Chicago Museum Free Days

The easiest way to enjoy Chicago area museums on the cheap is to go during Chicago Museum Free Days.  Here’s a list of free museum days throughout the Windy City. Scroll to the bottom of this page for more information on Chicago museums and attractions.

SAVVY TIP: If you’re visiting Chicago and want to see several attractions, the Chicago passes and discount cards are worth a look – Chicago CityPASS, Go Select Chicago Card, and Go Chicago Card.

Chicago Museum Free Days

Always Free Admission

Chicago Cultural Center
Kenosha Public Museum
Museum of Contemporary Photography
National Museum of Mexican Art
Smart Museum of Art

Tuesday Free Admission

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago – State residents, every Tuesday
Swedish American Museum – 2nd Tuesday

Wednesday Free Admission

Clark House Museum – every Wednesday

Thursday Free Admission

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum – State Residents, every Thursday

Sunday Free Admission

DuSable Museum of African American History - every Sunday

Weekend Free Admission

Shedd Aquarium – BofA - first weekend of the month

City Resident Free Days

Field Museum – Nov. 28, 29, Dec 4, 5, 7
Shedd Aquarium – See museum website for updated list

State Resident Free Days

Adler Planetarium – See museum website for updated list
Art Institute of Chicago – Every weekdays in Jan – Feb. Check schedule.
Chicago History Museum – See museum website for updated list
Chicago Museum of Science and Industry – See museum website for updated list
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago – Tuesday
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum – Thursday
Shedd Aquarium – See museum website for updated list

CHICAGO AREA MUSEUMS AND ATTRACTIONS

  • Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum - 1300 So. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605. Admission is free with the popular attraction passes: Chicago CityPASS, the Go Select Chicago (choice of two or more attractions), and also the Go Chicago Card.
  • The Art Institute of Chicago -  111 South Michigan Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60603. SAVVY TIP: Families can visit the Art Institute for free with the Kraft Great Kids Passport from the Chicago Public Library. Admission is free with the popular attraction passes: Go Select Chicago (choice of two or more attractions), and also the Go Chicago Card.
  • Chicago Cultural Center - 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602.
  • Chicago History Museum - 1601 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614. At the south end of Lincoln Park, on the corner of Clark St and North Ave. SAVVY TIP: Public parking is located one block north of the Museum at Clark and LaSalle Streets, enter on Stockton Drive. $9 with Museum validation. Admission is free with the popular attraction passes: Go Select Chicago (choice of two or more attractions), and also the Go Chicago Card.
  • Chicago Museum of Science and Industry at 57th St and Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637 SAVVY TIP: Parking per vehicle: $18 – general public. Included free with the popular Chicago CityPASS.
  • Clarke House Museum - 1827 So. Indiana Ave, Chicago, IL 60616.
  • DuSable Museum of African American History - 740 East 56th Pl, Chicago, IL 60637. In Washington Park at the corner of 57th and Cottage Grove.
  • Field Museum - 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605. SAVVY TIP: Parking – Adler Lot has an Early Bird Rate (before 9:30am) of $11. Admission is free with the popular attraction passes: Chicago CityPASS, the Go Select Chicago (choice of two or more attractions), and also the Go Chicago Card.
  • Jane Addams Hull-House Museum - 800 S Halsted (M/C 051), Chicago, IL 60607. The University of Illinois at Chicago. SAVVY TIP: Free Admission, $5 donation is encouraged. Parking is available at Halsted and Taylor Street garage across the street for $3.50 for up to 30 min. to $12.25 for all day, depending upon day of the week, time of day, and length of stay.
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago - 220 East Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 . One block east of Michigan Ave. SAVVY TIP: There are free tours of the museum at 1pm, 2pm, and 6pm.  Museum parking is available in the garage is adjacent to the museum and may be entered from Chicago Ave. Hourly Parking Rates: 30 min-1 hr: $14, 1-2 hrs: $19, 2-3 hrs: $22, 3-8 hrs: $24, Early Morning Special: Enter between 6-9 am and exit before 6 pm: $14. Admission is free with the popular attraction passes: the Go Select Chicago (choice of two or more attractions), and also the Go Chicago Card.
  • Museum of Contemporary Photography - Columbia College, 600 S Michigan, Chicago, IL 60605.
  • National Museum of Mexican Art - 1852 West 19th St, Chicago, IL 60608.
  • Oriental Institute Museum – 1155 East 58th St, Chicago, IL 60637. SAVVY TIP: Admission is Free, suggested donation of $7 for adults, $4 for children.
  • Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum -  2430 No. Cannon Dr, Chicago, IL 60614. for Illinois residents SAVVY TIP: Free street parking is available on Cannon Dr. Please read signs for time-specific parking restrictions.
  • Shedd Aquarium - 1200 South Lake Shore Dr , Chicago, IL.  On Chicago’s Museum Campus. SAVVY TIP: BofA Museum Free Days first full wknd. Residents of the city of Chicago receive a $3 discount on admission every day, except Community Discount Days. Must present vaild ID. Educators from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin can visit Shedd free by registering for a pass online. Discount to active-duty military personnel and Chicago police officers and firefighters. With proper ID, you will receive discounted admission to the aquarium, Abbott Oceanarium and Wild Reef. Students and senior citizens receive a $3 discount on admission every day, except Community Discount Days. Families can visit for free with the Kraft Great Kids Passport from the Chicago Public Library. Admission is free with the popular attraction passes: Chicago CityPASS, the Go Select Chicago Card (choice of two or more attractions), and also the Go Chicago Card.
  • Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago - 5550 So. Greenwood Ave, Chicago, IL 60637.
  • Swedish American Museum - 5211 No. Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640. SAVVY TIP: Admission to the Brunk Children’s Museum of Immigration is included with Swedish American Museum admission. The Museum does not have a parking lot. Street parking is available on Clark Street using City Pay Boxes at $1.50/hour and free parking on neighboring streets, including Foster and Ashland.

Nearby Museums

  • Dinosaur Discovery Museum - 5608 Tenth Ave, Kenosha, WI 53140. SAVVY TIP: Free and metered on-street parking is available surrounding the Museum.
  • Kenosha Public Museum - 5500 First Ave, Kenosha, WI 53140. SAVVY TIP: Free and metered on-street parking is available surrounding the Museum.