Experience Chicago’s award-winning museums, without spending a dime. No budget? No fear. Free museum days are here! Mark these dates on your calendar for your chance to enjoy Free Museum Days in Chicago during 2023.

Blog graphic with a blonde woman being kissed by a beluga whale stating "2023 Free Museum Days in Chicago."

For some museums listed here, you must be an Illinois resident and show proof of residency to take advantage of free admission days.

Embrace everything the city of Chicago has to offer. No budget? No fear. Free museum days are here! Mark these days on your calendar for your chance to enjoy Free Museum Days in Chicago during 2020.

Looking for other ways to save? Check out the Chicago CityPass which offers admission to several Chicago museums and attractions for one discounted price.

*Free days can change at the last minute, so ALWAYS call first to confirm before heading out to the museums.

Adler Planetarium in Chicago watching a show on the screen.
Photo via The Adler Planetarium Facebook

Adler Planetarium

1300 S. Lake Shore Dr. – (South Loop/Museum Campus)

Phone Number: (312) 922-7827
General admission is free to Illinois residents on the following dates in 2023:

  • Free on Wednesdays 4-10 p.m.

Art Institute Of Chicago

111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60603 – (Loop)

Museum Offices Operator
Monday–Friday, 9:00–5:00 CST
(312) 443-3600

City of Chicago residents aged 17 and under can get into this museum for free at any time. 

Children aged 13 years and younger are always free. Link and WIC cardholders, and Illinois educators are also free every day.

Illinois residents of any age can enjoy free admission on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays through March 24, 2023.

Chicago Botanic Garden
Photo via Chicago Botanic Garden Facebook

Chicago Botanic Garden

1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe, IL 60022 – (Glencoe, IL)

Customer Service: (847) 835-6801
Main: (847) 835-5440
Member: (847) 835-8215

Admission is free on these dates in 2023. Pre-register online for free days here: Admission Calendar

  • January 9-16
  • February 5 – 10, 20
  • March 6 – 10
  • April 10 – 13
  • May 9, 11
  • June 13, 15, 19
  • July 11, 13
  • August 8, 10
  • September 12, 14
  • October 9 – 10, 12
  • November 6 – 12
  • December 11-17

Chicago Children’s Museum

700 E. Grand Ave., Suite 127, Chicago, IL 60611 – (Downtown/Navy Pier)

Phone Number: (312) 527-1000

Chicago Children’s Museum is excited to welcome back Free Family Days in 2023. Not only is admission free, but extra activities and programming will be stationed throughout Navy Pier. The following dates have been announced:

  • January 26
  • February 23
  • March 30
  • April 27
  • May 25
  • September 28
  • October 26

Chicago History Museum

1601 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614-6038 – (Lincoln Park)

Phone Number: (312) 642-4600

Children 12 and under and Illinois residents under 18 years old are always free.

Free admission is always granted to various professionals including members of the military, law enforcement, and educators. Select days in 2023 are free for Illinois residents, which include:

  • January 16–20, 24–27, 31
  • February 1–3, 7–10, 14–17, 20–24, 28

DePaul Art Museum

935 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago, IL 60614 – (Lincoln Park)

Phone Number: (773) 325-7506

DPAM is always free and open to everyone. 

DuSable Museum of African American History

740 E. 56th Pl., Chicago, IL 60637 – (Washington Park)

Phone Number: (773) 947-0600

DuSable Museum is free to all visitors on Wednesdays, and free every day to first responders and military personnel. Children under 5 are always free.

The Field Museum free museum days Chicago
Photo via The Maternal Hobbyist

Elmhurst Art Museum

150 Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst, IL 60126
(630) 834-0202

The first Friday of each month is free all year for the McCormick House and the Artist Guild at the Elmhurst Art Museum.

The Field Museum

1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60605.  – (South Loop/Museum Campus)

Phone Number: (312) 922-9410

Illinois residents (with proof of residence) can spend a day at The Field Museum with free admission at the door on the following free days:

  • January: 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 24, 25, 31
  • February: 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 20
  • March: 7, 14

Heritage Museum of Asian Art

218 W. 26th St., Chicago, IL 60616 – (Chinatown)

Phone Number: (312) 842-8884

Heritage Museum of Asian Art is free for children under 7 and active members of the military.

International Museum of Surgical Science

1524 N. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60610 – (Lincoln Park)

Phone Number: (312) 642 6502

Children ages 3 and under are free.

AAM Members– FREE Admission with membership card. Does not include special exhibits.

Lincoln Park Zoo free museum days Chicago
Photo via Lincoln Park Zoo Facebook

Lincoln Park Zoo

2001 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614 – (Lincoln Park)

Phone Number: (312) 742-2000

Always free! 

Loyola University Museum of Art

820 Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611 – (Streeterville)

Phone Number: (312) 915-7600

At this time, Loyola University Museum of Art requires appointments for visiting.

Museum of Contemporary Art

220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611 – (Streeterville)

Phone Number: (312) 280-2660

Admission is free for Illinois residents on Tuesdays, year-round. Kids 18 and under are always free. MCA also has a pay-what-you-can policy, so no one will be turned away. 

Museum of Contemporary Photography

600 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605 – (Loop)

Phone Number: (312) 663-5554

Admission is free daily, but tickets must be reserved in advance. 

Museum of Science and Industry
Photo via Museum of Science and Industry Facebook

Museum of Science and Industry

5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60637 – (Hyde Park)

Phone Number: (773) 684-1414

Free admission for Illinois residents is offered on the following days.

  • January: 9-11, 16-18, 23-25, 30, 31
  • February: 1, 2, 6-9, 13, 14, 16, 21
  • March: 1, 6, 14
  • April: 18, 22

National Museum of Mexican Art

1852 W. 19th St., Chicago, IL 60608 – (Pilsen)

Phone Number: (312) 738-1503

Always free!

National Veterans Art Museum

4041 N. Milwaukee Ave., 2nd floor, Chicago, IL 60641 – (Portage Park)

Phone Number: (312) 326-0270

Always free, but a donation is suggested.

The Oriental Institute Museum

1155 E. 58th St., Chicago, IL 60637 – (Hyde Park)

Phone Number: (773) 702-9514

Admission is free, but there is a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Photo via Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Facebook

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

2430 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago, IL 60614 – (Lincoln Park)

Phone Number: (773) 755-5100

Illinois residents receive free admission every Thursday, but a donation is suggested upon entry.

Philips Park Zoo

1000 Ray Moses Drive, Aurora, IL 60505

(630) 256-3860

Always free! Check their website for hours of operation before visiting.

Shedd Aquarium free museum days Chicago
Photo via Shedd Aquarium Facebook

Shedd Aquarium

1200 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60605 – (South Loop/Museum Campus)

Phone Number: (312) 939-2438

The Shedd Aquarium’s Discounts and Free Days page is the best resource for additional information before you go. Admission can be upgraded to include Shedd’s 4-D Experience. A transaction fee applies to Illinois Free Day tickets reserved online but is required. Free admission for Illinois residents is offered on the following days:

  • January 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16
  • February 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, and 28

Swedish American Museum

5211 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640 – (Andersonville)

Phone Number: (773) 728-8111

Free admission is on the second Tuesday of every month.

National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture

3015 W. Division St., Chicago, IL 60622 – (Humboldt Park)

Phone Number: (773) 486-8345

Always free!

NMPRAC has a free parking facility for visitors at its Division Street entrance. Guests may also park along Humboldt Park’s inner drive and at the Humboldt Park Boat House if it is not in use.

Chicago Cultural Center
Photo via Chicago Cultural Center Facebook

Chicago Cultural Center

78 E. Washington St., Chicago, IL 60602 – (Loop)

Always free! Plus, you can enjoy a free building tour

American Toby Jug Museum

910 Chicago Ave., Evanston, Illinois 60202 – (Evanston)

Phone Number: 1-877-862-9687

Always free! Free lectures from museum founder, Steve Mullins, and other experts are also offered. Tours by appointment only. Please call 312-731-1852.

Clarke House Museum

1827 S. Indiana Ave., Chicago, IL 60616 – (South Loop)

Admission is always free!

The Block Museum Of Art

40 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston, IL 60208 – (Evanston)

Phone Number: (847)491-4000

Northwestern University’s art museum offers free admission and parking daily.

Design Museum Of Chicago

108 N. State St., Chicago, IL 60601 – (The Loop)

Phone Number: 312 894 6263

This museum at Expo 72 is always free and open to the public. There is a $5 suggested donation.

Pritzker Military Museum & Library

104 S. Michigan Ave., 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60603 – (The Loop)

Phone Number: (312) 374-9333

Admission is free for all visitors with active military ID, Chicago police and fire departments, and children under 12.

Busy Beaver Button Museum

3407 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60647 – (Logan Square)

Phone Number: (773) 645-3359

Admission is always free! They also accept button donations.

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