Musings of a Museum Fanatic: Chicago Museum Free Days 2017

1.11.2017

Chicago Museum Free Days 2017

Another year has begun, which means it's now time for another round of museum free days!! I live for free days at museums. It's like Christmas all year round. I highly recommend if you're visiting the area or live in Chicago full time take some time this year and head to a new cultural institution. You never know you might find your new favorite!

There are also usually discounts for certain groups, such as military personnel and teachers. Be sure to check websites or call and check to see if you can get that discount before you go. If you're from the Chicago area I would also highly recommend you become a member of your favorite museums you visit often. This not only gets you into the museum for a discounted rate and in most cases special member perks but it supports the museum and the work that they do. There really is no better deal that becoming a member.



The Big 6 Chicago Museums
Adler Planetarium
1300 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago IL 60605
312-922-7827
These are free days
  • January 6–13, 16-20
  • February 6–10, 20–24
  • June 5–9

Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603
312-443-3600
  • Free admission every Thursday 5-8PM for Illinois residents
  • Free admission for Illinois residents every weekday January 9–February 16, 2017

700 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
312-527-1000
  • Target Free Family Night - Free admission every Thursday 5PM-8PM
  • First Free Sunday - Free admission for visitors 15 and under on the first Sunday of each month

Field Museum of Natural History
1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605
312-922-9410
Illinois residents can enjoy free Basic admission on Field Museum Discount Days. On these Discount Days, Illinois residents may upgrade to a Discovery Pass or upgrade to an All-Access Pass.
  • January 4, 5, 16, 28, 29, 30 
  • February 1 - 28

Museum of Science and Industry 
5700 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60637
773-684-1414
These are Illinois resident discount days
  • January 10-12, 16-19, 24-26, 31 
  • February 1-2, 7-9, 14-16, 21-23, 28 
  • June 5-9, 12 
  • September 5-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-29 
  • October 2-5

Shedd Aquarium
1200 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605
312-939-2438
During Discount Days, Illinois residents can upgrade to a Total Experience Pass for just $15.
  • January 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 
  • February 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 21, 27, 28 
  • June 5, 6, 12, 13 
  • August 28, 29 
  • September 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26 
  • October 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31 
  • November 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21



    Art
    Elmhurst Art Museum
    150 Cottage Hill Ave. Elmhurst, Illinois 60126
    630-834-0202
    • Free admission first Friday

    Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
    220 South Cottage Hill Avenue, Elmhurst, IL 60126
    630-833-1616
    • Free admission every Friday

    Loyola University Museum of Art
    820 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
    312-915-7600
    • Free admission every Tuesday

    Museum of Contemporary Art
    220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
    312-280-2660
    • Free admission every Tuesday

    National Veterans Art Museum
    4041 N. Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, IL 60641
    312-326-0270
    • Free daily admission

    Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago
    5550 S. Greenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637
    773-702-0200
    • Free daily admission


    Ethnic Museums
    DuSable Museum of African American History
    740 East 56th Place, Chicago, IL 60637
    773-947-0600
    • Free admission every Tuesday

    Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
    3001 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
    847-475-1030
    • Free admission every first Friday

    National Museum of Mexican Art
    1852 West 19th Street, Chicago, IL 60608
    312-738-1503
    • Free daily admission

    Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago
    1155 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637
    773-702-9514
    • Free daily admission

    Swedish American Museum
    5211 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60601
    773-728-8111
    • Free admission every second Tuesday of the month

    History Museums
    Robert McCormick Museum 
    1S151 South Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL 60189
    630-668-5161
    • Free daily admission, $5 parking fee per car

    Chicago History Museum
    1601 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614
    312-642-4600
    Illinois resident discount days
    • Free admission every Tuesday

    Clarke House Museum
    1827 South Indiana Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616
    312-326-1480
    • Free admission on open days

    102 E. Wesley Street Wheaton, Illinois 60187
    630-510-4941
    • Free daily admission

    120 E. Park Ave.  Elmhurst, IL 60126
    630-833-1457
    • Free daily admission

    Glessner House Museum
    1800 South Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616
    312-326-1480
    • Free on Wednesdays

    Illinois Holocaust Museum
    9603 Woods Drive, Skokie, IL 60077
    847-967-4800
    Free days for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch ATM, credit or debit cardholders ONLY.
    • January 7-8
    • February. 4-5
    • March 4-5
    • April 1-2
    • May 6-7
    • June 3-4
    • July 1-2
    • August 5-6
    • September 2-3
    • October 7-8
    • November 4-5
    • December 2-3

    Jane Addams Hull House at UIC
    800 S. Halsted Chicago, IL 60607-7017
    312-413-5353
    • Suggested donation of $5

    International Museum of Surgical Science
    1524 N. Lake Shore Dr. Chicago, IL 60610
    312-642-6502
    • Free on Tuesdays

    McDonalds #1 Store Museum
    400 N. Lee Street Des Plaines, IL 60016
    847-297-5022
    • Free daily admission

    Naper Settlement
    523 S. Webster St. Naperville, IL 60540
    630-420-6010
    • Free general admission for Naperville residents. Discounted rate during the winter season (November-March)

    Local Historical Societies
    These local historical institutions usually have free admission, suggested donation or an extremely low fee which will usually include a tour. Since a majority these institutions are run by volunteers be sure to check what their hours are since sometimes they will only be open certain days of the week to the public.



    Nature Museums, Farms & Zoos
    Brookfield Zoo
    8400 West 31st Street, Brookfield, IL 60513
    708-688-8000
    • General admission is free from January to February Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays 

    Chicago Botanic Garden
    1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022
    847-835-5440
    • Free daily admission, parking fees apply

    Cantigny
    1S151 South Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL 60189
    630-668-5161
    • Free daily admission, $5 parking

    Garfield Park Conservatory
    300 North Central Park Avenue, Chicago, IL 60624
    312-746-5100
    • Free daily admission, street parking available

    Lincoln Park Zoo
    2001 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614
    312-742-2000
    • Free daily admission, parking fees apply

    Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
    2430 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614
    773-755-5100
    • Thursdays are suggested donation days for Illinois residents

    The Grove
    1421 Milwaukee Avenue, Glenview, IL
    847-299-6096
    • Free daily admission

    Wagner Farm
    1510 Wagner Road, Glenview, IL 60026
    847-657-1506
    • Free daily admission

    ***While this list is pretty comprehensive there are a number of museum's that don't advertise free/discounted days but you should definitely be sure to check them out as well because there are some amazing museums in the Chicago area***





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