Spring is a great time to visit the museum, the city is blooming in beauty as the flowers and trees start to blossom. Take advantage of FREE admission and spend a day in the city.
As always, days can change and residency restrictions may apply. Be sure to check the museum’s pages before heading out. Also remember the other low-cost alternatives to visiting some of our areas great museums, the Museum Adventure Pass, available free at your local library!
Chicago Museum FREE Days
1300 S. Lake Shore Drive., Chicago | (312) 922-STAR (7827)
Free general admission:
April 2-4, 9-11
June 3-5, 10-13
Illinois teachers (pre-K through 12) and active military personnel receive free general admission which can be applied to any admission pass. Please show proper identification at the box office to take advantage of this benefit.
Should you go? Read: Exploring Space with Kids
Don’t Miss: Earth Fest on April 13 a celebration of all things Earth! During the fourth annual Earthfest, you will explore the time scales between weather and climate and examine the science behind climate change. Participate in citizen science projects, view art pieces that spark discussion, and meet with climate change experts.
Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago | (312) 857-7161
Free admission Thursday Evenings, 5:00-8:00 p.m. Admission is always free for kids younger than 13. Ryan Education Center (enter through the Modern Wing entrance at 159 East Monroe Street) admission is always free!
Should you go? Read: Taking Kids to the Art Institute
Don’t Miss: The Artist’s Studio. Studio art making, visits by a guest artist, or a gallery activity station? Where will the Artist’s Studio pop up next? Visit the Family Room on the day of your visit to discover what’s planned.
Chicago Children’s Museum
700 E Grand Ave., Chicago, | (312) 527-1000
FREE for all visitors every Thursday, 5:00-8:00 p.m. FREE on the first Sunday of each month for children 15 and younger. Always free to children younger than one.
The Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago | (312) 922-9410
Free general admission:
June: 26 -28
Illinois residents can enjoy FREE Basic admission on Field Museum Discount Days. On these Discount Days, Illinois residents may upgrade to a Discovery Pass for $11 or upgrade to an All-Access Pass for $18.Illinois teachers (pre-K through 12) and active military personnel receive free basic admission.
Don’t Miss: Evolving Planet – Sue’s new home at the Field.
Don’t miss the Elizabeth Morse Genius Hall of Dinosaurs to get up close and personal with more than a dozen of the biggest creatures in our history. Then, experience the world of SUE the T. rex, our famous fossil with a big personality.
1899 West Winchester Road, Libertyville | 847-968-3400
Discount Tuesdays: Adults $3 and children (ages 4-17, up to five per adult) FREE. First and Third Thursday of the month the museum is open late and features special events and free admission. Learn more about Free Thursday Nights at the Dunn Museum.
Don’t Miss: Marvelocity: The Art of Alex Ross. Explore the Marvel Universe that Ross has helped bring to life in the first exhibition of his original artwork in the Chicago area.
Museum of Contemporary Art
220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago | (312) 280-2660
Free Admission: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., Tuesdays. Always free for kids 12 and younger.
Don’t Miss: Family Days—Inspired by different pieces in the museum’s collection, family days run from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and include hands-on activities for families to experience art. Family days are the second Saturday of the month from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. October through May. Admission is free to families with children ages 12 and younger.
Museum of Science and Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago | (773) 684-1414
Free General Admission:
Homeschoolers get free admission anytime.
Don’t Miss: Wired to Wear: You’ll be among the first to experience this merging of technology and the human body. Things that make us healthier, stronger and safer. You can also see the Project Unicorn glitter shooting prosthetic arm created by 10-year-old Jordan Reeves! (requires an additional entry ticket)
Notebart Nature Museum
2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago | (773) 755-5100
Free Admission Thursdays. Children younger than 3 are always free.
Should you go? Melissa’s review of Notebart Nature Museum
Round Lake Children’s Neighborhood Museum
814 Hart Rd., Round Lake | (847) 546-8558
Free Admission Wednesdays 5-6:30 p.m.
Read about the remodel of the museum.
Wildlife Discovery Center
1401 Middlefork Drive (Elawa Farm), Lake Forest
Free Admission during normal visiting hours Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (closed on major holidays) Read why it’s a Little Lake County favorite.
Which museum will you be visiting this winter?
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