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Dive right in to Chicago museum

Up periscope, and feast your eyes on a WWII sub, and much more, at the Museum of Science and Industry

CHICAGO – As a world war raged, it lurked deep under the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, tuned in to what traveled on the surface above, ready to strike at a moment’s notice.

Today, the U-505 submarine has surfaced in the Museum of Science and Industry, where its only aim is to educate and entertain.

The U-505 was a German sub that saw action during World War II. Its prey was American and other Allied vessels along the coast of West Africa. In 1944, it became the hunted.

Now, it’s been pressed into service at the museum, where guests can see what life was like in the claustrophobic confines of a WWII-era sub.

The museum’s daily onboard tours of the sub lasts 24 minutes and are suitable for all ages. Tickets are $18 for adults and $14 for children 3 to 11. It’s best to purchase tickets online in advance.

Once on board, lighting and sound effects will transport you back to World War II. While on the tour, you can find out what life in a submarine was like. One your mission of discovery is done, time is set aside for questions and answers.

Once you depart the sub, other adventures also await at the museum.

Did you know the museum offers flight and ride simulators? Head to the balcony level where you’ll ages 10 through adults can take off on a faux flight that lasts about 6 minutes. Tickets are available onsite only.

The Interactive Flight Simulator allows you to be the pilot or gunner of an F-4 Phantom II, P-51 Mustang or F-16 Fighting Falcon. Once in the wild blue yonder you can roll and dive as you make an attack. The cost for battle is $8.

In the Ride Simulator, you can take flight and harness the power of clean energy while “Riding the Wind,”go back in time to World War I with the Red Baron, soar into space on the “Discovery – Space Mission Hubble,” or journey through the universe for “Destination – Black Hole.” The cost to be up, up and away is $6.

The simulator’s space isn’t your final frontier. You also can become an astronaut and go on a virtual adventure outside a space station using VR goggles and four-dimensional effects while you repair the space station. Will something go wrong? You’ll have to wait and see. I’m not talking.

Timed-entry tickets cost $10 and can be purchased at the Henry Crown Space Center. The ride is for ages 13 and older, and lasts about 5 minutes.

“Dream It, Design It, Fab It!” lets you try your hand at manufacturing design, technology and engineering in The Wanger Family Fab Lab, where you can dream up, design and make items using cutting-edge software and equipment. This is for ages 6 and older. Tickets should be purchased in advance; refer to the museum website’s Fab Lab calendar a schedule.

You also can take a “WOW! Tour,” which gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the museum, with access to offices and work spaces and other areas not open to the general public, and you’ll learn facts about popular exhibits. The tours last an hour and are at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m., as well as at 3 p.m. during extended-hours days.

“Dream It” and “WOW!” admission costs are part of combined museum entry tickets and can be purchased online. The cost for Museum Entry Plus 1 is $31.95 online for adults and $19.95 online for children 3 to 11. For more pricing options, visit the museum website.

If you’ve been to the Museum of Science and Industry and think you’ve seen all there is to see, think again. From dreams come true to flights of fancy and more, its tours and exhibits will have you saying “Wow!”

If you go …

What: Museum of Science and Industry Exhibits and Experiences

When:  9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. March 23 and 31

Where: 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

General Admission: $21.95 or $19.95 online for adults; $12.95 or $10.95 online for children 3 to 11

Distance: About 111 miles from Dixon

Accessibility: Accessible to wheelchairs; some special tours may have restrictions

Information: msichicago.org or 773-684-1414