Check out the 2017 Museum Day Live!, a Chicago and nationwide annual free museum event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket…for free. This year the 2016 event will be held on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Tickets are good for FREE admission to Chicago museums for 2 people. Limit one ticket per household. To celebrate Smithsonian Day Live, more than 1,200 museums from Maine to Hawaii are adopting the Smithsonian Institute’s free admission policy for 24 hours. Started 12 years ago by Smithsonian magazine, the annual event on Saturday, September 23, 2107 offers free admission to a museum-goer, plus one guest.
In Chicago, why not make plans now to enjoy free admission at many museums in Chicago on Museum Day, Saturday, September 23, 2017, emulating the free admission policy of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington, D.C.-based facilities. Museum Day 2017 is poised to be the largest to date, outdoing last year’s record-breaking event. In 2016, museum goers downloaded 250,000+ tickets resulting in more than 500,000 museum-goers visiting over 1,300 venues in Chicago, all 50 states, and Washington, D.C.
How do you get your tickets?
To receive your free Museum Day Ticket for two people only, CLICK ON LINK AT BOTTOM TO REGISTER THEN enter your information into the fields at the Smithsonian website. Your Ticket will be emailed to you after you submit your information. You must print your ticket and present it to receive your free admission.
- Offer is valid only on Saturday, September 23, 2017. (Exceptions for Museum Day museums closed on Saturdays).
- Card must be presented for free general admission to one venue and is good for two people. *Not valid for special exhibits, parking, IMAX film screenings or for use with any other offers.
- One Museum Day Ticket per household, per valid email address. Museum Day Ticket will be collected upon entry.
- Museums and cultural venues participate in Museum Day voluntarily. *Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for individual museum content or participation.
- If museum reaches capacity, museum has right to limit the number of guests until space becomes available.
Some of the Chicago Area Museums participating include:
- Aurora Regional Fire Museum
- SciTech Hands on Museum
- Barrington History Museum
- William M. Staerkel Planetarium
- Adler Planetarium Smithsonian Affiliate Museums
- Chicago History Museum
- Clarke House Museum Free everyday
- DuSable Museum of African American History Smithsonian Affiliate Museums
- Glessner House Museum
- International Museum of Surgical Science
- Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art
- Loyola University Museum of Art
- Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
- National Hellenic Museum
- Smart Museum of Art Free everyday
- The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
- Vermilion County War Museum
- Galena & U.S. Grant Museum
- Geneva History Museum
GLEN ELLYN, IL
- Stacy’s Tavern Museum
- Willowbrook Wildlife Center
GREAT LAKES, IL
- Great Lakes Naval Museum (Free everyday)
- Lincoln Heritage Museum
- The Morton Arboretum
- The Museums at Lisle Station Park (Free everyday)
- Museum of the Grand Prairie Free everyday
OAK BROOK, IL
- Mayslake Peabody Estate
- Illinois Holocaust & Education Center
- Illinois State Museum
- Spurlock Museum (Free everyday)
Are all museums in the country participating in Museum Day Live!?
No, museums must elect to participate. All museums and cultural institutions participating must be a 501 (c)(3) organization or have status as a government-operated museum.
How do I find out if a museum in my neighborhood is participating?
Visit the Find a Museum page to locate a participating museum in the Chicago area.
Where do I find the Museum Day Live! ticket?
The Museum Day Live! ticket will be available on the Ticket Information page. Fill out the form and you will be emailed instructions on downloading your ticket.
Can anybody get free admission on Museum Day Live!?
No, you must present the Museum Day Live! ticket.
Can I bring my whole family to Museum Day Live!?
No, the Museum Day Live! ticket is only good for two people per household, per address. If you go to Museum Day Live! with more than one guest, your other guests will have to pay full admission.
Can I present my Museum Day Live! ticket on my smart phone?
Every participating museum will accept a printed Museum Day Live! ticket. Museums that are willing to accept it on the screen of a smartphone will have that fact on their Museum page. Visit the Find a Museum page to locate the participating museum you choose and confirm.