Free Chicago Museum Days

Living near Chicago, there are so many museums the city has to offer! One of the best things are the “free” days for Illinois residents. Please see list below.

As always, make sure to check any museum website before your visit for cancelations, to familiarize yourself with parking fees, and to make sure that you have the appropriate identification with you to qualify for free days.


Most Popular & Museum Campus

Adler Planetarium
1300 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago IL 60605 | 312-922-7827

Free general admission for ILLINOIS residents
January 4-8, 11, 12, 15, 18-22, 25-29
February 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 22-24, 29

Chicago Children’s Museum
Navy Pier | 700 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 | 312-527-1000

Free admission for ALL visitors every Thursday 5PM-8PM.
Free admission for visitors 15 AND UNDER on the first Sunday of each month.

Field Museum of Natural History
1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605 | 312-922-9410

Free basic admission for ILLINOIS residents
January 3, 14, 18, 23, 24
February 1-29 (all month long)
Additional free days for 2016 to be announced in late spring.

Museum of Science and Industry
5700 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60637 | 773-684-1414

Free museum entry for ILLINOIS residents
January 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-29
February 29
June 1-3, 6-8
September 6-9, 12-16, 19-23, 26-30
October 4-6
November 3, 10
December 1

Shedd Aquarium
1200 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605 

Free general admission for ILLINOIS residents
January 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26
February 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29
June 6, 7, 13, 14
September 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
October 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25, 31
November 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29

Bank of America/Merrill Lynch ATM, credit or debit card holders
Eligible for ONE free general admission
January 2-3
February 6-7
March 5-6
April 2-3
May 7-8
June 4-5
July 2-3
August 6-7
September 3-4
October 1-2
November 5-6


Nature Museums, Farms & Zoos

Check websites for special programs and scheduling (some additional fees may apply).

Brookfield Zoo
8400 West 31st Street, Brookfield, IL 60513 | 708-688-8000

Free on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from January 1-February 28.
Admission to Hamill Family Play Zoo is free January 1-February 29.

Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022 | 847-835-5440
Free daily admission for ALL, parking fees apply.

Elawa Farms
1401 Middlefork Drive, Lake Forest, IL 60045
Free daily admission for ALL.

Emily Oaks Nature Center
4650 Brummel Street, Skokie, IL 60076 | 847-677-7001
Free daily admission for ALL.

Fischer Farm
16W680 Old Grand Ave., Bensenville, IL 60106 | 630-766-7015

Free for ALL
Wednesdays & Fridays 9AM-3PM
Thursdays 2-7PM
Saturdays 9AM-1PM

Gardens at Cantigny
1S151 South Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL 60189 | 630-668-5161
Free daily admission for ALL, parking fees apply.

Garfield Park Conservatory
300 North Central Park Avenue, Chicago, IL 60624 | 312-746-5100
Free daily admission for ALL, street parking available.

Lincoln Park Zoo
2001 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614 | 312-742-2000
Free daily admission for ALL, parking fees apply.

Lurie Garden at Millennium Park
201 East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60602 | Southeastern end of Millennium Park
Free daily admission for ALL.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
2430 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614 | 773-755-5100
Thursdays are suggested donation days for ILLINOIS residents.

The Grove
1421 Milwaukee Avenue, Glenview, IL | 847-299-6096
Free daily admission for ALL.

Wagner Farm
1510 Wagner Road, Glenview, IL 60026 | 847-657-1506
Free daily admission for ALL.


History Museums

Cantigny Park Museums 
Robert McCormick Museum & First Division Museum
1S151 South Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL 60189 | 630-668-5161
Free daily admission for ALL, parking fees apply.

Charnley Persky House
1365 N. Astor Street, Chicago, IL 60610 | 312-573-1365
Free 45 minute tour on Wednesdays 12PM

Chicago History Museum
1601 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614 

Free admission for ILLINOIS residents
January – Monday through Friday (all month, except January 13)
February – Monday through Friday (all month)

Free admission for children 12 and under.

Clark House Museum
1827 South Indiana Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616

Free for ALL
Viewing for groups of 5 or more by appointment only.
Guided tours offered Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 1PM & 3PM.

Elmhurst Historical Museum
120 E. Park Ave., Elmhurst, IL 60302 | 630-833-1457
Free for ALL during general hours. Some nominal fees for additional programs.

Glessner House Museum
1800 South Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616 | 312-326-1480
Free for ALL on Wednesdays.

Illinois Holocaust Museum
9603 Woods Drive, Skokie, IL 60077 | 847-967-4800
**2016 dates have not yet been published.**

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
The University of Illinois at Chicago
800 S. Halsted, Chicago, IL 60607
Free admission for ALL (suggested donation).

McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum
376 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60601 | 312-977-0227
Free admission on Sundays May through October.


Art Museums

Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603 | 312-443-3600

Free admission for ILLINOIS residents
Every Thursday 5-8PM.
Residents under 14 free everyday.

Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington Street, Chicago, IL 60602
Free daily admission for ALL.

City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower
806 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
Free daily admission for ALL.

Ed Paschke Art Center
5415 W. Higgins Avenue, Chicago, IL 60630 | 312-533-4911
Free daily admission for ALL.

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
220 South Cottage Hill Avenue, Elmhurst, IL 60126 | 630-833-1616
Free admission for ALL every Friday.

Loyola University Museum of Art
820 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 | 312-915-7600
Free admission for ALL every Tuesday.

Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art
Northwestern University
40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 | 847-491-4000
Free program admission for ALL.

Museum of Contemporary Art
220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 | 312-280-2660
Free admission for ILLINOIS residents every Tuesday.

National Veterans Art Museum
4041 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60641 | 312-326-0270
Free daily admission for ALL.

The Renaissance Society – University of Chicago
5811 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637
Free daily admission for ALL.

Smart Museum of Art – University of Chicago
5550 S. Greenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 | 773-702-0200
Free daily admission for ALL.


Ethnic Art & History Museums

DuSable Museum of African American History
740 East 56th Place, Chicago, IL 60637 | 773-947-0600
Free admission for ALL every Sunday.

Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
3001 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201 | 847-475-1030
Free admission for ALL every first Friday.

National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 West 19th Street, Chicago, IL 60608 | 312-738-1503
Free daily admission for ALL.

National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture
3015 West Division Street, Chicago IL 60622 | 773-486-8345
Free admission Tuesday-Saturday for ALL.

Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago
1155 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637 | 773-702-9514
Free daily admission for ALL (suggested donation).

Swedish American Museum
5211 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60601 | 773-728-8111
Free admission for ALL every second Tuesday of the month.


Other Museums

International Museum of Surgical Science
1524 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60610 | 312-642-6502
Free for ALL on Tuesdays.

Money Museum [Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago]
230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL | 312-322-2400
Free daily admission for ALL (Mondays-Fridays except on Bank holidays)

List referenced from here.

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