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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chicago- Part 1: The Museum of Science and Industry

Between my brother's wedding and reception, we had a couple of days to kill, so we drove north a few hours to Chicago. I had heard great things about the Museum of Science and Industry, so we decided to check it out. I had a BOGO coupon from the Chicago Entertainment Book, but we found it to be more cost effective to buy citypasses. Who knows when or if we'd be back there? The CityPass seemed like a great way to get the most of our Chicago experience. An adult Chicago CityPass is $69, children 3-11 are $59.  Under 3 are free. The CityPass is a convenient little booklet of tickets that you pick up at your first attraction with your voucher that you print upon payment. It also includes other bonuses like admissions to shows at the attractions, but most importantly it saved us HOURS of waiting in line. It includes admission to the Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, and the Museum of Science and Industry and the Skydeck Chicago or the John Hancock Observatory. (When I saw the line at the Aquarium, I was ready to turn around and give up. It really looked like we would be there for at least three hours, fortunately I spotted the CityPass line, which took about 15 minutes.) The CityPass is good for 9 days, starting the day that you visit the first attraction.

Museum of Science and Industry
If you buy tickets online they are $15 for adults and $10 for kids. If you buy at the door, it's $23 for adults and $16 for kids. Parking is $16. As I mentioned above there's a 2 for 1 in the Entertainment Book. Also here's a link to another 2 for 1 coupon. Here's another 2 for 1, but it can only be used with an American Express. Free days for the museum can be found here. Hours are from 9:30-5:30.
This place came highly recommended, and I will not deny that it is amazing. However, we would have enjoyed it more without our children, or if they were a bit older. (My kids are 4&2.) It is geared more towards school-age children and up.  Without small children I would recommend planning on staying for most of the day. For small kids 4 hours was more than enough. It was very crowded and my kids were easily shoved away from the interactive exhibits that they were interested in. (I hate reprimanding other people's children, but it had to be done a few times.)  Also while we were there, several of the interactive exhibits were broken. My husband and I wished that our kids had the patience for us to read more about the exhibits. Mondays are the least crowded day at the Museum of S&I, if you have the luxury of picking that day. It has three large floors full of science exhibits that explain things like weather, physics, how the body works and technology. Even though it was crowded and we didn't get to see some of the things we wanted, I still felt like it was worth it and highly recommend it to anyone visiting the Chicago area. It's a fantastic way to teach your kids about science and technology. Cool things to check out there that we didn't have time for (meaning our children had lost patience): The Coal Mine Exhibit (the wait was an hour and a half) and Imax theaters.

This pic is great, but it doesn't do that place justice. Also when I was there I would say there was at least a thousand more people in the room.
This room was my kids favorite (also not a shot that I took.)
 If you have little girls, you absolutely must stop by Colleen Moore's fairy castle with all of its detailed miniatures in a back corner of the ground floor. The detail is pretty amazing.
Another tip, if you want to see the baby chicks hatch, the best time to see them is during the afternoon.


  1. Looks like a lot of fun!
    over from mmb

  2. What a museum!! This is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating museums to visit in The USA, the exhibits are top notch and is the only surviving buildings from 1893 Chicago’s World’s fair. There is a submarine from WWII and also there are beautiful artifacts from many countries. Its really worth a visit.