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Sep 21

Heard Museum to Celebrate 50 Years of Nature!

Posted on September 21, 2017 at 3:55 PM by Beth Shumate

Heard photo collageOn October 1, the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will celebrate its 50th anniversary with an afternoon of family-friendly activities. 

The museum came about thanks to the vision of McKinney philanthropist Bessie Heard who, at the age of 80 years, decided the McKinney community needed a place where nature could flourish and be appreciated. The museum and nature preserve, which opened on Oct. 1, 1967, now sees more than 100,000 visitors each year. 

The museum's visitors come from all over the state and beyond, including from international locales, to walk the trails, see the exhibits, attend educational sessions and learn from the special exhibits, enjoy a picnic under the trees, zip line, canoe, and just generally enjoy the lush and varied habitats that make up the organization's 289 acres. 

When the Heard's special guests, the animatronic creatures of Dinosaurs Live, come to the museum each fall - the exhibit just opened Sept. 2 for its 12th year and runs through Feb. 18 - stop in for a visit to see and learn more about these huge beasts. The 46-foot tall T-Rex is the center of the exhibit each year, but the rest of the dinosaurs rotate in and out each year. For the past few years, the Heard holds a contest to allow kids to design the color scheme of a dino for the next year's exhibit. (The 2017 winner is quite colorful!)

Also at the museum are the Animals of the World Exhibit, Native Texas Butterfly House and Gardens, and a kid-sized pioneer village of little buildings for playtime and pretend. Coming in October is the much anticipated National Fossil Day celebration (Oct. 14).

The 50th Anniversary event on Sunday, Oct. 1, includes the following activities:
  • From 1-4 p.m., kid-friendly activities, including an instrument petting zoo from The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and refreshments (while supplies last) will take place. 
  • At 1 p.m., enjoy a butterfly talk all about the amazing Monarch butterfly.
  • From 2 to 4 p.m., WRR Classical 101.1 FM radio and the Texas Chamber Music Project will present some of your favorite music inspired by the imagery of nature.
Tickets to the event are limited and available online for $11 (adults) and $8 (ages 3-12). Children 2 and under are admitted free of charge. Ticket price includes general admission to museum and grounds. Heard Museum Members receive free admission. but please get a free member ticket to reserve your spot.

The Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary is located in southeast McKinney at 1 Nature Place north off of Country Club.