Chicago Museums reopening
The State of Illinois and the City of Chicago have two essentially identical systems tracking our reopening status. For the most up to date restrictions check here.
Covid status: Each museum that has reopened has specific ticketing arrangements, restrictions and recommendations. Many museums have changed their hours and days of operation. Please read everything on their websites (links provided) before purchasing tickets. The situation can change with little notice so Always call first. Multiple times.
Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S Michigan Ave., 312-443-3600
The museum will reopen February 11, 2021. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Monday. 10AM-11AM is Members only. General public hours are 11AM-6PM. Monet and Chicago exhibition extended.
COTC note: When the museum reopened in June, 2020 the majority of visitors were arriving within the first two hours of the day. Please consider visiting later in the day to avoid busier galleries and longer exhibition wait times. Free day used to be on Wednesday 5-8PM. Also all the benches have been removed so if you’re looking for somewhere to rest after walking and standing for hours you’re out of luck.
Admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is free to Children ages 14-17, who are residents of the City of Chicago, are free on all days with a school ID, drivers license, report card or other document indicating that they are a resident of the City of Chicago. All children under age 14 are always free.
When you go on free evenings always check the AIC Calendar as they usually have lectures open to the general public
Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Rd; Brookfield, 708-688-8000 Discount tickets available from time-to-time
Brookfield Zoo plans to reopen to the public on March 1, 2021 within state restrictions. What you get on Free Days at Brookfield Zoo
Chicago History Museum, 1601 N Clark St., 312-642-4600
Field Museum, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr., 312-922-9410 Rules, regulations, more info
The museum reopens to the public on Saturday, January 23. Members get early access with member-only days on January 21 and 22. Monday, January 25 and Thursday, January 28, 2021 will be FREE days. Basic admission is free for Illinois residents with valid proof of residency. Basic admission includes all general admission exhibitions, such as Evolving Planet, The Ancient Americas, and Inside Ancient Egypt.
Special ticketed exhibitions or a 3D movie are available with:
- Discounted Discovery Pass ($10 adult;$8 children 3-11) Discounted Discovery Pass includes admission to all general admission exhibitions, and one ticketed exhibition or 3D movie OR
- Discounted All-Access Pass ($16 adult;$14 children 3-11) includes all general admission exhibitions, all ticketed exhibitions, and one 3D movie.
COTC note: I attempted to buy tickets for January 25 and 28 Free days and they were not showing as free so you may have to purchase at the Museum on Free Days. What you get on free day at the Field Museum
International Museum of Surgical Science, 1524 N. Lake Shore Dr., 312-642-6502
Currently open with capacity restrictions. No free days.
Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago Ave., 312-280-2660
The museum is scheduled to reopen March 2, 2021. Check website for operating hours. As of March 1, 2021 the MCA website states that “Admission is free for Illinois residents on Tuesdays.” Subject to change. Always call first.
Museum of Contemporary Photography, 600 S Michigan Ave, (312) 663-5554 Prior to visiting the MoCP, you must reserve a free timed ticket.
Free admission daily. This museum closes from time-to-time. Always call first to confirm.
Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S Lake Shore Dr., 773-684-1414. No free days until further notice.
MSI reopens March 7, 2021. Member-exclusive days March 4-6, 2021.
Oriental Institute Museum, 1155 E 58th St, 773-702-9520
Reservations, available every fifteen minutes, are required for your visit. In order to give as many visitors as possible an opportunity to enjoy the OI Museum, all visits are limited to one hour. Free admission daily with a suggested donation of $10 adult and $5 child.
Pritzker Military Museum and Library, 104 S Michigan Ave, (312) 374-9333
The Pritzker Museum & Library will reopen January 22, 2021. The 2nd and 3rd floor space will be open for Library Express Services, exhibit visits, and reference appointments.
Chicago Museums reopening
Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S Lake Shore Dr, 312-939-2438 Rules, regulations, more info.
Reopening to the public January 30, 2021. Public tickets available January 23, 2021 at noon. Members get early access from January 27 – January 29. There are currently No FREE days announced. If you have children you may want to try and get a Chicago Public Library Free Museum pass
Smart Museum of Art, 5550 S Greenwood Ave., 773-702-0200 Timed tickets must be reserved in advance.
Free admission daily.
Swedish American Museum, 5211 N Clark St., 773-728-8111
Admission is free for all visitors on the second Tuesday of the month, year round.
The Kids Museum Passport allows a family of four general admission during regular hours. A group must include at least one child under 18 for the pass to be valid. A maximum of two adults are admitted with each pass. Some branches are closed check Chicago Public Library Covid status