As a VENUE: Host an event…

Host your event at MSI. Dine beside a World War II German submarine. Stand inside a 40-foot tornado. Mingle below historic aircraft. Celebrate the sweet things in a classic ice cream parlor. MSI is the largest science museum in the Western hemisphere and is housed in the only remaining structure from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. With thousands of exhibits, artifacts and “wow” moments that last a lifetime, MSI is the premier destination for unique and engaging special events – we have events down to a science. Just steps from Lake Michigan and minutes from downtown Chicago, MSI offers thirteen distinctive spaces that can be used alone or in combination for transformative * corporate events * award dinners * picnics * daytime conferences, and * more:

  • Entire Museum: For spectacular, large-scale events, the entire Museum is available to rent. With over 400,000 square-feet of inspiring exhibits, this option is ideal for association, convention or corporate leaders looking to provide their guests with a world-class interactive experience. Capacity: Up to 12,000 guests
  • Rotunda: Located at the heart of the Museum, the Rotunda space features a breathtaking 120-foot copper-domed ceiling, a historic steam locomotive, a real 727 airplane and 1,400 feet of winding model railroad track. Your guests will reconnect with their sense of wonder as they stand inside a 40-foot tornado and witness the incredible forces of nature—all inside the awe-inspiring exhibit, Science Storms. With customizable lighting, large expanses and soaring ceilings, the Rotunda is the perfect space for large seated dinners, receptions and corporate events. Capacity: Seated: 1,200  |  Reception: 5,500
  • U-505 Submarine: Your guests can dine in the shadow of a legendary World War II German submarine. This impressive two-story space is perfect for separating reception and dinner. The U-505 comes complete with dramatic lighting and a customized soundtrack. Guests can enjoy 200 artifacts, interactive exhibits and a facilitator-led onboard tour of the boat. Capacity: Seated: 200  |  Reception: 700
  • South Portico: In case more than 400,000 square feet of exhibit space isn’t enough for you, consider adding an outdoor space to your private event! With lush landscaping, the South Portico is adjacent to the waterway created for the 1893 Columbian Exposition, the Jackson Park Lagoon. Capacity: Daytime Event: 1,000 | Tented Event: 1,500
  • Entry Hall: The perfect location for event check-in, a welcoming red-carpet entrance, cocktail hour, an entertaining concert or a delightful dessert receptionour Entry Hall is a flexible and transformable event space. Directly attached to the Museum’s underground parking garage, it provides your guests with a grand entrance to your private event. Capacity: Reception: 600
  • North Portico: The North Portico is an opportunity to showcase your event on the front lawn of the Museum of Science and Industry. This expansive space can be tented for up to 1,500 people or provides a luxurious Museum entranceway for your gala or fundraiser. Capacity: Tented Event: 1,500
  • Smart Home: The Smart Home is MSI’s newest private event space! The home’s interior offers an intimate setting for your guests to enjoy a home environment in the middle of the city—perfect for a team retreat or cocktail reception. Or, take your private event outside into the beautiful garden, which features large bur oak trees that predate the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Capacity: Indoor Cocktail: 100 | Indoor Seated: 40 |  Outdoor Reception: 300
  • West Pavilion: This two-story, multifunctional space is ideal for daytime meetings and events. The main floor can accommodate classroom seating for about 100 people with locations for breakout sessions and food service in close proximity. In addition, the Auditorium and Little Theater spaces may be incorporated in the rental. Capacity: West Pavilion Main Floor: 300 | West Pavilion Balcony: 200 | Classroom: 120
  • Rosenwald Room: This space provides audiovisual capabilities with WiFi for your private event. The Rosenwald Room may be set up for classroom seating, roundtable discussions, lectures or business luncheon meetings. It is available during regular Museum hours, plus an adjacent space provides more room for catering or even a pre-function VIP bar setup. Capacity Seated: 100  |  Reception: 130  |  Classroom: 80  |  Theater: 130
  • Auditorium: Our Auditorium is the perfect choice for lectures, keynote addresses, performances and graduation ceremonies. This space offers a full stage, audiovisual technology and fully customizable lighting. Consider adding the adjourning West Pavilion into your rental if your private event includes a reception. Capacity: Main Level: 649 | Balcony: 200 seated
  • Henry Crown Space Center: This is the perfect space for a unique corporate event and show-stopping presentations. Your guests will learn how the lunar landing almost failed, try to “dock” at the International Space Station, and remote control their own Mars Rover—while sipping cocktails and enjoying delicious cuisine. Showing a keynote presentation? The Giant Dome Theater is a great option to add to your event. Capacity: Seated: 150  |  Reception: 300
  • Giant Dome Theater: The Giant Dome Theater is the perfect venue for corporate presentations or a private film screening. Projected on a five-story, domed wraparound, your message will come to life on this giant screen! The Giant Dome Theater is rented in concurrence with the Henry Crown Space Center, which provides an out-of-this-world backdrop for your special event’s intermission. Capacity: Seated: 260
  • Little Theater: The Little Theater is the perfect setting for small lectures, performances and team presentations. The intimate 200-person space comes with a small stage, podium and audiovisual technology. The Little Theater is located adjacent to the West Pavilion, which is a great breakout area for daytime special events. Capacity: Seated: 200

Support Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago… by simply booking your next special occasion here:

As a SHOP: Discover unique gifts…

Bring home a memory of your Museum visit, or share a new discovery with someone on your gift list. When you do, you’ll also help support MSI’s mission and vision. Now that’s genius. Museum Store: From science Ts to DVDs. Merchandise is catalogued within these collections: * Museum * Science * Space * Clothing * Souvenirs * Toys and Games * Books & Media.

Support Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago… by simply purchasing your specialty merchandise here:

As an EATERY: Food for thought…

There’s something for everyone at the Museum. The Brain Food Court: Our food court features fresh-made pizzas, hand-pressed burgers, cage-free chicken tenders, scratch-made soups, artisan sandwiches, gourmet pasta and more. Museum Cafe: In a hurry? Our cafe proudly serves Starbucks brand coffee and espresso drinks along with gourmet sandwiches, snacks, salads and pastries. Finnigan’s Ice Cream Parlor: Visit our old-fashioned ice cream parlor and take a step back to the turn of the century. Based on a real Hyde Park ice cream parlor of the same name, which opened in 1917, Finnigan’s serves tempting ice cream favorites, including sundaes and shakes. Finnigan’s Sandwich Shoppe: Grab-and-go options include salads and sandwiches. Stan’s Donuts: Proudly serving Big Shoulders coffee, Stan’s featured donuts, frappes and milkshakes. The menu also includes soup, sandwiches, salads and snacks. One Small Snack: Our space-themed café offers grab-and-go options. Vending Machines: A variety of vending machines offer beverages and snacks. Bringing Lunch? Enjoy your meal in these designated seating areas:

  • Designated eating area outside Ships Gallery, Ground Level
  • Lower Court, Ground Level near escalators
  • Museum Garden outdoor seating, outside Henry Crown Space Center, Ground Level. Weather permitting. Open seasonally.

Support Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago… by simply dining here:

As a DONOR: Show that you care…

Help transform lives through the power of science. At MSI, you can design your own tsunami waves, step inside the only German submarine in the United States, and watch as baby chicks hatch each and every day. Through award-winning exhibits, hands-on experiences and engaging education programs, we are inspiring future scientists and innovators. As a non-profit organization, we rely on the support of members, donors and partners to continue bringing the very best in science, education and fun to the people of Chicago and beyond.


  • Enjoy all that MSI has to offer—jaw-dropping exhibits, hands-on science experiences and special member perks—while supporting nationally recognized education programs. Membership Levels include: * Individual * Dual, and * Family.
  • Annual Fund Memberships: MSI’s Annual Fund supports everything we do, every day. When you become an Annual Fund member, you help transform lives through science in ways too numerous to count… and you enjoy exciting benefits and exclusive access. Membership Levels Include: * Explorers Society * Catalyst Society * Columbian Society, and * Curiosity Society (Three Levels are offered).
  • Rosenwald Society: Follow in the footsteps of our founder and leave a legacy you can be proud of. Making a planned or deferred gift to the Museum through your will, trusts or other estate gifts qualifies you for annual membership in the Rosenwald Society, named for Julius Rosenwald, the forward-thinking philanthropist who founded MSI.


You can help inspire the creative genius in everyone. In order to continue inspiring visitors of all ages, we rely on tax-deductible contributions from supporters like you. Philanthropy supports everything we do, whether it’s helping teachers improve their science instruction or developing the next award-winning exhibit. Gifts are sincerely appreciated and will help transform lives through science. 

  • Annual Fund: Your donation to the Annual Fund will help inspire guests of all ages by supporting MSI’s innovative and interactive exhibits and education programs. Donations at specific amounts are designated and you may customize your gifts. Memorial and Tribute Gifts are welcomed. Matching Gifts by your employer can be facilitated.
  • Charitable Planning: Charitable planning tools help your gifts work harder—for you and MSI. Depending on the vehicle, you can meet current and future financial goals, provide for your loved ones, receive tax savings and earn income streams. Examples of planned or deferred gifts include:
    • Appreciated Securities: Make your gift go further and avoid capital gains tax.
    • Bequest: Make a gift for the future at no cost to you during your lifetime.
    • Retirement Plan Assets and IRAs: Make a no-cost gift and avoid double taxation.
    • Life Insurance: Name MSI as a beneficiary for a portion of your life insurance plan and make a significant gift at little or no cost.
  • Gifts of Securities: If you make a mutual fund or stocks gift, instead of cash, you will likely enjoy greater tax savings: your cost to make a gift will be lower and the impact of your charitable dollars will be higher.
  • In-Kind Gifts: You can help MSI reduce its expenses and be a better steward of gifts by donating goods or services. Examples include artifacts for our exhibits, food and beverages for events, supplies for educational programming; the list goes on and on.
  • Matching Gifts: Many companies will match employee gifts. It’s an easy way to double, triple or even quadruple the impact of your support! Check our list to see if your company has matched gifts to MSI.
  • AmazonSmile: Shop on Amazon and the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate a portion of the purchase price from your purchases to MSI. Make sure to select the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago as your charity and shop.

Corporate Support: Philanthropist Julius Rosenwald founded MSI with significant funding support from the Commercial Club of Chicago. Since then, corporate partners have played a key role at MSI, both through leadership on our Board of Trustees and philanthropic support for our mission. We inspire the next generation of leaders in STEM fields, both through interactive, hands-on exhibits and in-depth education programs reaching Chicago’s most underserved communities. Your support makes this possible. We offer a variety of opportunities for corporate partnership including: * Membership * Volunteering, and * Sponsorship. 

Volunteer: Bring science to life for our guests by serving as a Museum volunteer. Every day the Museum’s volunteers work to support our important educational programming, helping MSI achieve its mission to inspire the inventive genius in everyone. You can find them engaging guests in live science experiences, sharing details from their professional careers with guests, or contributing their time and talents to behind-the-scenes administrative areas. They are scientists, teachers, stay-at-home parents, students, engineers, and more. You don’t have to be an expert to be a volunteer—if you are passionate about STEM, and love talking with and helping others, we’d love to have you at MSI: * Fab Lab Team * Learning Lab Team * Sci-finding Team * Science Connections Team * Behind-the-scenes Team * A la Cart Team * YOU! The Experience Team * Great Train Story Team, and * Episodic Events.

Support Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago… by simply joining, giving, and volunteering here:

Contact info

5700 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

Additional info

Hosting Information

Shopping information

Dining information

Giving information


You don't have permission to register