museum free days

Free Days at the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum and More

Looking for something affordable to do as summer draws to a close?

Several museums and cultural institutions in Chicago are offering free admission days in the coming weeks and throughout the year.

Here’s a breakdown of when you can get into certain museums for free:

Chicago History Museum:

The Chicago History Museum will offer free days from Aug. 24 through Aug. 28 to U.S. Armed Services, Chicago Police Department, Chicago Fire Department and Illinois teachers. All must provide a valid ID. 

The museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. To maintain social distancing, some interactive elements and exhibitions are temporarily unavailable. 

The museum will continue to require all visitors over the age of 2 to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets online to reduce in-person interaction.

For more information, click here

Field Museum:

Illinois residents get free admission on Aug. 23 and Aug. 26. Tickets must be picked up on site and cannot be reserved in advance. Proof of residency will be needed at arrival. 

The free tickets grant visitors into general admission exhibitions while All-Access passes and Discovery passes are an additional cost but will be offered at a discounted rate.

The Field Museum reopened on June 11 and is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some exhibits will be temporarily closed and timed tickets will be used. 

The facility changed its COVID-19 policies earlier this month to require everyone except for children under two to wear a face mask regardless of vaccination status. 

For more information, click here.

Museum of Science and Industry:

The museum has multiple free days for Illinois residents throughout the rest of the year. Museum entry will be free on Aug. 11, Sept. 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30, Oct. 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17 and Dec. 8. 

Entries to Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes, Fab Lab workshops, Giant Dome Theater film and Future Energy Chicago require separate admission.  

The facility is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. All museum guests, including members, must reserve timed tickets to enter. 

Starting Aug. 3, MSI requires face masks for all guests ages 2 and up, following CDC guidance. Guests who are not wearing masks will be asked to leave, the facility said. 

For more information, click here.

Shedd Aquarium:

The Shedd Aquarium will offer Illinois Resident Free Days every Thursday through the end of August. The facility will extend its hours from 9 a.m. and close late at 9 p.m.

Spots must be reserved online or by phone, and a $3 transaction fee will be applied. Additionally, guests will have the option to take part in the Shedd's 4-D Experience, which costs $4.95.

The aquarium fully reopened on June 11. It is open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Masks are now required for all guests over the age of 2, regardless of vaccination status.  

For more information, click here

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