Family Vacation

12 Must Visit Free Museum In Chicago

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Forget fancy meals and pricey souvenirs because Windy City has tons of fun things to do that won't drain your wallet. Explore art for free, art galleries don't have to cost a fortune!

Free Museum Chicago is throwing a party for your wallet and your soul! The following exhibits give you the chance to connect with something bigger than yourself, spark your imagination, and discover the joy of learning without breaking the bank. 

1. Smart Museum of Art

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The Windy City never fails to lure visitors with exciting and free things to do. For instance, several art galleries cost you zero cents, such as the Smart Museum of Art.

This Chicago Free Museum is known for its dynamic and thought-provoking exhibitions that explore diverse themes and artistic movements. Check their website to see what's on during your visit, but prepare for anything from contemporary installations to historical surveys.

Where: 5550 S Greenwood Avenue

2. Museum of Science and Industry

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The MSI is known for its hands-on exhibits that let you get up close and personal with science and technology. You can climb into a coal mine, experiment with electricity, build a robot, and much more.

It covers a wide range of topics, from physics and chemistry to space exploration and biology. For your information, the Museum of Science and Industry offers free entry for Illinois residents on select days.

Where: 5700 S DuSable Lk Shr Drive

3. Chicago Children's Museum

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Looking for a place to spend holidays with your kids in Chi-Town? How about spending a day at the Chicago Children's Museum?

This Chicago Museum of Art free days are on the first Sunday of every month for children under 15. The junior guests can learn about the world through games, hands-on exhibitions, and fun -activities. So, what are you looking for? Don't miss the chance to impress your juniors!

Where: 700 E Grand Avenue

4. Field Museum

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Each day is Chicago Free Museum Day for active military and Illinois teachers if they make up their minds to visit the Field Museum. Locals and tourists get unpaid entrance on certain days.

So, why should you visit the Field Museum? Whether you're a kid enthralled by dinosaurs, a history buff fascinated by ancient civilizations, or simply someone who loves learning new things, the exhibit has something for you. 

Where: 1400 S Lake Shore Drive

5. Museum Of Contemporary Art

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The Museum Of Contemporary Art houses 2,500+ pieces of artwork from worldwide. It is recognized as one of the largest global exhibits of its kind.

This free art museum Chicago offers free admission every Tuesday and year-round for Illinois residents. What else can be a better thing to do in the city than spend a day at a place where art pushes the boundaries?

Where: 220 E Chicago Avenue

6. National Veterans Art Museum

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Seeking what museums are free in Chicago? If yes, you can't miss the National Veterans Art Museum, free admission seven days a week.

National Veterans is not just a museum; it's a powerful window into the human experience, shaped by the unique lens of military service. Beyond battles and statistics, the museum showcases how war and military service impact individuals.

Where: 4041 N Milwaukee Avenue, 2nd Floor

7. National Museum of Mexican Art

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The National Museum of Mexican Art should be on your radar if you want to explore the art and culture of Mexico, here in Chi-Town.

While the focus is on Mexican art, the museum bridges cultures beautifully. You'll see how Mexican artists have influenced and been influenced by global trends, creating a truly diverse and dynamic experience. It's a reminder that art transcends borders and speaks to the universal human experience.

Where: 1852 W 19th Street

8. Adler Planetarium

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Wondering what to expect at Adler Planetarium? More than just a stargazing spot – it's a gateway to the universe filled with wonder, learning, and immersive experiences. 

Buckle up for journeys through the cosmos in the planetarium's iconic domed theaters. The Adler welcomes explorers of all ages. Want to know the free days? It's usually on Wednesday from 4 pm to 10 pm.

Where: 1300 S DuSable Lk Shr Drive

9. The Art Institute of Chicago

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Illinois residents, you're in luck! The Art Institute of Chicago lets you enter without any charge on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays until March 22nd, 2024. 

Active-duty military, veterans, Chicago police and firefighters, and Illinois educators also get to experience the art for free. Stepping into the Art Institute of Chicago is like entering a wonderland of artistic treasures.

Where: 111 S Michigan Avenue

10. Chicago History Museum

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Chicago History Museum brings the story of Chi-Town's past with drama and innovation to life. It hosts immersive exhibits, fascinating artifacts, and multimedia presentations throughout the year.

Free Museum Chicago days are on March 4th and July 4th. Youths under 12 from out of state and under 18 from Illinois are given free entry at all times. After exploring, you can dine at nearby Chicago restaurants.

Where: 1601 N Clark Street

11. Swedish American Museum

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Every second Tuesday of each month Swedish American Museum allows free entry to visitors. Likewise, guests under 1 get free entry year-round.

Founded in 1976, this permanent exhibit tells the story of Swedish immigration to the United States, from the early 17th century to the present day. You'll see artifacts, photographs, and documents that illustrate the challenges and triumphs of Swedish immigrants.

Where: 5211 N Clark Street

12. American Writers Museum

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Opened in May 2017, the American Writers Museum is the first art gallery in Chi-Town to celebrate all genres of writing through interactive exhibits. It features over 100 authors from the past and present.

The authors can be of any age, and so do the readers and visitors. Want to know the entry charge? Guests aged 12 or below get unpaid entry while others are charged $9-12. You can use the tourist pass for 50% off.

Where: 180 North Michigan Avenue