The Morton Arboretum Events
Chicago’s museums are world-class, but all those bones, weather simulators and rides in Chicago’s first El train car don’t come cheap. Throw in parking, special exhibits, and the gift shop, and it adds up fast. But in the philanthropic spirit of our fine city, most museums offer free admission for Illinois residents on certain days. Here’s a complete calendar for the coming month. You’re on your own in the gift shop.
Free days can change at the last minute, so ALWAYS call first to confirm before heading out to the museums. And please note that these are for Illinois residents only in most cases.
Check out our complete guide to Chicagoland’s museums: Reviews, coming exhibits and tailored tours for little feet
Bank of America Free Days
Have a Bank of America card? Then on the first full weekend of each month present your card and get a free admission to The Art Institute of Chicago, the Adler Planetarium, the Chicago History Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Shedd Aquarium. One per cardholder, so it won’t be free for the entire family (unless each of your children have a B of A credit card), but a free adult admission is nothing to sneeze at.
Check out Bank of America website.
1300 S. Lake Shore Drive Chicago (312) 922-STAR (7827)
See all exhibits and special events at the Adler Planetarium
Art Institute of Chicago
Free for all Illinois residents from 5-8 p.m. Thursdays. Kids 13 and under are always free.
159 E. Monroe Chicago (312) 443-3600 See all exhibits and special events at the Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago Children’s Museum
Free 5-8 p.m. every Thursday and the first Sunday of every month for kids 15 and under. Always free to children under 1.
700 E. Grand Ave. at Navy Pier Chicago (312) 527-1000
See all exhibits and special events at the Chicago Children’s Museum
Chicago History Museum
Free for 2014:
August 10, 19-21, 26-28
September: Every Tuesday-Thursday of the month
October 1-2, 7-9
1601 North Clark St. Chicago (312) 642-4600 See all exhibits and special events at the Chicago History Museum
Field offers free days throughout the year. Check fieldmuseum.org for dates.
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive Chicago (312) 922-9410 See all exhibits and special events at the Field Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art
Always free Tuesdays 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; children 12 and under are free every day. The second Saturday of the month, families with kids 12 and under get free admission for the monthly Family Day events.
220 E. Chicago Ave. Chicago (312) 280-2660 See all exhibits and special events at the Museum of Contemporary Art
Museum of Science and Industry
General Admission is FREE for Illinois residents weekdays in January, starting Jan. 6, 2014. The Museum is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. these days.
|January||6-10, 13-17, 20-24, 27-31|
|February||4, 11, 18, 25. Free all month for kids 3-11, up to four kids with 1 paying adult.|
|September||8-12, 15-19, 22-26, 29|
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive Chicago (773) 684-1414 See all exhibits and special events at the Museum of Science and Industry
John G. Shedd Aquarium
Bank of America Weekend:
On the first full weekend of the month, present your Bank of America/Merrill Lynch ATM, credit or debit card, along with photo ID, and receive one free mini-pass admission, valid for the cardholder only. This offer is not valid during special events or for admission to the 4-D theater. Upgrade your ticket to include the Abbott Oceanrium for an additional $6.95.
1200 S. Lake Shore Drive Chicago (312) 939-2438 See all exhibits and special events at the John G. Shedd Aquarium
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Thursdays are free for Illinois residents. Children under 3 are free every day.
2430 N. Cannon Drive Chicago (773) 755-5100 See all exhibits and special events at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
DuSable Museum of African American History
The museum is free on Sundays and offers discounts to Chicago residents all other days. Admission and pricing
740 E. 56th Place Chicago (773) 947-0600 See all exhibits and special events at the DuSable Museum of African American History
Free: Wednesday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. free tours of the farmhouse and grounds are offered.
16W680 Old Grand Ave. Bensenville (630) 766-7015 See all exhibits and special events at the Fischer Farm
Elmhurst Historical Museum Free Days
Free admission: Always free.
120 E. Park Ave. Elmhurst (630) 833-1457 See all exhibits and special events at the Elmhurst Historical Museum
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink
November 15, 2013 – March 9, 2014
Located in Chicago’s Millennium Park, on Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison Streets, the rink is free and open to the public. Skate rental is available for $10.