Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life Worth a Trip to the MSI

Body Worlds is back—and it should make your spring or summer bucket list.

With three kids in tow, I braved the spring break crowds to visit the Museum of Science and Industry’s newest exhibit, “Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life,” which runs through Sept. 5. It’s the second go-round at MSI with Dr. Gunther von Hagens’ plastinated wonders, and it doesn’t fail to impress.

A word to the wise—plan ahead, or get to the museum as early as possible so that you can view the exhibit early in the day. Crowding isn’t an issue, with timed admission expertly employed by museum staff. However, the later your entry time, the more likely you’ll be exhausted from your visit and less interested in taking your time. Beware: There’s nowhere to sit and take a breather.

See: Several sections elicited the “Wow” factor. First was a model near the entrance that is positioned holding its now-removed skin, akin to a bodysuit—a bold reminder that our skin is a living, protective organ.

The exhibit features a section on the beginning of life, including fetal development. While the exhibit is labeled as suitable for all ages, if you’re with younger children, consider preparing them for what they’ll see—plastinated fetuses in various stages of development.

The athletic model poses—Tai Chi, gymnasts, hockey and football players—offer an eye-opening perspective into our muscular and bone structure and its ability to work in harmony.

The exhibit section featuring the effects of smoking is just as effective a deterrent to the habit as any I can think of, and provides an excellent visualization of how nicotine adversely impacts your entire body.

And don’t miss the educational information along the walls—you’ll learn how bodies are obtained and how the process of plastination works, along with enlightening stories about the cycle of life and the aging process. Museum-goers will gain a newfound appreciation for the talents of Monet and Degas!

Skip: The gift shop at the end of the exhibit. Oversized plastic ears and microbe stuffed animals? Really?

Tip: Pony up for a family membership—chances are you’ll be back at least one more time in the next 12 months (MSI’s annual holiday tree exhibit during the holidays is well-worth the visit, too), and with your member card, you’ll get the discounted rate for the exhibit, free admission to others, discounted parking and food court savings too.

More information on the exhibit is here.