Field Museum Admission: Free for Illinois Residents

Field Museum

Ready for an exciting adventure in the heart of Chicago? Good news! The Field Museum, one of the city’s iconic landmarks, is now offering free admission to all Illinois residents. That means you can explore the incredible exhibitions, discover fascinating artifacts, and immerse yourself in the wonders of natural history without spending a dime. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun day out, the Field Museum has something for everyone.

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Get ready to embark on a thrilling journey through time and discover the marvels of our world right on your doorstep. So grab your friends, family, or even fly solo and make the most of this incredible opportunity. Say hello to captivating exhibits and unforgettable memories at the Field Museum in the Windy City!

Field Museum in the city of Chicago
Photo by Austin Farrington on Unsplash

Field Museum Admission: Free for Illinois Residents

Welcome to the Field Museum, where you can embark on a fascinating journey through natural history and cultural artifacts from around the world. Located in the heart of Chicago, the Field Museum offers a captivating experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a curious explorer, a history enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun day out, the Field Museum has something for everyone. And the best part? Admission is free for Illinois residents!

About the Field Museum


Since its establishment in 1893, the Field Museum has been dedicated to uncovering the wonders of the natural world and preserving the cultural heritage of humanity. With a rich history spanning over a century, the museum has become one of the world’s leading institutions for scientific research and education.


The Field Museum’s mission is to inspire curiosity and foster a deeper understanding of the Earth and its inhabitants. Through its extensive collections, cutting-edge research, and engaging exhibitions, the museum aims to ignite a passion for learning and encourage conservation efforts to protect our planet.


The Field Museum boasts an impressive collection of over 40 million specimens and artifacts. From dinosaur fossils and Egyptian relics to exquisite gemstones and rare bird species, the museum’s vast holdings showcase the diversity of life on Earth and the achievements of ancient civilizations.


At the core of the Field Museum’s work is its commitment to scientific research. The museum’s expert scientists and researchers conduct groundbreaking studies in fields such as anthropology, botany, geology, and zoology. Their discoveries not only contribute to our knowledge of the world but also inform conservation efforts and help tackle pressing environmental challenges.


Spanning four floors and covering an area of 480,000 square feet, the Field Museum offers a spacious and immersive environment for exploration. With state-of-the-art exhibition halls, laboratories, classrooms, and event spaces, the museum provides a variety of settings for learning, discovery, and collaboration.

Admission Policy for Illinois Residents

General Information

The Field Museum is proud to offer free admission to all Illinois residents. This generous policy allows residents to access the museum’s world-class exhibitions and educational programs without the burden of an entrance fee.

Free Admission Eligibility

To be eligible for free admission, visitors must provide proof of Illinois residency. This policy applies to individuals of all ages, including children and minors. Please note that non-residents will be required to pay the regular admission fee.

Special Offers

In addition to free admission for Illinois residents, the Field Museum often offers special promotions and discounts throughout the year. These offers may include free or discounted admission for specific groups, such as educators, students, military personnel, and seniors. Be sure to check the museum’s website or inquire at the ticketing counter for the most up-to-date information on these special offers.

Proof of Illinois Residency

Accepted Documents

To avail of free admission, Illinois residents must present a valid form of identification that provides proof of residency. Acceptable documents may include a valid Illinois driver’s license, state ID card, or utility bill with the resident’s name and Illinois address. It is important to note that photocopies or digital copies of these documents will not be accepted.

Children and Minors

For children and minors who are Illinois residents, a parent or legal guardian may present proof of residency on their behalf. This may include the parent or guardian’s valid Illinois driver’s license, state ID card, or utility bill with the parent or guardian’s name and Illinois address. The child or minor must be accompanied by the parent or guardian at the time of visit.

Additional Verification

In some cases, the museum may require additional verification of Illinois residency. This may occur if the presented documentation is deemed insufficient or if there are concerns regarding the validity of the proof of residency. If further verification is necessary, the museum staff will provide guidance on the required steps.

Visitor Guidelines

Health and Safety Measures

The Field Museum is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors. To ensure the well-being of guests and staff, the museum has implemented various health and safety measures. These may include temperature checks, mandatory face coverings, physical distancing guidelines, and increased sanitization protocols. Visitors are kindly requested to adhere to these measures and follow any instructions provided by museum staff.

Photography and Filming

Photography and filming for personal use are generally permitted throughout the museum, except in areas where it is explicitly prohibited. However, professional or commercial photography and filming require prior permission from the museum’s media relations department. Tripods and additional equipment may also necessitate permission. For the comfort and safety of all visitors, please be considerate when taking photos and avoid blocking pathways or exhibits.

Accessibility Services

The Field Museum strives to be accessible to all visitors. The museum is equipped with ramps, elevators, and accessible restrooms to accommodate individuals with mobility challenges. Wheelchairs are available for rent on a first-come, first-served basis. For visitors requiring additional assistance, the museum provides accessibility resources, including sensory maps, assistive listening devices, and captioning for select exhibits and programs. If you have specific accessibility needs or questions, please contact the museum in advance to ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit.

Guided Tours

Enhance your museum experience with a guided tour led by knowledgeable museum educators. These tours provide fascinating insights into the museum’s exhibits, collections, and research. Guided tours are available for both individuals and groups and can be tailored to specific interests or topics. Please note that additional fees may apply, and advance reservations are recommended.

Behavioral Expectations

To create a welcoming and respectful environment for all visitors, the Field Museum has established behavioral expectations. These guidelines ensure that everyone can enjoy their visit without disruption or discomfort. Visitors are expected to follow museum policies, treat exhibits and artifacts with care, and show consideration for others. Running, shouting, touching exhibits, and littering are not permitted. By adhering to these expectations, we can all contribute to a positive and enriching museum experience.

Field Museum, Chicago
Photo by mana5280 on Unsplash

Hours of Operation

Regular Museum Hours

The Field Museum is open to the public during the following hours:

  • Monday to Sunday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Please note that these hours are subject to change, and it is recommended to check the museum’s website or contact the museum directly for any updates to the schedule.

Holiday Hours

On select holidays, the Field Museum may operate on special hours. These holidays may include but are not limited to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The museum’s website will provide information regarding any modifications to the regular operating hours during these holidays.

Museum Closures

In rare instances, the Field Museum may be closed for reasons such as maintenance, renovations, or special events. Prior notification will be provided on the museum’s website and social media channels if such closures are planned. Visitors are encouraged to check for any unexpected closures before their visit to avoid disappointment.

Permanent Exhibits

Evolving Planet

Explore the history of life on Earth, from the first single-celled organisms to the incredible diversity of species that exist today. This exhibit showcases over four billion years of evolution and reveals the interconnectedness of all living things.

Sue the T. rex

Encounter the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever discovered. Marvel at the size and power of Sue, the iconic dinosaur, and learn about the life and times of this fearsome predator.

Inside Ancient Egypt

Step into the ancient world of Egypt and discover the mysteries of its pharaohs, pyramids, and everyday life. This immersive exhibit features real mummies, ancient artifacts, and interactive displays that bring the wonders of ancient Egypt to life.

The Ancient Americas

Journey through the rich and diverse cultures of the ancient Americas, from the Inca civilization of Peru to the Maya city-states of Central America. Experience the art, technology, and spirituality of these remarkable civilizations.

Underground Adventure

Shrink down to the size of an insect and explore the hidden world beneath our feet. Learn about the important roles that soil and insects play in sustaining life on Earth, and discover the wonders of the microcosmos.

Pacific Spirits

Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultures of the Pacific Islands. From the stunning artistry of Polynesian tapa cloth to the intricate carvings of Maori pendants, this exhibit showcases the rich traditions and ancestral connections of Pacific Islanders.

Cyrus Tang Hall of China

Delve into the history and culture of China, one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Marvel at the intricate beauty of Chinese art, examine ancient artifacts, and gain a deeper understanding of the nation’s rich heritage.

Grainger Hall of Gems

Admire the brilliance and beauty of gemstones from around the world. This exhibit displays a dazzling array of precious and semi-precious gems, along with fascinating geological specimens that reveal the extraordinary forces of nature.

Hall of Birds

Embark on a journey through the diverse world of birds, from towering eagles to delicate songbirds. With over 600 specimens on display, this exhibit showcases the remarkable adaptations, behaviors, and conservation challenges of our feathered friends.

Hall of Reptiles and Amphibians

Encounter the fascinating reptiles and amphibians that inhabit our planet. From venomous snakes to colorful frogs, this exhibit highlights the incredible diversity and ecological importance of these cold-blooded creatures.

Field museum of natural history in chicago illinois
Photo by Lavdrim Mustafi on Pexels

Temporary Exhibits

Current Temporary Exhibits

The Field Museum regularly features exciting temporary exhibits that offer unique and engaging experiences. These exhibits may focus on specific topics, such as climate change, ancient civilizations, or biodiversity. Visit the museum’s website or inquire at the ticketing counter for information on the current temporary exhibits.

Upcoming Temporary Exhibits

The museum constantly strives to bring new and captivating exhibits to its visitors. Stay tuned for announcements about upcoming temporary exhibits that will delve into compelling themes, showcase groundbreaking research, and offer fresh perspectives on our world. Check the museum’s website for updates on the forthcoming exhibits.

Past Temporary Exhibits

The Field Museum has a rich history of hosting memorable temporary exhibits. From the groundbreaking “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” to the immersive “Titans of the Ice Age,” these past exhibits have provided visitors with unforgettable experiences and insights. While these exhibits may no longer be on display, they have left a lasting impact on the museum and its visitors.

Ticketing Information

Please note that temporary exhibits may have separate admission fees or require timed entry tickets. It is recommended to check the museum’s website or contact the ticketing office for specific information regarding ticketing requirements, prices, and availability.

Special Events

Annual Events

Throughout the year, the Field Museum hosts a variety of special events that celebrate the wonders of natural history and showcase the museum’s collections. These annual events may include themed festivals, lectures, workshops, and family-friendly activities. Join in the festivities and immerse yourself in the world of science, culture, and discovery.

Seasonal Events

Experience the magic of the holidays at the Field Museum during its seasonal events. From winter wonderlands to springtime celebrations, these events offer a unique twist on the museum experience. Enjoy festive decorations, special exhibitions, and interactive programs that capture the spirit of the season.

In addition to its permanent and temporary exhibits, the Field Museum occasionally hosts featured exhibitions that delve into specific themes or highlight important discoveries. These exhibitions may be curated in collaboration with other institutions or showcase traveling collections from around the world. Stay tuned for information on these highly anticipated exhibitions, as they offer a unique opportunity to explore new perspectives and delve deeper into fascinating subjects.

Ticketing Information

Special events and featured exhibitions may have specific ticketing requirements, including separate admission fees or timed entry tickets. It is advisable to check the museum’s website or contact the ticketing office for detailed information regarding ticket prices, availability, and any restrictions that may apply.

Educational Programs

The Field Museum offers a wide range of educational programs designed to engage learners of all ages. These programs aim to inspire curiosity, foster a love for learning, and provide unique opportunities to explore the museum’s exhibits and collections. Whether you’re a student, educator, or lifelong learner, the museum has educational offerings to suit your interests and needs.

School Programs

The museum’s school programs provide K-12 students with hands-on, inquiry-based learning experiences that complement classroom curricula. These programs cover a range of topics, from paleontology and biodiversity to cultural anthropology and climate science. Led by experienced museum educators, these interactive programs aim to ignite curiosity, encourage critical thinking, and deepen students’ understanding of the natural world and human cultures.

Educator Resources

The Field Museum supports educators in their mission to inspire and educate their students. The museum offers a wealth of online resources, lesson plans, and professional development opportunities that align with educational standards. These resources enable educators to expand their knowledge, engage their students, and bring the wonders of the museum into their classrooms.

Adult Programs

Lifelong learners can take advantage of the museum’s adult programs, which provide opportunities to learn from leading experts in the fields of science, culture, and history. These programs may include lectures, workshops, field trips, and behind-the-scenes tours. Dive deeper into your areas of interest, engage in thoughtful discussions, and connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for learning.

Family Programs

Families are invited to explore the wonders of the Field Museum together through interactive and engaging programs. From family-friendly tours to hands-on workshops, these programs offer opportunities for shared learning and discovery. Foster a love for science, culture, and history in your children and create lasting memories of exploration and wonder.

Dining and Shopping

Complete your museum experience with a visit to the Field Museum’s dining and shopping options. Whether you’re looking to refuel with a delicious meal or find a unique souvenir to commemorate your visit, the museum has you covered.

The Field Bistro

Located on the ground floor, the Field Bistro offers a range of fresh and flavorful dining options. From hearty sandwiches and salads to hot meals and grab-and-go snacks, there’s something to satisfy every appetite. Enjoy your meal in the bright and spacious dining area or take it to go for a picnic in the museum’s beautiful outdoor space.

Explorer’s Cafe

For a quick and convenient bite to eat, head to the Explorer’s Cafe. Located near the museum’s entrance, this casual cafe offers a selection of sandwiches, snacks, beverages, and desserts. Grab a coffee and a pastry to kickstart your museum adventure or refuel with a sandwich between exhibits.

Field Museum Store

Browse the Field Museum Store for a wide range of unique gifts, books, toys, and souvenirs. From educational games and plush toys to beautiful jewelry and scientific instruments, this store has something for every interest and budget. Take home a piece of the museum and continue your exploration of natural history and culture in the comfort of your own home.

Pop-up Shops

Throughout the year, the museum hosts pop-up shops that feature special collections, limited-edition items, and collaborations with local artists and artisans. These temporary shops offer an opportunity to discover one-of-a-kind treasures and support local talent. Keep an eye out for these pop-up shops during your visit, as they often offer exclusive products that can’t be found anywhere else.


Can I get free admission if I’m not an Illinois resident?

Unfortunately, free admission is only available to Illinois residents. Non-residents will be required to pay the regular admission fee. However, the museum often offers special promotions and discounts for specific groups, so it’s worth checking the museum’s website or contacting the ticketing office for more information.

Do I need to make a reservation?

While reservations are not typically required for general admission, it is advisable to check the museum’s website or contact the ticketing office for any updates or changes to the reservation policy. For certain events, programs, or temporary exhibits, advance reservations may be necessary to ensure availability and a seamless experience.

Are strollers allowed in the museum?

Yes, strollers are allowed in the museum. The museum is stroller-friendly, with ramps and elevators providing easy access to all areas. However, please be considerate of other visitors and museum exhibits by maneuvering strollers safely and avoiding crowded areas.

Can I bring my own food to the museum?

Outside food and beverages are not allowed inside the museum. However, the Field Museum offers dining options, including the Field Bistro and the Explorer’s Cafe, where you can purchase meals, snacks, and beverages. With a range of options available, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your hunger and keep you energized throughout your visit.

Is photography allowed inside the exhibits?

Photography for personal use is generally allowed throughout the museum, except in areas where it is explicitly prohibited. You are welcome to capture your favorite moments and share them with friends and family. However, please be mindful of other visitors and the exhibits by not using flash photography and avoiding blocking pathways or obstructing the view of others.

Is there parking available?

Yes, the Field Museum has a parking lot located conveniently nearby. Parking fees may apply, and availability is on a first-come, first-served basis. Alternatively, public transportation options, such as buses and trains, provide easy access to the museum. For detailed information on parking fees, directions, and public transportation options, please refer to the museum’s website or contact their visitor services.

Are pets allowed in the museum?

Only service animals are allowed in the museum. For the safety and comfort of all visitors, pets are not permitted inside the museum, except for certified service animals. If you require the assistance of a service animal, please ensure that they are properly trained and comply with all relevant regulations.

How long does it take to explore the entire museum?

The time it takes to explore the entire museum can vary depending on individual interests and the level of engagement with the exhibits. On average, visitors spend approximately three to four hours exploring the museum. However, to fully appreciate the vast collections and engage with interactive displays and educational programs, you may want to plan for a longer visit.

Can I rent a wheelchair or stroller at the museum?

Yes, wheelchairs and strollers are available for rent at the museum on a first-come, first-served basis. Wheelchairs are available for individuals with mobility challenges, while strollers are available for families with young children. Rental fees may apply, and a valid form of identification may be required as a deposit.

What educational programs are available for children?

The Field Museum offers a range of educational programs for children of all ages. From school programs that align with curricula to family-friendly workshops and activities, there are numerous opportunities for children to learn and explore. The museum’s website and educational resources provide detailed information on the programs available, including age appropriateness, topics covered, and scheduling. Parents and educators are encouraged to explore these offerings to find the best fit for their children’s educational needs.

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