Here’s the deal on free day at Museum of Science and Industry.
If you’re thinking about heading to the MSI on free day but wondering exactly what the deal is I’ve done the legwork for you. Here’s what you get (and don’t get) at the Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S Lake Shore Dr., 773-684-1414. All free museum days.
Regular admission is $18/$11/$17 for adults/children 3-11/senior. On free day you can go to ticket kiosks to the left of the ticket counter and by entering your zip code get free tickets for your entire party.
You do not get access to any of the following:
- U505 Tour on board
- Wow Tour
- Coal Mine
- Fab Lab
- Future Energy
To get access to any of these special exhibits is $9/$7/$9 each. You can purchase tickets for these special exhibits at the ticket kiosk or you can wait until you get to the exhibit and buy a ticket at a smaller kiosk directly outside the exhibit. If the museum is busy and you wait to buy tickets they could be sold out. Here’s information about all exhibits.
You can also buy packages to see multiple special exhibit. Info. here.
A new temporary exhibit Brick by Brick opens March 10, 2016. This will be a collection of more than a dozen giant LEGO®-built engineering marvels, including a 60-foot long Golden Gate Bridge, the International Space Station, Hoover Dam and Roman Coliseum, constructed by LEGO® Certified Professional and Chicago native, Adam Reed Tucker. This will require an additional ticket and fee for entry.
The U505 is a must see and the on-board tour is very interesting. The coal mine is very unique although lines can be long. The WOW Tour gives you insight into the museum. Robot Revolution allows you to interact with robots. The “free” exhibits are excellent and interesting and would take you several days to get through. The MSI has over 400,000 square feet of exhibit space so it isn’t possible to see everything in one day. You should plan ahead and decide what you want to cover. A family of four saves $58 on general admission on free day and would spend $104 for two (out of six) special exhibits and Robot Revolution.
If you are thinking about visiting more than one attraction the City Pass or Go Chicago Card both offer the best discount you can find. Using these passes takes some planning but you will save a lot of money which you can reallocate to dining or hotel costs or something else.
- There’s only one set of elevators to move between floors located next to the “red stairs” so plan on taking a lot of stairs.
- There’s an escalator between Main Level 2 and Balcony Level 3 located on the west side of the floors.
- The P3 parking level is on the same level as ticket sales.
- The U505 and Coal Mine are very popular so try to conquer these early.
- The Zephyr is located behind the ticket counter in the entry hall.
- You can purchase food or bring your own in discretely. There are designated eating areas. You can also picnic outside in Jackson Park (where the museum is located).
- If you exit the museum on the east by the Omnimax Theater in the Henry Crown Space Center turn left and walk up to just north of 57th Street you can walk through an underpass under Lake Shore Drive to 57th Street Beach. This beach has a beach house, restrooms, and food concession stand Tasty Grill (no website).