Monday, January 23, 2012

The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry is a phenomenal way to spend a day!

MSILast weekend was a jam packed weekend for our on the go family. We had a birthday party, a dinosaur event, and a day at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) all packed into one fun filled weekend. We are a very active family and love to take the kids to experience new and exciting things, so the MSI was at the top of our places to visit.

Part of having a successful family outing is to plan and be prepared. We looked up the free days for Illinois residents on the Museum of Science and Industry website and picked a day that would work best for us and that wouldn’t be too crowded {we hoped}. We called a family my mother-in-law to see if she would watch the baby so that we could take our toddler by himself. Normally when we do family activities we take everyone in the family, but this time we wanted our toddler to be able to fully experience the MSI without worrying about naptimes and feedings. With my MIL able to watch the baby the plans for MSI were a go!

We woke up early, dropped off the baby with the in-laws {thank you thank you thank you}, and headed into the city for a fun filled day of exploration! The drive in was a breeze and there was underground parking right at the museum. Parking was $20, but we were able to take off our coats, leave them in the car, and walk right into the museum without having to brave the cold Chicago winds. We visited the Museum on a free day so there was no cost for admission. Once inside we were able to enjoy, explore, and examine everything and everything.

Museum of Science and IndustryThis is one child friendly museum. They not only allow, but encourage children to touch and discover exhibits. Almost everything is hands on. We boarded trains, climbed walls, and touched tornados! We watched as our Gravitron was built right before our eyes and had a blast watching currents carry balls along a waterway.

My son did a great job of sticking with either mom or dad the whole day. There were family bathrooms so that diapers could be changed and the entire museum was clean and family friendly. There was an airplane that we could get on, sit down in, and check out gears and gadgets on. There was a model train display with bridges and a city and multiple trains all running at once {this was obviously a huge hit with my little conductor}.

Although the weather section of the museum was a little scary for my toddler there were parts of it that he could not get enough of. Playing with magnets and vacuums was incredibly entertaining! He was all hands on deck when it came to manipulating displays and although the electricity maker terrified him, it only lasted a few seconds.

The cafeteria had a nice selection of meals to choose from and was reasonably priced. For three meals we paid about $25 and that included drinks. The Gravitron toy that we watched being made I believe cost $5. With admission being free and parking only $20, this was a very inexpensive day in the city!

The MSI was a phenomenal way to spend the day with my family and I cannot wait for my next trip back! I think that if I were a little more daring and willing to take both of the kids with me by myself I would invest in the museums family membership. But for now, I will stick with the free days.

I am always on the lookout for new and exciting places to take my family. Did you go someplace special as a child that made an impact on you? Do you take your kids someplace special?

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