Today we went waaay out of our “downtown” range. All of the museums we’ve been to this far have all been in downtown, no further away from us than about a mile and a half. But today was another FREE DAY to the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. So, we walked down to State Street and caught the bus for a 30 minute ride (about 7 miles) to yet another spectacular museum. This one is in the “Hyde Park” neighborhood and next door to the University of Chicago campus (another “Harry Potter” campus!). The museum itself is a kids’ wonderland and an adults’ playground. They make science so easy to understand that you absolutely want to keep learning and reading and doing all the interactive activities. I wish I had been to a place like this when I was in 5th grade. Here’s where our future scientists and engineers and creative brains come to play! From an adult standpoint, the museum campus looks like the Field Museum. Apparently when it was built for the World’s Fair in 1893, it was the “first” Field Museum but then as the downtown campus was built and the Field moved, this one turned into the “science” museum … and what a place this is.
Anything that you can think of that is “science” or “industry” related seems to be here. They have one whole room, and by “room” I mean a room as big my whole house, that has a model train set which is an exact replica of our actual train system from Chicago to Seattle. It gives the whole history of the railroads which really got me going because my grandfather was a “Santa Fe” railroad man. The pictures don’t do it justice but here’s a little peak … you’ll have to see the real deal for yourself when you come.
The other part of the museum that I loved, was their full size 1910 replica of the city of Chicago. The “street” was cobblestone, they had hitches for the horses, and stores for any type of item that was necessary and sold in those days. Here we found the first “Walgreen’s” … along with many of our now popular stores that all had their roots in Chicago.
This museum also holds a full size World War II submarine, a full size locomotive, a full size aircraft and lots, lots more.
This is truly one incredible place! Obviously we saw merely a smidgen so I’ll have to go back when you’re here!
Since we were right across the street from the campus of the University of Chicago, we decided to take a stroll around. The University houses a Frank Lloyd Wright home, the Rockefeller Chapel and the Oriental Museum, all worth exploring if you have the time. The chapel offers tours of their bell tower if you are game to climb the 200+ steps to the top! There’s no way to see all these in one day and they all offer … FREE TOURS!! So, I’ll add these to our places to discover next time for sure!
We ended our day by meeting Eddie in “Greek Town” for the most amazing Greek food I’ve ever tasted. The Athena Restaurant was our choice (with a little help from “Yelp”!) because of the atmosphere. We sat on their outdoor patio which made us feel like we really were on some Greek Island, eating the food of the gods! I have no idea what we ate, how to say it, or even what was in them, but everything from the hummus to my salmon was ohhh sooo good!!
It was a perfect ending to our “cultural” day of exploring. Off to find another museum! Talk to you tomorrow!