Chicago, IL

Chicago families can take advantage this summer of the library's free Kids Museum Passport

Jennifer Geer

Forget inflation and take the kids to Chicago's most popular museums for free. Here is how.

(CHICAGO) Consumer spending is on the decline, and all signs point to a recession headed our way. But still, it's summer, kids are home from school, and families want to make the best of things.

Did you know if you are an adult Chicago resident with an active library card, you can check out a Kids Museum Passport at any public library location?

This passport will give you free admission to Chicago's top museums.

What is a Kids Museum Passport?

The passport provides a family of four with free general admission to 19 Chicago museums. The rules: you must have a child under 18 in your group and a maximum number of two adults.

List of participating museums

  • Adler Planetarium
  • American Writers Museum
  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • Bronzeville Children's Museum
  • Brookfield Zoo
  • Chicago Botanic Garden
  • Chicago Children's Museum
  • Chicago History Museum
  • DuSable Museum of African American History
  • The Field Museum
  • Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
  • Lincoln Park Zoo
  • McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Museum of Science and Industry
  • National Museum of Mexican Art
  • National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture
  • Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
  • Shedd Aquarium

How to get a passport?

If you're a Chicago resident and have a public library card, you can head to any library location and check out a museum pass.

Passes can't be held online. They must be reserved in person on a first-come-first-serve basis.

To see the details, go online here and scroll down to the Kids Museum Passport section. Under the list of participating museums, click on the museum you are interested to find out if passes are available.

Are passes still available for the top museums?

Yes, a quick online check showed many passes were available at this time for some of the most popular museums on the list.

For example, Adler Planetarium has a total of 140 passes. As of the morning of July 7th, 39 passes are still available.

Be sure to read the fine print

The passes are only good for general admission. Special exhibits are not included. Some museums require advanced reservations. Be sure to check the requirements for the museum you want to visit.


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Jennifer covers lifestyle content and local news for the Chicago area. New articles published each weekday.

Chicago, IL

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