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Museum Hours

Open daily 10:30–5:00
Thursday until 8:00

The museum is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.

Free Winter Weekdays 2016

January 4–February 11
General admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is free for Illinois residents every weekday all day long.

Free Thursday Evenings

General admission is free to Illinois residents every Thursday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. throughout the year, but a special exhibition admission of $15 applies for access to Van Gogh's Bedrooms, which runs February 14–May 10.

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Admission Fees

Adults General Admission Chicago Residents* Illinois Residents*
$25 $20 $22
(65 and up)
$19 $14 $16
Students** $19 $14 $16
under 14***
Members Free—become a member now!
Adult Fast Pass $35 Fast Pass allows customers to bypass the general admission lines at entrances and offers expedited access to the permanent collection galleries and non-ticketed special exhibitions.
Senior Fast Pass $29
Student Fast Pass $29
Adult Skydeck Combo**** $45 This combination ticket includes Fast Pass admission to the Art Institute of Chicago and general admission to Skydeck Chicago. Open 365 days a year, the Skydeck is best known for the Ledge, a glass balcony extending four feet outside the 103rd floor of Willis Tower.

*A valid photo ID with a resident address is required for Chicago and Illinois resident admission prices. Discount only available at museum admission desks.
**Includes both high school and college students.
***Does not apply to group visits or student tours.
****This package is available at an adult rate only. No student, senior, or youth discounts apply. Kids under 14 receive free admission at the Art Institute.

Purchase admission tickets online or by visiting any museum admission counter.

Admission to Van Gogh's Bedrooms

Access to Van Gogh's Bedrooms (February 14–May 10), a pioneering exhibition that brings together all three Bedroom paintings for the first time in North America, requires an additional $5 ticket. As always, entry to the exhibition is free for members and children under 14.

Free Thursday Evenings

General admission is free to Illinois residents every Thursday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., but a special exhibition admission of $15 applies for access to Van Gogh's Bedrooms, which runs February 14–May 10.


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Blue Star Museum

Active-duty military and their families receive free admission to the museum from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Illinois Educator Admission

Free admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is available to current Illinois educators, including pre-K–12 teachers, teaching artists working in schools, and homeschool parents. Educators can register online to receive a voucher for a complimentary ticket to the museum. This voucher must be presented—as a printed document or on a smart phone—with a valid educator ID at one of the museum’s admission counters.

For more information, and to request complimentary educator admission, visit

Kids Museum Passport

This program, sponsored by the 15 Museums Work for Chicago institutions, allows individuals with a Chicago Public Library card to check out a pass for free general admission to the Art Institute. (This program replaces the Kraft Great Kids Museum Passport Program, which has been offered by CPL since 2003.) Please note the new rules regarding the use of the Kids Museum Passport:

  • Each pass admits a maximum of four people for general admission, including special exhibitions.
  • Each group using a pass must be accompanied by at least one child under the age of 18.
  • A maximum of two adults are admitted on one pass.

Our guidelines help protect the museum’s collection and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Please follow security officers’ instructions and remember that touching works of art is strictly prohibited. Watch our videos "Welcome to the Art Institute" and "When You Arrive" for a brief introduction and orientation to the museum.

Please plan ahead, as the following items are not allowed in the galleries:

  • Art materials other than pencil (including ink pens)
  • Backpacks and backpack baby carriers
  • Bags, camera bags, or purses larger than 13 x 17 x 4 inches
  • Shopping bags
  • Flowers or balloons
  • Food or drink
  • Toys
  • Tripods, flash attachments, video cameras, or "selfie sticks"
  • Umbrellas (small umbrellas can be stowed in bags)
  • Wrapped packages (gifts)

The following items cannot be checked:

  • Flowers or balloons
  • Food or drink


  • $1 per item
  • Complimentary with membership
  • For your safety and the security of our collection, we ask that you check backpacks and any bags larger than 13 x 17 x 4 inches.
  • Courtesy bags are available to carry valuable items with you.
  • All bags are subject to security inspection.

The checkrooms are for patrons only. The Art Institute of Chicago reserves the right to refuse to check any item. The checkrooms stop accepting items 15 minutes prior to closing. The Art Institute of Chicago is not responsible for lost, damaged, or unclaimed items.


Photography and video are permitted in the museum under the following guidelines:

  • Museum staff reserves the right to prohibit the use of camera or video if it is a disruption and/or perceived that it might endanger works of art or museum patrons.
  • Equipment must not exceed the size of a SLR camera designed for personal use.
  • On occasion, lender restrictions prohibit photography and video in special exhibitions. We will clearly note when those restrictions apply. Otherwise photography and video are encouraged. Dry sketching is also permitted.
  • Flash, tripods, monopods, handheld microphones, selfie sticks, and other extraneous equipment are not allowed in the galleries.
  • All imaging documentation must be for personal, nondistributional, noncommercial use only.

Members of the media should contact our Department of Public Affairs at (312) 443-3626 or to arrange shoots for still photography and film.


For pencil sketching in the museum, please consult with the security officer in the appropriate gallery. Paper and pads must be no larger than 13 x 17 inches. Easels, stools, or anything that interferes with movement in the gallery are not permitted.


The museum is accessible for stroller use; however, strollers may be restricted in special exhibitions due to space limitations and crowd flow. Please feel free to call (312) 443-3600 prior to your visit if you have specific questions.

Cell Phones

Please turn off the sound of cell phones or pagers in the museum. Talking on mobile telephones is limited to non-gallery spaces within the museum.

Visitor Comments

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Is the museum open on holidays?

The museum is closed only three days a year: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. It is open on all other holidays.

What are your free hours?

Free hours are offered to Illinois residents every Thursday evening from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Which exhibitions will be on view during my visit?

See a list of current and future exhibitions.

How will I know what I can see during my visit?

The Art Institute is an active lending institution and is additionally always trying to improve the experience of visitors. For the most up-to-date information about gallery closures and significant works of art that may not be on view, please check our Collection Updates page.

Does a general admission ticket include access to special exhibitions?

A general admission ticket allows you to see all of the museum's nonticketed special exhibitions. Occasionally exhibitions require an additional charge.

Do members need tickets?

No, members never need tickets to the museum or to special exhibitions, and members never have to wait in admission lines. Simply show your member card and photo ID to the ticket collectors at either entrance.

Do you have a map of the museum?

See a floor plan here.

Can I bring my bags and luggage into the galleries?

For your safety and the security of our collection, we ask that you check backpacks and any bags larger than 13 x 17 x 4 inches.

Can I go on a tour?

Tours are available every day at the museum. Check the calendar for a listing of gallery talks, performances, lectures, and social events. Group visits, student tours, and self-guided tours are also available.

Where can I park?

The Art Institute offers valet parking at the Modern Wing entrance during museum hours. Many underground lots are also only a block away. Members at the Member Plus and above levels receive a discount on parking.

Do you have wheelchairs?

Yes, wheelchairs are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Can I hold a party at the Art Institute?

Yes, the Art Institute has a number of facilities available for private or corporate use.

More Frequently Asked Questions

© Chris Lake