Climb aboard a World War II German submarine. Plunge into a working coal mine. Take a tour of your digestive system. Control a 40-foot tornado. And this season, step into the magical world of Walt Disney to uncover 90 years of archives.
Those experiences and more await you at the Museum of Science and Industry — the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere. Home to more than 35,000 artifacts and hundreds of exhibits, there are enough "wow" moments to be had here to last a lifetime.
MSI, which opened in 1933, is housed in the only remaining building from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. The museum's Beaux Arts building was originally the expo's Palace of Fine Arts and displayed works of art from around the world. Now — through interactive exhibits, daily live science experiences, unique events and tours for all ages, and 3D theater adventures in the five-story, domed Omnimax — the inventive genius in you can explore the fascinating worlds of science, technology, medicine and engineering within the museum's 14 acres of space.
Brick by Brick is calling MSI home now through February 2017. The 7,000 square foot exhibit designed by Chicago native, Adam Reed Tucker, features replicas of the Pyramids of Giza, the Roman Colesseum, Disney's Cinderella's Castle, International Space Station and more all constructed from Legos. The largest replication is the Golden Gate Bridge which is over 60 feet in legnth and made up of 14,000 Legos. Learn more about this engineering feat, how skyscrapers are build, and even see a Lego building withstand a simulated eathquake at the "Find Your Inner Builder" mini seminars.
The newest must-see in the museum's permanent exhibition halls is a crowd-pleaser for sure. Get lost in a colorful mirror maze as you see first hand how mathematical patterns abound in the natural world: from the lines on our skin to the ridges of mountain ranges. Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze is completely immersive (the centerpiece is the full size maze measuring at 1,800 square feet) and features nearly 20 activities and more than 30 artifacts to break down concepts like the Golden Ratio.
Experiment with nearly 50 fun, cutting-edge interactive displays at YOU! The Experience while exploring what it means to live a vital, healthy life in the 21st century. Use your own heartbeat to make the museum's new 13-foot Giant Heart come alive; get moving on a human-sized Hamster Wheel that provides real-time feedback on your body's responses to aerobic activity; examine real human specimens that showcase the extraordinary complexity of the body; and much more!
Science Storms, a massive, two-story exhibit, unravels the mysteries of physics and chemistry through recreations of nature's most powerful phenomena — tornados, lightning, fire, tsunamis, sunlight, avalanches and atoms in motion. Manipulate a 40-foot tornado and see the vapor whirling before you. Witness giant bolts of lightning crackling above. Trigger an avalanche using a 20-foot avalanche disk.
Among the many other permanent exhibit offerings, some of the most popular are:
U-505 Submarine, where you can dive into the story of the only German U-boat captured during World War II, one of only five U-boats left in the world
The Great Train Story, a model running 30-plus trains on 1,400 feet of winding track that journeys from Seattle to Chicago
Coal Mine, where you descend the mine shaft, take a ride on the rails and learn the technology of coal mining