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From beautiful birds to giant gems, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas provides a truly unique venue for any meeting or group event. This holiday season, the museum is sweetening the deal with a lineup of festive events, including the “Birds of Paradise” and “Giant Gems of the Smithsonian” exhibits, the Winter Wonderland Sleepover and extended hours over winter break.

The “Birds of Paradise” exhibit is an art show, science experiment and natural history display all in one, featuring all 39 known species of the birds of paradise. This family of birds, found in the rainforests of New Guinea, display brilliantly colored plumage and perform intricate dances when searching for mates. The exhibit is co-produced by the National Geographic and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and runs through Jan. 8, 2017.

“Giant Gems of the Smithsonian” brings together 29 Texas-sized gems including a 7,000-carat blue topaz, a Mogul emerald and diamond necklace, a kunzite Tiffany necklace, and a 23,000-carat “American Golden” topaz weighing in at more than 10 pounds. The exhibit, which runs through Jan. 17, 2017, marks the first time such a large collection of Smithsonian gems has been displayed outside of Washington, D.C.

The one-of-a-kind museum is located in the Victory Park neighborhood just northwest of downtown Dallas and near several of the city’s finest hotels. The five-story building houses 11 permanent exhibition halls, a contemporary gallery designed to house traveling exhibits, and a state-of-the-art 297-seat theater. Event planners can reserve specific floors of the museum, which can accommodate from 180 up to 500 guests, or entertain up to 1,500 guests throughout the 180,000-square-foot complex.

“From corporate functions to social events to company holiday parties, the Perot Museum offers a one-of-a-kind venue where groups of all sizes can gather, engage, and be inspired,” says Nicole Benson, senior event sales manager at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. “Our event-planning staff will help create an innovative and impeccable event, tailored to your needs from start to finish. And with ease of access and proximity to Dallas’ best hotels along with ample parking, the museum is a prime spot to host your next gathering.”

Permanent exhibits at the museum include the interactive Lamar Hunt Family Sports Hall, the Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall, the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall, the T. Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall, and many others. The museum building itself is an exhibit, with view-through glass elevators, a piano staircase, a 54-foot escalator encased in a glass structure that juts out the southwest side of the building, and a living roof covered with drought-tolerant native Texas plants.

Most of the museum’s event spaces can be configured for seated dinners or standing cocktail receptions and onsite catering is available through Wolfgang Puck Catering. Rental fees include exclusive use of the space reserved, basic housekeeping and the use of tables and chairs.

The Highland Lakes Region extends from Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin to 100 miles outside the city to Lake Buchanan. The chain of seven lakes formed from a series of dams along the Colorado River offer opportunities to boat, kayak, fish and swim while taking in the Texas Hill Country. 

It’s a “serene environment,” says Salina McCullough, sales and programs manager at Canyon of the Eagles, “away from the hustle and bustle of the city.”

 

Organization is key to a planners’ success; a system for staying on track makes for a sense of control, even for the largest of workloads. But keeping track of daily tasks, upcoming events and goals can be overwhelming, and rarely are all those things recorded in one place. That is until the Bullet Journal took hold. Ryder Carroll, inventor of the Bullet Journal, calls it “an analog system for the digital age that will help you track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future."

 

In the up-and-coming east Austin area in Texas, ARRIVE Hotels & Restaurants is building a new boutique hotel. Located on the corner of East 6th and Chicon St., this will be ARRIVE's second location. The new hotel will have 83 rooms and will open in the spring of 2019.