Many Chicago area museums offer FREE days for families! Please note that special exhibits and features may not be included in the free general admission. See individual museum web sites for details. And check back as more free days are added for this year.
Always call ahead to doublecheck! The following information may change without notice.
Illinois residents can enjoy complimentary general admission on Illinois Resident Discount Days. A valid ID with an Illinois address is required for these special admission prices.
February: 2, 5-9, 19-22
October: 8, 21, 24, 25
November: 11, 12, 14, 15
December: 1, 3-7, 10
Admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is free to Illinois residents every Thursday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Thursdays.
General Zoo Admission is free on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays through Feb. 28, 2018.
Chicago Botanic Garden
Always free. Parking for non-members $30.
Chicago Children's Museum
Free for everyone from 5-8 p.m. every Thursday, and the first Sunday of every month for kids 15 and under. Always free to children under 1.
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago History Museum
The Museum is free to Illinois residents every Tuesday from 12:30 to 7:30 p.m. and on Commemorative Days: and on Commemorative Days: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, March 4, and July 4. *Excludes January 2, January 9, December 18th & December 25th. The museum is always free for children ages 12 and younger.
DuSable Museum of African American History
Admission is free to all every Tuesday.
Illinois residents with proof of residence may enjoy free general admission on the following days:
January 16, 28, 29, 30
February 1 - 28
John G. Shedd
Illinois Resident Discount/Free General Admission Days, with Valid ID:
January 15, 18, 19, 22-26
February 2, 14
June 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19
October 3, 10
Museum of Contemporary Art
Admission is FREE for Illinois residents on Tuesdays year round. Kids 18 and under are always free Also free the second Saturday of the month through May for Family Day, for families with kids 12 and under. Family Days are 11 am–3 pm: Jan 13, Feb 10, Mar 10, Apr 14, and May 12.
Museum of Science and Industry
Illinois residents can enjoy free general admission on the following days:
January: 8–11, 15–18, 22–25, 29–31
February: 1, 5–8, 12–15, 20–22, 26–27
June: 4–7, 11–12
September: 4–6, 10–13, 17–20, 24–27
National Museum of Mexican Art
Free Admission Every Day. Open Tuesdays to Sundays.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Thursdays are suggested donation days for Illinois Residents.
Smart Museum of
Swedish American Museum Center
Admission is free for everyone on the second Tuesday of the month.