Free Days at Chicago Museums in December

Visiting local museums is always a great activity in the city, but most spots come with a hefty price tag for entry. If you’re looking to see some animals, view some art, or just learn a little history, here’s a roundup of this month’s free museum days.



Adler Planetarium: Free to Illinois residents on December 2, 3, 7, 12, and 13.

Art Institute of Chicago: The Art Institute is free year-round for Illinois residents on Thursdays from 5-8 p.m.


Chicago Botanic Garden: This spot is free every day, but parking can be expensive. Opt to take a train instead — the Union Pacific North line stops right by the entrance.

Brookfield Zoo: Free admission for all active, reserve, and retired military with ID.


Chicago Children’s Museum: Free every Thursday from 5 pm-8 pm and every first Sunday of the month. Always free for kiddos under 1.

Chicago History Museum: Every Tuesday is free for Illinois residents between 12:30 pm and 7:30 pm.


Clarke House Museum: Free admission every day to Chicago’s oldest standing home.

DePaul Art Museum: Free admission every day.


The DuSable Museum of African American History: Free admission on Tuesdays.

Photo Credit: Field Museum Facebook

The Field Museum: The Field Museum is offering a free day on December 16.

International Museum of Surgical Science: Free admission every Tuesday to Illinois residents.


Loyola University Museum of Art: This museum of local student art is always free.

McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum: Free admission every Sunday.

Museum of Contemporary Art: If you’re an Illinois resident, admission is free every Tuesday.

Museum of Science and Industry: There are unfortunately no more free days this year, but check back in January for a whole bunch!

National Museum of Mexican Art: Free admission every day.

The Shedd Aquarium: There is a free day on December 4 for Illinois residents and, on normal ticketed days, Chicago residents always get a 50% discount!

Smart Museum of Art: Always free.

Swedish American Museum: Free every second Tuesday of the month.



Featured Photo Credit: Museum of Science and Industry Facebook

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