As a homeschooling family, it’s easy to to keep up the learning while on vacation. Today I’m sharing about our recent trip, Homeschooling on Vacation in Chicago: Visiting the Museum of Science and Industry.
We received complimentary tickets to visit Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, however all opinions are our own.
We recently went on vacation to the Chicago area for Kayla’s Navy boot camp graduation, in Waukegan. I’ve said for years that I have wanted to visit Chicago, it made perfect sense to check out the city while we were so close. We had the opportunity to visit Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, and I knew that this would be the perfect place to kick start some homeschooling lesson plans. We don’t necessarily homeschool year round, but I do like to keep the learning going with fun and interesting topics during the summer, and what better way to do so than visiting MSI.
Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, is one of the world’s largest science museums. It has been deemed one of the “Top 25 Museums in the U.S.” by TripAdvisor, one of the “Seven Wonders of Chicago” by the Chicago Tribune, and one of the “Top 10 Science Museums to visit in the United States” by American Mensa. I can vouch from first hand experience as to why MSI is so highly rated, it’s AMAZING!
You will want to spend more than just a couple of hours here, if you want to truly immerse yourself in all it has to offer. There are so many interactive experiences that are great for all ages. There is something here that will spike anyone’s interest, from the youngest in age to the youngest at heart.
I think one exhibit that we all took a huge interest, and spent the most time immersing ourselves in, is the U-505 Submarine, the only German submarine in the U.S. To learn the story of how this U-boat was captured was very interesting. There was a huge history lesson in this exhibit alone. Kelsie has come home to dig even deeper into World War II, which has given us our history lesson for next fall when we start back up. Until then she is working on her own replica of the U-505 Sub.
If you get the chance to go on-board, don’t miss it! It’s about a 25 minute tour, where you actually get to take a look around inside. We totally missed out, which was completely heartbreaking. However, on the way home it was discussed how we have to go back to Chicago, and spend an entire day at MSI, and do all the tours offered, with the U-505 Sub being the first one!
This museum is so educational, but so much fun! We aren’t strangers to museums, this is our kind of thing. We love educational experiences, but there was just something about MSI that was so uniquely different. I’m not sure if it’s because they offer so much for all ages, because so many larger museums cater to a younger crowd, having more hands-on exhibits for kids under the age of 10, or if it was just the fact that there was so much more to offer here, than other places we’ve been; but this place is a must see, if you’re ever in Chicago, and have a day to spare.
Kelsie’s favorite place, besides the uniqueness of the U-505 was the exhibit Science Storms. Living in Florida we have our fair share of thunder storms and tropical weather, so to be able to take a closer look at an avalanche or tsunami, which she’s heard about and seen on television, was quite remarkable.
We don’t get many tornadoes where we live, just more water spouts than anything, so the towering vortex was truly special. Kelsie has seen plenty of movies that feature a large tornado destroying a town or picking up houses and dropping them on wicked witches, but to actually be able to control a 40 foot vortex of illuminated vapor, and learn the dynamics behind what controls them was, in her words “fun and scary.”
The Color Room was another one that Kelsie really enjoyed. She enjoyed manipulating the lights, by removing the wavelengths, and seeing what happens to the colors. This gave her something to come home and work on, currently she is reading up on how we actually see colors, and how this effects people who are color blind.
We had a wonderful visit to MSI, and have plans to go back and explore more in depth. Like I said, you really need a whole day here to really take in everything that they have to offer. And I highly recommend purchasing ticket options to do more than one experience, like the U-505 on board tour.
Prices range from just a museum entry Adults $33.95 in person or $31.95 online and Children (ages 3-11) in person $21.95 or $19.95 online to different options to include experiences. There is a price point for everyone, and it’s one place that you and your family will truly enjoy. You can check out all ticket options here. If you plan on visiting more than just MSI, you should look into purchasing the Chicago CityPass. It will include the museum entry, plus one timed experience!
No matter how you and your family choose to enjoy MSI, I am sure you’re going to love it, and get just as much out of it as we did!