A Complete Breakdown of Chicago’s First Ever Museum Week

Chicago has an event for pretty much everything these days. Shopping, improv, and even hot sauce have been celebrated over the past couple weeks – but for some strange reason – we’ve never celebrated our exceptional museums. That is, until now.

Chicago’s first ever Museum Week will take place from October 1-7th. 12 of the city’s top museums are participating by offering special events, free days, discounts, and extended hours. Here’s what you can expect at each location.


Art Institute of ChicagoThe Art Institute of Chicago

  • Free Admission – Oct. 1st from 5-8pm.
  • $10 off new memberships
  • Free drop-in art making for families at The Artist’s Studio from 11am-2pm on Oct. 3-4



Adler PlanetariumThe Adler Planetarium

  • Free Admission – Oct. 5, 6 and 7
  • $10 off new memberships
  • Exclusive Museum Week Sky Show
  • Collection items from the Adler’s vault (not typically seen by the public) will be on display
  • Exclusive Space Oddities lecture
  • Family science activities available throughout the week
  • Story time with Curious George on Oct. 5th



Field MuseumThe Field Museum

  • Free Admission – Oct. 4
  • Meet The Field Museum Discover Squad to learn more about the collections “behind the scenes” – Oct. 2 from 10am-2pm



Lincoln Park ZooLincoln Park Zoo

  • Admission is always free
  • 10% off new memberships
  • Lincoln Park Zoo Fall Fest kicks off on Oct. 2nd, featuring a Ferris wheel, burlap sack ride, inflatable rides, hay rides, corn maze, pumpkin patch, and educational activities. The event runs from 10am-5pm and goes through Oct. 4th
  • Rides cost $3 for one, $27 for 10 and $51 for 20



Shedd AquariumShedd Aquarium

  • Free Admission – Oct. 5-6th
  • Animal chats about sharks (9:45 am, 11:15 am and 3:45 pm daily at the Wild Reef)
  • Animal chats about Belugas and sea lions (11 am, 1:30 pm and 3 pm daily at Abbot Oceanarium)
  • Animal chats about penguins (9:45 am, 12:45 pm, and 4 pm at the Polar Play Zone)



Museum of Science and IndustryMuseum of Science & Industry

  • Free Admission – Oct. 5-6th
  • $20 off any membership
  • New Robot Revolution exhibit featuring the latest robots from around the globe and a chance to interact with them



Museum of Contemporary ArtMuseum of Contemporary Art

  • Free Admission – Oct. 6th
  • Bring a receipt from a Museum Week visit of another museum and get half-off admission throughout the week
  • $10 off new memberships
  • MCA Prime Time, a culmination of electropop music, an immersive hallucinatory experience from LuftWek, interactive environments of light and design from The Post Family and a new film, Fresh Dressed, by Sasha Jenkins


Chicago History MuseumChicago History Museum

  • $4 off admission
  • 20% off memberships
  • 20% off café and store
  • After-hours event featuring a unique Flash Tour and chat with museum curators (Oct. 6, 5-8pm)
  • 30-minute highlight tours of “Chicago: Crossroads of America”
  • Excursion tours to Old Town, Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, Union Station, and the CTA Brown and Blue lines


DuSable Museum of African American HistoryDuSable Museum of African American History

  • Free Admission – Oct 4th
  • 2-for-1 admission all week long
  • 10% off store
  • Half-off individual memberships
  • Special guided tours available


National Museum of Mexican ArtNational Museum of Mexican Art

  • Admission is always free
  • 15% discount at the shop
  • Chance to win family membership
  • See the largest Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) exhibit in the country


The Peggy Notebaert Nature MuseumThe Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

  • Free Admission – Oct. 1
  • Bring a receipt from a Museum Week visit of another museum and get $5 off adult admission throughout the week
  • Chance to win lifetime membership
  • 10% off gift shop
  • $15 off 1-year membership
  • $25 off 2-year membership
  • Grand openings of “City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness” and “Peanuts… Naturally.”
  • Extended hours on Oct. 6th (until 8 pm)


National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & CultureNational Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture

  • Admission is always free
  • Las Caras Lindas: Intervenciones Actuales will feature vejigante masks from Puerto Rico with contemporary artistic input
  • Grand opening of the “Metamorphosis of Divine Entanglements” from Chicago artist Oscar Luis Martinez


Chicago’s first ever Museum Week will take place from October 1-7th

Photo Credit: Chicago Museum Week media kit