Free Museums – Summer in the City

Check out all the free museums you can go to this summer in Chicago! There are so many ways to stay active, see some really cool art and escape the searing Chicago heat this summer so check out our list.


Shedd Aquarium

June 17, 18, 24, 25
August 26-27
September 3, 4, 9-11, 16-18, 23-25, 30

Adler Planetarium

June 10-13
September 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27

The Art Institute of Chicago

Every Thursday evening this summer from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. general admission is free for Illinois residents. Anyone under the age of 18 gets in for free too.

Field Museum

June 26-28

Museum of Science and Industry

August 26–28

  ————————————-free days at the chicago field museum

Charnley Persky House Museum

Free 45-minute tours at noon on Wednesdays this summer and year round.

Clarke House Museum

Free all year round and guided tours this summer on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday

Children’s Museum at Navy Pier

Thursdays this summer from 5 to 8 p.m. are free as well as the first Sunday of every month. Kids under the age of 15 are free.

Chicago Botanic Garden

Completely free all summer long (but you have to pay $20 for parking your car…).

Chicago Cultural Center

Free entrance always this summer and free on-the-spot tours too.

Chicago History Museum

Every Tuesday this summer from 12:30 to 9 p.m. admission is free except on January 2, January 9, December 18 and December 25. Other free days include Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, March 4 and July 4.

If you’re a member of the museum, or a member at DuSable Museum, National Museum of Mexican Art or the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture you can get in for free. As a member of the US Armed Services, Chicago Police Department, Chicago Fire Department or Illinois teachers, free admission is given too.


chicago history museum free days 1

DePaul Art Museum

Free for anyone all summer long.

DuSable Museum of African American History

Every Tuesday admission is free this summer for everyone. Military personnel also receive free admission.

National Hellenic Museum

Bank of America cardholders receive one free admission on the first full weekend of every month this summer.

National Museum of Mexican Art

Free admission everyday this summer for anyone.

National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture

Free admission and parking this summer.

National Veterans Art Museum

Free admission year round for everyone.

Swedish American Museum

Every second Tuesday of the month thissummer is free all year. Members and kids under 1 get in for free.

Glessner House Museum

Admission is free on Wednesdays this summer .

International Museum of Surgical Science

Admission is waived for Illinois Residents on Tuesdays this summer.

Jane Addams Hull House Museum

Admission is free this summer for UIC faculty, students, and staff.

Lincoln Park Zoo

Free entrance this summer and  all year long.

Loyola University Museum of Public Art

Free all the time.

McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum

Every Sunday this summer is free while the museum is open from May to October. Children under 5 get in for free.

Museum of Contemporary Art

On Tuesdays this summer,  admission is free for Illinois residents.

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Free admission for all.

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