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Chances are, if you grew up in the area, you've already seen some of the best history Dallas has to offer. After all, they made you go in middle school. But forget the jerks who pushed you out of the back seat of the bus and the creepy teacher's aide chaperon who stalked you like a Victorian colonialist in khakis and a pith helmet. Today it's time for a refresher in history of all types, and Dallas is home to a number of historical museums you can happily force your children to love. Here are our five favorites:
1. Old Red Museum (above) (100 S. Houston St.) An eclectic collection if ever there were one, the Old Red Museum hosts everything from fossils (representing Dallas' prehistory) to Tom Landry's fedora and Lee Harvey Oswald's handcuffs. Located in the former Dallas County Courthouse, which was built in 1892, the museum also features tours of the historic building (free with admission), which present rooms not normally open to the public, such as the restored courtroom. General Admission (adult): $8
2. National Cowboys of Color Museum(3400 Mount Vernon Ave., Fort Worth, Texas 76103) The National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame, or the Cowboys of Color Museum for short, was "started to acknowledge the contributions of Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, European Americans, and African Americans in the settlement of the Western American Frontier." With featured exhibits such as the Tuskgee Airmen and the Buffalo Soldiers, the museum uses a collection of journals, photographs and other historical documents, presenting a fuller picture of the American West. General Admission (adult): $5
3. The Sixth Floor Museum (411 Elm St.) Dallas history was forever altered on November 22, 1963, and the stains of that tragedy have become a defining feature of our city's cultural identity. But The Sixth Floor Museum's purpose is not to dwell on darkness and instead reignite President Kennedy's legacy. Located in the old Texas School Book Depository, where evidence of the assassin was found on the sixth floor, the museum chronicles that day and "presents contemporary culture within the context of presidential history." General Admission (adult): $13.50
4. The Dallas Holocaust Museum (211 N. Record St., Dallas, TX 75202) Established in 1984 by survivors who wished to preserve the memory of what they endured, the Dallas Holocaust Museum teaches the horrors of the past to ensure they are never repeated in our future. By request, volunteer survivors are available to tell their stories, and the museum frequently presents special lectures from World War II veterans and those who experienced the atrocities of genocide first-hand. Due to the nature of the subject matter, many portions of the exhibit are not recommended for students under 7th grade; however, the Dallas Holocaust Museum is an essential education in humanity, hope and courage. General Admission (adult): $8
5. Dallas Heritage Village (1515 S. Harwood St.) Like stepping back a century, Dallas Heritage Village is the state's largest collection of 19th century pioneer homes and buildings. Offering family friendly programs like Plow, Plant and Shear and Civil War on the Homefront, the Village is located at Old City Park (the city's first of its kind), and the grounds are now home to the new Cedars Food Park boasting a variety of gourmet food trucks. General Admission (adult): $9