Free Museum Days Chicago

Free Museum Days Chicago

In a world-class city like Chicago, you'd expect to find great museums, and you'd be right. Unfortunately, seeing them all can be very expensive. Fortunately, however, there are several free museum days. Chicago offers these throughout the year. While general admission is free on those days, special exhibitions usually require a paid ticket.

There are also several Chicago museums that are free all the time, and we've got them, too! 

If these dates don't fit your schedule you can save money on tickets with a Go Chicago Card. Save up to 55% off Chicago attractions - get this virtual pass on your smartphone now!

Related: How to save money in Chicago

Chicago Museum Free Days 2018

Many free days are for Illinois residents only.

Adler Planetarium

  • Neighborhood: Grant Park / Museum Campus
  • January 3, 4, 7-12, 15-19
  • February 2, 5-9, 19-22
  • June 21
  • August 27-31
  • September 9-16
  • October 8, 21, 24, 25
  • November 11, 12, 14, 15
  • December 1, 3-7, 10
  • Free days for Illinois residents only

Art Institute of Chicago

  • Neighborhood: Grant Park / Museum Campus
  • Thurday nights from 5pm to 8pm for Illinois residents only
  • Free for all Chicago teens under 18

Brookfield Zoo

  • City: Brookfield
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Always free for Military Personnel

Chicago Children's Museum

  • Neighborhood: Streeterville
  • 1st Sunday of every month free admission for children 15 and under
  • Free Thursdays 5pm to 8pm for everyone

Chicago History Museum

  • Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
  • Every Tuesday 12:30pm to 7:30pm
  • Also free on Commemorative Days: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, March 4, and July 4
  • Free days for Illinois residents only

 

    DuSable Museum of African American History

    • Neighborhood: Hyde Park
    • Free on Tuesdays

    Field Museum of Natural History

    • Neighborhood: Grant Park / Museum Campus
    • January 3, 4, 15, 27, 28
    • February 1-28

    • June 20, 23, 22

    • Free days for Illinois residents only

    International Museum of Surgical Science

    • Neighborhood: Gold Coast
    • Free on Tuesdays

    Loyola University Museum of Art

    • Neighborhood: Magnificent Mile / Streeterville
    • Free on Tuesdays

    Mitchell Museum of the American Indian

    • Neighborhood: North Suburbs (Evanston)
    • Free 1st Friday of every month

    Museum of Contemporary Art

    • Neighborhood: Magnificent Mile / Streeterville
    • Free on Tuesdays for Illinois residents, open until 8pm

    Museum of Science & Industry

    • Neighborhood: Hyde Park
    • January 8–11, 15–18, 22–25, 29–31
    • February 1, 5–8, 12–15, 20–22, 26–27
    • March 14
    • June 4–7, 11–12
    • September 4–6, 10–13, 17–20, 24–27
    • November 12
    • Free admission is for Illinois residents only

    Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum:

    • Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
    • Free on Thursdays (donations suggested)

     

      Shedd Aquarium

      • Neighborhood: Grant Park / Museum Campus
      • January 15, 18, 19, 22-26
      • February 2, 14
      • June 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19
      • September 4-30
      • October 3, 10
      • Free days are for Illinois residents only

      Swedish American Museum

      • Neighborhood: Andersonville
      • Free on second Tuesday of every month

      Free Museums in Chicago

      These Chicago museums are free all the time.

      The Arts Club of Chicago

      • Neighborhood: Magnificent Mile / Streeterville
      • Always free

      City Gallery

      • Neighborhood: Magnificent Mile/Streeterville
      • Always free

      Jane Addams Hull House Museum

      • Neighborhood: University Village
      • Always Free, $5 suggested donation

      Lincoln Park Zoo

      • Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
      • Always Free

      Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art

      • Neighborhood: North Suburbs (Evanston)
      • Always Free

      Museum of Contemporary Photography

      • Neighborhood: South Loop
      • Always Free

      National Museum of Mexican Art

      • Neighborhood: Pilsen
      • Always free (donations accepted)

      The Oriental Institute

      • Neighborhood: Hyde Park
      • Always free (donations accepted)

      The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago

      • Neighborhood: Hyde Park
      • Always free

      Smart Museum Of Art

      • Neighborhood: Hyde Park
      • Always Free

      Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art

      • Neighborhood: Ukrainian Village
      • Always Free; $5 suggested donation

      These aren't the only free things to do in Chicago! Find more in our ultimate guide.

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