Holiday fun at Museum of Science and Industry Chicago's Christmas Around the World and Holiday of LIghts

Our favorite holiday tradition is visiting the Museum of Science and Industry’s Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light exhibit. This year is extra special since they are celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Christmas Around the World.

Christmas Around the World began in 1942 as a United Nations Day salute to the Allies during World War II. What started out as just decorating one tree each year for 12 days, has now evolved into a huge spectacle with over 50 uniquely decorated trees.



  • Perfect pictures! The tree in the rotunda is humongous! I’m talking a 45-foot-tall Grand Tree.  And it’s obviously the perfect opportunity for a holiday picture with the kids (if they’re able to cooperate!)

  • Favorite tree. As I mentioned, MSI goes all out and showcases more than 50 decorated trees. We love trying to find our favorite one and taking a picture in front of it.

Holiday fun at Museum of Science and Industry Chicago's Christmas Around the World and Holiday of LIghts

  • Santa snacks. Who can resist getting a few Santa snacks like popcorn ($4.50)?

  • Choo choo! Even the model trains become a little festive with a holiday train.

  • Snow much fun! Every thirty minutes there is snow that drops down from the ceiling. Such a magical experience!
  • There’s a reason why Museum of Science and Industry is our favorite museum -there’s so much to do! We had a blast exploring the rest of the museum.

Bottom Line:

We highly recommend visiting MSI during the holidays. Trust me, after seeing all the beautifully decorated trees and lights, you can’t help but come back year after year. We do! In fact, our holidays are not complete unless we visit the Museum of Science and Industry.


  • Looking to have your picture with Santa taken? Dress the kids up, and go to the Holiday Studio for professional photos with Santa. Or take your own photos in front of the gigantic tree.
  • Check the schedule for cultural performances on the weekend.
  • Head upstairs to the You! exhibit for amazing photos of the giant tree!

  • Looking for the perfect souvenir? Head to the Holiday Shop to find a new ornament for your tree.

Nitty Gritty:

Location: 5700 S Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60637
Hours: Check website for hours.
Ticket prices: General admission Adults $18, Children 3-11 $11
Parking: Underground parking garage $22
Stroller-friendly?  We always bring a stroller and have no troubles navigating through the museum.
Food:  There is a cafeteria and an ice cream parlor
Crowded: We visited on a Friday (Black Friday) in November, and found it was busy, but not crazy crowded.
What to expect:  Great holiday tradition that all families should experience at least once.


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