20 museums + $0 = 1 priceless day of family fun in Chicago

If you’ve ever explored any of the Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D.C., you know some of our capital’s finest museums—the National History Museum, the Air and Space Museum, even the National Zoo—always offer free admission. And for one day each September, that principle extends to other museums across the nation, which open their doors completely for free.

Museum Day Live! includes more than 20 Chicago-area museums, from the scientific (Adler Planetarium) to the cultural (Swedish American Museum, National Hellenic Museum), from the artistic (Smart Museum) to the historical (DuSable Museum of African American History, Chicago History Museum). A full list of museums can be found on the website of Museum Day Live!

For families with young kids, a great choice is SciTech Hands on Museum in Aurora. The museum features more than 200 interactive exhibits that focus on science and math. Kids can make a big bubble, ride a giant yo-yo and stand inside a tornado—not your ordinary “hands-off” museum activities.

If you have a budding doctor on your hands, check out the International Museum of Surgical Sciences. The museum recently created a new exhibit called RX for Success that’s specifically designed for kids as young as 8. It includes hands-on activities, such as make your own blood and decode the disease games, and the ever-popular iPads, plus information on careers in health care to encourage young people to consider working in medicine.

In order to receive free admission, you must visit the website and download a ticket. Each ticket is good for two people (limit one per household)—and a full day of fun and free memories.

Museum Day Live!

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