Originally scheduled to open earlier this summer, the Museum of Illusions Chicago began welcoming guests over the weekend, allowing visitors to view and step inside a variety of displays designed to fool your brain. Founded in Croatia in 2015, the Chicago museum joins more than 20 other locations around the world, including cities like Hamburg, Madrid, New York and Paris.
Opening during a time when Chicago is under a stay-at-home advisory, the layout and design of the Museum of Illusions Chicago was tailored to adhere to state and city guidelines. That includes a state-of-the-art HVAC system that helps reduce surface bacteria, a 25 percent capacity limit, face covering requirements and displays that are modified to reduce the need for direct touch.
"We had the unique ability to really look at the design of the museum and make sure the flow is a one-way flow, so you see one exhibit and move on to the next," Museum of Illusions communications director Stacy Stec told us, explaining how parties traverse the space while keeping their distance from others.
With so many locations across the globe, the Chicago iteration of the Museum of Illusions collects some of the chain's most popular interactive exhibits, including a reverse room that places furniture on the walls and an infinity room that surrounds guest with mirrors. You'll find stickers in each of the photo-friendly rooms that allow you to snap the perfect shot (and museum staff are there to assist with photography, if needed). There are also smaller illusions lining the halls of the museum, demonstrating holograms, reflective tricks and other optical illusions.
While many visitors will arrive at the attraction with Instagram shots in mind, the Museum of Illusion bills itself as an "edutainment destination," where guests are able to learn about what they're seeing. "Our goal is to teach our guests why their eyes are seeing something their brains can't understand, so our staff is very well trained in the illusions and the psychology and science behind each of them," Stec says.
Located on in a 5,000-square-foot space on the ground floor of 25 E Washington Street, the Museum of Illusions Chicago is only selling tickets online while capacity restrictions remain in place. Timed tickets start at $21 for adults and $15 for kids ages 5 to 12 (anyone under 5 gets in free) and are available via the museum's website. Allow yourself 45 minutes to an hour to explore the space, don't forget a face mask and prepare to see some things that you can't quite explain.
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