To kindle the Halloween spirit this year, the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., is bringing a Boo Fest to Hyde Park from Oct. 17 to Nov. 1.
The Scary Storage, trick-or-treat chutes, and live science demonstrations are included with Museum Entry ($21.95 for adults and $12.95 for children ages 3 to 11). All tickets are timed-entry, meaning that guests must reserve a time slot online at msichicago.org ahead of their visit.
Entry for members is free and Boo Fest is restricted to members only on Oct. 29. Costumes are encouraged, however costume weapons are prohibited, and all guests over age 2 years are required to wear masks while inside the museum. Some activities have age restrictions and require additional tickets that must be purchased online in advance.
“This is the first time that we are hosting this, and we are really excited and keeping all of the COVID policies and procedures in mind .... We are [also] requiring all additional tickets to be purchased online," said Isabel Morales, Manager of External Communications at the museum.
Morales said that the decorated exhibit space, Scary Storage, will have chutes spaced six feet apart to allow for physical distancing, and guests can collect candies and non-food goodies during the trick-or-treat search. (It's recommended for children eight years and above.)
Live science experiences will demonstrate the principles of physics and chemistry through activities such as a pumpkin drop from the museum’s balcony and Frankenslime, an experiment in which the museum’s facilitators prepare a concoction in front of the audience. Those seeking hands-on lab experience can dissect a real cow eyeball.
Pumpkin Drop and Frankenslime, both included with an entry ticket, will take place on all open days of the Boo Fest — guests can visit the information desk while on-site for a list of times. Dissect an Eye will take place only on weekends and requires additional ticket purchase.
Specific curiosities from the museum’s past collection will also be on display, such as Paul Bunyan, a large interactive figurine, TAM (a transparent anatomical manikin) and RoboThespian, a life-sized humanoid robot.
In addition, the museum will create a pair of Halloween-themed learning labs: “Crime Lab: Werewolf Files” and “Engineering Design: Sleepy Hollow." Here, guests will use science tools and techniques to decode notes, fingerprints, and ink left behind by the wandering werewolf of the museum, and design and build a bridge to escape the Headless Horseman and Sleepy Hollow.
Additionally, the museum’s Motion Ride Simulators will take on a Halloween theme with two rollercoaster-like experiences: Haunted Mine, a sojourn through a mine in the old West, and Superstition, featuring ghosts and vampires. Additional ticket purchase required for entry.
When asked about the reason for museum’s initiative to celebrate Halloween events indoors amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Morales said:
“We just wanted to kinda bring people out to do something fun. We understand trick-or-treating is a little bit different this year than what we would have traditionally expected, so we thought why don't we bring some trick-or-treating fun indoors at the museum. We have about 14 acres of exhibit space, so there is definitely a lot of room to spread out and enjoy."
For more information and ticket reservation, visit https://www.msichicago.org/explore/whats-here/events/boo-fest/.