Did you know that starting in January 2017, teens aged 14 to 17 will be able to visit The Art Institute of Chicago free of charge, due to a significant donation made by Kansas couple Glenn and Claire Swogger. In order to receive free admission, teens must live within city limits and be able to present a state ID or license, school ID, or official school document that proves their Chicago school district and residence. While admission for visitors under age 14 is free, admission for those 14 and over was previously $14.
Also remember that general admission is free to Illinois residents every Thursday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
The institute considers this to be a wonderful gift that aids their mission in making their programs and exhibits as accessible as possible to the community. The Art Institute is one of many Chicago museums that employs various discount and free day programs that welcomes residents to enjoy the amazing exhibits that the city has to offer.
Current exhibitions at The Art Institute of Chicago include Kemang Wa Lehulere: In All My Wildest Dreams, Modern Velvet: A Sense of Luxury in the Age of Industry, and Master Drawings Unveiled: 25 Years of Major Acquisitions. The institute is also continuing special holiday programming now through January 8.
Other Ways to Gain Free Admission to the Art Institute
Kids under 14
Admission is always free for children under 14.
Free Thursday Evenings
General admission is free to Illinois residents every Thursday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Beginning January 2, 2017, museum admission is free for Chicago teens under the age of 18—thanks to the extraordinary generosity of Glenn and Claire Swogger and the Redbud Foundation.
Blue Star Museum
Active-duty military and their families receive free admission to the museum from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Museums for All
LINK and WIC cardholders receive free general admission to the museum. Present your card along with a valid photo ID to receive free access for you and your family.
Illinois Educator Admission
Free admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is available to current Illinois educators, including pre-K–12 teachers, teaching artists working in schools, and homeschool parents. Educators can register online to receive a voucher for a complimentary ticket to the museum. This voucher must be presented—as a printed document or on a smart phone—with a valid educator ID at one of the museum’s admission counters.
For more information, and to request complimentary educator admission, visit artic.edu/educator-admission.
Kids Museum Passport
This program, sponsored by the 15 Museums Work for Chicago institutions, allows individuals with a Chicago Public Library card to check out a pass for free general admission to the Art Institute. (This program replaces the Kraft Great Kids Museum Passport Program, which has been offered by CPL since 2003.) Please note the new rules regarding the use of the Kids Museum Passport:
- Each pass admits a maximum of four people for general admission, including special exhibitions.
- Each group using a pass must be accompanied by at least one child under the age of 18.
- A maximum of two adults are admitted on one pass.