Last visit 12/31/06, check their website for free days for Illinois residents only.
If you are visiting with children in a wide age range, this is where I would go, there's something for kids of all ages and adults. This was my favorite museum when I was a kid. I loved Colleen Moore's fairy castle, was grossed out by the human body slices, always had to stop and walk through the human heart. A couple of other visitor favorites are the coal mine and the U-505 German submarine which reopened in the summer of 2005 after undergoing a major restoration when it was moved underground to preserve it from the elements. Even if you don't plan on touring the interior of the U-505 (additional charge), the exhibit leading up to it is excellent.
In the years that have passed since I was a kid, they've modernized many of the exhibits and added lots of new exhibits including an Omnimax Theater, the schedule for which can be seen on the attached website. One of the newer exhibits I really enjoy is the Great Train story that has a model railroad going from Chicago to Seattle. The model of Chicago's Loop is pretty accurate, a missing street here, a one street going the wrong direction there but still very impressive.
Every year in December there is a special exhibit, Christmas Around the World with a display of trees from around the world.
On a historical note, this museum was built out of plaster and meant to be a temporary structure-the Palace of Fine Arts at the 1893 Columbian Exposition. It is the only structure remaining from the Exposition. After the fair, the building housed the Field Museum until 1921 when it moved to it's current home. A major renovation took place and the Museum of Science and Industry opened in 1933, just in time for the Century of Progress world's fair.
Squeeze through the impossibly small corridors of a WWII-era German submarine or "ride" an elevator deep into a coal mine. Learn about space exploration or watch a ball race through the world's largest pinball machine. See robots build a toy or digitize your own avatar. Little girls will be spellbound by Colleen Moore's incredible dollhouse, and small boys by a scramble though trains and planes. Stroll a reproduction of 1910 main street Chicago and have your picture snapped in the 1902 automobile: the same one my parents clowned around in way back in 1949, and their daughters did in 1963.
The Museum of Science and Industry has captured the imagination of grownups and kids since 1933 and while we skipped it this last trip, I've probably been through it 4-5 times in my life and highly recommend a visit. If you're sightseeing on the CityPASS, it gives you a choice between this or the Hancock Observatory. Youngsters along? A no-brainer: THIS is where you go.
Food court, cafe, ice-cream parlor and the usual gift shops. Handicapped accessible. See the website for hours, directions and details about the exhibits.
I've been to the Museum of Science and Industry many, many times. They have many great exhibits, although my favorite exhibit has always been the Christmas Trees from around the world. As you enter the museum, there is a gorgeous grand 45-foot tree lit up in the middle of the room. From there you can make the rounds of all of the other beautiful trees from around the world. Beginning in November and lasting until Christmas, it's so popular that they have it here every year! Everyone loves it!
If you ever wondered what Engineers think about, this is the place to go. You can see engines, planes, trains and even submarines.
On this occasion, we were visiting the museum to see the Harry Potter Exhibition that was going on. It included many props, scenery and clothing items that were used in the Harry Potter movies.
I had the privilege of visiting the Museum of Science and Industry during my short in Chicago.
The museum has major exhibition halls of applied sciences and engineering: WWII German U-505 submarine; virtual reality exhibit; working replica of a coal mine; incubator hatching baby chicks; a 16-foot walk through a human heart with the sound of a beating heart; flight simulators; Fairy Castle; Henry Crown Space Center
with displays on the Apollo 6 and Mercury spacecraft. Each of those halls is very impressive and worth seeing, I assure you! The IMAX Dome Theater attracted us, Ukrainian educators on a short visit, and we decided to see one of its superb films (admission $6), It was great and unforgettable!
You can choose your show when you purchase your tickets.
Next to the Field Museum, this was my favorite Museum in Chicago. The Museum of Science and Industry is Huge and has so many exhibits that you could easily spend a whole day in it. From the U-505 German U-Boat to the vintage Firetrucks, various planes, Space Exploration, and every girls dream: The Fairy Castle... it's overwhelming. There are lots of exhibits with hands on activities to provide a learning experience for the kids.
There are multiple stories with LOTS of people both large and small. If you want to go inside the U-boat get there early and get on the list. It fills up quick as we found out first hand.
Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry is not to be missed for those who love museums. Great place if you are travelling with kids to learn more about the discoveries of science and developments of technologies.
There are many hands-on exhibits and giant size anatomy reconstructions to encourage fun and interactive learning.
Spend at least half a day.
Mon - Sat: 9:30am to 4:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am to 4:00pm
Here is another of the Windy City's truly grand museums. One of the museum's best-known displays is a captured German submarine (or U-boat) from World War II. Years ahead of its time, this vessel, designated U-505, is a must-see for historians and naval buffs.
Another famed exhibit is the Spirit of America, in which Craig Breedlove set a world land speed record. There is also a fine set of medical exhibits, including (for the brave) a pair of human cadavers sliced into thin cross-sections.
This museum also has some lovely grounds to explore--a park to get away from the noise and bustle of the big city.
I visited the museum in October 2007. I had visited the museum as a child 15-20 years ago so some of the areas were vaguely familiar. I was a bit disappointed that a chick didn't hatch while I was there and a bit disturbed by the green-eyed frogs that had been cross bred with jelly fish, but overall it was a fun experience.
Give yourself 3-4 hours min to see and experience the majority of the museum.
- Mummies: The Secrets of the Pharaohs
- Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure
Guest Non-Chicago Residents Chicago Residents
Adult $11 $10
Child (3-11) $7 $6.25
Senior (65+) $9.50 $8.75
Member FREE FREE
* Active military personnel, Chicago firefighters, Chicago police officers and Illinois teachers can receive free general admission for themselves by showing a current I.D. when purchasing tickets.
Monday – Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Like many people have already said, this museum is for kids mostly, however I enjoyed a few things myself.
Here they are:
1) Omnimax theatre. The show itself (''Mummies'') was just OK but since I never been to a place like that before, I had a lot of fun. Advice: Do not sit at the upper rows, but in the middle.
2) U-505 Submarine. Impressive, 750 tons heavy machine. Never seen a real sub before. Enjoyed first 5 minutes and then moved on.
3) Coal Mine`s 15 minutes excursion. I think there can be only 20 or so people per tour, so we had to wait in line for half an hour first. It was quite interesting: rode on a train, listened to some loud mine instruments working, learned a few things about mining itself (like, in 1933 miners were making $750 a year, compared to $39,000 in 1992).
4) Human Heart exhibit. I liked using some of the gadgets there: measured my blood pressure, checked my diet (salt, fat, cholesterol), looked at some clotted arteries through microscope.. Quite educating.
5) Chicago in miniature (in Transportation Zone). Few feet tall buildings, moving trains and bridges.. Cool.
BUSES: 2, 6, 10, 28. We took bus #6 on the way there. It had a lot of stops and it took us half an hour to get there from State and Lake corner. On the way back we took bus #10. It was running along the shore, no stops, very fast. But this bus comes rarely (had to wait for it 40 minutes).
PRICE: $11 (museum only), $17 (+ Omnimax).
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