The last time I went to the Museum of Science and Industry I must have been no more than eight years old. That said, as I returned twenty years later it continues to exude kid-friendly exhibits, making teachers and parents happy with that perfect combination of fun and education. But don’t be deterred by the science class pitch: Though the gift shop is full of toys with strange sounds, the exhibits fulfill the expectations of a wide audience base, reminding Chicago that it is home to one of the most visited museums in the world.
The building dates back to 1893, when it was used for two World's Fairs (the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and The Century of Progress Exposition in 1933) before opening its doors as a museum in 1933. With a focus on both industry and interaction, the Museum of Science and Industry boasts hundreds of exhibits both online and in the museum, making it impossible to see everything in one or even a of couple visits. Reasons to go (and go back) include the Genetics exhibit Chick Hatchery, the infamous German U-505 submarine from WWII and "The History, Culture and Future of Video Games," not to mention the endless exhibits of ships, trains, robots and humans.
General admission is $13/$12 for adults; $12/$11 for seniors; $9/$8.50 for children 3-11; for non-residents and city residents, respectively. Members are free; check the Web site for the rather sporadic offering of "free" days.
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Centerstage Reviewer: Heather Blaha