free days at

chicago museums in 2020


If you are looking for some FREE fun in Chicago, look no further!  Here are the FREE DAYS at several popular Chicago Museums, many of which have free admission days on the same day!

Shoutout to Chicago's own local guru, DO312, for compiling this list for us suburbanites! 

Check them out for ALL THE THINGS in the city! Consider them the Families on the Fox of Chicago.

View this COMPLETE list HERE.

ADler Planetarium

Throughout the year, Alder Planetarium host plenty of free days for America’s first planetarium. Take note that this is only free for Illinois residents.

January 7-9, 20-22 | February 4-6, 11-13, 17-20

March 9-12 | April 20-23

May 10-16 | June 2, 9, 16

August 22-23, 31 | September 1-4

October 12-15 | November 11, 17-19

December 4-6


Art institute of chicago

Illinois residents can enjoy free admissions every Thursday from 5 – 8 pm.


Overall, children under 14, Chicago teens under 18, and active duty military along with their family are given free access any day!

July 30 - 31 | August 1 -3 (offer open to Illinois residents only) [must register in advance for free tickets due to COVID restrictions]


brookfield Zoo

Every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday between January 1 and February 29, 2020, all guests will receive FREE ADMISSION to Brookfield Zoo. You do not need to buy admission tickets if you plan on attending those days. Please note this does not include zoo attractions.

To show appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the men and women in the United States Armed Forces, the Chicago Zoological Society is offering free admission to Brookfield Zoo to all active, reservist, and retired members of the military. Qualified personnel who present a valid ID at any zoo admission booths will be admitted free of charge.


Chicago Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden is always free.  Parking, though, costs $25.


Chicago Children's Museum

Chicago Children’s Museum is free on the first Sunday of every month, from 10 am – 5 pm.


Free admission all day for children under 15 and for Veterans and Active Duty Military. 


the field museum

Illinois residents can spend a day at The Field Museum with complimentary admission on the following free days in 2020:


January 8, 15, 20, 22, 29

February 1-29


Lincoln Park Zoo



Museum of COntemporary Art

MCA is free to Illinois residents EVERY TUESDAY year-round. Free for those under 18, or who are members of the military, police, or fire department. 

July 24 - 31 | August 1 - 31 [must register in advance for free tickets due to COVID restrictions]


Museum of Science and Industry

Illinois residents can enjoy free admission on the following days:

January 6-9, 13-16, 20-23, 27-30, 2020

February 3-6, 10-13, 18-20, 24-27, 2020

August 1-2, 5-9, 12-14 [must register in advance for free tickets due to COVID restrictions]

*Limited to six children (under 18) admitted per one accompanying adult. 


The Shedd Aquarium

Guests who present a valid Bank of America/Merrill Lynch ATM, credit, or debit card, along with photo identification, will receive one free admission on site on the Sunday of the first full weekend of each month (excludes summer months).

January 16-20, 2020

February 3-7, 10-14, 17-21, 24-28, 2020

June 15, 16, 22, 23, 2020


Chicago History Museum

Children under 12 years old and Illinois residents under 18 years old are always free.


Illinois residents of all ages are offered free admission every Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Commemorative Days: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, March 4 and July 4. (Excludes December 17, December 24 and December 31.)

July 27 - July 31, 2020 [must register in advance for free tickets due to COVID restrictions]


Fall Foliage

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