Free Chicago

Free days for Chicago museums

Chicago’s museums are world-class, but all those bones, weather simulators and rides in Chicago’s first El train car don’t come cheap. Throw in parking, special exhibits and the gift shop, and it adds up fast. But in the philanthropic spirit of our fine city, most museums offer free admission for Illinois residents on certain days. Here’s a complete calendar for the next few months. You’re on your own in the gift shop.

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

Check out our complete guide to Chicagoland’s museums featuring reviews, upcoming exhibits and tailored tours for little feet.

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Skating’s free and the downtown scenery makes this a fun placeto take to the ice. Bring your own skates if possible–renting willcost you $10 a pair.

McCormick Tribune Plaza and Ice Rink (Millennium Park)


Soldier Field is not only home to the Chicago Bears, it’s also agreat place to take the kids sledding with views of the lake andthe skyline.

Soldier Field Sledding Hill


With a children’s area, drop-in activities and a tropical feelno matter what the weather is outside, this is the perfect familyouting.

Garfield Park Conservatory


Located on Chicago’s North side, this nature center is an oasisfrom the hubbub of the city. Hike the trails, look for deer andvisit the educational center.

North Park Village Nature Center


One of the only free zoos left in the United States, this zoooffers close-up looks at exotic animals and a free children’s areafor climbing and playing.

Lincoln Park Zoo


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