Musings of a Museum Fanatic: Chicago Museum Free Days 2018

1.05.2018

Chicago Museum Free Days 2018

Chicago Museum Free Days 2018 by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

With the new year brings another year of museum visits! While I'm a big fan of visiting museums I'm a bigger fan of taking advantage of deals. The biggest deal you can get is free am I right? So I've compiled all the free days and museums that have free daily admission in the Chicagoland area. Happy Museuming!

The Big 6 Chicago Museums
Adler Planetarium
1300 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago IL 60605
312-922-7827
These are Illinois resident discount days
  • January 3, 4, 7-12, 15-19
  • February 2, 5-9, 19-22
  • June 21
  • August 27-31
  • September 9-16
  • October 8, 21, 24, 25
  • November 11, 12, 14, 15
  • December 1, 3-7, 10


Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603
312-443-3600
  • Free admission every Thursday 5-8PM



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 for $11 or upgrade to an All-Access Pass for $18.
  • January 3, 4, 15, 27, 28 
  • February 1-28 
  • June 20-22


Museum of Science and Industry 
5700 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60637
773-684-1414
These are Illinois resident discount days
  • January 8–11, 15–18, 22–25, 29–31 
  • February 1, 5–8, 12–15, 20–22, 26–27 
  • March 14 June 4–7, 11–12 
  • September 4–6, 10–13, 17–20, 24–27 
  • November 12


Shedd Aquarium
1200 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605
312-939-2438
  • January 15, 18, 19, 22-26
  • February 2, 14
  • June 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19
  • September 4-30
  • October 3, 10


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


    40 Arts Cir Dr, Evanston, IL 60208
    847-491-4000
    • Free daily admission


    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 for Illinois residents


    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


    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 and
    First Division Museum (at Cantigny)
    1S151 South Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL 60189
    630-668-5161

    • Free daily admission to museums, $5 parking fee per car


    Chicago History Museum
    1601 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614
    312-642-4600
    Illinois resident discount days

    • Every Tuesday* from 12:30 to 7:30 p.m. and on Commemorative Days: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, March 4, and July 4. *Excluding December 19 and 26


    Clarke House Museum
    1827 South Indiana Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616
    312-326-1480

    • Free admission 


    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 6-7
    • February 3-4
    • March 3-4
    • April 7-8
    • May 5-6
    • June 2-3
    • July 7-8
    • August 4-5
    • September 1-2 
    • October 6-7
    • November 3-4
    • December 1-2


    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
    230 S LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60604
    312-322-2400
      • 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)


      2531 Sheridan Road Great Lakes, IL 60088 
      847-688-3154
      • Free daily admission 


      Pritzker Military Museum and Library
      104 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603
      312-374-9333
      • May 9, 27, 29 
      • June 14 
      • August 4 
      • September 11, 18 
      • October 13 
      • November 10, 11 
      • December 7, 13 



      Local Historical Societies & Museums
      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 on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


      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


      Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum

      5700 College Road Lisle, IL 60532 
      630-829-6569


      • Free daily admission


      Lincoln Park Zoo
      2001 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614
      312-742-2000

      • Free daily admission


      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***

      Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!

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