The Museum of Science and Industry Chicago offers immersive and interactive experiences in science and is the largest science museum in the Americas.


The Museum of Science and Industry, MSI, was opened in 1933 by Julius Rosenwald who wanted to bring interactive science exhibits to Chicago. The building used for the museum was constructed for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition’s “White City” and was used to exhibit fine arts at the fair.

MSI aspires to motivate children and adults alike to achieve their potential in the fields of science, technology, medicine and engineering. The museum has hosted almost 200 million visitors since opening nearly a century ago and provides 400,000 square feet of exhibit space. MSI is also home to the only 5 story movie theater in Chicago and features an auditorium that can accommodate 800 patrons.

Education is an important function of MSI with 12 learning labs on site and operates as the top field trip destination for Chicago area schools. MSI also offers science teacher education courses, youth development programs, and provides after school programming offsite to more than 9,000 children in Chicago.

Tickets to the museum can be purchased in person or online. There are often special exhibits that are ticketed in addition to general admission. These can be packaged for discounts. The Museum also participates in the Chicago CityPass program and offer 52 free days each year to Illinois Residents.


The Museum of Science and Industry offers rentals of strollers and complimentary wheel chair use. There is also a coat check, nursing room for mothers, and several restrooms available throughout the museum. First Aid is available to visitors in need and the entire museum is handicap accessible with parking and elevators available.


There are 26 permanent exhibits at The Museum of Science and Industry. All exhibits relate to a scientific field of study or history of America and the Chicago Area and are hands-on, immersive experiences for all ages.

· Robot Revolution

· U-505 Submarine

· Coal Mine

· Extreme Ice

· Future Energy Chicago

· Turn Back the Clock

· Genetics and the Baby Chick Hatchery

· Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze

· Science Storms

· Ships Gallery

· The Great Train Story

· You! The Experience

· All Aboard the Silver Streak: Pioneer Zephyr

· Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle

· The Idea Factory

· Transportation Gallery

· Farm Tech

· Fast Forward: Inventing the Future

· Henry Crown Space Center

· The Art of the Bicycle

· Earth Revealed

· Imagining the Museum

· Swiss Jolly Ball

· ToyMaker 3000: An Adventure in Automation

· Whispering Gallery

· Yesterday’s Main Street

Details on displays and features of each exhibit are provided on the MSI website along with information on special exhibits and traveling exhibitions.


There are a few other family friendly activities offered at the Museum of Science and Industry in addition to the exhibits.

Theater- The domed theater is the only 5 story tall theater in Chicago and shows films relating to scientific adventures and ingenuity. Current film listings can be found online.

Tours- Visitors can enhance their MSI experience by adding on a tour of the U-505 submarine or the Family Fab Lab. Behind the Scenes tours are also available.

Flight Simulators- Visitors can control aircraft from history on the Flight Simulators and Rides at MSI. The ride launches visitors into space through a replica of the Hubble Space Craft. Tickets are required for entry and are not included in general admission. Simulators are for ages 10 and up and last 6 minutes. Height and weight requirements must also be met and can be found online.

Special Events

The Museum of Science and Industry offers many daily and special events throughout the year that are detailed on their website. Activities include story times, opportunities for after dark visits to MSI, members only events, and holiday celebrations.

Private events are welcomed at MSI from weddings to corporate functions and fundraising events. Birthday Parties, community groups, and scouts are also welcome at the museum with group tours and field trips arrangements made through the museum.

Shopping and Dining

There are several gift shops located throughout the museum offering gifts and souvenirs relating to science and technology. The Museum Store in located in the Entry Hall and does not require tickets to the museum. Other gift shops and store can be found on the Lower levels of MSI and online.

Visitors have many dining opportunities at MSI as well including the Brain Food Court, Café, and vending machines located throughout the levels. Finnigan’s Ice Cream Parlor is only open weekends.

5700 S Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois, 60637, website, Phone: 773-684-1414

Back to: Chicago

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