Lifestyle

Every Free Museum in Chicago

If museum visits bring up flashbacks to nightmarish field trips past, rectify that as an adult by checking out any of these 35 Chicago museums for FREE! We’ve sorted each museum’s free days by day of the week and/or seasonality and many require a valid Illinois ID (sorry, tourists). You’re guaranteed to become more cultured or your money back.

Chicago Cultural Center

78 E Washington St
Hours: Mon-Thurs, 9am-7pm; Fri-Sat, 9am-6pm; Sun, 10am-6pm
 

The Edgewater Historical Society and Museum

5358 N Ashland Ave
Hours: Sat-Sun, 1-4pm
 

Money Museum

230 S Lasalle St
Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30am-5pm
 

Lincoln Park Zoo

2001 N Clark St
Hours: Every day, 10am-4:30pm and extended hours seasonally
 

Ukrainian National Museum

2249 W Superior St
Hours: Thurs-Sun, 11-4pm
 

Museum of Contemporary Photography

600 S Michigan Ave
Hours: Mon-Wed & Fri-Sat, 10am-5pm; Thurs, 10am-8pm; Sun, noon-5pm
 

National Museum of Mexican Art

1852 W 19th St
Hours: Tues-Sun, 10am-5pm
 

Smart Museum of Art

5550 S Greenwood Ave
Hours: Galleries are closed for reinstallation until September 11th, 2015. Regular hours (Mon-Fri, 8:30am-3pm; Sat-Sun, 11am-3pm) resume September 12th. 
 

DePaul Art Museum

935 W Fullerton Ave
Hours: Wed-Thurs, 11am-7pm; Fri, 11am-5pm; Sat-Sun, noon-5pm
 

The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture

3015 W Division St
Hours: Tues-Fri, 10am-4pm; Sat, 10am-1pm
 

National Veterans Art Museum

4041 N Milwaukee Ave
Hours: Tues-Sat, 10am-5pm
Notes: On the second floor
 

Chicago Design Museum

108 N State St
Hours: Tues-Sat, noon-7pm
Notes: On the third floor

Charnley-Persky House Museum

1365 N Astor St
Hours: Noon tours are free every Wednesday, April-October

International Museum of Surgical Science

1524 N Lake Shore Dr
Tuesday hours: 10am-4pm
 

Museum of Contemporary Art

220 E Chicago Ave
Tuesday hours: 10am-8pm
 

Loyola University Museum of Art

820 N Michigan Ave
Tuesday hours: 11am-8pm
 

Swedish American Museum

5211 N Clark St
Tuesday hours: 10am-4pm
Note: Free on the second Tuesday of each month

Clarke House Museum

1827 S Indiana Ave
Wednesday hours: Tours of Chicago’s oldest house led by trained docents are available at noon and 2pm.
Note: Does not apply to groups of 10 or more
 

Glessner House Museum

1800 S Prairie Ave
Wednesday hours: Tours led by trained docents are available at 1pm and 3pm.
Note: Does not apply to groups of 10 or more
 

Charnley-Persky House Museum

1365 N Astor St
Wednesday hours: Noon tours are free.

The Art Institute of Chicago

111 S Michigan Ave
Thursday hours: Free hours for Illinois residents run 5-8pm.
Note: Children under the age of 14 are always free, as are several outdoor spaces.
 

Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier

700 E Grand Ave
Thursday hours: Target Free Family night from 5-8pm

Courtesy of Dank Haus German American Cultural Center (Edited)

Dank Museum

4740 N Western Ave
Saturday hours: 11am-3pm, or by appointment
Note: This is part of the Dank Haus German American Cultural Center.

Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier

700 E Grand Ave
Sunday hours: 10am-7pm
Note: The first Sunday of each month is free for visitors age 15 and under.
 

Dusable Museum of African American History

740 E 56th Pl
Sunday hours: Noon-5pm
 

McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum

376 N Michigan Ave
Sunday hours: 10am-5pm

Museum of Science and Industry

5700 S Lake Shore Dr
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9:30-4pm
Note: Free on select days. Check back here.
 

The Field Museum

1400 S Lake Shore Dr
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm
Note: Free on select days throughout the year. Check back here.
 

Shedd Aquarium

1200 S Lake Shore Dr
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-6pm
Note: Free on select Mondays and Tuesdays. Only applicable to Waters of the World, Caribbean Reef, and Amazon Rising.
 

Chicago History Museum

1601 N Clark St
Hours: Mon-Sat, 9:30am-4:30pm; Sun, noon-5pm
Note: Free on select days throughout the year. Check back here.
 

Adler Planetarium

1300 S Lakeshore Dr
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9:30-4pm; Sat-Sun, 9:30am-4:30pm
Note: Free on select days throughout the year. Check back here.

The Oriental Institute Museum

1155 E 58th St
Hours: Tues-Sun, 10am-5pm
Suggested donation: $10 for adults, $5 for kids under 12
 

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

2430 N Cannon Dr
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-5pm (Thursdays are suggested donation days for Illinois residents year-round.)
Suggested donation: $9, $7 for students and seniors, $6 for children (3-12), free for children under 3
 

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum

800 S Halsted St
Hours: Tues-Fri, 10am-4pm; Sat, noon-4pm
Suggested donation: $5
 

Chinese-American Museum of Chicago

238 W 23rd St
Hours: Tues-Fri, 9:30am-1:30pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-5pm
Suggested donation: $5

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