There is so much to see and do at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, where 14 acres of exhibits and experiences promise fun (and educational!) moments for all. This fall, the museum hosts a number of special activities, from a robot block party to a STEM career fair. Here are 10 amazing things to experience at MSI this autumn:
Rock with the robots at the Robot Block Party (10 a.m.-3 p.m., Oct. 10-12)
Party with the robots at the temporary exhibition Robot Revolution this Columbus Day Weekend: Guests will have the opportunity to interact with robots while enjoying performances by musical act Human-Tim+Robot-Tim. Put on your dancing shows and rock to the robot beat at the robot dance party courtesy of Culture Shock Dance. Robots and times will vary. All activities are included in Museum Entry.
Fast forward to your future at the Science Works STEM career fair (10 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 17)
This STEM career fair invites youth and families to learn about interesting jobs straight from the professionals. Featuring an array of dynamic speakers, hands-on activities and one-on-one discussions, this event enables guests and students to discover what "cool jobs" the science, technology, engineering and medicine fields have to offer-like veterinary medicine, beverage technologists and cosmetic chemists.
Uncover the innovators who breathed life into Chicago's magical White City (11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24)
In celebration of the newly opened Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Museum of Science and Industry will host a special presentation that will uncover the little-known stories behind the architects of the 1893 World's Fair. Dr. Lisa M. Snyder from UCLA's Institute for Digital Research and Education will present her rich computer reconstruction of the White City using amazing, real-time visual simulation technology. Tim Samuelson, cultural historian for the City of Chicago, will provide expert commentary and insight. An additional ticket with the purchase of Museum Entry is required.
Celebrate the Science of Halloween at the MSInsider Boo Bash (5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 30)
Head to the museum for a magical evening of trick-or-treating, costumes, haunted exhibits and more at the MSInsider Boo Bash. You'll have a chance to check out the Robot Revolution exhibit, make fang-tastic Halloween crafts to take home with you, play some frightfully fun games corner, and march in the costume parade. Witches' brew, sweet treats and healthy snacks for children and adults will be available throughout the evening.
Step into a tornado
Visitors to the Science Storms exhibit will learn more about the science behind seven natural phenomena: lightning, fire, tornadoes, avalanches, tsunamis, sunlight and atoms in motion. Two exhibit floors and 26,000 square feet are packed with hands-on displays that showcase the physics and chemistry behind these often destructive natural occurrences. The star of the exhibit is the 40-foot tornado - a vortex of swirling, illuminated vapor rising continuously from the floor.
Escape from a mirrored maze
Numbers in Nature is one of the museum's newest interactive exhibits and focuses on the patterns all around us. The centerpiece of the exhibit is the elaborate mirror maze - be prepared to get lost in this dizzying labyrinth.
On June 4, 1944, the U-505, a German submarine, was prowling off the coast of West Africa on a hunt for American and Allied ships, when depth charges from the USS Chatelain blasted it out of hiding. Today you can step inside the real U-505 - the only German submarine in the United States - preserved at the museum as a memorial to the 55,000 American sailors who gave their lives on the high seas in WWI and WWII.
See a magical, miniature fairy castle
Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle is quite simply the most fantastic dollhouse ever. Built in 1928 by silent film star Colleen Moore, this home for dolls features an interior designed by famed Hollywood art director Harold Grieve. It's been a featured exhibit at MSI since the early 1950s, and just underwent an extreme (fairy) home makeover.
Descend into a mine shaft
The Coal Mine has been taking visitors deep into a (mock) mine shaft since 1933. Step on the hoist and and learn more about the evolution of coal mining technology as you learn what it takes to work in the U.S. mining industry.
Spend the night at the museum
Enjoy a rare chance to visit the museum after everyone else has gone home with Snoozeum! Special science activities, scavenger hunts and the chance to snooze beside your favorite exhibit are all part of the evening's fun. Snoozeums are open to groups of both boys and girls ages 6-12, as well as families with children ages 6-12. The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. and ends at 8:30 a.m. the following day. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
Photos: Science Storms, Numbers in Nature by J.B. Spector