For most of us, the idea of a science museum conjures memories of elementary-school field trips, soaring dinosaur skeletons and mesmerizing exhibits.

The new Perot Museum of Nature and Science (open December 1) will play host to all of the above, but it’s also about the coolest, most adult-friendly place we’ve been in a long time.

We made many discoveries last week during a sneak preview, and we’re happy to share some of our findings.

The architecture Designed by California-based Morphosis Architects, the 180,000-square-foot cube-shaped building features numerous architectural highlights. You’ve probably already seen the 54-foot glass-enclosed escalator that soars above Woodall Rodgers Freeway. But there’s also a rooftop deck that has rocks and native drought-resistant grasses, as well as the Leap Frog Forest down below, replete with cypress trees and 13 playful frog sculptures.

The programming We’re psyched for January 18, 2013, when the museum will debut its first Social Science program. Adult beverages in hand, patrons will be able to peruse the galleries after hours on four different nights next year. And the Science Café series also sounds illuminating, when the programming will shift to a local pub for no doubt festive talks on science trends and research.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science, 2201 N. Field St.; 214-428-5555 or perotmuseum.org