Museum of Science and Industry

The kids are on spring break this week and I decided to take a day of vacation on Monday so that we could spend some time together as a family. We agreed that a trip down to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago would be the perfect outing. It rained most of Monday in Chicago so it was an ideal day to be inside and exploring a museum. The rain, however, did not improve the traffic situation around Chicago, so the drive there and back was the only miserable part of the day.

The last time either Kristi or I had been to the museum was when we were in school and that was a long time ago for both of us. Therefore, this was a new experience for all of us. There are several exhibits that you have to pay extra to see. The only one that we added on to our standard ticket was the tour of the Smart Home. We spent the entire day and took in as many exhibits as we could. Below are the highlights of things that we really enjoyed.

One of the most interesting exhibits that we saw was a re-creation of a deep shaft coal mine. During the 30 minute tour, the guide explained how safety and mining procedures have changed since coal mining first began. After seeing that exhibit, I can’t imagine how anyone would be willing work in a coal mine. I’m glad that they do but I wouldn’t want to do it. The other tour that we took was the tour of the Smart Home. The house contains many great ideas on how to live in a very eco-friendly manner. It was enjoyable to see all of various things that we could be doing and I even imagined trying to work some of their principles into our house. Unfortunately, the practical side of me also realizes how expensive it would be currently to implement many of those ideas.

There were many more exhibits of interest. Several of us enjoyed viewing Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle. It is an amazingly detailed doll house built by a 1920’s star of silent movies. There were also several interesting things in the “Fast Forward” exhibit. They had a dress covered entirely in led lights that would flash in different patterns. They had shirts with force feedback sensors that would allow you to give hugs over the internet. But the coolest part of that exhibit was a table/computer monitor that you could play like a musical instrument by setting different blocks on the table in different locations. It is too hard to describe but it was really cool!

All in all, it was a fun and educational day for the whole family. I love the fact that we still enjoy being together and doing stuff like this.

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