The Museum of Science and Industry Parking Guide

Last Updated on December 3, 2022 by Usama

The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago offers a fascinating array of hands-on exhibits on more than 400,000 square feet. To properly explore the facility and enjoy the visit, you’ll need at least three hours, so finding a cheap short-term parking spot is a must! This process tends to be tiresome and time-consuming, but Parking Access will smooth the way for convenient parking. Discover the Museum of Science and Industry parking cost, off-site parking lots, and useful tips on saving time and money. You’ll also learn about admission tickets, public transportation options, and other Chicago attractions!

Museum of Science and Industry Chicago Tickets

Purchasing a ticket for the MSI is painless and quick, and the cost depends on which exhibits you wish to see and whether you’re a member or not. General admission tickets include Science Storms, Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze, and some temporary exhibitions. Here are the prices:

Adults $21.95
Children 3-11 $12.95
Members Free
Military Personnel Free

If you plan to explore the city and check out other attractions in the area, Chicago CityPASS is the right choice for you! The cost is $109, and it saves you 50% off admission to the top five locations:

Once you check out the first facility, you have nine days to visit the rest of them before your pass expires.

Museum of Science and Industry Free Days

The museum offers free admission to Illinois residents on selected days throughout the year. In 2021, you have several free days left, including:

  • October 27
  • November 3, 10, and 17
  • December 8

Military personnel, teachers, Chicago firefighters, and police officers are entitled to free entry on any day.

Museum of Science and Industry Parking Garage

Visitor parking at the Museum of Science and Industry is available in the convenient parking garage at E. 57th Street and S. Cornell Ave. It’s northwest of the building and easily accessible. The underground garage offers plenty of covered parking spots suitable for both standard and oversized vehicles. The height clearance is 8’ 2’’ in the Blue (D) section and 6’6” in other sections. The garage parking rate is $22.00 per vehicle. Members with dual or family memberships get a discounted or free parking service. 

Museum of Science and Industry Parking Garage

Accessible Parking

Handicapped parking for the Museum of Science and Industry visitors is available in the main underground garage. Any person occupying an ADA stall has to own a disabled parking permit, placard, or license plate. Standard parking rates apply. The museum is fully accessible, and wheelchairs are available in the Entry Hall and at the Space Center entrance.

South Parking Lot

The South Lot is a more cost-effective option, and it’s placed at 1800 Columbia Dr. The lot doesn’t offer a direct entrance to the MSI, but it’s only a 5-minute walk away. The list below offers its public parking prices for short stays:

Duration Parking Rate
Up to 1 hour  $2.00
1-4 hours $6.00
4-9 hours $12.00
Maximum daily cost $20.00

Parking Near the Museum of Science and Industry

In addition to the South Lot, several other city parking areas offer reasonable prices, but most of them require going for a long walk. If you don’t mind taking a 12-minute stroll to and from the museum, head to 5550 S Dorchester Ave—you’ll find a spot for as low as $5.75. This rate applies after 3 hours. Another secure option is provided by the 1538 E 54th St. Lot, which is 15 minutes away and has a rate of $12. Finally, if you take a 20-minute walk to the north, you’ll come across Harper Court Garage available for $7.25. On-street parking is a decent alternative as well, but be sure to read the signs carefully and avoid Chicago parking tickets! Hourly parking rates start at $2.25.

Helpful Tips

Before you head to the museum, read through some handy tips and useful pieces of information to have a hassle-free day!

  1. Make a reservation: Admission tickets for some exhibits sell out quickly, so reserving in advance is a smart move.
  2. Avoid peak days: If you can fit it into your schedule, come to the museum on a Wednesday or Thursday—the museum is less crowded on these days.
  3. Pay attention to the museum hours: Note that the MSI is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM.
  4. Look for the Museum Of Science And Industry parking coupon: Online coupons and discounts are often available online, so see if you can get one before your visit.
  5. Use public transit: Hop on a bus or take a train to the museum to lower your transportation costs and avoid the frustrating search for a cheap spot.

Public Transportation to the Museum 

If you opt for a public transportation service instead of driving your vehicle, you’ll save a lot! Two CTA bus routes connect downtown Chicago with the Museum of Science and Industry:

  • #2 – Hyde Park Express: stops at 57th Street and Stony Island
  • #6 – Jackson Park Express: stops at 56th Street and Hyde Park Boulevard

Both bus stops are a block away from the MSI. The Metra train station is two blocks from the main entrance, and its Electric Line is a reliable transport choice. If coming from Indiana, take a South Shore Line train to the 57th Street station. Airport passengers can pre-book an O’Hare Airport shuttle or a low-cost Midway Airport shuttle. Midway is a 20-minute drive from the museum, while trips to O’Hare take at least 40 minutes.


  • How much is parking at the Museum of Science and Industry?

The garage parking cost is $22 per vehicle, while the South Lot has a maximum daily parking rate of $20.

  • When does the Museum of Science and Industry parking garage close?

The garage closes at 7 PM.

  • How to validate parking at the Museum of Science and Industry as a member?

Scan your membership card upon entry and exit. The museum doesn’t require any additional validation.

  • Is there free parking near the Museum of Science and Industry?

You might come across a free parking space in the area if you’re lucky, but the chances are slim to none.

Find Cheap Parking Near Other City Attractions

As one of the largest cities in the United States, Chicago has so much to offer that you won’t know where to start! That’s where we come in—Parking Access will list all the popular locations in the area and offer useful parking information. Apart from the Museum of Science and History parking guide, we can help you find a spot near any of the top five city attractions! Learn more about:

We also suggest visiting one of the zoos, which accommodates plenty of animals and offers interesting exhibits:

If searching for reasonably-priced event parking in Chicago, look into:

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