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Cure Cabin Fever With Illinois Resident Days At Local Museums

By Lisa White in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 6, 2014 8:00PM

Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

If you’ve been hiding inside away from the cold for a few days, cabin fever might be setting in. What a perfect time to plan your next excursion outside once the planet formerly known as Chicago, now known as Hoth, thaws out! Examiner brought to our attention some of the upcoming free admission days for Illinois residents at some of our favorite museums (with working heat of course) you can visit to cure the winter blues. Here are our personal favorite picks.

Art Institute of Chicago

One of our favorite winter deals is from Jan. 6 through Feb. 12 the Art Institute of Chicago is free for Illinois residents on weekdays. Sure, they are free on Thursdays evenings throughout the year but if you want to avoid long lines and crowds head over for a weekday winter retreat. And as always on the art front, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is free every Tuesday to visit, a favorite place of ours to waste away a wintery afternoon.

Shedd Aquarium

If you haven’t been to the Shedd in a hot minute, their Illinois Resident Discount Days is a great time to visit while imagining a more tropical climate. The free admission includes Waters of the World, Amazon Rising and the Caribbean Reef only but other packages are offered to residents during this time at a discounted rate. Upcoming Resident Discount Days are Jan. 7, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and Feb. 3, 4, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 24, 25. That said, expect long lines if you head out to visit and waiting in the cold outside. Honestly we suggest splurging and doing the Penguin Encounter experience. You get full access to the Shedd exhibits, the water show, a small group session where you get to meet and pet a penguin (!!!) and a complimentary photo with your penguin friend. It’s $70 but you get to skip the lines and it isn’t that much more than admission to the extra exhibits. Also after personally doing the penguin encounter for a birthday last year, we give our seal of approval on it being a completely awesome experience.

The Field Museum

Head over and say hello to the Sue at The Field Museum this winter season. Illinois residents can enjoy free basic admission and can upgrade to see one special exhibit for $11 or purchase the all-access pass for $18. Upcoming discount days in January are the 7, 8, 15, 16, 21, 22, 29, and 30.

The Adler Planetarium

Our other favorite pick during the cold winter months is a visit to The Adler Planetarium and sit under the fake stars until Chicago weather lets us enjoy the real thing again. Illinois residents can enjoy free admission on Jan. 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29. If you are stuck in the office during the day, we also suggest checking out the Adler After Dark series, a perfect way to spend the evening. Next After Dark events are Jan. 16 and Feb. 20.

Head over to Examiner for some more free suggestions including all the resident discount days for the entire year at The Museum of Science & Industry and The Chicago History Museum.