Free Museum Days in Chicago

Chicago is over-brimming with world-class museums, and most of the museums in Chicago offer recurring free days! Take a moment to learn about all the free days at Chicago museums, so you can know how to live it up with your friends and family while going light on your budget. And once you’re done reading about Chicago museum free days, if you’re interested in exploring Skydeck Chicago, contact our team to learn about our interactive Chicago museum and 360-degree view of Chicago and four states from the top Willis Tower!

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Field Museum Chicago Free Days 

When are the Field Museum Chicago free days? Every Wednesday throughout January, this iconic natural history museum offers free admission to Illinois residents, and if you’re an Illinois teacher or active duty military, you get free admission year round. No, you can’t reserve entry in advance, so you’ll want to go at a time when you can avoid the lines. Also, if you want access to special exhibitions, you’ll need to pay for entry. 

Adler Planetarium Chicago Free Days 

Every Illinois resident gains free admission to the Adler Planetarium on Wednesdays from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM, so long as you have proof of residency. However, to enjoy the planetarium sky shows, you’ll need to pay for and reserve tickets in advance.

Museum of Science and Industry Chicago Free Days 

Located in Hyde Park, the Museum of Science and Industry is one of the Windy City’s top attractions, with evocative exhibits that explore the history of technological innovation. Year-round free admission is available to Chicago firefighters, Chicago police, Illinois teachers, Illinois POWs, active-duty military personnel, and veterans. As for the rest of us, this Chicago museum’s free days run throughout the year. Free days at this Chicago museum include: 

  • January: 9–11, 16–18, 23–25, 30–31
  • February: 1–2, 6–9, 13–14, 16, 21 
  • March: 1, 6, 14 
  • April: 18, 22
  • May: 4, 9, 17–18 
  • June: 1, 6–7, 19
  • August: 28–29
  • September: 5–6, 10–12, 15, 17–20, 26
  • October: 4–5, 9
  • November: 1, 8

Art Institute of Chicago Free Days 

With over 300,000 works, the Art Institute of Chicago is the 11th largest art museum in the world, and it rightfully draws over 1,000,000 visitors each year. Free museum days in Chicago are plentiful when it comes to the Art Institute, which is always free for kids and teens under 18, active-duty military, and Illinois teachers, as well as Link and WIC cardholders. Fully free days, however, include Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays from Nov. 27th through December 22nd, from January 8th through March 22nd. Free entry gains you free access to: 

  • All the main collections 
  • Bluhm Family Terrace
  • Nichols Bridgeway 
  • Ryan Learning Center
  • North and South Gardens

Plan Your Visit to Skydeck Chicago

Now that you’ve read about best free museum days in Chicago, if you have further questions about free days at Chicago museums, don’t hesitate to reach out. And if you want to make your day out on the town truly perfect, take a moment to learn all about “The Ledge,” where you and your family can enjoy a 360-degree view of the Chicago metropolitan area, Lake Michigan, and visibility into 4 different states!