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“Awesome! If only it was closer!”

Museum of Science and Industry
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$25.00*
and up
Museum of Science and Industry Chicago
Ranked #6 of 640 things to do in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere! Housed in the only remaining building from the 1893 World’s Fair, MSI is a Chicago must-see. You’ll experience 14 acres of hands-on exhibits and have the chance to stand before a 40-foot tornado; climb aboard a World War II German submarine; take a run in a human-sized hamster wheel; descend into an Illinois coal mine; tour a fully functioning eco-friendly home; board a 727 hanging from the ceiling; transmit your pulse to a 13-foot, 3-D beating heart; and much more! MSI is not a place where you walk around quietly and observe. No way! You get involved in the fun—and learn—by doing. Just a few miles from downtown with convenient underground parking.
Useful Information: Activities for young children
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
129 reviews
70 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“Awesome! If only it was closer!”
Reviewed November 22, 2012

We bought the Chicago Trolley tickets and was hoping to use it to get to the Museum. Unfortunately, they only go down here during certain months! so we missed the ride by 1 day!

With the Citypass, we were able to go in for free!

Either way, we ended up here without the trolley ride and it was still worth it.

There are TONS to see, and TONS to do here, there are a lot of interactive things like creating your own tornado, shooting tennis balls across to the other side of the ledges, etc. It was a lot of fun.

The U505 Submarine exhibit was good, however we didn't pay to see the Submarine exhibit.

This museum is a definite must see even if it's a bit out of the way!

Visited October 2012
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Richmond Hill, Canada
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Need to go back!!”
Reviewed November 22, 2012

Allow at least 4-5 hours to properly absorb the whole museum. Very, very interesting! Very knowledgable and courteous staff.

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
195 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
“It was crowded..even on a Wednesday!”
Reviewed November 22, 2012

We visited th museum on the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving. It was about my 15th trip here.
We started in the Space room. Both my granddaughters (ages 18 and 7) enjoyed seeing the history of our space journey. We then got a tour of the energy efficient house. Both of them enjoyed the tour. Tim was a nice guide. Because we were the first tour, it was NOT busy. That was great.

The Christmas trees from around the world were up. I would have loved examining each one; however, my two grand daughters were not that intrigued by them. The same goes for the Peanuts exhibit. It's really more for adults who want to read all about Charles Schultz. (Again, I would have loved it). It was organized nicely. The interactive stuff for the kdis was really busy, and not that impressive.

My 7 year old LOVED the big train engine. I was surprised at how it really grabbed her. We liked walking through the "Main Street," although it seems like it was bigger when I was a little girl...plus, the Milwaukee Public Museum has a HUGE antique town which is better.

The balcony area was a little disappointing. Where was that big heart I used to be able to walk through? Now it's a big screen heart. You hold on to it, and it beats at the same speed as your heart is beating; cool of course, but, gosh, I liked walking through that giant heart. It seems that there is almost TOO much computerized stuff. I guess it's OK, but with the crowds, we had to pass a lot by.

The coal mine was just as I remember it. It is the oldest exhibit in the place, and still as popular as ever. My first trip there was when I was little (I'm 61). It cost about 25 cents then; now it costs an extra $8. As a matter of fact; the 3 "extras"..the house, Peanuts, and Mine that we visited added on more than $50 to the cost of the day. The parking is also $20. The food court was packed; so we chose to not eat there.

EVERYONE has to go to this museum once in their lives. It was a good day; I'm just saying that I would have enjoyed it more if it wasn't so crowded; which I suppose is an impossible dream.

Visited November 2012
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chicago, il
Level Contributor
91 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Nice enough but not the best location”
Reviewed November 21, 2012

The title says it all as its not super convenient but you can take a buss there. It's pretty big so tiring with a toddler. It seems like there is a lot to do there and learn.

Visited November 2012
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Thank hailes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, NC
Level Contributor
107 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Great fun for adults and kids alike!”
Reviewed November 20, 2012

We have been to the MSI many times over 4 decades and it's improved greatly with all the interactive features. We love how they have kept the old classic exhibits (U-boat, Coal Mine, hatching chicks, Colleen Moore's Castle) that our children loved. Now our grandchildren can enjoy the same things plus new adventures.

The 727 airliner is interesting along with the flight simulator ride (you buy times tickets). Our grandchildren loved the weather phenomena exhibit and the exhibit about the human body. We all loved the IMAX movie about 2 wild animal sanctuaries.

If your visit can be planned for a day when massive school groups are not there, it's more pleasant. The structure of the building can make it very noisy.

The gift shop is one of the most interesting museum gift shops ever--I could browse forever. There is something for everyone.

Worth a visit and worth the drive to the south side of Chicago, especially if you have children with you.

Visited October 2012
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Thank purselady1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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