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Museum of Science and Industry
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThe Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere. Its collections contain over 35,000 artifacts that can be found in numerous interactive exhibits throughout the museum. Some of its most popular exhibits include the U-505 German submarine that was captured during World War II, a full-size replica coal mine, and the Apollo 8 spacecraft that was used by the first humans who orbited the Moon.
HistoryThe Museum of Science Industry is located in the impressive Palace of Fine Arts that was constructed for the World’s Columbian Exposition , a world’s fair in Chicago in 1893. It was the original home of The Field Museum, a popular natural history museum in Chicago which later moved to Grant Park. In 1933, the Museum of Science and Industry opened to the public, and was the first museum in North America with interactive exhibits, including its famous Coal Mine display. Over the years, the museum has added many other popular exhibits, including a walk-through heart, the U-505 submarine, and the Apollo 8 spacecraft.
Notable ExhibitionsThere are over 2,000 fascinating exhibits within the Museum of Science and Industry, which means that you’ll always see something new no matter how many times you visit. Here are a few of its most notable permanent exhibitions that you can expect to see when you visit.
Coal MineThe Coal Mine was the museum’s first interactive exhibit. Since 1933, visitors have been able to ride to the bottom of a mine shaft and take a 30-minute tour of a coal mine while learning about the U.S. coal mining industry. Highlights of the exhibit include riding a work train and visiting the mine control room, where you can learn about the technology used in modern mines.
U-505 SubmarineThe U-505 is a German submarine that was captured in 1944 during World War II and contained codebooks and an Enigma machine that were helpful to Allied code breaking operations. It is the only German submarine in the United States. You can fully enjoy this historical artifact by paying for the on-board tour, which introduces visitors to what life was like on the submarine during the war.
Henry Crown Space CenterIf you love space, then you’ll want to explore the Henry Crown Space Center, which features rockets, shuttles, rovers, satellites, and other space artifacts in numerous interactive displays. The highlight of the exhibition is the Apollo 8 spacecraft, which was the first manned spacecraft to orbit the Moon. Visitors can also remotely control a Mars Rover and attempt to dock at the International Space Station.
All Aboard the Silver StreakThis exhibit allows visitors to travel back in time to 1934 while going on a 20-minute guided tour of the Pioneer Zephyr train. While you “travel” from Denver to Chicago, you can explore the baggage, smoking, passenger, and observation cars as well as the engineer’s cab.
Colleen Moore’s Fairy CastleChildren and adults alike will be fascinated by the handmade miniatures within the Fairy Castle, which were created by silent film star Colleen Moore in 1935. Artifacts within the exhibit include the world’s smallest Bible and a painting by Walt Disney .
Genetics and the Baby Chick HatcheryFor decades, one of the museum’s most popular areas has been the baby chick hatchery, where visitors can watch fertilized eggs in an incubator hatch each day. Once you’ve fully enjoyed the baby chicks, you can explore the rest of its genetics-themed displays, which focus on topics like cloning, genetic engineering, and genetic diseases.
Ships Through the AgesBoat enthusiasts will be fascinated by this immense collection of ships, including a life-size exhibit featuring part of the quarterdeck of a 19th century tall ship that you can steer, a model of the Sahure, an Egyptian ship that sailed in the Mediterranean Sea around the year 2750 B.C., and scale models of Christopher Columbus’ fleet and the Mayflower .
Practical InformationHere’s everything you need to know in order to plan your visit to the Museum of Science and Industry.
By bus: CTA bus lines 2, 6, and 10 provide services to the museum.
By train: The nearest train station is 55th/56th/57th St., which is accessible using the Electric Line of the Metra commuter train service. This is generally preferable to taking CTA trains, which require transferring to the Metra or a bus service.
Address: 5700 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637
Hours: The Museum of Science and Industry is open daily from 9:30 until 16:00.
Prices: Museum admission prices start at $ 18 USD for adults, $ 17 USD for seniors, and $ 11 USD for children between the ages of 3 and 11. However, some popular exhibitions such as the U-505 Submarine On-board Tour and the Coal Mine require the purchase of more expensive ticket packages.
Nearby AttractionsChicago is home to many other wonderful museums, including The Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Other popular landmarks include Navy Pier, Willis Tower, Millennium Park, and Lincoln Park.
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Author: ehuttner. Last updated: Apr 22, 2015