“The Field Museum is Free Today for C.P.S. Students and Families,” by S.M. O’Connor

Due to the Chicago Teachers Union strike, The Field Museum of Natural History is offering free basic admission today, Tuesday, October 29, 2019 for Chicago Public Schools (C.P.S.) students and their families with proof of Chicago residency.  Children under thirteen must be accompanied by an adult.  Discounted passes must be purchased on-site and cannot be purchased online in advance. 

There are also three upcoming Free Admission Days for Illinois residents on Wednesday, October 30, 2019; Wednesday, November 6, 2019; and Wednesday, November 13, 2019. On Free Admission Days, Basic Admissions (general admission) tickets are free for Illinois residents who provide proof of residency in state.

Free basic admission covers admission to general exhibits.  This is a good way to bring a family or group of friends to see classic exhibits that periodically get updated but overall have existed in the same form for decades and have been enjoyed for generations of Midwesterners as well as visitors from distant places.  It is also a cheap way to see special exhibits or traveling exhibits and movies that require separate tickets that are available at discounted prices.

Basic Admission on Free Days

Includes all general admission exhibits, such as the Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet, Robert R. McCormick Halls of the Ancient Americas, and Inside Ancient Egypt.

Adults Children (Ages 3-11) Senior Citizens (65+) Students with ID
Free Free Free Free

Discounted Discovery Pass

Includes all general admission exhibits, and one ticketed exhibit or one 3D movie.

Adults Children (Ages 3-11) Senior Citizens (65+) Students with ID
$16 $12 $14 $14

Discounted All-Access Price

Includes all general admission exhibits, all ticketed exhibits, and one 3D movie.

Adults Children (Ages 3-11) Senior Citizens (65+) Students with ID
$23 $17 $20 $20

      Again, these discounted passes are available in person at The Field Museum.  They cannot be purchased online in advance of a visit.

Proof of Residency

      No special coupon, ticket, or pass is required to enter The Field Museum during Free Admission Days.  Just present a current Illinois Driver’s License, Illinois State ID, Illinois library card, Illinois student photo identification card, Illinois lease, or Illinois work identification card or paystub at the ticket desk to establish proof of residency.  If one does not have one of these aforementioned identification cards, one may establish residency with a combination of another photo identification card and an Illinois lease, an Illinois library card, an Illinois student photo identification card, an Illinois utility bill, and an Illinois work identification card or check stub.  Check the Events Webpage and The Field Museum of Natural History’s social media accounts for updates about free days and special events happening at The Field Museum.

Military and Teacher Discounts

      Active military personnel receive complimentary Basic Admission.  Teachers from anywhere in Illinois who teach preschool through 12th Grade also receive free Basic Admission.

  Museums for All

      The Field Museum participates in the Museums for All program as a result of which it offers discounted admission to all families who qualify for state food assistance.  Show an EBT (Link) or WIC card to receive $3-per-person admission for up to six people.  This rate applies during normal business hours every day that The Field Museum is open.

       Open 364 days a year (every day but Christmas Day) from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the last admission time to The Field Museum is 4:00 p.m.  SUE’s “private suite” (formerly the movie theater in Evolving Planet) opened on Friday, December 21, 2018.  SUE is the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton yet recovered.  Her mounted bones went on display at the Field Museum on May 17, 2000.[1]  More than 10,000 people visited The Field Museum that day. 

      In one of the largest private gifts ever to a Chicago museum, the Tyrannosaurus rex SUE was remounted in a more scientifically accurate way and moved upstairs from Stanley Field Hall to the exhibit The Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet, as I wrote about in 2017.  Meanwhile, a touchable cast of the biggest dinosaur yet discovered, Patagotitan mayorum, was installed in Stanley Field Hall, as part of The Field Museum’s 125th anniversary celebrations in 2018, thanks to a $16,500,000 gift from the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Trust.  This titanosaur cast, which strecthes across 122 feet of Stanley Field Hall, has been dubbed Máximo.  Moving SUE upstairs and remounting her in The Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet, the installation of the titanosaur and pterosaurs (flying reptile) casts in Stanley Field Hall, and the traveling exhibit Antarctic Dinosaursfall under the umbrella of the Griffin Dinosaur Experience.  Last year, The Field Museum announced the $250,000,000 fundraising campaign “Because Earth. The Campaign for the Field Museum.”

    The Field Museum has over 30,000,000 artifacts and specimens.  Over 150 scientists, conservators, and collections staff members work there.

      The Field Museum is located on the Museum Campus at the northern end of the Chicago Park District’s Burnham Park, due east of Grant Park in downtown Chicago.  These days, it is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The address is 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605. The phone number is (312) 922-9410.  The Website U.R.L. is https://www.fieldmuseum.org/.


[1] William Mullen and Alex Bordens, “Learning from Sue,” Chicago Tribune, 16 May, 2010, Section 1, p. 4

See also William Mullen, “T. Rex Proving to be $8.3 Million Bargain for Field Museum,” Chicago Tribune, 16 May, 2010, Section 1, p. 4

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