Spooky science fun at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry

Does a pumpkin bounce if you drop it from a second story balcony in the Museum of Science and Industry (and who has to clean up the mess if it doesn’t)? Kids can learn the answer to this and other messy Halloween questions at the museum’s Spooky Science activities and events.

Starting with a Halloween-themed overnight program Oct. 12-13, the museum will showcase chemistry magic with flaming jack-o-lanterns, treat guests to haunted Coal Mine and Pioneer Zephyr tours, gauge gravity with a pumpkin drop and even let guests create their own spooky music soundtrack on the “FrankenFoley” stage.

“Halloween’s such a great time of year and this is a great way to get in the spirit of it and talk about science,” says Meredith Black, MSI manager of specialized experiences. The events and activities are geared towards kids of all ages, and a big favorite for all is the pumpkin pyrotechnics, which uses chemistry to light up pumpkins.

“We have something for everyone. The pumpkin smashing is definitely for the younger, pyrotechnics is for a little older,” she says. “We have an idea factory for the itty bitty ones. We have some great programming there with scarab beetles and an Egyptian theme.”

The haunted coal mine (additional charge for this) and haunted Zephyr have some scary (but not too scary) surprises, so they’re best reserved for older kids, Black says.

Even adults will like this year’s addition to Spooky Science-the FrankenFoley stage. “We have the silent movie from the 1920s and our guests get to figure out what sound effects go best,” Black says.

All of the activities run throughout the day, with a schedule and map of events posted online at msichicago.org. The Snoozeum event and the coal mine rides have admission charges and require pre-registration; the other events are free drop-in activities.

Spooky Science runs through Oct. 31.

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