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 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
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.
8400 W. 31st St. - Brookfield, IL
Free admission offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from January 1 through February 28.
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. (excluding January 1, January 8, 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
Free days in 2019 are
- January 21
- April 5 -7
- May 2
- June 26 -28
- August 14, 21, 28
- September 4, 11, 18, 25
- October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
- November 6, 13
The museum is also admission free for the entire month of February.
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 late, until 8 p.m., the first
Friday of every month. Active military and children under 13 are always
1524 N. Lake Shore Dr. - Lincoln Park
Admission is waived on Tuesdays for Illinois residents, with proof of residency. However, donations are still accepted.
6418 N. Greenview Ave. - Rogers Park
Admission is free every Thursday for those who are 18+.
2001 N. Clark St. - Lincoln Park
Offers free admission 365 days a year.
820 Michigan Ave. - Streeterville
Free to the public every Tuesday.
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
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
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:
February 1, 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-28
June 17, 18, 24 and 25
September 3, 4, 9-11, 16-18, 23-25, 30
October 1, 2
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.
9603 Woods Dr. - Skokie, IL
For the remainder of 2019, The Illinois Holocaust Museum will give visitors free entry on the 10th of every month in celebration of the Museum's 10th anniversary!
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 2019 are as follow:
- April 6 – Centennial of WWI
- May 9 – Birthday of the Illinois National Guard
- May 25 – Saturday before Memorial Day (in conjunction with Chicago’s observance of Memorial day)
- May 27 - 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!