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.
January 21-22, 29-31
February 5-7, 12-14, 18-21, 26-28
April 2-4, 9-11
June 3-5, 10-13
September 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27
October 7-9, 14-16
November 8, 11
December 2-3, 7, 12-13
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, 2019.
Chicago Botanic Garden
Always free. Parking for non-members $30.
Chicago Children's Museum
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 2 pm – 9 pm. *Excludes December 18th & December 25th. The museum is always free for children ages 17 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:
February 1 - 28
September 18, 25
October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
November 6, 13
John G. Shedd
Illinois Resident Discount/Free General Admission Days, with Valid ID:
February 1, 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-28
September 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23-25, 30
October 1, 2
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.
Museum of Science and Industry
Illinois residents can enjoy free general admission on the following days:
January 7–10, 14–17, 21–24, 28–31
February 4–7, 11–14, 19–21, 25–28
September 3–5, 9–12, 16–19, and 23–26.
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 Art
Swedish American Museum Center
Admission is free for everyone on the second Tuesday of the month.