Society / The Seen

Relive the Best ‘Night at the Museum’ in Dallas

The Perot's Always-Popular Gala is an After-Hours Delight

BY // 11.20.23
photography Tamytha Cameron

Upon arrival at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science on Saturday, November 11, 2023, I asked, “This is my first time at Night at the Museum. What’s the move?”

Without missing a beat, a smiling docent readily replied, “Hit the T. rex first, and then grab a pot pie.” 

Don’t threaten me with a good time!

My group followed orders, meandering first through the T. rex: The Ultimate Predator exhibit. We paused for photos in front of the life-size model of the world’s most iconic dinosaur and remarked on his tiny arms. In the sports hall, two stiletto-clad friends tested their speed by racing a cheetah. You can guess who won. Guiding guests through a mammoth, 180,000-square-foot museum for a fête is quite a feat, and the Perot team seamlessly pulled it off. 

Night at the Museum, the Perot’s annual fundraising gala, raised an inspiring $2M, successfully launching the Museum “into its next decade of education and inspiration.” The event’s proceeds enable the Museum to expand its reach, providing scholarships and making the Museum more welcoming and inclusive. 

Night at the Museum (Photo by Tamytha Cameron)
Scenes from the 2023 Night at the Museum at the Perot in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Tamytha Cameron)

For steadfast Perot Museum supporters Catalina Gonzalez Jorba and Santiago Jorba, co-chairing this event with Elizabeth and Kevin Phillips was an easy yes because their connection to the Perot is deeply rooted. 

“Our family believes that the Perot Museum can change children’s perceptions and perspectives of their futures by inspiring them to follow their dreams and become what they are passionate about,” Gonzalez Jorba said. 

The Jorbas, who “fell in love with the Museum” when their son Santi was a baby, attend every exhibit with their four sons.  “It’s been a gift to our family,” Gonzalez Jorba said. “My son, Luis, wants to become a scientist, and it all started with the Perot.” 

Kristen and Britton Cobb and Katie and Matthew Samler (Photo by Tamytha Cameron)
Kristen and Britton Cobb, Katie and Matthew Samler (Photo by Tamytha Cameron)

As the Perot team tapped into, it’s equally inspiring to roam the halls of a museum after hours as an adult. Once we’d explored several floors of expertly curated, science-oriented experiences designed by Valdivia Ventures, we hopped past the neon-lit frogs and into an outdoor tent. In addition to the aforementioned pot pies, Wolfgang Puck Catering crafted several clever food activations, including a conveyor belt of sushi (featuring a heavenly crispy rice!).  

As the evening continued, the dance floor filled. Guests sipped on boozy milkshakes and happily accepted the waffle fries offered by the wait staff. I eavesdropped on the conversations around me, I couldn’t help but think that the Roman Empire isn’t man’s “Roman Empire” after all. 

It’s dinosaurs. It will always be dinosaurs.

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