Chicago’s free museum days this July: when Illinois residents can get in for free

Chicago's free museum days this July: when Illinois residents can get in for free

July in Chicago has already seen two NASCAR races and countless Independence Day celebrations, but there are also still free days available at some of the biggest Chicago museums this July.

Several museums will offer free entry for Illinois residents on certain days during the month of July.

Here’s a look at which dates you should know for the month:

Adler Planetarium: July 5, 12, 19, 26

The Adler Planetarium is free for Illinois residents every Wednesday evening this summer from 4-10 p.m. All tickets must be purchased online and in advance. Admission is always free for Illinois teachers (Pre-K through grade 12).  

Free admission on regular days is also extended to teachers, military personal and any family that qualifies for state food assistance. More information on additional discounted days can be found on the Adler Planetarium website.  

Art Institute: July 6, 13, 20, 27

From 5-8 p.m. on May 18 through Aug. 31, Illinois residents can secure free admission to the Art Institute on Thursday evenings. Tickets must be reserved online and resident status will be verified using the zip code associated with the billing address provided. More information on free and discounted days can be found on the Art Institute’s website.

However, the museum is always free for Chicago teens under the age of 18, as well as children under the age of 14. Link and WIC cardholders, active-duty member military and Illinois educators are also offered free admission year-round.

Students of colleges and universities in the University Partner Program are entitled to both free general and special exhibition admission by showing a valid student ID at the ticket counter. A full list of partnering colleges and universities can be found here.

DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center: July 5, 12, 19, 26

The DuSable Black History Museum and Education center offers free Illinois admission from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Wednesday with a valid ID.

Free admission is also offered to Illinois public school students (K through grade 12), first responders, park district employees, active-duty military personnel, United Airlines employees and more. Additional information on free and discounted admission can be found at the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center website.

Illinois Holocaust Museum: July 28

The last Friday of every month marks the Illinois Holocaust Museum’s free day. Tickets must be reserved here and more opportunities are open to families utilizing SNAP benefits with their Link card or EBT Card and a matching photo ID. More information can be found on the Illinois Holocaust Museum website.

Museum of Contemporary Art: July 11, 18, 25

Illinois residents are eligible for free admission at the Museum of Contemporary Art every Tuesday. This offer spans past just the summer and through the rest of 2023.

Free admission is also offered to anyone 18 and younger, members of the police and fire departments, active military, veterans, accompanying family members and caretakers for the elderly and people with disabilities. Students and faculty at various schools are also eligible for free admission. More information can be found on the Museum of Contemporary Art website.

Swedish American Museum: July 11

This Andersonville museum is offering free admission from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month. Due to the increased traffic throughout the museum on these days, it is advised to contact the Swedish American Museum directly to make a reservation if you plan on visiting with a group of ten or more.

The following museums are free to the public with some suggested donations depending on the location:

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