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.
Photo via Facebook/Adler Planetarium
1300 S. Lake Shore Dr. - South Loop/Museum Campus
General admission is free to Illinois residents on the following dates in 2020:
January 7-9, 20-22
February 4-6, 11-13, 17-20
June 2, 9, 16
August 22-23, 31
November 11, 17-19
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 Wednesdays from 5-8 p.m.
1000 Lake Cook Rd. - Glencoe, IL
Admission is always free! Check the garden's website for seasonal hours.
700 E. Grand Ave. - Downtown/Navy Pier
Admission is free for kids 15 and under all day on the first Sunday of every month.
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 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Commemorative Days: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, March 4 and July 4. (Excludes December 17, December 24 and December 31.)
935 W. Fullerton Ave. - Lincoln Park
Admission is always free at the university's on-campus art museum!
740 E. 56th Pl. - Washington Park
Free admission every Tuesday, all year long. Children under 5 always get in free.
1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. - South Loop/Museum Campus
Illinois residents can spend a day at The Field Museum with complimentary admission on the following free days in 2020:
January 8, 15, 20, 22, 29
Photo: Facebook/Heritage Museum of Asian Art
Heritage Museum of Asian Art
218 W. 26th St. - Chinatown
Heritage Museum of Asian Art is free and open to the public. Donate to the museum to help keep its admission free to everyone!
1524 N. Lake Shore Dr. - Lincoln Park
Admission is waived at the IMSS on the following days this year:
January 13-17, 20-24
February 3-7, 10-13, 17-21
December 1-4, 7-11, 14-18
6418 N. Greenview Ave. - Rogers Park
Admission is free every Thursday for those who are 18+.
Photo via Facebook/Lincoln Park Zoo
2001 N. Clark St. - Lincoln Park
Offers free admission 365 days a year.
820 Michigan Ave. - Streeterville
Free to the public every Tuesday.
Photo via Facebook/Museum Of Contemporary Art
220 E. Chicago Ave. - Streeterville
Illinois residents can skip the admission fees every Tuesday, year-round.
600 S. Michigan Ave. - Loop
Free daily, but is closed when Columbia College is closed.
5700 S. Lake Shore Dr. - Hyde Park
Illinois residents will receive free admission to the museum on the following days in 2020:
January 6-9, 13-16, 20-23, 27-30
February 3-6, 10-13, 18-20, 24-27
1852 W. 19th St. - Pilsen
Free admission daily, all year long.
4041 N. Milwaukee Ave. - Portage Park
1155 E. 58th St. - Hyde Park
Admission is free but there is a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 for children.
2430 N. Cannon Dr. - Lincoln Park
Thursdays are free for Illinois residents but they are encouraged to make a donation upon entry.
1200 S. Lake Shore Dr. - South Loop/Museum Campus
Free admission for Illinois residents offered on the following days:
January 16-20, 2020
February 3-7, 10-14, 17-21, 24-28, 2020
June 15, 16, 22, 23, 2020
August 24, 25, 2020
September 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30, 2020
October 5, 6, 7, 2020
5211 N. Clark St. - Andersonville
Free admission offered on the second Tuesday of every month.
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
78 E. Washington St. - Loop
Admission is always free here. Plus, you can enjoy free building tours!
Photo via Facebook/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.
1827 S. Indiana Ave. - South Loop
Admission is always free at this museum which gives a glimpse into pre-Civil War life in Chicago.
Photo via Facebook/Glessner House Museum
1800 S. Prairie Ave. - South Loop
Admission is free to all on Wednesdays at this architectural and historic local highlight. There is never a charge for children under 5 years old.
40 Arts Circle Dr. - Evanston
Northwestern University's art museum offers free admission and parking daily.
Photo via Facebook/Design Museum of Chicago
108 N. State St. - The Loop
This museum and gallery inside Block 37 is always free and open to the public.
104 S. Michigan Ave. - The Loop
Museum admission is always free for anyone with an active military ID, the Chicago police and fire departments and children under 18. General free admission days for 2020 are:
April 6 – Centennial of WWI
May 9 – Birthday of the Illinois National Guard
May 23 – Saturday before Memorial Day (in conjunction with Chicago’s observance of Memorial day)
May 25 - Memorial Day
June 14 – Birthday of the United States Army
July 4 — Independence Day
August 4 – Birthday of the United States Coast Guard
September 11- Anniversary of 9/11
September 18 – Birthday of the United States Air Force
October 13 – Birthday of the United States Navy
November 10 – Birthday of the United States Marine Corps
November 11 – Veteran’s Day
December 7 – Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor
December 13 – Birthday of the National Guard
Photo via Facebook/Busy Beaver Button Co.
3407 W. Armitage Ave. - Logan Square
Busy Beaver Button Company's adjacent museum is free and open to the public. They also accept button donations!