Chicago museums offering free admission this week for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students

Chicago museums offering free admission this week for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Museums in the Park have announced a week of free general admission for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students to 12 of the city’s museums in celebration of the 2017-2018 school year.

The week kicks off this Sunday, August 27th through Saturday, September 2rd with an impressive list of Chicago's top cultural institutions participating.

With the price of museum admission often prohibitive for families, this provides the perfect opportunity for students to explore the city's world class museums before school starts, September 5.

In order to be eligible for free general admission, students will need to bring their student ID OR a copy of their spring 2017 school report card. Eligible students are allowed to bring one accompanying adult with them who will also receive free general admission--with some sites providing free entrance for the entire family.

Also not all museums are free everyday so make sure to check their website to make sure it is free on the day you are planning your trip.


The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) is celebrating the 2017-2018 school year by offering a free family pass to every Chicago Public Schools K-12 student who attends the first day of class. Each pass provides Museum Entry tickets for up to three (3) adult or child between September 5, 2017 and June 18, 2018. The passes will be included in the information packets all students receive on their first day.

Here is the list of participating museums and their websites:

The Field Museum: One of the world's top natural history museums, The Field Museum, is home to 30 million artifacts and specimens, exciting exhibitions, and more than 150 scientists, conservators, and collections staff, The museum works to inspire curiosity and tell the story of life on earth.

Adler Planetarium:  The Adler Planetarium—America’s First Planetarium—provides a laboratory, a classroom and a community featuring interactive exhibitions, live planetarium shows, hands-on, minds-on STEM education programs and world-class collections. Check out their exhibit on the esclipse.

Art Institute of Chicago: The Art Institute houses everything from America’s greatest collection of Impressionist paintings to an extraordinary collection of modern masters.

Chicago History Museum:  The Chicago History Museum provides the perfect place to look at Chicago's past from the Union Stockyards to the Great Chicago Fire. They also host many special exhibits, tours and events.

The DuSable Museum of African American History:  The DuSable Museum of African American History, a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate, is one of the oldest institutions of its kind in the country. The museum showcases achievements, contributions and experiences of African Americans through the preservation and presentation of our history, culture and art.

Lincoln Park Zoo:  Lincoln Park Zoo, which is always free and open year round is a historic Chicago landmark founded in 1868.  The zoo connects people with nature offering a family-oriented wildlife experience. (always free)

Museum of Contemporary Art: Budding artists and art lovers of all ages will enjoy the light-filled galleries of one of the MCA, one of world’s largest contemporary art venues. The museum showcases ever-changing exhibitions that introduce you to artists from Chicago and around the world along with many works in their own collection. The museum also features a unique gift shop.

Museum of Science & Industry:  The Museum of Science and Industry is many children's favorite. Perfect for the whole family, the museum offers over 14 acres of hands-on experiences—all housed in the only remaining building from the White City in the 1893 World’s Fair. Make sure to stop by the current exhibitions, Brick by Brick, Extreme Ice and Robots.

National Museum of Mexican Art:  The National Museum of Mexican Artsis a true Chicago gem that showcases 3,000 years of creativity from both sides of the border, connecting museum visitors to the diversity of Mexican art and culture. The works from the museum’s 10,000-piece permanent collection are exhibited in the bilingual galleries of the first nationally accredited Latino museum in the United States. (always free)

Nat’l Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture:  The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture is the only free-standing cultural institution in the nation devoted to showcasing Puerto Rican arts and historic exhibitions year-round.  The Humboldt Park museum is located in the heart of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum:  Visitors flock to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum's Judy Istock Butterfly Haven. The museum also features many other exhibits where visitors can learn informative information on critters and ecology.

Shedd Aquarium: Chicago's Shedd Aquarium is home to 32,000 aquatic animals representing more than 1,500 species of invertebrates, fishes, reptiles, birds and mammals.

Click here for a list of free admittance days at Chicago Museums for the rest of 2017.

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