A number of Chicago’s Museums in the Park have free days this month for Illinois residents. Proof of residency in the state is a prerequisite to enjoy free general admission, so one should make sure to bring one’s driver’s license or state ID.
For the Free Winter Weekdays 2013, admission to the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) is free to Illinois residents every weekday from January 7, 2013 through February 13, 2013. The AIC is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except on Thursdays when they are open until 8:00.
On Illinois Resident Discount Days at the John G. Shedd Aquarium Illinois residents can enjoy free general admission. This includes the Waters of the World, Amazon Rising, and the Caribbean Reef. Packages including Wild Reef, Polar Play Zone, and Abbott Oceanarium are available to Illinois residents at a discounted rate. Shedd Pass with discount is $20.95 for adults and $13.95 children (ages 3-11).
The Abbot Oceanarium includes the sea otter pup Cayucos (ky-YOU-cos), Pacific white-sided dolphin calf Sagu (SAH-goo) and Shedd’s female baby beluga. The Shedd Aquarium states, “Finally, don’t miss the chance to experience the pulsing beauty of Jellies, a temporary exhibit sponsored by Walgreens.”
The remaining 2013 Illinois Resident Discount Days in January are Sunday the 20th, Monday the 21st, and Tuesday the 22nd; Monday the 28th and Tuesday the 29th. Please note that the Shedd Aquarium will be closed on Wednesday, January 23 and Thursday, January 24, 2013 to undergo routine maintenance and housekeeping and so the staff can undergo training.
In February, the Illinois Resident Discount Days will be Monday the 4th and Tuesday the 5th; Monday the 11th and Tuesday the 12th; Sunday the 17th, Monday the 18th, and Tuesday the 19th; Monday the 25th and Tuesday the 26th. In March, the Illinois Resident Discount Days will be Monday the 4th and Tuesday the 5th, Monday the11th and Tuesday the 12th, Monday the 18th and Tuesday the 19th, and Monday the 25th and Tuesday the 26th.
Illinois Resident Discount Days are sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The Shedd Aquarium is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 9:00 a.mn. to 6:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
At the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, Illinois residents can enjoy complimentary general admission on Adler Discount Days with proof of residency. The remaining Adler Discount Days are Wednesday, January 16, 2013, Thursday the 17th, Monday the 28th, Tuesday the 29th, Wednesday the 30th, and Thursday the 31st. The Adler Planetarium is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekdays and from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends.
Early last month. on December 11, 2012, the Board of Trustees of the Adler Planetarium announced the election of Michelle B. Larson, Ph.D., as president. She is an astrophysicist who has worked at NASA, the Montana Space Grant Consortium, the University of California – Berkley, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), and Utah State University (USU). While Vice Provost of USU, she founded a Science, Technology, Engineering, Education and Mathematics (STE2M) Center.
The Adler Planetarium stated, “Dr. Larson will become the Adler’s ninth leader and the first female president of America’s First Planetarium.” Strictly speaking, this is incorrect. Dr. Larson is the second female leader of the organization.
The first was Maude Bennot. She was the second director after Col. Philip Fox, Ph.D., who resigned in 1938 to become the third director of the Museum of Science & Industry.
Dr. Laron’s appointment became effective Tuesday, January 1, 2013. As president, Dr. Larson oversees a space science center that includes the institution’s landmark museum complex, exhibition galleries, and three theaters; an active research program; and an award-winning education and outreach program. Dr. Larson succeeds Paul H. Knappenberger, Jr., Ph.D., who retired effective Monday, December 31, 2012 after twenty-one years of service.
The Museum of Science & Industry (MSI) has free general admission in January from Monday the 14th to Friday the 18th, from Monday the 21st to Friday the 25th, and from Monday the 28th to Friday the 31st; on Wednesdays in February (the 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th); on Monday, March 4, 2013; on Monday, April 22, 2013; on Monday, May 6, 2013; in June from Monday the 3rd through Friday the 7th and also Monday the 10th; in September from Monday the 9th through Friday the 13th, from Monday the 16th thtough Friday the 20th, from Monday the 23rd through Friday the 27th, and Monday the 30th; Tuesday, October 1, 2013 and Wednesday, October 2, 2013; Monday, November 4, 2013; and on Monday, December 9, 2013. General admission does not include Omnimax (R) movie theater tickets, entry to the Coal Mine, the U-505 onboard tour, and certain exhibitions (temporary exhibits). MSI is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. MSI does have free parking lots, but the fee to use the underground garage structure is $20.