Museum of Science and Industry

Museum of Science and Industry

Museum of Science and Industry
4.5
About
The largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere! Housed in the only remaining building from the 1893 World’s Fair, MSI is a Chicago must-see. You’ll experience 14 acres of hands-on exhibits and have the chance to stand before a 40-foot tornado; climb aboard a World War II German submarine; take a run in a human-sized hamster wheel; descend into an Illinois coal mine; tour a fully functioning eco-friendly home; board a 727 hanging from the ceiling; transmit your pulse to a 13-foot, 3-D beating heart; and much more! MSI is not a place where you walk around quietly and observe. No way! You get involved in the fun—and learn—by doing. Just a few miles from downtown with convenient underground parking.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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Admission tickets
from HK$346.74
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The area
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Neighbourhood: Hyde Park
If you want to get a feel for quintessential South Side Chicago, you have to make a stop in Hyde Park, one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods. This historic area is home to two of the city’s most prominent cultural institutions, the Museum of Science and Industry and the University of Chicago. A stroll here will bring you past vintage and grand hotels converted into luxury apartment buildings; peaceful gardens, parks and green spaces; and ivy-adorned museums and other cultural institutions that speak to the city’s diversity and architectural beauty.
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See what travellers are saying
  • patlv23
    Winnipeg, Canada962 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Too much to see
    This museum has so much to see. It's best to come early if a day is all you have for you to have any chance of seeing everything. I didn't like that there were quite a few areas that are only available for an additional fee (aside from the special Pompeii exhibit). Favourites for us include the German submarine/U-boat, miniature train exhibit, flight simulators, mirror maze and science storms. I also like that there is relatively cheap outdoor parking behind the museum.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 24 June 2023
  • travlingmama
    266 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    First Class Chicago Museum
    A great day for the kids...Very interactive, hands on museum. There is something for everyone and too much to see in one day. For young children 2-3 hours is probably all they can handle. My only complaint and it is a general one....taking a family to museums and events is expensive. I know they offer a free day but that is not always an option.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 28 June 2023
  • Steven B
    West Chester, Pennsylvania32 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A truly great museum
    I cannot say enough. I have been three times over the years. MSI is one of the world's great science museums. The U-505 exhibit is outstanding - large, comprehensive educational and the chance to walk through an actual WW2 U-boat is wonderful. Don't forget the enormous scale model railroad with minature Chicago and Seattle.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 6 July 2023
  • Souj S
    Schaumburg, Illinois18 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fun day at the Museum
    We opted to see the MSI last weekend because of the rains. And that turned out to be a really good decision. We booked the 1 pm slot and got there a lil later so that dint leave us with a lot of time inside. Very educational experience. The interactive exhibits were a lot of fun. The toy maker exhibit was closed, would have luved to see that. And by the time we got to the flight simulation and VR experience it was 5PM and they were closing the counters. Having done the flight simulation activity at the Intrepid museum in NY, we were really looking forward to it, so it was rather disappointing to have missed that. We really enjoyed the Science storms exhibit and the mirror maze.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 11 July 2023
  • nounouaa
    New York City, New York131 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Highly recommend the visit!
    This was such an interesting visit. We arrived 2.5 hours before closing time, so we had to rush at the end. I would recommend a 4 hour visit. This museum is entertaining for all ages and includes a combination of history, modernization, and interaction. The U505 submarine is also amazing, and it's the real one! The weather corner is amazing, and the Mirror Maze is fun. Highly recommended !
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 11 July 2023
  • christopherbO9687MP
    Acton, Massachusetts720 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent collection of permanent & temporary exhibits covering all kinds of science
    The Museum of Science and Industry has an excellent collection of permanent & temporary exhibits covering all kinds of science. Plan on spending an entire day at the Museum if you want to get to all the galleries and some of the special exhibits. Some of the highlights for we were: * Pompeii special exhibition, with both displays of life in the Roman city and how it was destroyed ~2,000 years ago. * Huge model train layout with scenes show the industries on the lines from Chicago to Seattle; the model of downtown Chicago was particularly realistic. * Captured German WWII submarine U-505; covering both life on the sub and how the US Navy was able to capture it. * Historic Burlington Zephyr streamlined train. * Collection of space travel artifacts; particularly the Apollo 8 space capsule. * How storms - particularly tornados - form. All ages will enjoy this!
    Visited July 2023
    Written 14 July 2023
  • Jason B
    Clinton Township, Michigan26 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Really Nice - Must See Museum
    This is a really cool huge museum. We (mom and dad) and our 8 year old son really enjoyed it. Our favorite part was the U-505 Exhibit. It costs extra but well worth it. I really wanted to see the U-boat but I was wondering how the museum would feature a tool of war of one of our enemies. It was really well done. The exhibit celebrates the team that set out to capture and bring back a U-boat for the U.S. to study the technology. There are many things for kids to do. We did the mine tour. We didn't think it was worth the additional cost. We didn't do Pompeii or The Blue Paradox. We spent about 5 hours there and could have spent much longer.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 17 July 2023
  • LMicheleS
    La Quinta, California177 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The building itself was my favorite part of the day
    We visited on July 5th and purchased the extra ticket to see the Pompeii exhibit as well as general admission. This was our first trip to the MSI as we were visiting Chicago from the west coast and wanted to see a building that was original to the World Fair. The interior is all museum now - nothing about their history - still a great experience, but don't go there expecting to learn any history about the building itself. The Pompeii exhibit was really well put together, interesting and a little sad. The molds of the people who are forever frozen in their last seconds of life are slightly creepy. The ash, etc preserved everything. Highly recommend a visit while its still there. We did not think we could pay any extra for the other exhibits, so missed out on the submarine and other extras. The cafeteria is overpriced for what you get. Far to expensive. If you can pack your lunch and bring it with you, I'd recommend that. The wing where the space exhibit is was one of the best things they had imo. Lots of cool older exploration vehicles and a little taste of the present. Our favorite part of the day was when we simply walked around the entire building outside. It was muggy and warm, but the exterior of the museum was amazing. I'm not positive its all original to the way it looked during the worlds fair but...just a really cool structure. Be careful of the hissing Canadian geese in the back by the pond though! lol
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 24 July 2023
  • mmarcos0717
    Chicago, Illinois105 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great for a Rainy day or any day a true Chicago Gem.
    We went with a 2 yr old , 3 yr old, and a 13 yr old... This was such a good time. We kept busy with the exhibits for almost 4 hours and the kids were exhausted by the time we left. Great for a rainy day visit. So much to do and explore.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 28 July 2023
  • faith327
    Niles, Michigan99 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Become a Member
    We traveled into Chicago for the day to experience the Pompeii exhibit and the Blue Paradox exhibit and we were extremely pleased with both. The Blue Paradox exhibit is absolutely AMAZING!!! One thing that I would suggest is becoming a member. One of our family members became overheated and we thought we would need to leave early but we found the members lounge and that was a lifesaver. The air conditioning was fabulous in this room and allowed our family member to relax and cool down. There were comfortable chairs and outlets for charging devices if necessary. The room also has a corner with kids items to play with. It truly is a benefit to become a member. Thank you to the staff of the museum for thinking about the members and their needs.
    Visited August 2023
    Written 7 August 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles11,223 reviews
Excellent
8,207
Very good
2,105
Average
650
Poor
177
Terrible
84

Julie L
Leichhardt, Australia937 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
So going to a large museum in the summer school holidays was always going to be a busy time to go, but I think this was the most packed museum I’ve been to. Nevertheless it was well worth the visit.

Worth noting that a lot of the displays cost extra or you need to book a time to go in. If you’re keen to see a particular one that needs booking I suggest booking as soon as you arrive as you might have to wait a while.

The 007 display was with the extra ticket price if you’re a fan. We also paid to watch the D Day film in the Globe Theatre.

If it wasn’t such a hot day I’d have spent more time admiring the museum from the outside as it’s a beautiful building.
Written 22 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ariel T
Kansas City, MO3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
One of my highlight when visiting Chicago and this place is on point with their exhibition, you could pay extra for the 007 exposition. Great play for the whole family and they even have food inside the museum too, if you get hungry.
Written 21 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Matt and Kate V
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Business
What an underrated experience this was! Can't believe this was my fourth time in Chicago and yet first time visiting this incredible museum. There is so much to learn and explore here. I loved the immersive exhibits like the submarine tour and the mine tour. I can't wait to take my history buff husband back to this museum. All the staff was incredible as well. I was lucky enough to attend a business- related party here so the crowds were not bad at all. I don't think crowds would be much of an issue, though, since they have limits on how many people can take certain tours at once.
Written 20 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SeekerOfGoodValue
Saint Louis, MO353 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
Went with wife and 2 grandkids (13 and 8). They were the priority and they both loved it, especially U-boat, planes, simulators, huge train table, farm exhibit. So much more they wanted to do but time ran out. 8-yr old girl just as interested in this museum as the 13-yr old boy. Cafeteria food was reasonable. Museum layout is complex. Study the map. Free wheelchair was provided.
Written 19 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ELMOSH
California90 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
Very interesting museum, we enjoyed that it is interactive and educational, my son likes the chicks hatching and the space section. I enjoyed the 007 special exhibit and beating my family on the relaxing brain waves game.
Written 16 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sheryl C
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
We got there just after opening and left as it was closing. One day is not enough to see it all. My daughter's boyfriend, a real rocket scientist, totally geeked out. He's not a guy of many words but when I asked him about the U-505 tour, he gushed! He, my husband, and daughter took the tour, not my thing. My husband and daughter first saw it when the indoor exhibit first opened and had to come back. They all loved it. The space area where they have models of rockets, for us was kind of meh- for that we have Kennedy Space Center to see rockets and a space shuttle but they don't have a submarine, everything else was great. Wish we had time to go to all of the exhibits. Once again this is a "don't miss place"!!!!
Written 11 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marla S
Birmingham, AL62 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
Would not recommend this museum. Many of the exhibits were down for maintenance. They charge extra for so many of the exhibits.
Written 11 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jlrcommercial
Atlanta, GA13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
MSI is just great. Our 15 and 10 y.o. girls loved it. I want to give a particular shout out to Zach, who led our tour of the U-505 submarine. WW2 is ancient history to our kids, but Zach brought the story to life with digestible information and dashes of sharp humor,
Written 9 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Y Y
Scotch Plains, NJ135 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
The exhibit of U-505 was unbelievable! They did the best job possible. I also saw the D-Day movie in the huge theater. I was disappointed. You would do just as well seeing it on a small screen.
Written 9 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ElaineAndGreg
Chesterland, OH2,991 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
This is a great museum, but it is being loved to death. There is a lot to see, but you will be competing with scads of others who want to see it, too. It's also more than a little pricey.

We visited this museum on a rainy Sunday and realized it would be crowded, and that it certainly was. We were interested primarily in the U-boat and in the James Bond exhibit, but wanted to see other things as well.

Wow was it crowded. We were able to see the U-boat, which is great with lots of explanatory material. We couldn't go inside. There is an additional fee and it was sold out anyway.

The James Bond exhibit could have been a lot more. The premise, we thought, was how the series used science, but the materials were dumbed down. I think there is a good/intelligent story about how the series and technology influenced each other. But it wasn't told well here. Jet packs? Supercool, but the description was superficial.

The cars, which are indeed terrific, were the best part.

We had lunch here, which was actually not bad, but kind of expensive. Plus it was crowded and the signage wasn't all that great so it was confusing where to sit.

We saw things we liked here, and were glad we came, but cost and crowds were unquestionably an issue. Try to come here on off hours.
Written 1 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Museum of Science and Industry - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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