During the month of February, Chicago's beloved Museum of Science and Industry is offering free museum entry to all kids, ages 3-11. All you need to do is visit msichicago.org to claim the free kids entry voucher, which allows for two free kids per paying adult. A wintertime visit to the Museum of Science and Industry is the cure for cabin fever, thanks to the myriad of amazing things to see and do. Here are eight things to see and do this winter at the museum.
Get lost in a mirrored maze
Numbers in Nature is the museum's newest interactive exhibit 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 dizzy labyrinth.
Visit a 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 (above).
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.
Celebrate all things Minecraft
The museum will be hosting a Minecraft-themed fundraiser on Sunday, Feb. 22. Families will enjoy a scavenger hunt through exhibits, dinner and more. Secure your advance tickets online.
Witness 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.
Dream up, design and see your invention come to life. The state-of-the-art Wanger Family Fab Lab gives families a chance to try their hand at design and manufacturing. Invent, create, design and make your dream come to live with the lab's cutting-edge software and equipment. Note: Fab Lab sessions are not included in Museum Entry, and require an additional timed-entry ticket. Non-members may select a Fab Lab session as part of an Explorer ticket package.
View 104 dynamic works from both professional and amateur African-American artists from around the U.S.
The Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition presents 104 dynamic works from both professional and amateur African-American artists from around the country, including a dozen youth artists between the ages of 14 and 17. This longest-running exhibition of African-American art has been displayed annually at MSI since 1970. The Juried Art Exhibition is included in Museum Entry and is open through February 22, 2015.
Step into a submarine
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.
Photos and video courtesy of Museum of Science and Industry