The Museum of Science and Industry – Chicago, Illinois

Museum of Science and Industry - FrontWe had a fantastic time in Chicago and saw so many wonderful things, but one of the more unexpected places we visited was the Museum of Science and Industry.  While it was on our list of things we would like to see, it wasn’t on our lists of things we HAD to see, like the Willis (Sears) Tower, the Navy Pier, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Millennium Park. However, after hearing other guests talking about how much they enjoyed their visits, we decided we would check it out one day during our trip in June of 2016. We were both so glad we were able to spend a few hours exploring this intriguing museum.  

Museum of Science and Industry -Side-BldgWith the name Museum of Science and Industry, I was expecting it to be filled with test tubes and Bunsen burners. Welcome back to high school science class, lol.  However, it was not at all what I was expecting and we learned about their vision statement: To inspire and motivate children to achieve their full potential in science, technology, medicine, and engineering.   After receiving our tickets, we checked out their map and decided what to see first. It is a huge place and we were glad for the map, as there are over 2,000 exhibits which are displayed in 75 major halls. Definitely helpful.

Museum of Science and Industry Exhibits

Museum of Science and Industry -TrainThe first exhibit we checked out happened to be The Great Train Story, and it was wonderful. I have a friend who loves trains and I kept wishing he was with us. He would have loved this exhibit.  It presents 2,200 miles of scenery and stories from Chicago to Seattle along 1,400 feet of winding track, with 20 trains winding through this continental journey replicated in astonishing detail and scope. Everything is represented from the heights of Rocky Mountain ranges and Chicago skyscrapers, down to the tiniest crossing lights and floating seabirds. To make it even more authentic they even have a “nighttime mode”.  It’s pretty cool.

Museum of Science and Industry FlyerBeing an aviation enthusiast, Gene really enjoyed the aviation exhibit a lot. I have to say that I found it very interesting as well. I really enjoyed looking at the Wright Flyer replica plane. It reminded me of our visit to Kitty Hawk during their 100th year Celebration of Flight. It was so nice to see it and read what they had to say about the inaugural flight. He really liked the all-star lineup of early aviation planes hanging above the exhibit. Some of the highlights are the barnstorming “Jenny” biplane and the lethal WWII Stuka dive-bomber, only one of two left today. There is also a Boeing 727 plane that you can walk through and learn a little about aviation technology. It was a really informative exhibit.

Museum of Science and Industry -PlanesAfter walking around for a couple of hours we decided to take a break and check out one of the two Omnimax movies. They were showing National Parks Adventure and Great White Shark. Both sounded interesting, but we decided to see the National Parks Adventure. The movie follows world-class mountaineer Conrad Anker, adventure photographer Max Lowe, and artist Rachel Pohl as they bike, hike, and climb their way across America’s most pristine parks such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, Redwood, Arches, Devils Tower, and the Everglades.   It was phenomenal. I really liked watching them hiking/climbing up a frozen waterfall. Pretty amazing.

Museum of Science and Industry-Bldg-ModelThere were so many things to see and do at the Museum of Science and Industry, but we didn’t have enough time to see and do everything we wanted to do. The thing we would have liked to have done was the U-505 Submarine Onboard Tour It is the actual submarine that stalked the waters of the Atlantic before it was blown to the surface and captured on June 4th, 1944. They state that it is an interactive walk through a piece of history that you’ll never forget.

Museum of Science and Industry -UsWe had a great time on our visit to the Museum of Science and Industry. There were so many more exhibits and sights to see, that we will definitely have to go back and see one day. In the meantime, I will end this with some practical information about the museum.  Definitely worth putting on your to-do list while in Chicago. Here is a link to their website with even more information if needed.

Museum of Science and Industry Visitor Information


5700 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637




Daily 9:30 am – 4 pm


Museum Entry

Includes access to most permanent exhibits, including Science Storms and Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze, as well as select temporary exhibitions.

Adult – $21.95
Child (ages 3-11) – $12.95
Members – FREE

Museum Entry + Ticketed Experiences

Combine Museum Entry with one, two or three of these experiences requiring an additional ticket: Wired to Wear™ • Makers United • Giant Dome Theater films • Coal Mine Tour • Fab Lab • Future Energy Chicago

Museum Entry + 1

Adult – $33.95
Child (ages 3-11) – $21.95

Museum Entry + 2

Adult – $45.95
Child (ages 3-11) – $30.95

Museum Entry + 3

Adult – $57.95
Child (ages 3-11) – $39.95

Museum Entry + Ticketed Experiences

Combine Museum Entry with one, two, or more of these experiences requiring an additional ticket:

Wired to Wear™ • Makers United • Coal Mine Tour • Fab Lab  Future Energy Chicago • [returning in March 2020: Giant Dome Theater films]

Museum Entry + 1

Adult – $33.95
Child (ages 3-11) – $21.95

Museum Entry + 2

Adult – $45.95
Child (ages 3-11) – $30.95

Museum Entry + More: Flex Pass

Adult – $49.95
Child (ages 3-11) – $29.95
With Flex Pass, you get more MSI with maximum flexibility. Learn more

Special Exhibitions

U-505 On-board Tour

Adult – $18
Child (3-11) – $14


Parking + Automated Doors

Oversize and van-accessible parking spaces are located in our underground parking garage’s Blue (D) section, where height clearance varies from 8’2″ to 7’2″ (check signs). The Blue (D) section also offers an automated push-button entry door into the Museum for ease of access.

There are also accessible parking spaces in all other garage sections, where height clearance is 6’6″. Elevators provide access from each parking level and the Entry Hall. Learn more about our convenient indoor parking garage.

Please note that the metered parking lot in Jackson Park to the east and south of the Museum is operated by the Chicago Park District (CPD). There are no entrances to the Museum from this parking lot. Please park in the underground garage (Blue Section) for direct and accessible entry into the Museum.


There are curb cuts in front of the Museum’s main pedestrian entrance. The entrance is equipped with automated (push-button entry) doors in addition to revolving doors. Once inside, elevators and stairs offer access to the Entry Hall ticket counters.

Inside the Museum

Elevators and ramps are located throughout the Museum providing access to all floors. There are accessible toilet stalls in all of our restrooms. The Giant Dome Theater has designated seating for guests using wheelchairs and their companions with an elevator providing access to this seating.

Mobility Devices

Wheelchairs, including manual or electric single-seat chairs and electric mobility seated scooters, and other manually operated mobility devices including walkers, crutches, canes, braces, and other similar devices, are permitted in all public areas of the Museum. See accessibility notes regarding mobility in individual exhibits.

No other type of manually operated or power-driven mobility devices are permitted in the Museum, including but not limited to Segways, self-balancing two-wheeled electric scooters or “hoverboards,” wagons, tricycles, and carts. These devices are not permitted due to the high volume of pedestrian traffic in the Museum, the size, type, weight, dimensions, and speed of these devices, and the substantial risk of harm to Museum exhibits, other guests, and the user. If your mobility device is not permitted, the Museum has manually operated wheelchairs available for use free of charge.

Exhibits and Experiences

Certain exhibits have limited accessibility, due to their historic nature. Others may have variations in sensory levels (light, sound or motion) for which guests may want to prepare.

Sensory Notes

Where it tends to be quieter, louder, brighter or darker in general areas of the Museum. See also Exhibits and Experiences.

Info Desk + Staff

If you need any assistance, directions, or recommendations, please see a facilitator at the Info Desk on Main Level 2 or ask any staff wearing a lab coat.


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