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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The area
Address
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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  • 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
    267 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, Pennsylvania29 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, Massachusetts718 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, Michigan24 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, Michigan100 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 bubbles11,210 reviews
Excellent
8,199
Very good
2,103
Average
649
Poor
175
Terrible
84

Alan G
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
Our visit was ruined by the noise of busloads of school kids running around and screaming. Even with foam earplugs, the excited voices and reverberating echoes were unbearably loud. I asked a MSI employee and they said this is how it is every day. The level of information in the exhibits is grade-school and somewhat dated; dumbed down and gamified. The best exhibits require an extra fee each, bringing the total cost of a ticket to more than $100. A huge ripoff IMHO. Science & Technology museums in other cities and in Europe are much better than this commercialized playground.
Written 8 May 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.

Laura G
Chicago, IL117 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Family
We've been members at MSI for several years, but never did the Coal Mine tour until this weekend. It was great! Very detailed and fun, and much more than I was expecting. I recommend!
Written 5 May 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.

Larry K
Delaware64 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
A good museum more geared to younger crowd. If you go during week, go after 1 if crowds of kids will affect you. Don't buy food in cafeteria, especially the Tuna sandwich. Our sandwiches were awful. Bring your own food!!
Written 5 May 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.

MojoLad
Graton, CA306 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
What a GREAT museum! So much to see, and so well presented. We were keen on touring the U-505, the only German U-Boat captured in WWII, and we were not the least bit disappointed by it. Other science exhibits were beautifully done and often breathtaking, like when the actual Boeing 727 directly overhead suddenly drops its landing gear. And as a fan of HO-scale model trains I was particularly pleased with their immense and gorgeous layout, which I could have stared at for an hour. We didn't even see a third of the other exhibits, and are keen to go back if we ever visit Chicago again.
Written 22 April 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.

hecubus23
Las Vegas, NV124 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
This is my 3rd time here since the mid 1970's. The major difference is that now, they have constructed a new exhibit enclosure for the U-505. The sub is beautifully displayed and now pays proper tribute to the that salvaged the sub. This alone is worth the price of admission. As for the rest of the museum, I found it a little lacking and I really didn't care for the pay exhibits (U-505 interior and 007 exhibits.
Written 22 April 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.

TravelingWriter
McCalla, AL49 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
This was a must-see for our Chicago trip because of the U-Boat exhibit. We bought timed entry tickets and exhibit tickets ahead of time. The U-Boat was fascinating and we really liked being able to actually go inside of it. We also saw the Science of 007 exhibit (additional purchase) that was a lot of fun. We also enjoyed the car exhibit. This place is HUGE and even a full day wouldn't be enough.

The only downside was large crowds of children and teens on field trips. At one time they actually blocked access to the restrooms. They were also quite noisy, which didn't bother us but could bother some folks. If I go back, I'm going on a day less likely to have large crowds like that.
Written 21 April 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.

MikeyBoy12804
Queensbury, NY241 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
The Museum as a whole is a bit disconnected . Some might say it’s an effort to show a variety of exhibitions but there is enough here so you can skip over things that do not interest you. Then there is the UBoat 505 exhibit ( be sure to pay for the interior tour). If you are a WWII buff this will blow you away. Very very well done. Made the museum well worth the trip
Written 5 April 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.

The Bearded Traveler
Milwaukee, WI198 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
Took my wife here on a trip to Chicago and had a fantastic experience. This has to be one of the coolest places to visit while in Chicago and the staff there was helpful and friendly. For those of you that say EWWW Chicago there are a few great places there so don't miss out on this one.
Written 26 March 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.

geauxdb
Baton Rouge, LA65 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
I did not enjoy this as much as similar museums in other cities. Tornado movie was good, but may be frightening for children. The restaurant was fair as you would expect.
Written 24 March 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.

Johna Rogers
Covington, TN161 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Probably one of the most detailed and interactive museums I’ve ever been to. We had a great time spending most of the day here. Loved all the exhibits.
Written 17 March 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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