Free Chicago Museum Days – Spring 2018

Warmer weather is on its way and there are so many more opportunities to enjoy the sights of the Chicago area. Some attractions can be pricey, especially when you’re paying for a whole family, so free days can be a huge relief to your wallet. Below is a list of free Chicago admission days so you can save a little cash while enjoying some of the best attractions in the country.

Please keep in mind that most free admission days are offered only to Illinois residents and usually include general admission only, with certain exhibits and experiences available for a fee.

Adler Planetarium – June 21, 2018.

Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool – Free daily.

Art Institute of Chicago – Every Thursday evening from 5:00 pm-8:00 pm.

Brookfield Zoo – Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays through February 28, 2018.

Cantigny Park – Free admission; $5 parking. March through December parking is free the first Wednesday of each month.

Chicago Botanic Garden – Free admission daily; $25 parking for cars on weekdays, $30 for cars on weekends and for vans any day.

Chicago Children’s Museum – Every Thursday evening from 5:00 pm-8:00 pm. Free admission for children 15 and younger the first Sunday of each month.

Chicago History Museum – Every Tuesday from 12:30 to 9:00 p.m.. Also free 12:30 – 9:00 pm on July 4, 2018. Children ages 12 and younger are always free.

Cosley Zoo – Free daily for all Wheaton Park District residents and for children 17 and under.

DuSable Museum of African American History – Every Tuesday.

Field Museum – April 14 and June 20-22, 2018.

Garfield Park Conservatory – Free daily.

Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden (Rockford) – First Tuesday of each month (although donations are appreciated).

Lincoln Park Conservatory – Free daily.

Lincoln Park Zoo – Free daily.

Morton Arboretum – Discounted admission every Wednesday.

Museum of Contemporary Art– Tuesdays. Free admission for families with children 12 and younger on the second Saturday of the month from 11:00 am-3:00 pm through May. Family Days (April 14 & May 12) are free for families, as well as the 21Minus event on June 16.

Museum of Science & Industry – June 4-7, 11-12, 2018.

National Museum of Mexican Art – Free admission daily.

Oak Park Conservatory – Free admission daily; donations are accepted ($5 per person is recommended)

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum – Thursdays are free, but donations are suggested.

Shedd Aquarium – June 4-5, 11-12, 18-19; September 4-30; October 3 & 10, 2018.  

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.

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