To inspire the inventive genius in everyone.
To inspire and motivate our children to achieve their full potential in science, technology, medicine and engineering.
The Museum is housed in the only remaining building from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. It was built as the fair's Palace of Fine Arts by Burnham & Root architect Charles Atwood and is now the largest science center in the Western Hemisphere. Our facilities include:
- More than 400,000 square feet of exhibit space
- More than 180 million guests in the last 80 years
- Chicago's only five-story, domed Omnimax® theater
- Restaurants: The Brain Food Court, Museum Café and Finnigan's Ice Cream Parlor
- Gift Shops: Museum Store, Shop Earth, The Kids Stop and the U-505 Store
- A student and teacher e-learning center with videoconferencing capability
- An 800-seat auditorium and two smaller theater spaces
- Twelve learning lab areas for education programming
- Convenient indoor parking connected to the Museum's Entry Hall
- Wheelchair and stroller rental and coat check facilities
- In 2014, nearly 1.4 million guests visited the Museum.
- We hosted more than 344,000 children in school groups in 2014, making us the top field trip destination among Chicago-area cultural institutions.
Exhibits and Programs
- The Museum is home to more than 35,000 artifacts.
- Public programming includes facilitated exhibits, special access tours, hands-on laboratory experiences, lectures, and special overnight events.
- Major permanent exhibits include: U-505 Submarine, YOU! The Experience, Science Storms, the Coal Mine, the Baby Chick Hatchery, The Great Train Story, ToyMaker 3000, Genetics: Decoding Life, Earth Revealed, Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle, the Pioneer Zephyr, Farm Tech and Take Flight.
- We have improved science teaching for nearly 1,000 teachers each year through our science teacher education courses.
- We have inspired more than 600 teens to consider science careers through our Science Minors and Science Achievers youth development programs.
- We have brought science into the neighborhood to reach 9,000 young children through our network of 100 after-school Science Minors Clubs.
- We provide hands-on Learning Lab programs to more than 23,000 students visiting on field trips each school year.
- Named one of the "Seven Wonders of Chicago" by readers of the Chicago Tribune
- Named one of the "Top 25 Museums in the U.S." by TripAdvisor
- Named one of the "Top 10 Science Museums to visit in the United States" by American Mensa
- Exhibits Science Storms and YOU! The Experience received the highest exhibition awards by the American Association of Museums
- Happening Now
Seventy years ago, a historic landing changed the world.
The longest running exhibition of African-American art in the U.S. features more than 100 works.
- Coming Soon
See a favorite film, catch one you missed, or experience a new one.
Join us for hands-on projects, student discussions, live science experiences and more!
about the museum
Chicago’s world-class museums and zoos are really working hard for the Chicagoland area and for you.