“Mythbusters” Exhibition at MSI: Two Thumbs Up

Here’s the long and short of it: Go see “Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition.”

The Museum of Science and Industry’s latest exhibit, which opened in mid-March, is top-notch entertainment for just about any scenario—from tots to teens, and everything in between.

MSI is the world premiere stop for this exhibition—which runs all summer. It was created by the Museum of Science and Industry in partnership with Discovery Communications and the Exhibits Development Group. And if its goal is to teach the scientific method in a way that’s exciting, informative and hands-on, then job well done.

See: This depends on the extent to which your carry on a love affair with the exhibit’s genesis, the Emmy-nominated “Mythbusters” show. (Discovery Channel) True aficionados will appreciate the plethora of show artifacts, ranging from the mechanical shark (and yes, you can poke out a shark’s eyes!) to the duct tape canoe and fart collection chair. Even those with less upfront knowledge of the show will enjoy the “Where’s Waldo”-esque feel to all the props and stunt equipment.

There are so many hands-on adventures in this exhibit that you won’t know where to start. My three “testers” spent a great deal of time trying to master the tablecloth stunt and determining whether or not you get wetter walking or running in the rain. (Note on this particular activity—participants end up with blue-spotted clothes after walking through the experiment. No worries—the dye fades as it dries.)

From the Killer Card Toss to an airplane on a conveyor belt, visitors’ ability to get involved on are endless. What did I learn? That I can’t drive blind—or that I can’t follow directions.

The best part? The live show toward the end of the exhibit. Hang back at the end of a show so that you can grab a front row seat for the next one, thereby increasing your chances you’ll be asked to dodge a paintball bullet. It’s the one “myth” the live demonstration attempts to bust and is a great way to sneak a little science into your kids’ trip without it feeling forced.

Skip: The gift shop. The best souvenirs are found in the museum store, anyway.

Tip: While most exhibits seem to frown upon cameras and video, this is one exhibit where you can photograph and film to your heart’s content. All that’s asked is that you stay off your cellphone. And there are more than a handful of snapshot-worthy moments.

Through September 3
Museum of Science and Industry, 57th St. and Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
Tickets: $5 members, $18 – $25 non-members (Regular admission included)

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