Our favorite museum in the Chicagoland area, the Museum of Science and Industry, just opened up two new exhibits – Animal Inside Out and The Art of The Bicycle.

Animal Inside Out

Nitty Gritty
When: March 14, 2013 – September 2, 2013

Cost: Tickets are not included with general admission and cost an additional $12 for an adult/senior; $8 for kids 3-11. It is a timed ticket.
Parking: $20
Misc: The exhibit is divided into two separate galleries located kiddy corner from each other. Hold on to those tickets – they check them at each location. Photos not allowed.
Fact: Don’t worry, no animals were harmed or killed for this exhibit (stated clearly upon entry).

The Exhibit

Credit: JB Spector, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

From the same creators of the fascinating, yet controversial Body Worlds that made an appearance back in 2011, comes Animal Inside Out for the first time in the U.S. If you’ve ever wanted to see the inner workings of animals (literally), this exhibit for you. This takes the phrase inside look to a whole new level.

Through the process of plastination (the removal of fluids from the body then replaced with plastics that harden) guests are able to see the most incredible details of the animal’s body you’d never expect to see. Be prepared to see skeletons, muscles, tendons, and nervous systems. Not only will you find the inner workings of animals, but you’ll also see human body parts displayed which is used to compare the similarities between humans and animals.

Our experience
I was a bit hesitant about bringing my three-year-old to the exhibit and didn’t know how’d he react to seeing animals presented this way.  When I asked if this would scare or creep out kids, the attendant said well you’re either be really fascinated with it, or be grossed out. She was spot on! Though this is definitely not the kind of animals that my son is used to seeing, he did not seem grossed out but rather intrigued at seeing animals in a different light.

Credit: JB Spector, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago.

As is typical with any 3 year old, he couldn’t stay and focus on one animal, so I didn’t have a chance to read some of the interesting factoids for each animal. There weren’t any interactive parts, so it was harder than usual to keep him engaged. We did play a game where he would tried to guess the kind of animal we were looking at, and that seemed to have done the trick (well at least for one gallery.)
Adults including ourselves were mostly fascinated, though I did peek and saw some people with faces scrunched up in disgust. We brought my sister-in-law who is all about science and was absolutely excited to see this exhibit. It did not disappoint.We saw other kids (though older) fascinated by the exhibit.

Bottom Line

For a fascinating look at the insides of animals, this is for you.  It’s shocking yet intriguing at the same time. If you have younger children, use your discretion in determining if this is appropriate for your children. 

Nitty Gritty

When: Open now until 2018
Cost: Exhibit is included with general admission

The Exhibit
This newly opened bicycle exhibit showcases some of the museums hardly-ever-seen historic bikes to some of the most high-tech ones out there. You’ll see how the bike has evolved from the first pedal-operated bikes to bikes made of defense-grade materials.

Our experience

My husband has become a bicycle aficionado so he was especially excited to hear that the Museum had a new exhibit on bikes. The exhibit is arranged so that the bicycles are hanging on the wall as if they were art pieces in a gallery. There’s no interactive parts for the young ones so lost interest easily. 

There were many different kinds of bikes displayed but my favorite was the cardboard bicycle. This bad boy claims to be $20 and is water and fire proof. The pedals and brakes are made out of recyclable materials.

Bottom Line
It’s a bummer there weren’t more interactive parts for the kids. Nevertheless, my husband and I enjoyed the exhibit – it’s definitely worth it to check it out on your next visit.

Interested in learning more about the Museum of Science and Industry. Check out my other review here.

Disclosure: Our family was provided complimentary admission to the Museum of Science and Industry. I was not required to express a particular point of view and all opinions are my own.