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The Chicago Traveler

Museum of Science and Industry

by Matt B on January 2nd, 2008

Most adults probably haven't been to a museum since they were in junior high as part of a class field trip. And while the Museum of Science and Industry has plenty of kid-friendly interactive exhibits, grown-ups can find attractive features to visit as well.

museum of science and industry

The exterior alone is quite impressive, as the building dates back to 1893, when it was used for two World's Fairs (the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and The Century of Progress Exposition in 1933). It then housed the Columbian Museum, which evolved into the Field Museum of Natural History. When a new Field Museum building opened downtown in 1920, the museum organization moved, and the former site was left vacant. After a few years, the building was selected as the site for a new science museum.

Favorites at the MSI include the genetic exhibit 'Chick Hatchery,' where visitors can look in on chicks slowly pecking their way into the world from their shells, and the U-505 Submarine, one of just two German submarines captured during World War II. The 'Coal Mine' seems to go hundreds of feet down to demonstrate (in a 25-minute tour) how miners work. 'Take Flight' recreates a San Francisco to Chicago flight using a real Boeing 727 jet plane. Silent film star Colleen Moore's 'Fairy Castle' doll house, one of the world's most famous miniature masterpieces, has also fascinated children and adults for generations. Other popular exhibits include the 3,500-square-foot (325-square-meter) Great Train Story, Yesterday's Main Street (a mock-up of a common street from the early 1900s complete with a cobblestone road, old-fashioned light fixtures, fire hydrants, and several shops), and Toymaker 3000 (a working assembly line that lets visitors watch as a toy top is made). Finally, the OmniMax Theatre, with its domed, five-story screen and booming sound system, is the centerpiece of the Henry Crown Space Center and a popular attraction.

chicksred blood cells

Underground parking is $12 (all-day), payable by cash or credit card. Museum amenities include coat check, stroller rental, and wheelchairs.

General admission is $11 for adults ($10 for Chicago residents), $7 for kids 3-11 ($6.25), and $9.50 for seniors over 65 ($8.75). OmniMax and special exhibits cost extra. Take note: the museum will be closed Jan 9-11, 2008, in preparation for its 75th Anniversary. MSI will offer FREE general admission for the remainder of the month of January. Check the website for the schedule of other 'free days.'

boeing 727apollo

Photo credit: (c/o Flickr) Casino Jones, adriangonsalves, rpongsaj, hibino, egvvnd, yuan2003

The Museum of Science and Industry: 5700 S Lake Shore Dr; 773-684-1414
Mon ' Sat: 9:30 a.m. ' 4:00 p.m.
Sun: 11:00 a.m. ' 4:00 p.m.
Underground parking $12 per vehicle
Public trans: Bus # 2, 6, 10, X28, 55, X55

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POSTED IN: Architecture & Attractions, Museums

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