Membership - Chicago Children's Museum (and Navy Pier)

Membership starts at $145 for a year, which covers 4 people. Memberships for 6 people are $185 per year. Those would typically pay for themselves in 3 visits.

You can buy a membership ahead of time, or at the admissions desk. This is usually my choice for buying or renewing, but know that it will take a little extra time to fill out forms and pay. You can also become a member online at the museum's webpage.

The main membership benefit is free admission, but the museum also opens an hour early to members on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and offers a 10% discount in the gift shop. Membership includes a 50% discount at over 300 other children's museums nationwide through the Association for Children's Museums. You can search for included museums at their website: There used to be limitations about using this at other museums nearby, but that doesn't appear to be the case anymore. Nonetheless, if you'd like to get half off at another museum in the Chicago area, you may want to call ahead to double check.

Parking can be added to either membership level and is an additional $115 which gives free parking at Navy Pier for the year of membership, which typically pays for itself in around 4 visits. If you do this, you'll need to show parking pass when you go into the museum and they'll give you a validation pass. There are a few restrictions on the Parking option: the most important are that you must be visiting the museum with a child to receive the parking validation, a few busiest holidays are not included, and if the parking at Navy Pier is full, you're out of luck (there's no discount or reimbursement for parking elsewhere).

Memberships are fully tax deductible.