Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry is a theme park for soaking up knowledge. There are so many amazing museums to visit in this town, but this is the one that tops my list. Located in a historic building in the Hyde Park neighborhood, the museum opened in 1933 and is the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere. With more than 35,000 artifacts in 14 acres, you'll get the answers to the questions you’ve always wondered and the ones you’ve never thought to ask. Everything is beautifully designed and hands-on which is fun for kids and kids paying adult admission.
The permanent exhibits never get old because they're updated as technology advances. SCIENCE STORM goes way beyond the 2-liter bottle tornadoes we made in school and YOU! THE EXPERIENCE explains why we are the way we are (differently than your therapist). Coo at baby chicks as they hatch in the GENETICS Exhibit, climb aboard U-505 (the only German submarine captured by the U.S. Navy during World War II), ride a coal mining shaft underground, see the world's largest pinball machine and wish you were a giant to play it, check out the IMAX theater...you get it. Learning made cool!
The Dr. Seuss exhibit is running through January 8th. It's primarily about the man behind the beloved classics, Theodor Seuss Geisel. His wild stories are well-known, his personal ones- not so much. I found it interesting to learn that his professional career started in advertising.
December is the best time to visit the museum. The annual exhibits, Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light, feature holiday traditions from around the world. For the last 70 years, the museum's main level is decked out with a huge 45-foot Christmas tree (covered in 30,000 lights and 1,000 ornaments) and dozens of other trees representing various ethnic communities and cultures of Chicago. The Holiday Stage features performers from all over the world demonstrating native customs and how they celebrate the holidays. We watched the Knights of Lithuania Dancers and Suktinis Folk Dance Ensemble from Lithuania.
On a small scale, it brings the world to you. If you're interested in how the other half lives, it's pretty sweet for not buying a plane ticket.
This place is so huge there is no way to see everything in one visit, maybe not even in two. If you live in the Chicago area I definitely recommend getting a membership. You’ll be the smartest person you know. And if you’re visiting, stop in and pass a brain wrinkle on to someone back home as an awesome souvenir.
Miss Adventure’s MSI Fun Facts & Tips:
1. The Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light tradition began in 1942 with a single tree, which was dedicated to the Allies of World War II.
2. An interesting fact from the aviation balcony: In 1921, the government planned to discontinue airmail service until Chicagoan Jack Knight flew through the night without lights in a blizzard to prove that airmail was reliable and faster than train service.
3. One adult admission to the museum is $15.
4. On most days, the museum is open from 9:30am to 4pm, so get there early for plenty of time to explore.