You certainly won’t be under-stimulated on a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry, a must-see Chicago museum. With some 2,000 exhibits to see, most of which are interactive, this massive museum continues to enlighten and amaze.
Nine permanent exhibits thoroughly examine everything on Earth, from cerebral concepts like the passage of time to questions about the origins of breakfast cereal. Visitors can climb through a German U-boat captured during WWII and press their noses against the window of the Apollo 8 command module. Some of the museum's most famous exhibits are also its simplest. The “Human Body Slices” exhibit consists of a man and a woman whose bodies were cut in half-inch sections, then pressed between pieces of glass; definitely gross, but amazing all the same. 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.
The museum itself is set in Jackson Park, which has a Japanese garden, lagoons and a nature retreat with hundreds of species of birds. When you've had your fill of space capsules, coalmines, and Zephyrs at the museum, the park makes an excellent setting to recuperate.
The Museum of Science and Industry is in Hyde Park, about 25 minutes south of the Loop. Though it’s quite a distance from other attractions, the museum is right off of South Lakeshore Drive, making it easy to reach by car. You can also take a bus or the Metra Electric train from downtown.
Allow at least three hours for your visit. The museum has a large food court and an old-fashioned ice cream parlor, as well as an excellent gift shop.
Tours & Tickets
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Duration: 2 hours