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Free admission days at Chicago museums

Update: click here to go to the 2008 schedule

One of the main rules of bargain hunting is not to pay for goods or services more than you have to. More than to anything this applies to visiting museums.

As it is true with many state sponsored institutions, museums in the US often provide ways for general public to visit them for free or at a deep discount. This helps low income folks enjoy the same benefits as others.

Admittedly many of these dates fall on weekdays and might not work for you, but the least you could do is check against the list below in case you have planned a trip to the city anyways.

Now, to make things easier for you, I have entered all these dates into a Google Calendar which I embedded into this post below. Also, you can access the calendar by clicking here, or use this link to import the dates into any other calendar that understands iCalendar format.

Shedd Aquarium

On discount days, general admission is free, and admission to both the Oceanarium and Wild Reef is available for an additional fee. The discount day schedule for 2007 is:

January discount week (Jan. 13-19)
January, Mondays and Tuesdays (Jan. 9, 22, 23, 29, 30)
February, Mondays and Tuesdays (Feb. 5, 6, 12, 13, 26, 27)
February discount week (Feb. 19-23)
June Discount Week (June 17-21)
September, last three Mondays (Sept. 10, 17, 24)
October, Mondays and Tuesdays (Oct. 1, 2, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30)
October discount week (Oct. 8-12)
November, Mondays and Tuesdays (Nov. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27)

Source: Shedd Aquarium website

Museum of Science and Industry

General admission will be free on the following dates:

January 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30
February 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, and 27
June 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8
September 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25
October 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30
November 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 and 22
December 24

General admission does not include parking or entrance to Omnimax® and 3-D Theaters, U-505 on-board tour and CSI: The Experience

Source: Museum of Science and Industry website

Adler Planetarium

Museum admission is free on these days. An additional fee for shows applies.

Jan Discount Week
Jan Mon & Tue
Feb Discount Week
Feb Mon & Tue
June Discount Week
Sept Mon
Oct Discount Week
Oct Mon & Tues
Nov Mon & Tues
Jan 13-19
Jan 22, 23, 29, and 30
Feb 19-23
Feb 5, 6, 12, 13, 26 & 27
June 17-22
Sept 10, 17 & 24
Oct 8-12
1, 2, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 & 30
Nov 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 & 27

Source Adler Planetarium website

Field Museum

The Field Museum offers 52 days a year when admission is discounted for all visitors.

Discount Weeks:

January 13-19
February 19-23
June 17-22
October 8-12

Other Discount Days are on the following Mondays and Tuesdays:

January 22, 23, 29 and 30
February 5, 6, 12, 13, 26 and 27
September 10, 17, and 24
October 1, 2, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, and 30
November 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27.

Source: Field Museum website


See also:


4 Responses to “Free admission days at Chicago museums”


  1. 1 Ajay Gupta May 31st, 2007 at 10:34 am

    Thanks for the calender of free days. With Summer break around, this could save some serious money for sure.

  2. 2 Yan May 31st, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    You are welcome!

    Unfortunately it is just one free week in June. After that the savings don’t come until September. :-(

  3. 3 Aliya K. Jun 19th, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    yee haa! I am taking my kids on Thursday and Friday. However, last free day for the Shedd is Thursday not Friday just a friendly reminder.
    Enjoy your summer

  4. 4 Denine Brinkmann Jan 1st, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Does the above dates reflect the 2009 schedual?

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