This post is about tickets to the Museum of Science and Industry, including tips for discounts, as well as tips for planning your visit.
When you purchase tickets online you’ll save $2 on each order.
But why pay full price when you can get a 50% discount? Admission is included for free with several tourist attraction discount passes.
Don’t forget to look at the discount section below for great ways to save on admission!
GA Tickets include entry to the museum’s permanent exhibits as well as Science Storms, Numbers in Nature, and Extreme Ice.
These tickets include General Admission access plus one, two, or three additional ticketed experiences including Wired to Wear, Makers United, Giant Dome Theatre Films, Coal Mine Tours, Fab Lab, WOW! Tour, and Future Energy Chicago.
GA + 1 Experience
GA + 2 Experiences
GA + 3 Experiences
There are a few ways to get discounted entry – up to half off with an attraction pass! – into the Museum of Science and Industry.
With the Chicago Explorer Pass, one card will get you into 3, 4, or 5 attractions at a discount of up to 40%.
Here are a few of the other activities and locations you can visit using this tourist pass:
You have 30 days to use the card and don’t need to pre-select your attraction choices which makes it a very flexible deal.
The Go Chicago Card allows you to choose 2 or more attractions from their list of 33 to get a bundled discount of 20-25% on each item.
If you purchase the Chicago CityPASS, you’ll get up to 50% off of many major attractions. This includes General Admission entry plus one ticketed experience.
For a special promotion between Memorial Day and Labor Day, active Military personnel with valid ID and their families (up to 5 people) get free admission.
However, all active military personnel and veterans get free admission for themselves when they present a valid ID any day of the year.
All Chicago firefighters, police officers, and Illinois teachers get free admission for themselves when they present a valid ID at the ticket office.
Chicago residents get $5 off adult tickets and $3 off child tickets with proof of address.
Illinois Citizens get free admission to the Museum of Science and Industry on specific days throughout the year.
Pro tip: ALWAYS buy your tickets to Chicago’s Top Attractions in advance. You’ll skip lines and save money.
The museum is located at 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60637 (map).
Take the Red Line or Blue Line to Jackson stop, then to transfer any of the buses above (#2,#6,#10) at the NW corner of State and Van Buren.
From “the Loop” it’s a 25-minute train ride southwards to the Hyde Park neighborhood. Take the train to the 55th/56th/57th Street station, and walk 2 blocks east to reach the museum.
Pro tip: Even the Museum admits it can be tricky to get to this attraction via transit if you are unfamiliar with the city.
We recommend looking at our article on getting around Chicago via public transit if you are new to Chicago!
Since the Museum of Science and Industry is popular for families, the best times to visit are weekday mornings when school is in session.
Weekend crowds aren’t unbearable, but if you want to enjoy the museum with fewer people, the first two hours after opening are the best times to visit.
According to Google and reviews, most visitors stay up to 4 hours.
Yes. The parking lot has van-accessible parking spaces. The building has push-button automated doors in the entrance and elevators and ramps throughout.
The Museum of Science and Industry was originally built as the Palace of Fine Arts for the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 by Charles B. Atwood of D.H. Burnham and Company.
It is the only structure from the World’s Fair that was built to last while the remainder of the White City fell to ruins.
The MSI has many temporary exhibits as well as several permanent exhibits. The permanent exhibits include:
The U-505 Submarine
At this exhibit you can step inside the U-505—a German submarine that terrorized the ocean during World War I and World War II.
The United States caught and captured the sub on June 4th, 1944 and now it is a national memorial to the 55,000 American sailors who gave their lives on the high seas in WWI and WWII.
The Chick Hatchery
The entire exhibit is about the complex world of genetics but everyone is crowded around the baby chicks. Watch as the baby chicks emerge from their shells and peck their way into the world.
The Coal Mine
Every resident in Chicago has visited this exhibit at least once as a student on a field trip- it’s the Coal Mine! A coal-miner takes you below the surface to experience hands-on what it would be like to a coal-miner.
Brick By Brick
This exhibit is an impressive use of Lego bricks to create massive reproductions of world famous structures.
Kids will love to see the 60-foot Golden Gate Bridge and the International Space Station made entirely of Legos.
This exhibit is included in your entry fee and really connects you to the farm-life of America.
The farmers of America have come a long way. Learn how your food gets to your plate. A visitor’s favorite is the milking competition.