Get free tickets to Chicago museums on Museum Day Live!

This weekend will be perfect to walk among the trees at the Morton Arboretum, learn about Mars and the stars at the Adler Planetarium or pay a visit to the more than 40 species of exotic high-flying butterflies in the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Thanks to Museum Day Live!, you and a guest can visit each of those places and many more cultural institutions for free on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017.

Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian Magazine. It is billed as a “celebration of endless curiosity” and is a great reason to either revisit one of your favorite museums or to check out somewhere brand new to you and your family.

In the Chicago area, the following museum and cultural institutions are participating:

  • Adler Planetarium
  • Aurora Regional Fire Museum
  • Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture
  • Busy Beaver Button Museum 
  • Chicago History Museum
  • DuSable Museum of African American History
  • Geneva History Museum 
  • Glessner House Museum
  • Illinois Holocaust & Education Center
  • International Museum of Surgical Science
  • Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art
  • Lincoln Heritage Museum
  • Mayslake Peabody Estate 
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
  • Museum of the Grand Prairie 
  • National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum
  • National Hellenic Museum
  • Peoria Riverfront Museum 
  • Poplar Grove Vintage Wings and Wheels Museum 
  • Smart Museum of Art
  • The Museums at Lisle Station Park 
  • The Morton Arboretum 
  • The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
  • Willowbrook Wildlife Center

You can find all participating museum around the country here.

Here’s how Museum Day Live! works: once you’ve determined where you’d like to visit, head to the Museum Day Live! website and enter your choice and email address. They will send you an email with a link to your downloadable ticket. Some venues are accepting tickets on your smartphone.

Each Museum Day Live! ticket is good for admission for the ticket holder and one additional person. The fine print says one ticket per household. The ticket is not valid for special exhibits, IMAX film screenings, parking or other offers. If you’re not sure what’s covered, call ahead. You may visit only one museum with a Museum Day Live! ticket.

If Saturday doesn’t work for your family’s schedule, fear not! There are other free days coming up. You can find a listing of museum free days on Chicago Parent and read the best tips on making the most of museum free days. 

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