Free museum days and more moneysaving Chicago events

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Now that the weather is cold and the tourists are sparse, it's free museum season for us Chicagoans who are hardy enough to brave the lakefront winds.

The Shedd Aquarium is free tomorrow, Jan. 11! I just went on their Web site to confirm that they will be free all week next week (yep, they will: Jan. 16-Jan. 21). And then I see that tomorrow is also a free day. Also, Jan. 24, 25, 31. and Feb. 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 28. For all discount days, you get access to some galleries free, and you pay a discounted price for others.

(If you're a Shedd member, you can bring an extra guest beyond your membership forjust $5 during January and February.)

The Adler Planetarium and the Museum of Science and Industry are free all this week, according to Explore Chicago, The City of Chicago's Official Tourism Web Site, which also lists free days for the Art Institute (every single weekday in January), the Field Museum (Tuesday and Thursday this week and next week) and more.

All this adds up to mean that if you are free on any weekday this month, you can go to a museum for free. Add in public transportation and a sack lunch, and you got yourself a cheap mini-vacation or a special outing with little ones.

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