close
close

Six museums offer free days on Juneteenth – NBC Chicago

Six museums offer free days on Juneteenth – NBC Chicago

While libraries, post offices and banks in Chicago will be closed on Wednesday in honor of the Juneteenth holiday, other attractions such as museums will be open — and some are even offering free admission.

Juneteenth marks the day when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 discovered they had been freed — after the end of the Civil War and two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. It takes place every year on June 19, which for 2024 falls on a Wednesday.

Juneteenth is recognized as a federal holiday. It’s also a national holiday, and Pritzker signs the declaration calling it that in 2021. Juneteenth festivities are rooted in cookouts and large gatherings, and at least one museum in Chicago is hosting a gathering to celebrate.

The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center, located at 740 E. 56th Place, will host their annual Juneteenth Celebration starting at 10am. The event, which is free and open to the public, features live performances, food, family-friendly activities and more.

According to organizers, the event ends at 8:30 p.m

Chicago’s Field Museum also offers free admission Wednesday.

“On June 19, the museum will be open to Illinois residents free of charge in honor of Juneteenth,” the museum said in a release. “The Pride and Juneteenth flags will greet you as a reminder that the Field is welcome to all.”

According to the museum, tickets for free days cannot be reserved in advance. The Field Museum is open to Illinois residents free of charge every Wednesday for the rest of the year.

As Wednesday approaches, you can check out the hours of other Chicago museums on Juneteenth here

Chicago Art Institute

The Art Institute Chicago is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which means the museum is closed on the Juneteenth Holiday.

The next days off for the Art Institute Chicago are Thursday.

Illinois residents can visit the Art Institute Chicago for free on Thursday evenings from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, June 6 through September 26.

Free tickets can be reserved in advance, according to the Art Institute’s website. Parking fees may apply.

Admission is always free for Illinois preschool and secondary school teachers, artist educators who work in schools and homeschooling parents, the museum said. Admission is also free for active members, children under 14 and Chicago teens.

Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium is open on Wednesdays.

The Adler is also free to Illinois residents every Wednesday evening from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Tickets must be purchased online in advance.

According to the museum, the Planetarium is always free for Illinois teachers.

Chicago Botanical Garden

The Chicago Botanic Gardens, located in the suburb of Glencoe, opens on Juneteenth and offers free admission. Below are other free museum days in the garden until the end of 2024.

June: 19

July: 9, 11

August: 6, 8

September: 10, 12

October: 1, 2, 14

November: 4-8, 11, 12

December: 9-15

More information can be found here.

Chicago Historical Museum

The Chicago History Museum will be open for the Juneteenth holiday and offer free admission to Illinois residents on Wednesday.

Below is a list of other days off for residents coming to the museum:

June: 19, 23, 26, 29

July: 4, 17

August: 28

According to officials, the museum is always free to active Chicago police and firefighters, Illinois teachers, residents under 18 and all children under 12.

Griffin Museum of Science and Industry

The Griffin Museum of Science and Industry, formerly known as the Museum of Science and Industry, will open June 1. It is also offering free admission to Illinois residents that day.

The museum still has a number of days off in 2024. A full list can be found here.

Museum of Contemporary Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art is open on Wednesday with regular opening hours and standard access.

The MCA provides free access every day to elementary and middle school teachers in Illinois. It also offers free admission to all Illinois residents every Tuesday.

In addition, the MCA is always free for visitors under the age of 18 and has a ‘pay-what-you-can’ policy.

Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium opened June 1 with extended hours, opening at 9 a.m. and closing at 9 p.m. Access is standard.

The next time Illinois residents can visit the Shedd for free is Tuesday evening, June 25.