it were still there. In 2016, they moved it to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.
We had dinner in Irving that night, at Via Real. It was Steve's favorite restaurant when he lived here, so I was really excited to try it out. It was fantastic! Everything was so good, including the flaming steak that Steve ordered.
We started our final day in Dallas at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. See that cool escalator that's visible on the right side of the building? It's called the T. rexcalator. There's a T. rex inside at the top. His name is Stan and he is the 2nd most complete T. rex ever found.
Dinosaurs are only a small part of this enormous museum, but they appear in quite a few fun places.
We started with the temporary exhibit, The Science Behind Pixar, guessing (correctly) that it would be more crowded as the day went on. By being one of the first in the building, we had the place almost to ourselves for a few precious minutes.
This hands-on exhibit focuses on the STEM concepts used by the artists and scientists who create Pixar movies. It's very well done and so much fun, particularly if you're fans of Pixar like we are! Mike and Sulley are two of my favorites.
The activities in this exhibit are really fun and surprisingly effective at teaching often-complicated math and science concepts.
We took our time, reading every sign, watching every video, and trying every activity. It was all so interesting! And after so many days of racing from one museum to the next, it felt downright luxurious taking our time at the Perot.
The rest of the Perot was great. We saw some exhibits that are standards at many science museums, but there were plenty of things that were totally unique.
I really enjoyed watching this woman at work. Whenever I see someone working behind glass like that, I wonder what it would be like having people stare at me all day. Then I remember that I was an elementary school teacher for 11 years, actively telling 32 people to keep their eyes on me.
There's a lot to see and do at the Perot. You could easily spend all day here.
I really liked the rocks and minerals.
This digital puzzle was a lot of fun.
The Perot does a great job of presenting so many different facets of nature and science. We loved our time there.
We were more than ready for a (very late) lunch, so we headed to The Henry.
We shared a few items. The food was very good.
We skipped dessert at the Henry in order to have ice cream at Braum's.
We kept hearing about Braum's while we were in Oklahoma, but it never worked out to try it there. The first Braum's opened in OKC in 1968 (though the family had been in the ice cream business longer than that). Now there are 300 Braum's locations in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas. It turns out their reputation for great ice cream is well-deserved. Not only is it delicious, but it's ridiculously inexpensive.
And with that, it was time to say goodbye to Texas.
We flew to Sacramento, arriving home around midnight (2:00 am Texas time), with school and work bright and early on Monday, April 17. It was a wonderful trip with so many good memories.