Friday, January 11, 2019

Museum of Science and Industry: Perfect Winter Day Exploring Science

Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago: Perfect Place to Explore Science

Museum of Science and Industry: Perfect Winter Day Exploring Science

**Disclosure: My family was provided with complimentary admission to bring you this review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% my own.

The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago provides an engaging opportunity for science exploration which is perfect for a cold winter day! With so many hands-on exhibits and unique experiences, it can certainly take several days to thoroughly explore the museum. So, I can say that it definitely will keep your family intrigued and occupied while learning during a cold winter day. While the Museum of Science of Industry is a cornucopia of science learning year round, the museum serves as a welcome adventure during Chicago winters!


Stunning Christmas tree at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago
Stunning Christmas tree at the holidays!

We did venture to the museum while the celebrated Christmas Around the Trees were brilliantly on display. No matter the season, there are always plenty of incredible experiences at the museum! I will discuss more about the trees later, but I would like to look at some of the other explorations we enjoyed on this visit first. An easy favorite is the Transportation Gallery:

Choo-chooing and Flying in the Transportation Gallery

One of my favorite images of this whole visit is this one of Engine 999 with the magnificent main tree in the background. Engine 999 was displayed at the Chicago's World's Fair in 1933-1934. I love the melding of the old and the new as well as the tie in with trains and the holidays!

Engine 999 at the holidays inside the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
Engine 999 at the holidays.
Overall, the Transportation Gallery elicits a sense of awe with a variety of modes of transportation all around. Seeing the collection of planes flying above you has an impressive feel. You can even check out the exhibit upstairs including boarding a 727.

High flying fun in the Transportation Gallery of the Museum of Science and Industry
High flying fun in the Transportation Gallery.
The Great Train Story presents a fascinating train displays detailing the route between Chicago and Seattle in miniature. We recently road this train route aboard Amtrak's Empire Builder this summer. So, walking along the display was particularly meaningful to us.

The Great Train Story follows the route from Chicago to Seattle by train in miniature at the Museum of Science and Industry.
The Great Train Story follows the route from Chicago to Seattle by train in miniature.
Incredible detail with the train traveling through mountains under a bridge:

The detail of the trains traveling though the mountains in the Great Train Story at Museum of Science and Industry is incredible!
The detail of the trains traveling though the mountains is incredible!


Genetics and the Baby Chicks Hatchery:

Baby chicks! Who can skip the baby chicks! A crowd tends to cluster about the baby chicks but they are definitely adorable and you get to see some in different stages of hatching.



Here is a little one that is trying to join the world!

Chick hatching at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
Little chick hatching.
The entire gallery is full of hands-on learning experiences that teach about genetics. There are a range of activities including looking for genetic differences using microscopes.



Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle:

Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle is truly breathtaking. The intricate castle was that of film actress Colleen Moore. She toured with it around the country during the Depression to earn money for children's charities. Each room is exquisite in detail and includes one-of-a-kind items and antiques in miniature!



Science Storms:

The Science Storms is another fun hall at the Museum of Science and Industry. Who doesn't love walking in a simulated tornado? There is a wealth of hands-on experiences in this section of the museum. Interactive exhibits teach you about avalanches, tsunami's and more.


Reaching for the Stars in the Henry Crown Space Center:

I will admit that the Henry Crown Space Center is probably my favorite spot in the Museum of Science and Industry. I mean how often do you get to see the original Apollo 8 module? Apollo 8 orbited the moon. How cool!

Apollo 8 Module which circled the moon is located at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago
The real Apollo 8 which circled the moon!
You can also take a peek at the lunar module used to train for the Apollo 11 landing, enjoy a virtual reality experience, walk inside a model international space station and more.



During our visit, the Museum of Science and Industry was celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8. In honor, there was a special pop up exhibit called Moon Room 1968 that displayed a room the way one would have looked in 1968 when Apollo 8 launched.

Moon Room 1968 special exhibit at Museum of Science and Industry
Stepping back to 1968!

U-505 Submarine:

The U-505 Submarine is a fascinating find and is actually the only WWII German U-boat in the U.S. The surrounding exhibits shed light on the war in the oceans, present artifacts and more. You can add a tour of the U-boat for an additional fee. The U-505 is immense --- the size of a city block. So, it is incredible just to walk along the length!

U-505 the German submarine at the Museum of Science and Industry is the length of a city block.
U-505 exhibit.
Science Behind Pixar Special Exhibit:

The Science Behind Pixar Exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry was a fascinating exhibit that allowed families to explore the world of animation with hands-on experiences. The exhibit is a traveling exhibit that unfortunately ended its run at the Museum of Science and Industry on January 6. I did want to give you a little peek though so that you can see what type of temporary exhibits the museum may have.

Learning about how movement is added to animation in the Science Behind Pixar
Learning about how movement is added to animation.
Here my daughter is working on size, movement and shape of schools of fish:

Hands-on experiments with animation at the Science Behind Pixar Exhibit.
Hands-on experiments with animation at the Science Behind Pixar Exhibit.
My husband and daughter experimenting with putting together robots with a certain number of shapes.



Opportunity to check out modeling close up:


The Science Behind Pixar was an incredible exhibit. So, I recommend checking it out if you discover it at another museum!

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light is one of the most celebrated holiday displays in Chicago. We were lucky to visit it and you should definitely keep an eye out for it next year. The centerpiece is the four story, floor-to-dome tree. Around the tree and dipping into the galleries are 50 trees representing countries and traditions around the world. There also are displays of items representing other holidays of light. The tradition started in 1942 with one tree. We had fun dipping in and out of the display looking for different countries. A plaque by each tree describes some of the traditions of the nations and why certain ornaments were selected!

Australia, Bolivia and Puerto Rico Trees during Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light at Museum of Science and Industry
Australia, Bolivia and Puerto Rico Trees
It was hard to pick one favorite tree. Each was special but I did rather enjoy the Welsh Tree! It looked so regal!

Welsh Christmas Tree at the Museum of Science and Industry


Museum of Science and Industry Experiences We Have Enjoyed:

  • Coal Mine: The Coal Mine exhibit provides a unique opportunity to descend down into a "coal mine." The experience is well worth it at least once and you will learn about coal mines by exploring a coal mine relocated from southern Illinois.
  • Yesterday's Main Street: We love walking along the cobblestone streets stepping back in time to an early 20th century main street.
  • Whispering Gallery: My daughter LOVED the Whispering Gallery when she was younger. Incredibly, the room has been part of the museum since 1938. In the room, try to determine how your friend can hear you from across the room when you whisper into a curved dish.
  • Giant Dome Theater: Shows in the dome are wonderful. They change from time to time but it is a neat experience with the show above and round you.
  • More, more and more! There are so many exhibits to savor!
As you can see. the Museum of Science and Industry is quite the adventure. If you make a day of it, there is a food court and cafe. You can also bring your own lunch to eat in designated areas. There also are restaurants in Hyde Park. During the winter or when it is rainy out, the Museum of Science and Industry provides a wealth of hands-on experiences that will make any visit unique and engaging. The science learning throughout the museum sparks curiosity and will have your family experimenting during your entire visit. Amazing way to spend the day!

Museum of Science and Industry: Perfect Day Exploring Science

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