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The Art Institute of Chicago | © Tripp/WikiCommons
The Art Institute of Chicago | © Tripp/WikiCommons
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Art Institute Of Chicago Expands Free Admission To High Schoolers

Picture of Elizabeth Newhart
Updated: 1 January 2017
The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) announced in December that it would offer free admission to high school-age teens starting January 2, 2017.

Since being named the world’s best museum by TripAdvisor in 2014 and consistently ranking in the top ten elsewhere, the AIC has received a significant amount of attention. Its collections of Monet, Van Gogh, Seurat, and Chagall are staggering and unparalleled, drawing in crowds of art enthusiasts from around the world.

But all that prestige comes with a price. Up until now, the museum admission prices have been on the high end. Non-member high school students, college students, and senior citizens each pay $19 per ticket, while non-member adults pay $25. Children 13 and under are free. AIC does participate in occasional free days, along with Chicago’s other museums, and it’s always free for Illinois residents on Thursdays from 5-8pm.

But thanks to a donation of an undisclosed amount from Kansas philanthropists Glenn and Claire Swogger, the museum will now be able to admit all children through age 17 every day for free for the foreseeable future. The teens must be able to prove their residency in Chicago, but do not have to be students of Chicago Public Schools.

It’s something that will make a huge difference in the city’s youth and encourage a well-rounded arts education. Apart from school field trips, most teens rarely have the funds to visit the museum on their own. Now they will be able to soak up the world-renowned culture that’s available to them in their backyard.  

Plan your next cheap outing by checking out the upcoming free days at Chicago’s major museums:

The Art Institute of Chicago

Special Winter Weekdays are free for Illinois residents from January 9 – February 16, 2017.


Adler Planetarium

January 6-13, 16-20
February 6-10, 20-24


Chicago History Museum

Starting January 10th, every Tuesday is free for Illinois residents from 12:30-7:30pm.

T-Rex fossil at the Field Museum | © WikiCommons

T-Rex fossil at the Field Museum | © Nimesh M/WikiCommons

The Field Museum

January 4, 5, 16, 28, 29, 30
February 1-28


Museum of Science and Industry

January 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 31
February 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28


The Shedd Aquarium

January 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
February 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 21, 27, 28