Museum Campus

Taking in some culture doesn't have to be costly. Many of Chicago's museums host free admission days all year round, you just need to know when to go. Museum-goers from Illinois are especially in luck, with many places participating in Illinois Resident Discount days (just be sure to bring valid ID!). But even if you're visiting from out of state, there are plenty of opportunities to save some hard-earned cash - from choosing the right hours to mentioning your bank (Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders get free access on select days just by showing their bank card). 

All the dates listed below are subject to change, and new dates will be added over time, so be sure to check the museum's website before you head out. And if your vacation sadly doesn't land on one of the free days, it's still worth pulling out your ID and asking about discounts (several museums offer a few bucks off daily admission for Illinois residents, while others admit educators and active members of the military free of charge). When in doubt, it never hurts to ask!

Adler Planetarium

1300 S Lake Shore Dr
Free for Illinois residents on June 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12

Free admission for the first full weekend of the month for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch card holders.

Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago

111 S Michigan Ave
General admission is free for Illinois residents every Thursday from 5-8pm.

Chicago residents save $5 daily, and Illinois residents save $3 daily on general admission with valid ID.

Free for children under 14 daily.

Free admission for the first full weekend of the month for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch card holders.

Chicago Children's Museum

700 E Grand Ave
Free Thursday evenings from 5-8pm. The first Sunday of every month is free for children 15 and younger.

Free for children under 1 daily.

Chicago History Museum

Chicago History Museum1601 N Clark St
Free for Illinois residents on July 4; August 19-21, 25-28; and every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in September

Free for children 12 and younger daily.

Free admission for the first full weekend of the month for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch card holders.

Clarke House Museum

1827 S Indiana Ave
Free admission every Wednesday, year round.

DuSable Museum of African American History

740 E 56th Pl
Free every Sunday, year round. Free admission for all CPS students on school days. Free for children under 5 daily.

The Field Museum

Field Museum1400 S Lake Shore Dr
City of Chicago residents receive discounts (ranging from $2 - $4.50) on all admission packages.

Glessner House Museum

Free admission every Wednesday, year round.

Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo

2200 N Cannon Dr
Free admission daily.

Loyola University Museum of Art

(820 N Michigan Ave, 312-915-7600luc.edu/luma)
Free admission every Tuesday. Free for Loyola students with valid ID daily.

McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum

376 N Michigan Ave
Free on Sundays. Free for children five and under daily.

Museum of Contemporary Art

Museum of Contemporary Art220 E Chicago Ave
Free every Tuesday for Illinois residents year round. Free for military personnel and children 12 and under daily.

Free admission for the first full weekend of the month for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch card holders.

Museum of Science and Industry

5700 S Lake Shore Dr
Free for Illinois residents on June 1-6; September 8-12, 15-19, 22-26, 29; October 6, 7; November 3, 4; December 8, 9

National Museum of Mexican Art

 

National Museum of Mexican Art

1852 W 19th St
Free admission daily.

The Oriental Institute Museum

1155 E 58th St
Free admission daily with a suggested donation of $10 per adult and $5 per child.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

2430 N Cannon Dr
Thursdays are suggested donation days for Illinois residents. Free for children 3 and younger daily.

Shedd Aquarium

1200 S Lake Shore Dr
Free for Illinois residents on June 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17
Residents of the city of Chicago receive a $3 discount on admission every day, except Illinois Resident Discount Days.

Free admission for the first full weekend of the month for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch card holders.

Smart Museum of Art - The University of Chicago

5550 S Greenwood Ave
Free admission daily.