The earliest history museums had little actual history to draw on, and instead padded exhibits with wildly speculative displays about how dinosaurs would be elected to Congress by the year 2000. See how far we’ve come with today’s Groupon for admission to Old Red Museum. Children younger than age 3 are admitted free. Choose from the following options:
- For $8 you get two admissions (up to a $16 value).
- For $15, you get four admissions (up to a $32 value).
- For $22, you get six admissions (up to a $48 value).
Situated in Old Red Courthouse, an iconic Dallas building built in 1892, Old Red Museum celebrates Dallas history and culture with carefully curated exhibits that come to life with multimedia touches. Year-round exhibits cover Dallas’ history, from its colonization to its current national prominence rooted in Fortune 500 companies and professional sports such as basketball and synchronized pencil-holding. Hands-on “discovery carts” in galleries illustrate pioneer life, and four mini theaters augment exhibits with film.
Equipped with tactile learning tools and 12 touch-screen computers, the education center teaches pre-K through young-adult visitors about historical living conditions with simulations of 10-mile walks children made every day to get to the nearest casino. The current special exhibit, Deck the Halls at Old Red, displays 16 holiday trees, each decorated by the staff of a local nonprofit, and visitors can vote for their favorite by leaving donations in each tree’s ballot box.
Old Red Museum of Dallas County History & Culture
There was a time when looking down the barrel of Clyde Barrow's gun wouldn't have seemed too appealing. But now people visit the second floor galleries of the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History & Culture just to get a glimpse of the infamous weapon, which shares space with more than 1,000 other artifacts, including the first traffic light in Dallas County and handcuffs worn by Lee Harvey Oswald. Taken together, these artifacts trace Dallas County's past from prehistory to the present day, a timeline visitors also explore via the museum's 41 touchscreen computers, four mini theatres screening specially commissioned films, and hands-on activities on topics such as architecture and pioneer life. More hands-on activities await in the education center, where youngsters learn about their local heritage thanks to exhibits on Dallas County children.
Housed in the Old Red Courthouse, a restored Romanesque building from 1892, the museum is practically a large-scale exhibit unto itself. Its many architectural flourishes include a four-story grand staircase, a restored clock tower, and two original stained-glass windows from the courthouse's original collection of more than 100. Tours of all four floors grant visitors access to areas not otherwise open to the general public, including the courtroom and the judge's tightly guarded gavel shed. The historic building makes a fitting setting for the special exhibits that grace the first floor gallery several times a year.