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Chicago is a great city to live in and a great city to visit. It has one of America’s best food scenes, unrivaled architecture and many of the country’s finest museums. Unfortunately it is also one of America’s most expensive cities. A day at the museum can set a family back $100 or more. Luckily, at least for Illinois residents, there are many days when Chicago’s world class museums are free.  To save you the trouble of finding what museums are free on what days we have done all of the research for you and put together this list. Most of these free days are for Illinois residents only.


Free days at Chicago museums in 2017:

Art Institute Chicago:  Free every Thursday evening from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm. Weekdays from Jan. 9 – Feb. 16.

The Field Museum: Jan. 4, 5, 16, 28, 29, 30 Feb. 1 – 28

Shedd Aquarium: Free admission or you can get the all access pass for $15 instead of $39.95. Jan. 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, Feb. 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 21, 27, 28, June 5, 6, 12, 13, Aug. 28, 29, Sept. 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26, Oct. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31, Nov. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21

Museum of Science & Industry Chicago:  Jan. 10-12, 16-19, 24-26, 31, Feb. 1-2, 7-9, 14-16, 21-23, 28, June 5-9, 12, Sept.  5-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-29, Oct. 2-5

Chicago History Museum: Every Tuesday after 12:30. Jan. 16, Feb. 20, March 4, and July 4.

MCA Chicago: Every Tuesday.

Adler Planetarium:  Jan. 6–13, 16, 17-20, Feb. 6–10, 20-24, June 5–9

Loyola University Museum of Art: Free to everyone on Tuesdays.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum: Thursdays are suggested donation days.

Smart Museum of Art: Always free to everyone.

Oriental Institute: Suggested $10 donation.

Swedish American Museum: Free for everyone the second Tuesday of the month


 


Comments

Steve
01/05/2017 4:11pm

We went to the Shedd a few years ago on a free day and the wait was over 3 hours.

Reply
Scott Radley
01/06/2017 12:20am

We went last year and downed a 6-pack while waiting to burn time

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