Discount museum admission for suburban Chicago residents
If you live in the suburbs and have a library card from a participating library you may be able to get free or discount museum passes through the Museum Adventure Pass program. If passes are available can check them out either in-person or online. Unfortunately the big five institutions (Adler Planetarium, Art Institute, Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry and Shedd Aquarium) are not included. Still there are some options that are pricey to get into. This program is similar to Explore More Illinois in that some of these passes are for discounts and Buy One, Get one deals. What is nice is that you can see online if or when passes will be available.
Some of the deals:
- Brookfield Zoo: Admits 2. Does not include parking or admission to any internal exhibits or attractions, such as Dolphin Show, Butterflies!, Children’s Zoo, Temporary exhibits, Motor Safari, etc.
- Illinois Railway Museum: Admits: 2 free passes with the purchase of 2, or 1 free pass with the purchase of 1. Available ONLY during regular season which runs from 4/18 to 10/25 and excluding 7/11,12,18,19.
- Legoland: Admits one person (Senior, Adult or Child) free with one paid admission at the door.
- Chicago Botanic Garden: Admits 1 car at 50% off per pass. Note the Chicago Botanic Garden is going to become very expensive to visit in 2022.
How it works
- Check the list of participating libraries to see if your library in included.
- Check current pass availability at your library. If passes are available, visit your library to have staff issue passes to you.
- Bring your library card and identification.
- Click Find Museums, Libraries and Passes.
- Scroll down to your local library and click on “Passes Available”
- Look for the museum you want and click on “ONLINE Pass Request”
- Enter the required information and click “Submit” to send your request to your library
- You will receive an email with the requested pass which you can print or use on your phone. If a pass is not attached to the email, information will be provided.
Libraries have a limited number of passes for each participating museum, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis whether requested in person or online.
- One Museum Adventure Pass may be checked out per family, per loan period. The loan period is SEVEN DAYS and will expire after the date printed on the pass.
- Admission offers vary per museum. For some, two or four people may be admitted free per pass, or by carload. If admission is free, another special discount will be offered.
- Passes MAY NOT BE DUPLICATED, are non-transferrable, must be used by the patron checking out the pass, and may only be used once. Patrons may be asked for photo identification and/or library card to gain admission to the participating museum. Abuse of pass use may result in the patron’s suspension from the program.
- Check the list of participating museums for details on each cultural destination. Find out what discoveries await you, get directions to the museum, and review each museum’s pass entry offer, including any restrictions that may apply.
Discount museum admission for suburban Chicago residents – Participating museums (YMMV)
Air Classic Inc Museum of Aviation
American Writers Museum
Aurora Regional Fire Museum
Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County
Bronzeville Children’s Museum
Brookfield Zoo (Chicago Zoological Society)
Cernan Earth and Space Center at Triton College
Chicago Botanic Garden
Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn
Elgin History Museum
Elgin Public Museum
Ellwood House Museum
Geneva Lake Museum
Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center
Illinois Railway Museum
KidsWork Children’s Museum
LEGOLAND Discovery Center
Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
Oriental Institute Museum
Pleasant Home Foundation
St. Charles Heritage Museum