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Who’s big and who’s small? It’s all in your perception with the Beuchet Chair illusion at Museum of Illusions. Photos provided by Museum of Illusions except where noted. (Click on images to view larger versions.)

Recently reopened in the Loop, the Museum of Illusions has more than 80 visual, sensory, and educational experiences, including mind-bending, never-before-seen optical illusions.

22-Aug-21 – Wait! What did I see? How’d they do that?

The Museum of Illusions Chicago, now open in the Loop, is a fun and fascinating adventure with mind-bending optical illusions that range from tried-and-true to never-ever-before-seen.

Photo by Darryl Temkin

The illusions are based on science, engineering, and creativity. When you enter the wonderful world of optical illusion, you see things differently and learn how your brain interprets reality.

Photo by Darryl Temkin

This one-of-a-kind destination showcases holograms, stereograms, optical illusions, and immersive rooms that are designed to trick the mind. Museum staff explain how these concepts work as they guide you through the exhibits.

The museum’s goal is to educate and entertain. Exhibits are designed to unveil the mechanics behind mind-bending illusions while shocking the senses and playing on your mind’s perception.

The most popular exhibit is the Vortex Tunnel (right), where visitors walk through a moving cave and try to keep their balance. The reality is, the cave is not moving, the walls are!

Museum of Illusions

Other highlights include:

• The Kaleidoscope Exhibit – upgrade your selfie game and get a unique pic.

• The Ames Room, where you can watch yourself grow and shrink.

Museum of Illusions

• The Rotated Room (left), where you can create poses that are “off the wall.”

• The Smart Play Room, where you can play, compete, and engage in friendly competition while challenging your brain.

“It’s a great place for a first date,” says Stacy Stec (right), Director of Communications for the museum. “People get to engage in fun and meaningful conversation beyond just dinner and a movie. It’s a great experience for kids of all ages. Families are having a blast taking selfies in crazy poses, while the teens are using their phones to see the exhibits. Flash photography is not only allowed, it’s also encouraged!”

Stacy Stec

There is a Museum of Illusions in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco, and Kansas City, and soon in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Miami, and Las Vegas. Each one is a little different, reflecting the theme of the city. At Chicago’s, for example, everything is blue, representing Lake Michigan, Chicago Cubs, and the city flag.

The museum is open various hours daily at 25 East Washington Street. Advance reservations are requested. Timed entries, reduced occupancy, and other COVID-19 safety protocols are in effect.

 More info and reservations: Museum of Illusions