HEARD Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary

Although the emphasis of the Heard’s education programs is children, the Heard also offers programs that will interest visitors of any age. The Heard’s purpose is threefold: education, conservation, and preservation.

Located in McKinney, Texas, less than 40 Miles north of Dallas, Texas, an easy 35 minute drive will take you to  a 289 acre wildlife sanctuary and natural science museum founded in 1967 for the primary purpose of educating children about nature.

The Heard invites you to “Escape the concrete of the city and hike over 6.5 miles of self-guided or interpreted nature trails that wind though the diverse habitats of our 289-acre wildlife sanctuary, including tall grass prairie, bottomland hardwood and limestone escarpment. Take advantage of the opportunity to encounter many species of birds, insects and animals.”

For example, The Hoot Owl Trail is a self-guided ½ mile easy-to-moderate trail with a nice combination of upland and bottomland terrain. On the bottomland area, growing up to 100 ft. in height, is one of the most massive oaks with a trunk diameter of up to 10 ft.; commonly living to be 200 to 300 years old, Bur Oaks may live up to 400 years. Look for giant Bur Oak trees located on the floodplain.

Bur Oak
The Giant Bur Oak

View more of our images here.

A Forest Giant may be found on the Hoot Owl Trail.  You will find it identified with a sign stating that it is the largest Bur Oak on the sanctuary.

It is well over 250 years old. It was just sprouting when the Declaration of Independence was signed, it was young and strong during the Civil War. Time goes by, yet the giant remains.

What stories it could tell.

The Heard is home to many exhibits and gardens. Now through February 18th, 2019 encounter the 46-foot T-Rex and nine new life-size animatronic dinosaurs along the Heard Natural Science Museum ramp and the Wildlife Sanctuary’s nature trails. This yer marks the 13th annual Dinosaurs Live! Life-size Animatronic Dinosaurs exhibit. The exhibit always gives families and friends a fun, educational activity to enjoy together. See the dinosaurs move and hear them roar! Photo op and play area dinosaurs will be available as well. This year, the exhibit also features an outdoor fossil dig.

Many special events are offered through out the year. An Eclipse Watch on the night of January 20th, 2019 allows the rare opportunity to observe a total lunar eclipse before midnight, and the Heard is ready to celebrate this spectacular event! The Magic Planet exhibit will be used to explore lunar phases and eclipses before guests settle down on the event lawn to take in the moon’s magical journey through the shadow of the Earth.  The Eclipse Watch will take place from 8PM-12AM  Tickets are available for purchase.

When you are ready for a break the Heard does offer two designated picnic areas.

Hours are Tuesday-Saturday 9A-5p

Sunday 1P-5P

Closed Monday

Check with the museum to verify as these hours are subject to change.

Admission varies seasonally from $9-$12 for adults with discounts available for senior and children.

Tel: 972.562.5566 or info@heardmuseum.org

This entry was posted in Texas, Texas Events, Things to do in Texas and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *