Science & Industry

Last week we took in the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, which turned out to be the highlight of an otherwise low-key Spring Break for the family.  What a place – especially for curious young minds.

museum-S-I-2A lot has changed since the last time I visited this museum (way back in high school).  The volume of interactive exhibits and activities is impressive.  Seems like everywhere we turned we found another place to do stuff as we learned about it.

I remember being excited about going to museums as a kid – I loved to see and read, see and read about the displays.  At the Museum of Science and Industry, though, they’re not content with only reaching the readers.  As a result, the whole experience seemed more immersive, more kinetic (and certainly a little more chaotic).

The premium exhibits (for which you pay extra) were worth the money for us.  We chose two and should have made it three:  the venerable coal mine exhibit and  the National Geographic Earth Explorers.  The kids gave big thumbs up to both.  The coal mine with its mixture of dread and coolness; and Earth Explorers (the theme being you have to be tough to be a world class ecologist/explorer) with a bevy of interactivity supported by Nat Geo footage.

The kids also gave high marks to the weather area, learning about tornadoes, super-cell thunderstorms, tsunamis.  It all fit nicely with some of the disaster preparedness and weather science lessons they’ve had in school.

Every turn had more to explore and do.  We ended up rushing the kids at spots, trying to at least see everything, and still ended up short.  This is the type of museum for which you’d really enjoy having a membership – definitely worth it for Chicago area folks.

The museum was definitely worth more time, but we did the Sears Willis Tower also, and made a brief stop in Millennium Park.  These are cool spots, but were more photo ops.  So our advice:  when you head to Chi-town, budget plenty of time for the Museum of Science and Industry and our other fave, the Field Museum – especially if you’re bringing along the eager young minds.

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