Member FAQ and Services
Can I apply the costs of a Museum visit toward the cost of a membership?
Yes! Museum Entry (only) can be applied toward the purchase of a new membership, up to one week from your original Museum visit. You will receive credit for up to one adult for the Individual Level, up to two adults for Dual and two adults and up to four children for the Family Level.
- A family of two adults and their five children visit MSI, accompanied by two cousins, on January 1
- The family purchases Museum Entry and Coal Mine tickets during their visit
- The family purchases a Family Level membership on January 5
In this scenario, the family will receive credit for Museum Entry costs for two adults and four of their children. Museum Entry costs for their fifth child and two cousins, as well as the costs of all Coal Mine tickets, would not be applied to the cost of membership.
What types of memberships do you offer and how much do they cost?
The Museum offers multiple membership levels, so there’s bound to be one that’s right for you!
How can I purchase a membership?
We offer three easy ways to become a member:
- By phone – (773) 947-3161
- In person – at the ticket counter in Entry Hall or in the Members Lounge on Main Level 2
You will receive a digital membership card that you can save to your mobile device or print out. You can request physical cards be mailed to you if you so choose.
If I purchase a membership today, when can I begin using it?
You can begin using your membership immediately—and we hope you do!
If you purchase your membership online, you will immediately receive a digital membership card in your email that you can print or show on your mobile device upon arrival at MSI. You will also be able to utilize your benefits online right after making your purchase by following the prompt on the confirmation screen.
If you purchase your membership over the phone, our team will assist you in booking any free or discounted tickets you may need. You will also receive your digital membership card via email after your purchase.
If you purchase your membership at the Museum you will be able to book your exhibit tickets at the same time!
I'm planning to visit the Museum for the first time since becoming a member. What do I do?
Skip the lines! As long as you bring your membership card (physical or digital), valid photo ID and any additional tickets you may have purchased in advance (printed or on your mobile device), you can go straight to the entry check point at the top of the escalators leading into the Museum. If you need to purchase tickets onsite, validate parking or need additional assistance, visit the Membership Desk in the Entry Hall or the Members Lounge on Main Level 2. If you have your membership card (digital or physical), you can also purchase discounted member tickets from the Facilitators posted at exhibit entry.
How long is my membership valid?
Membership is valid for one full year and expires on the last day of the purchased month.
If you are renewing, your new membership year will begin on the first day of the month after your current membership expires.
Do you offer teacher discounts on membership?
Yes, Illinois teachers receive a $20 discount off all regular membership levels, when they present a valid employment ID. The discount does not apply to gift memberships and cannot be combined with other promotional offers.
Do you offer student or senior discounts on membership?
Seniors (ages 65+) and students (ages 18+) can receive $20 off the Individual and Dual Level memberships when they present a valid photo or student ID. The discount is not available for other membership levels, does not apply to gift memberships and cannot be combined with other promotional offers.
How do I purchase a gift membership?
You may purchase a gift membership online, by phone at (773) 947-3161 or in person at the Membership Service Desk in Entry Hall or the Members Lounge on Main Level 2.
Following your purchase, you will receive a special certificate that you can print and give to your recipient or forward via email for them to print themselves. This certificate and a photo ID are all your recipient needs to visit the Museum before their permanent cards arrive!
Membership welcome packets will be sent directly to the recipient within 4-6 weeks of purchase.
Is there a member code of conduct?
Yes. By purchasing a membership entering the Museum of Science and Industry (“MSI”), you, as the card holder, on behalf of yourself and any minor accompanying you (“You”), agree to be bound by these terms and other terms found at msichicago.org/terms. Your membership status is a revocable license for entry to MSI which may be revoked without refund if you do not comply with the terms.
How many guests does my membership allow me to get into the Museum?
The number of guests receiving free admission is different at each level:
- Individual: one adult card holder and one guest
- Dual: two adult card holders in the same household and one guest
- Family: two adult card holders, all of the children in their household under 18 and one additional guest
- Explorers and Catalyst Society: two adult card holders, all of the children in their household under 18 and two additional guests
- Columbian and Curiosity Society: three adult card holders, all of the children in their household under 18 and two additional guests
Will I lose time on my membership if I renew early?
There's never a penalty for renewing early and your benefits will be extended for another year from the original expiration date. For example, if your membership expires on August 31 and you renew on July 15, your next membership year will still begin on September 1 (not July 15).
Which exhibitions and experiences require additional tickets and fees?
Depending on membership level, members are entitled to free or discounted tickets for exhibitions and experiences that are not included in Museum Entry, and require additional fees, including:
Can I purchase tickets for special exhibitions and tours in advance?
Yes, you may secure your preferred dates and times for these and other special exhibitions and experiences by purchasing advance tickets online or by phone at (773) 947-3161.
How much are the discounted tickets for members?
See below for a comparison of pricing for the general public (as part of Explorer ticket packages) and for MSI members.
Member Ticket Pricing
Non-member pricing shows the cost of an item when added to an Explorer 1 ticket package. Items below are only available to non-members as part of Explorer ticket packages.
Museum Entry $21.95 FREE $12.95 FREE The Science Behind Pixar $14 $7 $11 $7 Coal Mine $12 $11 $9 $8** U-505 On-board Tour $18 $17 $14 $13** WOW! Tour $12 $11 $9 $8 Giant Dome Theater $12 FREE/$6* $9 FREE/$4.50* Wanger Family Fab Lab $12 $11 $9 $8 Future Energy Chicago $12 $11 $9 $8
* Price after free yearly Giant Dome Theater tickets (allotment varies by membership level).
** Family members can select one free tour of one of the following experiences each year: Coal Mine, U-505 On-board and WOW! Tour each year.
Using Your Membership
How do I validate parking?
Members who are eligible for free or discounted parking can have their parking tickets validated at the following convenient locations:
- Membership Desk in Entry Hall
- Members Lounge on Main Level 2
Parking validation is limited to one car per membership account per visit. Non-discounted parking is $22.
How can I update my contact information?
You can update your membership account information online, by phone at (773) 947-3161 or in person at the Membership Desk in Entry Hall or the Members Lounge on Main Level 2.
I have changed my mind and would like to receive a refund for my membership.
We hope that never happens! A membership with MSI functions as a tax-deductible donation to the Museum and is not eligible for a refund for any reason.
How long does it take to receive my membership card(s)?
You will receive a digital card at the time of your purchase! This card will have your member ID number, which you can then use to book advance tickets online or over the phone.
If you choose to receive physical cards, your membership card(s) will arrive in the mail about four weeks from time of purchase, but it could take slightly longer if you joined during a particularly busy time of year, such as spring break, the summer months or the holiday season. Until your cards arrive, you can visit using your confirmation email, digital membership card or printed temporary card issued onsite.
I lost my membership card(s). How do I get replacement card(s)?
You can request a new digital card online, by phone at (773) 947-3161 or onsite at the Membership Desk in Entry Hall. Our team will then be able to resend your confirmation email containing your digital cards as soon as possible.
You can request a new physical card online , by phone at (773) 947-3161 or onsite at the Membership Desk in Entry Hall or the Members Lounge. Your new card will be mailed to you within one week and there is a small fee applied.
What should I do if I don't have my membership card when I visit?
Stop by the Membership Desk in Entry Hall and our team can print you a temporary membership card. You can also request a new digital card and/or physical card at this time.
Do my children get their own membership cards?
No. Depending on your membership level, we only issue cards to one or both heads of household.
If you have a Family membership or above, your children may be able to utilize your benefits without you present.
What are the guidelines for place of residence and number of people who can receive benefits at the Dual and Family Levels?
Dual and Family Level membership include benefits for up to two adults living in the same household, plus one guest accompanying the member. In addition, Family Level membership includes all children under 18 residing in the member’s household.
Can my teenage children use my membership card to take advantage of benefits?
Yes. Under the Family Level membership, 16- and 17-year olds with a proper ID will receive free Museum Entry for themselves and one guest, without a parent present. Children 15 or younger require adult supervision in the building at all times.
Can I let a friend or family member not listed on my membership use my card?
No. Membership benefits are nontransferable, and all guests must be accompanied by a named cardholder to take advantage of member benefits. Members who transfer their cards to others are subject to having their membership benefits revoked.
I'm a grandparent with a Family Level membership. Can my adult children use my membership to bring my grandkids?
No. Membership benefits are nontransferable. Members who transfer their cards to others are subject to having their membership benefits revoked.
You do have the option to list your adult child as a caregiver on your membership—contact us for more information.
Can my caregiver visit MSI with my children but without me?
Yes! If you have a Family Level membership or higher, your caregiver can use your membership benefits when they visit with your child(ren). Just be sure to notify us about the caregiver at the time of membership purchase or prior to the caregiver’s first visit. One caregiver is permitted per membership account.
Please note that caregivers are not permitted to bring a guest and are required to present your membership card and their photo ID at the Membership Desk in Entry Hall.
I recently renewed my membership but then I received another renewal notice. Did you receive my payment?
Please allow three weeks to receive and process a renewal by mail. If you sent in your payment, please accept our apologies and disregard the subsequent notice; it’s likely that your payment and our notice crossed paths in the mail.
I recently renewed my membership, but have not yet received my new membership card(s). Can I still visit the Museum?
Absolutely! Please call us at (773) 947-3161 before you visit to verify your renewal and to book any advance tickets you might need.
You should have received a digital membership card upon your renewal. Contact us if you need your confirmation email resent to you.
If I want to upgrade to a higher membership level, do I have to wait until my current membership expires?
No. You may upgrade to a higher level at any time. To upgrade, you must pay the price differential between the two levels. Please note we do not prorate upgrades based on the number of remaining months of membership, which means your membership will continue to have the same expiration date. To upgrade, please call us at (773) 947-3161 or visit the Membership Desk in Entry Hall or the Members Lounge on Main Level 2.
Does my MSI membership allow me to visit other museums for free or at a discount?
Yes. MSI members at Dual and Family Levels receive free or discounted admission to more than 300 Association of Science and Technology Center (ASTC) museums around the world, and members at all levels receive 50% off general admission to several museums in Illinois and Wisconsin.
Please note that there are no reciprocal admission benefits between MSI and Field Museum, Adler Planetarium or Shedd Aquarium.
Does the Museum share my contact information?
The Museum of Science and Industry never exchanges or sells member email addresses. From time to time, we collaborate with other nonprofit organizations in the arts and culture sector to offer special promotions and interesting opportunities to our members. In such cases, we may exchange member names and postal addresses. If you do not want your name or mailing address shared with other arts and culture focused nonprofit organizations, please notify us at email@example.com.
Can I have a receipt for my taxes?
The letter you receive with your permanent membership cards serves as your receipt for tax purposes. If you opted to receive digital membership cards only, the email you receive containing your order confirmation and digital cards serves as your receipt for tax purposes. Please hold onto these receipts until tax season as they cannot be reproduced.
Can I bring my grandchildren to the Museum under the Family membership?
Yes! When joining as a Family member, please just indicate the number of grandchildren under 18 you have on the form (rather than how many children are in your household under 18).