January means free days for Illinois residents at Chicago museums
School is back in session, but learning isn’t limited to the classroom. Chicago museums are offering free or discounted admission for Illinois residents this month.
“It’s an important opportunity for Illinois citizens,” said Rebecca Schejbal, administrative director of Museums in the Park. “I think it’s essential for students to observe through artifacts and have access to the resources that our museums offer to learn about the world and universe.”
Admission requires a valid ID with an Illinois address.
Go to space and beyond with exhibits that offer a scientific take on outer space. The “Worlds of Chesley Bonestell” exhibit, open through April 26, showcases an artistic view of the galaxy.
Hours: Monday–Friday 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Address: 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive
Free dates: Jan. 14 and 15
Along with permanent exhibits on topics such as Egyptian artifacts and animal taxidermy, the Field Museum’s “Vodou: Sacred Powers of Haiti” ditches Hollywood stereotypes of the spiritual force by focusing into its significance in the daily life of Haiti. Exhibit open until April 26. Enjoy free basic admission on these dates; upgrade to a Discovery Pass for $11 or an All-Access Pass for $18.
Hours: Daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Address: 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Free dates: Jan. 14–16, 19–23, 26–30
Why does a tornado spin or lighting strike? Discover the answers to these questions and more through live science in the “Science Storms” exhibit. Just watch out for that life-size twister. Exhibit is permanent.
Hours: Daily 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Address: 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Free dates: Jan. 18–20, 23–27
The Shedd is like no other — its exhibits are alive and you can even touch some of its sea creatures. Perhaps the most eye-catching exhibit is the “Caribbean Reef,” which is the first thing visitors see upon entering. It’s colorful and bright, making it great for a cold, gloomy day.
Hours: Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
Address: 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive
Free dates: Jan. 14–15, 19–23, 26–30
Did you know before Michigan Avenue became the Magnificent Mile, it was known as Pine Street? Find out more interesting facts about this landmark district in “Chicago Styled.” Exhibit open through Aug. 16. Closed Jan. 16.
Hours: Monday–Saturday 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Sunday 12–5 p.m.
Address: 1601 N. Clark St.
Free dates: weekdays through Feb. 10
It’s fun to look at art, but to be a part of it is even better. Audience participation is demanded in “Jesús Rafael Soto: Pénétrable Chicago.” The featured abstract artist is known for his pénétrables — a type of environmental structure. There are thousands of transparent filaments hanging from the ceiling in this installation and visitors can walk through it for a unique experience with art. Exhibit open through March 8.
Hours: Daily 10:30 a.m.–5 p.m.;
Thursday 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Address: 111 S. Michigan Ave.
Free dates: Tuesdays year-round
The question of identity is explored in “Body Doubles,” which looks at the relationship between the body and identity. The exhibition explores the notions that two or more bodies can create a single identity, and that multiple identities can exist within one body. Exhibit open until April 19. Closed on Mondays.
Hours: Tuesday 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Wednesday–Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Address: 220 E. Chicago Ave.