There's no chance of visitors to the Museum of Science and Industry being under-stimulated. With some 2,000 exhibits to see, this massive Chicago museum is touted as the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere and enlightens children and adults alike.
Housed in the only remaining building from the 1893 World's Fair, the 14-acre MSI features hands-on, interactive exhibits that thoroughly examine a variety of scientific phenomena. Travelers gain the opportunity to control a 40-foot indoor tornado, navigate through a mirror maze and climb through a real German U-boat submarine captured during World War II, while kids will especially enjoy the 13-foot, 3D heart and the human-sized hamster wheel they can take a spin in. Also worth seeing is the Henry Crown Space Center, which documents space exploration, highlighted by a simulated space shuttle trip through the center's five-story Omnimax Theater.
Located just outside of downtown Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry is in Jackson Park, about 25 minutes south of the Loop. The site is located just off South Lakeshore Drive, making it easy to reach by car. The bus and the Metra Electric train can also be taken from downtown. Allow at least three hours for your visit. The museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., although there are extended hours for spring break, summer and winter holidays. The site is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.