SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Museum is one of more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation's cultural heritage and learn more about their communities, especially after a military move. A list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.
The launch of the Blue Star Museums program at the ISM will begin May 26 for the Memorial Day weekend and continue through Labor Day on September 3. Visitors will have the opportunity to view the Museum’s “Unsung Heroes” exhibition until June 3. Beginning June 30, the Illinois State Museum’s major exhibition “Bicentennial and Beyond! The Illinois Legacy Collection” will showcase some of the rarest and most interesting pieces in the Museum’s collection.
Free admission is always available to active military and veterans at the Illinois State Museum, but for the duration of the Blue Star Museum program, the free admission will be extended to additional family members. Please bring your military ID or other documentation including a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form, 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card.
Summer Passport Program
The Illinois State Museum Passport Series is back for this summer. This series of five search activities will enable families to take a closer look at the exhibits that they love. A new search will be available every two weeks starting on Monday, May 28 (Memorial Day). Upon completion of each search, children will receive a stamp for their passport, and a drawing entry for a prize. Pick up a passport at the ISM ticket window and complete all five search activities to fill the passport. The program will end on August 5.
Summer Passport Prizes: This year, every child will receive a coupon for a free cookie from Cafe Moxo on the back of their passport. The bi-monthly prize packages will include gift certificates to each of the Summer Passport sponsors: Cafe Moxo, Knights Action Park, and Skateland South. All participants will also be entered into an extra drawing at the end of the summer for an art kit from Urban Sassafras.
The Illinois State Museum is located in the State Capitol Complex at 502 South Spring St. in Springfield. The Museum is open each Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and each Sunday from 12:00 noon-4:30 p.m.