Chicago Free Museum Days In 2019

In Chicago, you really have no excuse for not embracing everything the city has to offer. 

No budget? No fear. Free museum days are here. Mark these days on your calendar for your chance to enjoy Chicago's museums and galleries care and cost-free. 

Adler Planetarium 

1300 S. Lake Shore Dr. - South Loop/Museum Campus

General admission is free to Illinois residents on the following dates in 2019:

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

Art Institute Of Chicago

111 S. Michigan Ave. - Loop

Chicago residents under the age of 18 can get into this museum for free any time. Children age 14 years and younger are always free.

Illinois residents of any age can also enjoy free admission year-round on Thursdays from 5-8 p.m.


Brookfield Zoo

8400 W. 31st St. - Brookfield, IL

Free admission offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from January 1 through February 28.


Chicago Botanic Garden

1000 Lake Cook Rd. - Glencoe, IL

Admission is always free! Check the garden's website for seasonal hours.


Chicago Children's Museum

700 E. Grand Ave. - Downtown/Navy Pier 

Admission is free for kids 15 and under all day on the first Sunday of every month.

Chicago History Museum

1601 N. Clark St. - Lincoln Park

Children under 12 years old and Illinois residents under 18 years old are always free. Illinois residents of all ages are offered free admission every Tuesday excluding January 1, January 8, December 24 and December 31. 

DePaul Art Museum

935 W. Fullerton Ave. - Lincoln Park

Admission is always free at the university's on-campus art museum!

DuSable Museum of African American History

740 E. 56th Pl. - Washington Park

Free admission every Tuesday, all year long. Children under 5 always get in free.


The Field Museum

1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. - South Loop/Museum Campus

Free days in 2019 are January 21, April 5 -7, May 2 and June 26 -28. The museum is also admission free for the entire month of February. 

International Museum of Surgical Science

1524 N. Lake Shore Dr. - Lincoln Park

Admission is waived on Tuesdays for Illinois residents, with proof of residency. However, donations are still accepted.

Leather Archives & Museum

6418 N. Greenview Ave. - Rogers Park

Admission is free every Thursday for those who are 18+. 

Lincoln Park Zoo

2001 N. Clark St. - Lincoln Park

Offers free admission 365 days a year. 

Loyola University Museum of Art

820 Michigan Ave. - Streeterville

Free to the public every Tuesday. 

Museum of Contemporary Art

220 E. Chicago Ave. - Streeterville

Illinois residents can skip the admission fees every Tuesday, year round.

Museum of Contemporary Photography

600 S. Michigan Ave. - Loop 

Free daily, but is closed when Columbia College is closed. 


Museum of Science and Industry

5700 S. Lake Shore Dr. - Hyde Park

MSI's 2019 free days (for Illinois residents) are as follows:

January 7-10, 14-17, 21-24 and 28-31

February 4–7, 11–14, 19–21, 25–28

National Museum of Mexican Art

1852 W. 19th St. - Pilsen

Free admission daily, all year long. 

National Veterans Art Museum

4041 N. Milwaukee Ave. - Portage Park

Free daily. 

The Oriental Institute Museum

1155 E. 58th St. - Hyde Park

Admission is free but there is a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

2430 N. Cannon Dr. - Lincoln Park

Thursdays are free for Illinois residents but they are encouraged to make a donation upon entry.


Shedd Aquarium

1200 S. Lake Shore Dr. - South Loop/Museum Campus

Free admission for Illinois residents offered on the following days:

January 17-21

February 1, 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-28

Swedish American Museum

5211 N. Clark St. - Andersonville

Free admission offered on the second Tuesday of every month.

National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture

3015 W. Division St. - Humboldt Park 

Admission and parking are free year-round at this Humbolt Park cultural hub. 

Photo via Facebook/Chicago Cultural Center

Chicago Cultural Center

78 E. Washington St. - Loop

Admission is always free here. Plus, you can enjoy free building tours

Photo via Facebook/American Toby Jug Museum

American Toby Jug Museum 

910 Chicago Ave. - Evanston

Admission is free at this quirky museum! Free lectures from museum founder Steve Mullins and other experts are also offered. Call for more information.