Maya – Hidden Worlds Revealed

Maya at the PerotMaya – Hidden Worlds Revealed

Many people have heard about the Mayans when supposedly they predicted the world would end in 2012. Since we’re still here, we know that’s not true. In fact, the Mayans predicted it was the end of an era, not the end of the entire world. How did they know that? They had an intricate calendar system that measured time accurately that you can learn about in this exhibit.

The Maya were amazingly advanced during their hey-day of 250-900 BC. During this time, they built elaborate cities without using the wheel, communicated using a sophisticated written language and had an advanced understanding of astronomy and agriculture.

235This exhibit, the largest the Perot Museum has showcased at 10,00 square feet, will plunge you in their ancient culture giving you a glimpse into the life of divine kings, gifted artisans who created amazing works of art and the laborers who built it all.


143With over 200 artifacts and immersive environments, you will feel like you were back in time in one of the most powerful indigenous Mesoamerican civilizations. For those of you bi-lingual in Spanish, you will be happy to know this is also the Perot’s first bi-lingual exhibit. Now you can read the displays in Spanish if you so choose.


Highlights of the exhibit include:

  • 146Dozens of hands-on activities – make your own glyph using your birthday and name, decipher glyphs, decode the Mayan calendar, build corbeled arches, explore tombs, investigate the Mayan understanding of math, astronomy and more.


  • 166Explore Mayan architecture –view a large re-created portion of a famous frieze or richly ornamented exterior wall portion from the El Castillo pyramid in Xunantunich, a Maya civic ceremonial center
  • Large-scale replica monuments – you will be amazed when you see the huge monuments or stelae from the great plazas.
  • 152Royal tomb re-created – the tomb of the Great Scrolled Skull in Santa Rita Corozal, Belize features jade, jewels, pottery etc.
  • A model of the ancient city of Carocal complete with pyramids and many other important city structures.
  • Concepts of the ritual of human sacrifice – MOMS BEWARE of this portion of the exhibit. While thankfully I did not see anything bloody or frightening, it does mention it. If you have children old enough to read either steer clear of this section or be prepared to discuss it. Keep in mind if you choose to explain this, that the Maya did not look at human sacrifice the way we do today.
  • 167Bones and Beauty- see how the Maya altered their body in the name of beauty. Body piercings and enlarged earlobes that are popular today were definitely in style then.
  • Underworld cave – explore an underworld cave
  • Mural room – get lost in the beauty of the mural room


Kids in particular will enjoy:

  • Maya rubber ballSports – Your sports-enthusiast children will enjoy learning about ancient Maya sports and realizing they had rubber balls way back then! This relatively simple technology amazed 16th century Spanish invaders. Kids can even lift a heavy rubber ball.
  • Dentistry – If you have a budding dentist or one in the family already, there is an opportunity to become a Mayan dentist. Not to worry, moms, kids can’t try this on younger brothers or sisters as fake teeth are supplied for experimentation.
  • Ancient LegosAncient Legos – Kids can use Styrofoam bricks to build any structure they can dream of. The Perot staff likens using them to playing with “ancient Legos.”



  • 210Backpack – Try on the Maya’s version of a backpack. Their ingenious way of carrying things involves loading up your back and putting the strap against your forehead so as not to fall forward with all the weight and evenly distribute it. While the Perot staff is demonstrating this in the photo, there is a smaller head loop for children so they can try it on too. MOMS TIP: These are Styrofoam blocks so this assemblage is not heavy.
  • 187The Gift Shop – at the end of the exhibit is a modest gift shop where you can buy trinkets from the Mayan culture.
  • Make Your Own Glyph – make your own glyph using your birthday and name.
  • And many more interactive exhibits!


240This is a beautiful exhibit with stunning photos (including some of the famous Chichen Itza or “chicken pizza” as it sometimes fondly called), gorgeous jewelry, amazing artistry and complex architecture. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to educate yourself and your family about an ancient culture that resided just south of the border from us. Make ancient history come to life as you explore the Mayan culture.



DATES: The exhibit runs through September 4, 2017. (This is the Perot’s longest running exhibit to date.)

ADDRESS: The Perot Museum is located at: 2201 N. Field Street, Dallas TX

TICKETS: Museum general admission is $19 for adults (18-64), $12 for youth (2-17), $13 for seniors (65+) and free for children under 2. Museum general admission is free for members. Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed requires a surcharge for a total admission cost of $29 for adults (18-64), $20 for youth (2-17), $21 for seniors (65+), and free for children under 2. Member tickets are $5 for all age levels.

Jennifer, AroundTownKids Mom on the Go

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116Please note these colorful Mayan descendants in native dress are not at the museum all the time.

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