Free Museum Days

Chicago’s museums offer an abundance of culture and history, making a wonderful addition to your itinerary. As an added bonus, many of these institutions offer free or discounted admission days. In fact, some museums are free every day. Learn more about free Chicago museums and attractions, conveniently located around our hotel near The Art Institute of Chicago.

Also, be sure to check out Chicago CityPASS or a Go Chicago Card, both of which package many of Chicago’s most popular museums and attractions into pre-paid discount admission booklets.

Please note: Many of the museums require that you be an Illinois resident and show proof of residency to take advantage of the free admission days. Dates are subject to change and may not include special exhibit fees. Check individual museum websites for admission details, as well as policies for specific community members such as military personnel and local school groups.

ADLER PLANETARIUM

Free general admission for Illinois residents on these upcoming 2017 dates:

  • November 10, 15-17
  • December 4-10

1300 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 922-7827

ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO

  • Admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is free to Illinois residents every Thursday evening from 5-8pm. Additionally children under age 14 are always free and the public can enjoy the following museum areas free of charge:
  • The Ryan Education Center in the Modern Wing, as well as all programs for families and children within the center
  • The North and South Gardens (accessible from Michigan Avenue)
  • The Nichols Bridgeway connecting the museum to Millennium Park
  • The Bluhm Family Terrace on the 3rd floor of the west pavilion of the Modern Wing

111 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 443-3600

MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY

Free general admission for Illinois residents on the following 2017 dates:

  • January 10-12, 16-19, 24-26, 31
  • February 1-2, 7-9, 14-16, 21-23, 28
  • June 5-9, 12
  • September 5-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-29
  • October 2-5

57th Street and Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 684-1414

THE FIELD MUSEUM

Free general admission for Illinois residents on these 2017 dates:

  • October 22, 23, 31
  • November 12, 19
  • December 3, 24

SHEDD AQUARIUM

Free general admission for Illinois residents only on the following 2017 dates:

  • June 5, 6, 12, 13
  • August 28, 29
  • September 6-30

CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM

Illinois residents can enjoy free admission to the museum during Illinois Resident Discount Days. Upcoming discount days are Monday through Friday during the months of January and February.

CHICAGO CHILDREN'S MUSEUM AT NAVY PIER

Free admission for visitors age 15 and under on Free First Sundays, offered the first Sunday of each month. Additionally there is free admission for all visitors on Target Free Family Night, offered Thursday evenings 5-8 pm.

MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART

Admission is free for Illinois residents on Tuesdays year round.

PEGGY NOTEBAERT NATURE MUSEUM

Thursdays are suggested donation days for Illinois residents year round.

2430 N. Cannon Dr.
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 755-5100

BROOKFIELD ZOO

General zoo admission is free on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from .

31st St. and First Ave.
Brookfield, IL 60513
(708) 688-8000

DUSABLE MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY

Admission is free to all on each Sunday of the year. Children under 5 always receive free admission.

740 E. 56th Pl.
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 947-0600

LOYOLA UNIVERSITY MUSEUM OF ART

Admission is free for Illinois residents every Tuesday, year round.

MCCORMICK BRIDGEHOUSE & CHICAGO RIVER MUSEUM

Admission is free to all on each Sunday; note that the museum is open seasonally May to October.

SWEDISH AMERICAN MUSEUM

Admission is free for all visitors on the second Tuesday of the month, year round.

5211 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 728-8111

CLARKE HOUSE MUSEUM

One-hour guided tours are free on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, year round (not applicable to groups of 16 or more).

1827 S. Indiana Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 326-1480

GLESSNER HOUSE MUSEUM

Tours are free on Wednesdays, year round (not applicable to groups of 10 or more).

1800 S. Prairie Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 326-1480

CHARNLEY-PERSKY HOUSE

Tours are free on Wednesdays, year round (not applicable to groups of 10 or more).