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Warm up with free admission to a museum

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

This week's sub-zero temperatures may not make it easy to leave the house, but some of Chicago's best museums are attempting to lure guests with the promise of free admission. You have to be an Illinois resident with a valid ID or proof of residence (sorry, out-of-town visitors) to take advantage of most of these offers—just think of it one of the perks of living in a city with brutally cold winters.

Adler Planetarium is offering complimentary admission to Illinois residents from January 5–7.

Between January 5 and February 10, The Art Institute of Chicago admits Illinois residents for free on weekdays. Residents also get free access every Thursday from 5–8pm, so you don't even have to pull a Bueller to take advantage of it.

Entertain the kids at The Chicago Children's Museum, which offers free admission for all visitors every Thursday evening from 5–8pm.

The Chicago History Museum is offering complimentary admission to Illinois residents January 5–9.

The Field Museum is giving free basic admission to Illinois residents January 5–7. You can upgrade your ticket to include access to "Vodou: Sacred Powers of Haiti" for $11.

Bowie has officially vacated the Museum of Contemporary Art, but Illinois residents can visit for free every Tuesday.

Take a walk through a mirror maze at the Museum of Science and Industry when it offers free access to Illinois residents January 5–9.

Pretend you're in a tropical oasis with a trip to Shedd Aquarium, which will admit Illinois residents free of charge on January 5 and 6.

Spend a cozy afternoon in one of Chicago's many free art galleries and museums.

Of course, you can always stay up to date on opportunities to visit Chicago institutions with paying a penny with our comprehensive list of free museum days. You can use all of the money you save to buy an extra-insulated parka.

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