If you are an Illinois resident and have always wanted to check out Chicago’s top museums, there is a way you can do it all for free! Many of the museums have free days, and I am going to fill you in on which ones to check out!

The Art Institute, world-renowned for it’s Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, has a vast collection of works by Monet, Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec. It is the second-largest art museum in America, just behind The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and its collection encompasses more than 5,000 years of human expression from cultures around the world and contains more than 260,000 works of art. Admission is free for Illinois residents on weekdays during the winter season from January 7, through February 13, 2013. After that, beginning February 14, every Thursday is free in the evenings from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. It’s a great time to take your date or your friends to see some of the upcoming Picasso exhibits.

The Museum of Contemporary Art has a vast collection of art with a focus on surrealism, minimalism, and conceptual photography from 1945 to present. Browse their paintings, sculptures, photography and installations for free every Tuesday, year round.

The Museum of Science and Industry is the largest science center in the Western Hemisphere. It is home to more than 35,000 artifacts and nearly 14 acres of hands-on experiences designed to spark scientific inquiry and creativity. Their site has a calendar that lists specific dates the museum is free. In February, the museum is free to all Illinois residents on the 13, the 20 and the 27. Click here for 2013’s full schedule.

The Notebaert Nature Museum features displays about the ecological history of the Illinois region, as wells as a live butterfly house that holds more than 200 species of exotic butterflies. Thursdays are free with a suggested donation.


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