Tuesday, January 25, 2011

#FrugalTravel in Chicago, Free Chicago Museums!

Frugal travel in Chicago is not the easiest thing to accomplish, especially when you have a big family and are not able to take advantage of public transportation. However, the city does have its moments, and thankfully, with a city this big and diverse, there is a lot to do and see on the cheap or FREE! 

This morning I read a piece over at Chicago Parent and it turns out you can get into five different Chicago museums for free this week! A little planning is needed though, as each museum is only free the one day. 

Monday- Chicago History Museum
It has been a while since I have been to the Chicago History Museum, possibly because admission is always free, but it really is a great museum with a super kid friendly collection of exhibits. If you are a homeschooler, the museum's website has tons of resources for you to use before and after you get there.  

As a side not, I think the museum has done a great job updating their image, exhibitions and offerings in the last few years. This past week was Frank Lloyd Wright Week and the Fashion Design contest is always exciting to watch!

Tuesday- Art Institute of Chicago

We messed up big time with this one. I am so used to the AICs free month of February, I didn't bother checking and noticing that they changed it to January this year :/ Oh well.  We go to the AIC several times a year and will continue to do so for as long as we can.  Pick up the children's guides to the AIC and take a look at their website too before you go so you can better plan your day. 

Make sure to swing by the newly installed Chagall windows! And get a pic with the Bears helmet adorned lions while you still can!

Wednesday- Field Museum

The Field is my favorite Chicago museum and I have been to as many of the special traveling exhibits as I have been able to make since I was very young-- I have an awesome mom who used to take us as children all the time. This Wednesday is a free day, and even though some of the exhibits are still paid ticket entries, there is so much to see. 

Thursday- Notebaert Nature Museum
I have only been to Notebaert once, and I lived right across the street from it too. The one time I was there though, I was very impressed, because it truly is a learning museum and fills a need for the city of Chicago. Every Thursday is suggested donation day, like the AIC used to be, so take the place in and learn about the nature to be found in Chicago. 

Friday- Museum of Science and Industry
I am still boycotting MSI for not selecting me as their roommate! Actually, I never did submit an application because I found out my BFF was coming to town for the week, and there was no way in the world I was going to be stuck in the museum for that. MSI is one of the busiest, and for good reason, museums in Chicago, but there is plenty to see and do, play with, experiment, watch, corners to get lost in. I love it!

Other option- Oriental Institute of Chicago 
The Oriental Institute of Chicago is a true hidden gem of Chicago, and many locals don't even know about it. Attached to the University of Chicago, the museum has so much to see that you can spend days going through the exhibits. Luckily, admission is free! 


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