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Posts Tagged ‘Museum of Science and Industry’

 ford anglia jpg

When we visited the Museum that was—   What happened to the “Wow” factor??? « Savanvleck’s Weblog  about the Musuem of Science and Industry and, okay, so maybe you just cannot go back.  But, we were surprised to see the Harry Potter tent.  Do not totally misunderstand me; there are some very great things to see at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.  But, Harry Potter, in a tent?

Yes, the Harry Potter was is in the tent and it is the most wonderful of adventures.  I was really hoping the four year old, who was walking around the museum in his wizard’s hat and robe, all a bit big for him, would be there at the time we were allotted.  Alas, no little wizard in sight.  I can see that this exhibit is for the big kids. 

Even it’s interactive features were for older kids.  First, you needed some truly big muscles to pull the Madrack Roots out of their pots.  The fact that I only made one Quaffle through the goal, is probably my own lack of sporting ability and not theirs.  But, The splendor of Dumbledore’s robe will definitely be lost on most eight year olds.  Us big kids got to experience the joy and wonder of the Hogwarts world.   I surprised myself with the amount of time I stared at the Grim in Harry’s teacup.

Bad news, no cameras.  The only thing we could take a picture of was the Ford Anglia that sat in a lobby in the museum.  The strip mall aspect, just left me cold and I had not brought my “good” camera, so I blotted out the mall with this very bad sky. 

Of course, had they allowed cameras, everyone would have been so busy taking pictures that we all would have ended up flash blind, so I do understand.  I was a bit surprised that they did not have someone set up in front of Hagrid’s chair though to take souvenir pictures.  It would have been cheesy, but a compromise.

Master’s Daughter and I sat in Hagrid’s chair and we agreed it is the same size as Master Daughter’s husbands chair.  We often say that “he is too big to be allowed” also,  but it is usually in relation to his behavior (love ya, son-in-law).  Anyway, we thought it should have been a LOT bigger.  I suppose this would not have worked well for Robbie Coltrain.

Master’s Daughter rented us the “tour” speakers and they added a lot of great information.  I love all the details of a movie I enjoy.  I watch those second discs that have information on how it was all done.  It was fun hearing the French fashion designer who designed the clothing tell about how she made Doloris Jane Umbrage’s clothing a progressively darker pink throughout the movie to indicate her increasingly bad ways.  Note: She said it more eloquently than that, but you get the point.

It was a series of exhibits, but they made it special, with entertainment and trivia quizzes as you waited in line.  I did not realize you should yell back that Harry was your favorite character, but I have a warm spot for Lupin’s character.  He is a good person, who faces a vast adversity yet maintains his gentleness, intelligence and humor.  I do believe I was a minority of one. 

When your ticket time arrives, you enter the door and they have a young lady with the sorting hat.  I have a feeling that the number of people who actually try on the hat is directly proportional to the number of people still backed up from the earlier tour.  But, it is fun as she banters with the audience.   And, I would like to complain that our on-line tickets were not designed, when printed as a ticket to catch the Hogwart’s Express at stop 3 3/4.  For the price, $20, it would have been a cheap and nice touch to do .

When it is time to enter the exhibit and you are in a room with a faux Hogwart’s Express.  The “tube” front end of the train itself was positively the worse exhibit in the whole thing.  But when it is time to leave and the light shines from the train, the attendant is holding up the lantern and the curtain rises and you are there, it is magical.  Okay, I have a very vivid imagination, but I loved it.

Exhibits had numbers to use with your tour speakers and we “ooohd!” and “ahhhd!” and “Did you see that?” our way through the exhibit.  There was plenty of room and if four people were in front of one display, we just went across the little hall to the other side and back again.  We were never rushed and poured over every item. 

Before the end, two young men approached us to ask how we liked the exhibit and listen to our own stories of Harry Potter.  I, having much to thank J.K. Rowling for in getting JRock into books, reading and education and also helping him to know that there are others who have come from a Dursley family and he can overcome that too. He said that was a great story and they do pass the book around at night and read it and he wanted me to put that story in the guest book.  Since, I would be there writing still and we had a train to catch back and there were two people ahead of us, I did not.

We hit the store at the end, to find that it was basically things you could find online, although I had been wanting a snitch.  Okay, do not even ask.  I have no idea why, but I wanted a smaller size snitch for my trunk. “I got a wand and you didn’t!” « Savanvleck’s Weblog  And I did get my Snitch.  Since last Christmas, when I received my trunk to take to Hogwarts, I have added a version of the Maurader’s map, a straw owl, an ornament for astronomy and now my snitch. 

Master’s Daughter is a bit puzzled because she was filing my trunk as if I were Hermoine and now I have a Maurauder’s Map and a Snitch.  But, I am filing it as if I were the one going to Hogwarts and I want that dang Maurader’s Map to sneak around.

Yes, I am a Harry Potter nut!  And,  I had a great time.  But, then I always do when I am with Master’s Daughter.

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Things are big to children. My daughters speak of the “big white house” we lived in when they were little. If I took them by that same house today, they would see a three bedroom prefab slightly larger than a double wide trailer.

I lived in a semi-rural area when I was growing up. Our school took us on a bus trip to Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry; now that was BIG.

Not so much, anymore.

The building seems diminished. You used to walk up the steps to the Museum and be overwhelmed by the whole experience; a field of concrete steps, an overwhelmingly huge main hall, huge things in the huge main hall, the whole building—they were each larger than the one before and certainly larger than the world I lived in. It was the “WOW!” factor times four.

Obviously, the building is still large, but somehow it seems diminished. The only stairs, that I saw, going up to the building lead to blocked off doors and had grass growing up through the cracks. You now enter through, what I can only liken to the garage. It is a small room and you get your ticket and walk upstairs, where you show your ticket and enter a maze.

MSI entry

Everything is walled off. The pendulum that seemed bigger than life is cut down to size by being tucked into the stairwell. In fact, most of it is just a set of halls to direct you around. The U-505 German Submarine, Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle, and the Coal Mine are all still there. But, the fantastic part of the museum was all the interactive things for kids just does not live up to its promise.

Oh, there are fantastic names of promise: The Idea Factory, which was one that we did not enter because of the line; ToyMaker 3000 was pretty lame; The Great Train Story was the old train set-up and an updated set-up of the skyline of Chicago; Whispering Gallery was a hall, Crime Lab was closed; I think the Explore the world’s fair was just the same street of 1800 from long ago.

Granted, we did not have children with us so only saw it through an adult’s eyes. It was me and a sixth grade teacher but we were less than impressed by the interactive stuff they now showed and the teacher definitely felt that a lot of basics of science and industry were missing. I am not really sure if it was the kids or the way they were NOT so impressed, but all they seemed to do is run from room to room and bounce off the walls. However, there were two exhibits that still had the “Wow!” factor for all ages. (And we did see most of the museum, except we did not have time to tour the green house.)

earth_revealed_wide

First Wow factor was the Earth Revealed. It is awesome with its real time view of our planet. It is a permanent exhibit of a 6’ diameter, solid carbon fiber globe. Everyone from kids to college boys were debating how it was suspended and how the video projections were done. It was loaded with information from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It has several different shows and follows Earth’s climate and its problems, or weather, or currents, and geophysics. It is free with admission and worth going to the Museum for that alone.

Second was the Harry Potter exhibit but that deserves its own blog

There has been one huge improvement and that was the food. I swear the main protein used to be cockroach legs. Now, you are met with a wealth of choices and healthy food. We had a delicious lunch of pork slices, cut spiced potatoes and corn. Bread was a delicious veggie mini loaf, and all for under $6.00.

Basically though, I hate to say this but the Museum of Science and Industry impressed me as much as going to the mall. Young men stood in front of a store and threw toy birds and twirling things to entice children in to buy and people stopped from exhibit to exhibit and did not smile.

Cheer up, Chicago, you are taking your children out for the day. It SHOULD be fun. Guess I’ve been gone too long.

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Yes, I am here and alive.  I had a bad week, month, going on six months; still fighting my insurance.  HIP (The Healthy Indiana Plan) tells me I am insured.  Anthem, however, chooses to deny me coverage and has gone so far as to even stop debiting my monthly payment.  SOOOOOO!!!

I left home.  Seriously, I have gone to my “zone of protection bubble.”  Did you know that the zone of protection bubble is in South Bend?  That is why President Busch came here three or four times before his campaign and why President Obama has already been here twice.  They know where the “zone of protection bubble” is.

I do not have to open the mail, and find bad news, in my zone.  I do not have a land line phone in South Bend.  I do not turn on my cell phone in South Bend.  I am in my zone. 

What do you do in South Bend, when you are in your Zone of Protection, you ask?

  1. You take a two hour ride on the South Shore train, Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District.
  2. You walk in Chicago. Choose Chicago – the official visitors site for Chicago | explore now.  I love Chicago.  It was good just to get off the train and smell Chicago.  I could smell Chicago air blindfolded.
  3. You go the the Museum of Science and Industry Welcome to The Museum of Science and Industry and discover that someone has stolen the Museum and left a cheap imitation in its place.
  4. Except for Earth Revealed.  That was great.  Museum of Science and Industry | What’s Here | Exhibits | Earth Revealed
  5. You go to the Harry Potter exhibit, Museum of Science and Industry | What’s Here | Exhibits | Harry Potter: The Exhibitionwhich is only attached to the Museum by a tent and have the most wonderful adventure.  Hehehe, this is a teaser. I am in my zone and so I can tease you and only write the details later!!
  6. You flirt with a totally young, and probably gay man at the Museum and walk away feeling twenty years younger.  He gave us our guided tour speaker thingies.
  7. And all of the above was just one day.
  8. You also go and eat breakfast at Welcome to LePeep.  And, no that is not a chicken restaurant, although I have a great chicken picture from the Museum to share.
  9. Then, you go to http://www.sbchocolate.com/ South Bend Chocolate Company, tell them they should give you free truffles because you send business their way on your blog and they laugh as they hand you your Aztec (Mexican) hot chocolate and 1/2 pound of dark chocolate truffles and your bill.  (worth a try!)
  10. And, then, your zone (a/k/a Master’s Daughter) gives you the most relaxing part of your journey.  You get your first pedicure and ask the Chinese gentleman if he will marry you because no one has ever rubbed your feet like that.
  11. You also get to talk to your Army Grandson, who is in Kuwait.
  12. You get asked to go shopping by your “Hollister” grandson.  They chased him down the hall at the mall one day and asked him to work for them, since they said he had “their look.”
  13. Then, you watch a “girlie” movie, Love Actually.  The first of several for my zone visit
  14. AND, you get to do some of this while viewing things on high speed access that you never get to see at home, on dial-up, with a party line. 

There are no party lines, they have not lost electricity once, and the mail doesn’t come for me here.  Did I mention I do not have to open the mail???

So, while I am at the zone, I may or I may not write on my blog.   Well, I actually have, because I am writing this.   The rental people want their car back Saturday.  I’m not sure what is with that, but they made me tell them exactly what day to have it back.

In my Zone I do not have to make decisions.

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Sheryl here:  jumping up and down, clapping my hands in glee, Master’s Daughter and I have tickets for the Harry Potter show at the Museum of Science and Industry | What’s Here | Exhibits | Harry Potter: The Exhibition | Exhibit Guide | Introduction.

 

I really love Chicago and all of the museums.  I used to spend hours just roaming around with my sketchbook; both in the city and in the museums.  And, now, I get to go and sit in Hagrid’s chair and repot Mandrake’s, Museum of Science and Industry | What’s Here | Exhibits | Harry Potter: The Exhibition | Exhibit Guide | Hands-On  and enter through the “frame of the fat lady’s portrait.”  And, yes, I am sixty-one, but what fun is there in life if you cannot get excited over a bit of magic?

 

And, the really neat part of it is that I get to spend several days with my daughter.  That means South Bend Chocolate cafe for Aztec hot chocolate and a chinese restaurant and a yummy yarn shop and about a gazbillion laughs. 

 

Whoppeeeee!!!

 

It’s a whole month away.  Are we there yet?

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