MSI will open at 11 a.m. this Sunday, due to nearby road closures. Details

Accessibility

Exhibits and Experiences

Here is a brief overview of the Museum's exhibits and experiences for guests planning a visit with mobility, sensory or other accessibility features in mind.

Info Desk + Staff

If you need any assistance, directions or recommendations while at the Museum, please see a facilitator at the Info Desk on Main Level 2 or ask any staff wearing a lab coat or MSI t-shirt.

The Art of the Bicycle

included in museum entry
  • Sensory Note: This exhibit tends to be a quieter part of the Museum.

Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition

included in museum entry

Open annually from January to April

  • Mobility: Student art on the balcony can be accessed via stairs. Speak with staff in the exhibit for elevator access.
  • Seating: There is no seating available in the exhibit, due to pandemic protocols.

Open from late November to early January each year.

  • Sensory Note: Every 30 minutes fake snow falls from the ceiling, near the Information Desk.
  • Bright Lights: This exhibit is in the busy Rotunda, and has bright and moving lights.
  • Loud Noises: Holiday music plays throughout the main floor of the Museum.

Coal Mine

requires additional ticket
  • Masks: Due to limited physical distancing available, masks will be provided and are required in this experience for everyone age 2+, regardless of vaccination. See FAQs about mask policy accommodations.
  • Mobility: Sections of the tour can only be accessed by stairs.
  • Sensory Note: You will stand in tight and enclosed spaces.
  • Low Lights: Moments of complete darkness.
  • Loud Noises: Moments of sounds like a loud boom and operating machinery.
  • Seating: A chair can be provided in each room of the tour by request.
  • Movement Opportunities: Includes rides on an elevator and a train.

Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle

included in museum entry
  • Sensory Note: This exhibit is located in a quieter area of the Museum. A quiet audio track narrates what to find in the Fairy Castle.

Earth Revealed

included with museum entry
  • Seating: This exhibit is an opportunity to sit down.
  • Low Lights: The exhibit is dimly lit.

Extreme Ice

included with museum entry
  • Seating: Opportunity to sit down and watch a movie at the exhibit entrance.

Fab Lab

requires additional ticket
  • Masks: Due to limited physical distancing available, masks will be provided and are required in this experience for everyone age 2+, regardless of vaccination. See FAQs about mask policy accommodations.
  • Mobility: It can be difficult to see some of the machines operating in the Fab Lab. Facilitators in the space can make accommodations by request.
  • Seating: Seating is available in the Fab Lab.

Farm Tech

included in museum entry
  • Mobility: The exhibit has a real tractor and combine to explore. To get to the driver seats of these vehicles, there is a staircase to climb.
  • Seating: This exhibit has nearby benches for sitting.
  • Tactile Opportunities: There are opportunities for hands-on play with interactives in the exhibit.

Flight and Ride Simulators

requires additional ticket
  • Mobility: There are stairs to enter the simulators and small enclosed spaces inside, making the simulators not wheelchair accessible.
  • Sensory Note: The flight simulators turn you upside down and the entire capsule moves and shakes to make it feel like you are flying.
  • Sensory Note: An ADA station is offered that is wheelchair accessible and doesn’t feature additional motion. Ask an employee at the flight simulators for assistance.

Future Energy

included in museum entry
  • Sensory Note: There is a large screen video that is bright and loud.
  • Low Lights: The exhibit is very dark overall with some bright colored lights.
  • Movement: The stationary bicycles are an opportunity to exert.
  • Seating: There are benches for sitting.
  • Seating: This exhibit has opportunities to sit down.

Giant Dome Theater

requires additional ticket

A five-story, wraparound dome theater presenting large-format films.

  • Masks: Due to limited physical distancing available, masks will be provided and are required in this experience for everyone age 2+, regardless of vaccination. See FAQs about mask policy accommodations.
  • Mobility: Elevator access and wheelchair accessible seating are available. Ask any Giant Dome Theater staff member if you need assistance.
  • Loud Noises: Volume from the movies in the theater can get loud enough to shake the seat (may vary by film). Noise-dampening headphones are available by request at the theater.
  • Assistive Features: Closed captioning, audio amplification, video description* and noise-dampening headphones are available from any Giant Dome Theater staff member.

* Video description availability may vary by film.

Henry Crown Space Center

included in museum entry
  • Seating & Sensory: There is seating available for the One Small Snack food station.
  • Mobility: There is a staircase that leads down to take a closer look at the lunar lander, which can also be easily viewed without walking down the stairs.

Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze

requires free timed ticket available onsite
  • Sensory Note: At the exhibit entrance, there is a video projected on a large screen in a dark room.
  • Sensory Note: The Mirror Maze can be visually disorienting. You can choose instead to bypass the maze portion of the exhibit.
  • Low Lights: Colored lights inside the Mirror Maze are dim and slowly change colors.

Pioneer Zephyr

included in museum entry
  • Mobility: The Zephyr’s exterior and surrounding exhibit are wheelchair accessible.
  • Sensory Note: There are bright moving images that reflect off the surface of the train.
  • Seating: There are seating options inside the train and along the side and back of the train.

Science Storms

included in museum entry
  • Mobility: There is an escalator within the exhibit for travel between the first floor and second floor portions of Science Storms. Elevators are available outside of the exhibit as well.
  • Sensory Note: There is a 40-foot vortex in the exhibit. If you are near it, you can feel the wind and moisture from the vortex.
  • Bright Lights: Interactives project different colored lights and sometimes flashes of lights.
  • Loud Noises: The Tesla Coil above the exhibit fires every 45 minutes, creating an extremely loud sound. Videos and interactives throughout the exhibit present loud noises.

Ships Gallery

included in Museum Entry
  • Low Lights: This exhibit is dimly lit.
  • Movement Opportunities: A ship’s deck is recreated in this exhibit for guests to play on.

Transportation Gallery

included in museum entry
  • Sensory Note: A real 727 airplane periodically flashes lights and has wheels that lower from the plane.
  • Low Lights: The lighting regularly dims to simulate night time.
  • Loud Noises: Sometimes loud noises from nearby exhibits can be heard in this exhibit.

U-505 Submarine

included in Museum Entry

The exhibit around the submarine.

  • Mobility: There are several flights of stairs throughout the exhibit. Elevators are available to take you between each floor.
  • Loud Noises: Videos and interactives throughout the exhibit feature sounds of explosions, aircrafts, and other wartime footage.
  • Sensory Note: One video shakes the floor of the exhibit to recreate wartime conditions.

U-505 On-board Tour

requires additional ticket

The daily optional tour of the submarine's interior.

  • Masks: Due to limited physical distancing available, masks will be provided and are required in this experience for everyone age 2+, regardless of vaccination. See FAQs about mask policy accommodations.
  • Mobility: Stairs, uneven floors and tight quarters aboard the submarine make the tour not accessible to wheelchairs.
  • Sensory Note: You will stand in tight and enclosed spaces.
  • Sensory Note: Moments of flashing lights recreating explosions.
  • Low Lights: Moments of complete darkness.
  • Loud Noises: Moments with sounds of bells ringing and explosions.

VR Transporter

requires additional ticket
  • Mobility: There are stairs to enter the VR Transporter, which makes it not wheelchair accessible.
  • Sensory Note: The VR Transporter uses a virtual reality headset and seating that moves and shakes to make it feel like you are in space.
  • Sensory Note: An ADA station is offered that is wheelchair accessible and doesn’t feature additional motion. Ask an employee at the VR Transporter for assistance.

Yesterday’s Main Street

included in museum entry
  • Mobility: This exhibit’s floor is cobblestone, making it a rough and bumpy surface.
  • Sensory Note: The exhibit is quiet with only a couple of background noises.
  • Low Lights: The entire exhibit is dark with only a few lights.

YOU! The Experience

included in museum entry
  • Low Lights: The Prenatal Gallery exhibit is dimly lit.
  • Loud Noises/Bright Lights: Videos and interactives feature sounds and bright lights that can be seen and heard throughout parts of the exhibit.
  • Seating: Some interactives have opportunities for sitting.
  • Movement Opportunities: Features of the exhibit invite movement at the Movement Wall.