With snow and cold temperatures lots of Chicago families are getting tired of being stuck inside, but it can be difficult to find affordable things to do. Museums, zoos, and indoor gardens in and around Chicago offer free and discounted admission days during the winter.
Also see my post on Mommy Nearest – Five Free Museum Experiences You Must Check Out.
Most free days only apply to Illinois residents with valid identification and only apply to general admission, not special exhibits or events.
Adler Planetarium – February 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25
Art Institute of Chicago – Every Thursday evening from 5:00 pm-8:00 pm
Brookfield Zoo – Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays through February 27.
Cantigny Park – Free admission daily; $5 parking ($2 parking after 4:00 pm)
Chicago Botanic Garden – Free admission daily; $25 parking
Chicago Children’s Museum – Every Thursday evening from 5:00 pm-8:00 pm
Chicago History Museum – Sundays through Fridays in February; March 4.
Cosley Zoo – Free daily for all Wheaton Park District residents.
DuSable Museum of African American History – Every Sunday.
Field Museum – February 12, 13, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 27
Garfield Park Conservatory – Free daily
Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden (Rockford) – First Tuesday of each month
Lincoln Park Zoo – Free daily.
Museum of Contemporary Art – Tuesdays.
Museum of Science & Industry – February 18, 25; March 4, 5, 10.
National Museum of Mexican Art – Free admission daily.
Oak Park Conservatory – Free admission daily.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum – Thursdays.
Shedd Aquarium – February 16, 17, 18, 24, 25
Swedish American Museum – Second Tuesday of every month.
Chicago Public Library branches have passes to several different museums through the Kids Museum Passports that Chicago residents can check out for free. Residents of many suburbs can get free admission with the Museum Adventure Pass at their local library.
Morton Arboretum – Discounted admission on Wednesdays.
Do you have a favorite affordable place to visit in the cold weather?