Our Adventure into the Museum of Science and Industry

Company Site:www.msichicago.org
Location:5700 S Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60637
Ticket Price:Adult $18 Child (3-11) $11 Senior (65+) $17
Hours:Open daily (through September 7) from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m
Special Ticket Prices:Robot Revolution: Adult $11 Child (3-11) $9 Senior (65+) $11
Note:Regular Museum Hours resume Tuesday, September 8: daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas.
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We had the chance to go to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, IL  a couple of weeks ago and I cannot even describe how much fun it was! The museum has 3 levels of amazing science type fun! If you have a chance to go you should plan to be there all day. There is so much to see and do and learn that you will not even want to leave!

My husband and I both went as kids but neither of us remember much about it except the Whispering Gallery, the Plasma Ball and I remember seeing embryo type things…not something I want to remember hehe. We always wanted to take our kids there but were unsure of the age range that would be best for it. Turns out pretty much any age range is perfect.

msireview (100)They have some areas that might be a bit much or too loud for little kids but kids ages 8+ would be able to play with, learn about and experience everything…if you had enough time.

My kids are ages 4 and 6 and we spent almost all day exploring and still wanted to stay when we had to leave. They want to go back as soon as possible and now want to learn about various things involving science!

Our family spent a LOT of time in the Science Storms area. We learned about wind, tsunamis, tornadoes, sunlight and so much more. I think everyone’s favorite was the wind machine with the balls.

You moved the nozzle (?) and tossed a ball up and it bounced (not really) around in the air. If you aim them all right you can keep a ball in the air…but there were too many kids around for that.

The kids experienced their first Plasma Ball (I still love those things) and the Whispering Gallery. The Gallery is one of the coolest things I’ve seen or remember but it isn’t very big. I mean for what it does it is pretty big but it’s not like an actual gallery. There are two dishes on opposite sides of the room which is shaped kind of like a football. This is called an ellipsoid (even adults learn new things!).msireview (67)

Each dish is arched and serves as a focal point for sound. When you face the disk your back is to the other person at the other disk. Whisper anything you want into the disk and the person at the other end of the room hears it very clearly. Like your standing right next to them! Kind of creepy actually….but so very cool.

The way this room is set up allows for the whisper to travel easily but if you were to talk anywhere else in the room the sound bounces around and you hear an echo….which is also cool.

I remembered the Fairy Castle once I saw it again. Literally as soon as I walked into the room I remembered it all and was so glad my kids got to see it too. This is a miniature castle with exquisite detail and breathtaking artwork. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of time and love that went into creating this master piece. Once thing I learned that I either didn’t know or forgot…it was made by a silent film actress!

msireview (49)Colleen Moore completed this epic beauty in 1935 and it moved into the MSI in 1949. Every item inside is also hand-crafted and some were even made by other celebrities, artisans, and craft type people from around the world. Walt Disney himself painted a picture inside and the tiniest bible ever written dates back to about 1840. There are even ancient statues more than 2,000 years old!

You can walk all the way around the castle and peek into every room and at every detail and when your done you can take an audio tour to learn more! Truly worth your time and kids of all ages will find something exciting hiding inside.

The kids favorite exhibit was probably the Robot Revolution. An entire exhibit about Robots…I know the Gentleman was in heaven. This exhibit is only here until January 3rd, 2016 so go see it while you can! You need to purchase tickets for this separately but it IS worth it.

Just outside the exhibit is a ladder climbing robot. Yes. A robot that climbs up and down a ladder and it is the coolest thing ever. Well…maybe the black jack robot was a bit cooler. You can watch a brief video explaining robots and how they are in the real world as opposed to what you see in movies. I know…it’s disappointing to learn that C3PO and R2-D2 don’t actually exist like they do in the films…but hopefully some day they will!

The whole room was full of interactive areas where you could control or somehow interact with the robots. My kids LOVED this little robot that you could control. Push a button and it stood on its head or did the splits or a push up. It was really neat and the Gentleman now wants to learn about robotics!

They were demoing a drone in one area, the black jack robot really dealt cards based on your choices and there was a station with robot hands to see what they could grab. There was a special gift shop JUST for robotic type things which of course my kids wanted to purchase all of.

msireview (68)The family favorite was probably the Science Storms area. This place is SO freaking cool! We spent the most time in there I think and I’m pretty sure we didn’t get to see or do everything in there. You could learn about tornados, lightning, fire, sunlight, atoms in motion, avalanches and tsunamis all in this one area and I’d say 95% is hands on!

The plasma ball is located on the upper floor of this area along with the wind machine with the balls. Those were so much fun! A giant tube (I think) would start up a tornado every so often and it was probably the coolest thing I’ve seen. I mean how many times do you get to see a tornado up close but safely?

The wave machine was pretty cool but the one that showed vibrations in water was really neat. It was located higher up but it showed a projection of sorts on the ground so you could walk in it…or in the Diva’s case dance in it. A lightning area had seats and a table and above it a lightning generator…I think. It would sound this very loud air horn type alarm and lightning would come out of it. We tried waiting but there was just way too much to see…the kids were ready to move on before it went off.

One of the best souvenirs you could get from the Museum of Science and Industry is found in the ToyMaker 3000. You have to pay for it but again totally worth it!  It is called a Gravitron and it’s basically a spinning top but better quality than most. It lights up, can be engraved with your child’s name (or yours) and you get to watch it being made from start to finish!

There is a 2,000 square foot assembly line that is completely automated. This thing can assemble 300 tops per hour and as far as I could tell only needed someone to refill the parts!  When you pay you get a ticket and you simply put that ticket in the beginning and select the color and type in the name. The machine does the rest and you get to walk around and watch!

msireview (117)They do a test of the top about halfway through and if it passes you can follow it to the end…if it fails the top goes on but you need to start over. Unless you are me and my son and you get to start over 3 times because the machine didn’t like me I guess. My husband walked with my son then third time and it passed no problem…I give up on technology ever working right for me.

Once it does pass you follow it to the end where you watch it being packaged and put in a holder and it also puts the failed ones in a pile which is neat. Put your ticket in again and the machine selects it from the holder and drops it in the slot to be picked up by a very happy kid…or adult. My kids LOVED this and absolutely love the Gravitron. Best souvenir ever.

I can’t begin to describe even everything we did but I made a video of the things we recorded. It’s kind of long and I didn’t use all the footage…and we didn’t see all the things. Check out our adventure!

If you plan on visiting make sure you have a plan ahead of time…and don’t forget lunch! They have an awesome (not too pricey) cafeteria with something for everyone. My son has a milk allergy and we had no problem finding food. You COULD bring a lunch but they don’t have lockers so you might want to just eat there.

If you are a collector of smushed pennies bring your change! The machines there are $1.01 though. $1 is the cost…a bit more expensive than I’m used to but the kids and I collect one from every place we go every time we go. One of the most treasured things to collect…that I forgot about and thought they stopped making…are the wax molds! I LOVED these things as a kid!

Check out our adventure in pictures too!

I guess I still do…we got a boat and a robot…cause why not. I regret nothing and the kids love remembering where they got them whenever they see them on their shelves. Transporting them is difficult though…especially since we had to drive to Indy from Chicago. Still we love our collectibles! Get them if you can…and you know you want them.

We had so much fun and made so many wonderful memories at the Museum of Science and Industry. It is truly a magical and scientific place to visit. If we lived closer we would have memberships and I think we would have entire homeschool lessons based off of various areas and visit often…like once a week often!

There were some areas that are a bit much for my kids being 6 and 4 but the majority of the museum was all ages friendly. We spent the almost an entire day and still missed seeing a lot of things! We have to go back just to visit our favorites and see the things we missed. We can’t wait!

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“Whatever you try, if it is giant or small, I know you can do it! No trouble at all.”
~ Dr. Seuss

Author: sandyz