Summer is almost upon us.There are many family-friendly activities in our area.

There are two great ways you can get free or discounted admission. If you have a Chicago Public Library card ( free for any Chicago resident) you can pick up a pass to utilize at many attractions ( restrictions apply).

Having an Illinois Link card entitles you to many reduced/free admission prices.

We have provided the information for you here:

LINK Card Museum Discounts

The LINK card museum discount is an amazing benefit you can get from having an Illinois LINK card. Some attractions offer free admission and others provide a discount. You will need to show the EBT card to receive the discount or free admission.
The following museums are included in this program. Please contact the museum directly for their open days/ hours.

Adler Planetarium – $1 per person
When you show either a LINK card or WIC ID at the Adler, you’ll receive a Basic Pass (including one show) for just $1 per guest, up to 8 guests. For an additional $5 per person, you can upgrade to an All Access Pass with unlimited shows and the historic Atwood Sphere experience!

Art Institute of Chicago – FREE
Enjoy the Art Institute of Chicago for FREE with your Illinois LINK card.

Chicago Academy of Sciences & Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum – $1 per person
Enjoy exhibits and interactive classes as you learn about nature. In addition to standard exhibits, you also get access to the events and activities! Admission is just $1 per person, with your LINK card, for up to 6 people.

Chicago Children’s Museum – $3 per group
Illinois LINK cardholders (or WIC recipients) can pay just $3 for up to 6 people. Families must include at least one adult and one child age 15 or younger.

Chicago History Museum – $3 per adult
Illinois LINK cardholders can receive admission for just $3 per adult. Admission is always free for anyone age 12 and younger.

The Field Museum – $3 per person
The Field Museum tells the story of life on Earth through historical and scientific collections. Solve mysteries, explore new subjects and enjoy the exhibits for just $3 per person (up to 6 people) when you show your Illinois LINK.

Museum of Contemporary Art – $3 or less per person
Art is for everyone, says the Museums of Contemporary Art in Chicago. A generous pay-as-you-will admission policy ensures that nobody will be turned away due to inability to pay. Admission is always free for all Illinois residents on Tuesdays! The suggested admission with EBT is $3 each for up to 6 people.

Museum of Science and Industry – FREE
Visit one of the largest science museums in the world for just FREE! You’ll enjoy more than 400,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits. If you have an Illinois LINK card or a WIC card, then you can get free Museum Entry for up to two adults and six children (under 18).

Shedd Aquarium – FREE
Low-income families with either an EBT card OR WIC benefits can get FREE admission to Shedd Aquarium! Your free admission includes access to all permanent exhibits, the Underwater Beauty special exhibit, and the seasonal Stingray Touch experience. For $4.95 per person, you can upgrade to a 4D experience as well.

Chicago Botanic Garden – FREE + Discounted Parking
Although the Chicago Botanic Garden is always free, Illinois LINK cardholders can receive a reduced parking rate of $10 per vehicle (parking is usually $25-$30). Active duty military, reservists, former POWs and their families can receive free parking with ID.

Kohl Children’s Museum – $3 per person
Bring your Illinois LINK card and photo ID to receive $3 admission per person for up to 4 people.

Schaumburg, IL

Blocks to Bricks – $3 per person
This 12,000 square foot space is a celebration of construction toys, including LEGO®, Erector Sets®, Lincoln Logs® and more. With an EBT card, four people can receive admission for just $3 each!

The Morton Arboretum – $1 per person
This internationally recognized nonprofit organization provides an engaging, educational experience across 1,700 acres of woodlands, prairie, meadows, lakes and streams. In addition, there are 16 miles of hiking trails and a number of tree and plant collections. Of course, their award-winning children’s garden is a great place to take the kids! With an Illinois LINK card, you will pay just $1 per person for up to 8 guests (as long as you’re all in one vehicle).

DuPage Children’s Museum – $3 per person
With your LINK Card, you can visit for just $3 per person!
If you’ve got WIC, IHFS Medical or afree/reduced school lunch award letter, you can get an even better deal! You can score a $25 per year membership to DuPage Children’s Museum! The membership covers up to two adults and six children.

Naper Settlement – $1 per person
Explore 12 acres of learning at Naper Settlement‘s family-friendly outdoor history museum. Learn about the past through exciting interactive exhibits, galleries and so much more.

Wheaton, IL

Cantigny Park – $1 per vehicle with up to 8 passengers
Cantigny Park features 500 acres of gardens, with miles of stunning trails and multiple museums. Entrance to the park is always free, but there is a parking fee. With EBT, that fee is just $1 for your vehicle of up to 8 passengers. However, ticketed events, fee-based programs, paid tours and other discounts are not included.

Chicago Public Library Kids museum Passport

If you have a Chicago Public Library card, and you have at least one child under 18, you can access the Kids Museum Passport! The Kids Museum Passport provides admission for a family of four during regular business hours. You can check out one per week. These passes can be checked out by any adult resident of Chicago who is a CPL cardholder. The pass provides free admission for two adults and two children. At least one child under age 18 must be present for the pass to be valid.

You can pick up the pass at any CPL location although availability may be limited. Each location only has a certain number of passes to each museum. They are provided on a first-come, first-serve basis with no holds allowed.

Only one passport can be checked out at a time and there are no renewals. There is a $2 per day fine (maximum of $20) for a Kids Museum Passport. If the Passport is lost, you’ll owe $60 plus any overdue fines.

The following museums are included in this program. Please contact the museum directly for their open days/ hours.

Adler Planetarium
The Kids Museum Passport grants admission to all exhibitions, including Planet Explorers. Additional shows and experiences, such as Planet Nine and the Historic Atword Sphere Experience, are available for an extra charge.

Art Institute of Chicago
Children under 14 are always free to the Art Institute of Chicago. With this pass, two accompanying adults and two guests between 14 and 18 years of age will also be free! Admission does not include lectures, performances or special exhibitions that require an additional fee.

Bronzeville Children’s Museum
Save $20 at Bronzeville Children’s Museum, where admission is typically $5 per person. The museum is designed for children between the ages of 3 and 9 years old. The library pass includes a free guided tour (offered every hour on the hour).

Brookfield Zoo
The Kids Museum Passport does not include access to The Dolphin Show, The Carousel, Hamill Family Play Zoo, Hamill Family Wild Encounters, Butterflies, Motor Safari, special exhibitions or tours that typically require an extra fee.

Chicago Botanic Garden
Although admission to the Chicago Botanic Garden is always free, the Kids Museum Passport also allows families to save 50% off parking for one vehicle (car level only). This pass is not valid on most holidays or event days. No discounts are offered for the Wonderland Express, Model Railroad, Grand Tram, Bright Encounters Tram, and Butterflies & Blooms.

Chicago Children’s Museum
A family of four can receive discounted admission during regular public hours with this pass.

Chicago History Museum
Children who are under age 12 are always free at the Chicago History Museum. With this pass, they can have two adults and two older children accompany them for free!

Museum of Contemporary Art
Children under 12 are always free at the Museum of Contemporary Art! Now, two adults and two older children can join the youngsters for free as well.

Museum of Science and Industry
Extra exhibits, like the Omnimax, U-505 on-board tour, Coal Mine, tours, ticket packages and special exhibitions require an additional admission charge. Additional guests between the ages of 3-11 qualify for child rates.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Families of up to four can explore the nature museum for free with this pass.

Shedd Aquarium
Families of up to four people get free admission with this pass. For an additional fee, they can also visit the Abbott Oceanarium, Polar Play Zone, Wild Reef, Amphibians special exhibit, 4-D Experience, Stingray Touch (seasonal) and aquatic shows. Additional guests between the ages of 3 and 11 qualify for child rates.

Kids Bowl Free

Select bowling centers and schools around the country are participating in the first ever Kids Bowl Free program. This program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer.

Children whose age does not exceed a limit by a participating bowling center are eligible to register for 2 free games each day of the KBF program, all summer long, courtesy of the participating bowling centers along with the schools and organizations.