“When is the Museum of Science & Industry Free for Illinois Residents in January and February?”

      The Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry has thirty-one Illinois Free Days in January and February of 2020: Mondays through Thursdays in January (from the 6th to the 9th, from the 13th to the 16th, from the 20th to the 23rd, and from the 27th to the 30th of January); and from the 3rd to the 6th, from the 10th to the 13th, from the 18th to the 20th, and from the 24th to the 27th of February. This is an excellent opportunity for families with preschool-aged children, homeschooling families, and adults with open schedules. Please note that Monday, January 20, A.D. 2020 is Martin Luther King, Junior Day, which all schoolchildren have off, so if either parent (or perhaps a grandparent or uncle or aunt) also has the day off, a trip to the Museum of Science and Industry (M.S.I.) may be a good way to spend the civic holiday.

      On Illinois Free Days, Museum Entry (general admission) is free for all Illinois residents who show valid proof of residency.  No further Chicago residency discounts apply on Illinois Free Days.  There is a limit of six children (meaning minors under eighteen) admitted per one accompanying adult.[1] 


January  Monday, January 6, 2020  

Tuesday, January 7, 2020  

Wednesday, January 8, 2020  

Thursday, January 9, 2020  

Monday, January 13, 2020  

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

  Wednesday, January 15, 2020

  Thursday, January 16, 2020

  Monday, January 20, 2020  

Tuesday, January 21, 2020  

Wednesday, January 22, 2020  

Thursday, January 23, 2020  

Monday, January, 27, 2020  

Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Wednesday, January 29, 2020

  Thursday, January 30, 2020  
February  Monday, February 3, 2020  

Tuesday, February 4, 2020  

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

  Thursday, February 6, 2020  

Monday, February 10, 2020

  Tuesday, February 11, 2020  

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

  Thursday, February 13, 2020

  Tuesday, February 18, 2020  

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

  Thursday, February 20, 2020

  Monday, February 24, 2020

  Tuesday, February 25, 2020  

Wednesday, February 26, 2020  

Thursday, February 27, 2020  

      The Coal Mine, optional U-505 onboard tours, and certain other exhibits and workshops are not included by Museum Entry, and require separate admission tickets.  Wired to Wear, Coal Mine tour tickets, Fab Lab workshop tickets, and Future Energy Chicago tickets are $12 each for adults and $9 each for children (ages three-to-eleven).  U-505 Onboard Tour tickets are $18 each for adults and $14 each for children (ages three-to-eleven).   As I reported last week, the Giant Dome Theater in the M.S.I.’s Henry Crown Space Center closed on Monday, January 6, 2020 and re-open in March.

      Often formerly stylized as the “Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago” or the “Museum of Science + Industry” the institution is located at the northern end of the Chicago Park District’s Jackson Park, on the south side of 57th Street, between Lake Shore Drive to the east and Cornell Drive to the west, in the East Hyde Park neighborhood of the Hyde Park Community Area (Community Area #41) on the South Side of Chicago.  

      The Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry is housed in the Palace of Fine Arts, also known as the Fine Arts Building, which is the last palace from the White City fairgrounds of Chicago’s first World’s Fair, the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893), still standing in Jackson Park.  Julius Rosenwald (1862-1932), President of Sears, Roebuck & Company, founded the Museum of Science and Industry in 1926 through The Commercial Club of Chicago, of which he was a member.  The M.S.I. opened in three stages between 1933 and 1940, with the first opening ceremony on July 1, 1933.  These events coincided with Chicago’s second World’s Fair, A Century of Progress International Exposition (1933-34), which opened on June 1, 1933.

      OnThursday, October 3, A.D. 2019, the Museum of Science and Industry announced that the Board of Trustees had voted to accept a $125,000,000 gift from the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund.  M.S.I. executives and board members felt it would consequently be appropriate to change the Museum of Science and Industry’s name to the Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry.  A multi-billionaire, Mr. Griffin is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.) of Citadel, Inc., a Chicago-based hedge fund.  His gift is the largest in the history of the science and technology museum, and one of the largest gifts to any cultural institution in Chicago. 

      This time of year, the M.S.I. is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The address is 5700 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60637.  The Website is https://www.msichicago.org/ and the phone number is (773) 684-1414.

[1] See chaperone ratios and policies for School-led Field Trips and Groups of 15+.

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