Many Chicago museums offer free days throughout the year when general admission is no charge to one and all. There's no such thing as a free lunch, however -- the lure of free admission can draw some large crowds.
Photo via Adler Planetarium
Chicago's Adler Planetarium
has a number of "Discount Days" throughout the year providing free general admission. But while their space science exhibits are interesting, you'll probably want to still shell out some money for at least one of the museum's sky shows.
Photo © Prescott Carlson
It's easy to spend a lazy day in the Art Institute of Chicago
meandering through all the various exhibits, and you can do it for free at least two days each month.
© 2010 Chicago Children's Museum
Photo via Field Museum
The Field Museum of Natural History offers free days every single month of the year, with the most free days generally clustered between September through February.
Photo via MSI
Climb aboard the Silver Streak train, check out the most elaborate doll house you'll ever see, explore the science behind our planet's weather, go down into a coal mine, and more, all for free during the Museum of Science and Industry's free days.
Photo via Shedd Aquarium
Generally on Mondays and Tuesdays, the Shedd Aquarium
has over 50 days throughout the year where they offer free general admission to their main exhibits which includes Waters of the World, Amazon Rising, and the Caribbean Reef exhibits.