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Blue Star Museums offering free admission to active-duty military families

More than 40 museums in the Chicago area are offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families this summer as part of the Blue Star Museums program.

The program runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day. It allows any active duty military servicemember, including National Guard and Reserve personnel, plus five relatives to visit participating museums for free, according to its website.

Forty-one museums in Chicago area are participating in the Blue Star Museums program this year — including the Museum of Science and Industry, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Morton Arboretum and several Frank Lloyd Wright sites, among many others.

Visitors should bring a military ID, according the program’s website. There is no limit to the number of museums that eligible participants can visit. Active duty members do not need to be present in order for their families to receive free admission to Blue Star Museums.

More than 2,000 museums nationwide participate in the program, which is a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families and the Department of Defense. More information is available at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

According to the program’s website, participating institutions in the city of Chicago include:

  • Bronzeville Children’s Museum
  • Clarke House Museum
  • Ed Paschke Art Center
  • Emil Bach House – Frank Lloyd Wright Trust
  • Glessner House Museum
  • Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art
  • Leather Archives & Museum
  • McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum
  • Museum of Contemporary Photography
  • Museum of Science and Industry
  • National Museum of Mexican Art
  • Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
  • Robie House – Frank Lloyd Wright Trust
  • Smart Museum of Art
  • Swedish American Museum
  • The Art Institute of Chicago
  • The Richard H. Driehaus Museum
  • The Rookery – Frank Lloyd Wright Trust

Participating suburban museums include:

  • SciTech Hands On Museum in Aurora
  • Elgin Public Museum in Elgin
  • Elmhurst Historical Museum in Elmhurst
  • Lizadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst
  • Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston
  • Glen Ellyn Historical Society in Glen Ellyn
  • Great Lakes Naval Museum in Great Lakes
  • Joliet Area Historical Museum in Joliet
  • The Morton Arboretum in Lisle
  • The Museums at Lisle Station Park in Lisle
  • Lombard Historical Society in Lombard
  • Naper Settlement in Naperville
  • Northbrook Historical Society in Northbrook
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak park
  • Little White School Museum in Oswego
  • Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie
  • Air Classics Museum in Sugar Grove
  • Lake County Discovery Museum in Wauconda
  • Wauconda Township Historical Society in Wauconda
  • Kruse House Museum – West Chicago Historical Society in West Chicago
  • Gregg House Museum in Westmont
  • DuPage County Historical Museum in Wheaton
  • First Division Museum at Cantigny Park in Wheaton
  • Robert R. McCormick Museum at Cantigny in Wheaton