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A bronze lion with snow-covered wreath A bronze lion with snow-covered wreath


Holidays 2021–22


Make the Art Institute your home for the holidays this season.

The lions are decked with their evergreen wreaths and the Neapolitan crèche is once again on display—the holidays have arrived at the Art Institute. We invite you, along with your family and friends, to join us to celebrate the season. There’s much to do and see—from visiting familiar favorites to exploring current exhibitions.

Read on to learn more about what’s in store as well as planning your visit, admission to the museum, and free admission opportunities.

Ways to Explore the Museum

From audio tours to guides to the galleries, we’ve got everything you need to make your visit to the Art Institute a success.

What to See in an Hour

Short on time? Never fear, you can still see some of the most iconic and beloved works in the Art Institute’s collection on this quick spin through the galleries. Ready, set—art!

New on View

The museum’s galleries are continually changing as newly acquired works and loaned objects join our spaces and expand the perspectives and stories that we share. See what’s new on view as you plan your visit.

Audio Tours and Our Mobile App

Before your visit, download our free mobile app for access to a variety of audio tours and more. This app is now available for iOS devices and for Android devices.

Visiting as a Family

Looking for things the whole family will enjoy? Explore these ideas for experiencing the museum with children.

Holiday Gifting

Give the Gift of Art Shop
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Admission to the Museum

For touchless entry to the museum, please purchase tickets in advance. The cost of your general admission ticket depends on if you live in Chicago, someplace else in Illinois, or elsewhere, and if you’re a student or a senior. Refer to our ticketing chart for more details. And remember—members and children under 14 always visit for free!

Free Days for Illinois Residents
Admission will be free for Illinois residents on weekdays (Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays) November 29–December 17, 2021, and January 3–March 17, 2022. To receive free admission tickets, Illinois residents must reserve them online in advance.

Free Admission
The following groups always receive free admission to the museum, with no advance registration required:

  • Children under 14
  • Chicago teens under the age of 18
  • Active-duty military
  • LINK and WIC cardholders
  • Illinois educators

Learn more about free admission.

Chicago residents can also take advantage of the Kids Museum Passport program, which allows individuals with a Chicago Public Library card to check out a pass for free general admission to the Art Institute.

Planning Your Visit

We’re thrilled to welcome you to our galleries to experience firsthand the beauty and power of art. As you plan your visit, please acquaint yourself with our hours and visiting policies.

Tips for Visiting

  • Don’t forget your mask—they are required for all visitors, regardless of vaccination status
  • Purchase your tickets ahead of time to skip the admission lines
  • Be sure to download our free mobile app to listen to audio tours (and don’t forget your headphones!)
  • If you’re driving, plan to park in a garage or on the street, since valet parking is currently unavailable. Learn more about parking and directions, and check out the Art Institute’s SpotHero page to make reservations
  • Note that our cafés and restaurants are currently closed


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