Museums to Visit for FREE

The best things in life are free and indeed, doing something with your kids and doing is for free would definitely fall under the same category.

In Chicago, there are a lot of museums you can go to for free or at discounted price. You just need to know when to go, what to bring and how to make the most out of your visit! Here are some suggestions. 

Museum of Contemporary Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago features words of artists of today. They feature international artists. Most especially, though, they feature works of locals. If you want to support local artists, visit the museum or check out the website for what are currently being featured. 

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If you are a Chicago resident, you are in for a treat! Admission is free for all local residents every Tuesday. Just bring an ID as proof of residence. Bring your little on with you to the museum 10 AM to 9 PM every Tuesday and from 10 AM to 5 PM on most all other days except for Mondays. The museum is located at 220 E Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. To make the most out of your visit, research the different features on the website and prior to your visit, decide which works to see during your visit.

Chicago Children’s Museum

There are a lot of ways to enjoy the Chicago Children’s Museum. The museum features a lot of exhibits. They have the Zoom Room that features toy cars and “roads” for kids to drive on. Kids can experiment on different outcomes when they drive up and down different “roads.” 

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WaterWays is another way to experiment and this time, with water! You can play with different levers and see how it changes the water movement or you can put small boats and see where they will flow to as you direct the water movement. 

The other exhibits are Pritzker Playspace, Dinosaur Expedition, Kovler Family Climbing Schooner and Kids Town. Each exhibit features a different way for kids to enjoy the museum while learning and exploring. 

Make the most our of your visit by coming early. When you get to the museum, spend a few minutes in each exhibit then move on to the next. If you have more time after seeing all the exhibits, go back to the exhibit that you enjoyed the most. 

Visit the museum on the first Sunday of the month for free admission to all ages 15 and below. Also, if you are an Illinois EBT or WIC card holder, bring your ID and pay only $3 per person for up to 6 persons. Each family should include at least 1 adult and 1 child age 15 or younger. 

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium is another great place to visit with your little one. They feature several exhibits such as Amazon Rising, Polar Play Zone, At Home on the Great Lakes, Abbott Oceanarium, Caribbean Reef, Wild Reef and Waters of the World. 

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When plan your visit, check out the schedules for aquatic presentations with Beluga Whales and Dolphins. Watch these see creatures and their trainers as they wow you with their tricks and skills. You will even learn a thing or two about how they live and their anatomy. 

Before you go to the aquarium, makes sure to check out any special events or presentations for the day so you can plan and make the most out of your visit. Know how much time you can spend at each exhibit and which ones will definitely interest your little one. 

If you are a resident of Illinois, make sure to bring your ID during one of the museum’s free days. In January, the free days are January 17 to 21. You can also visit on February 1, 4-8, 11-15, 18-22 and 25-28. The museum is located at 1200 S Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60605. 




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