State museum offers free admission to military personnel, their families

The Illinois State Museum in Springfield is one of more than 2,000 museums across America which are offering 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

The launch of the Blue Star Museums program at the Illinois State Museum was scheduled to begin during the Memorial Day weekend and is set to continue through Labor Day on Sept. 3. 

A major exhibition, “Bicentennial and Beyond! The Illinois Legacy Collection,” is on display at the museum. The exhibition showcases 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.  

Active duty personnel and veterans are asked to bring their 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 also is back for this summer. 

The series of five search activities will enable families to take a closer look at the exhibits that they love. 

A new search was scheduled to 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. 

Passports can be picked up at the Illinois State Museum ticket window. Completion of five search activities will fill the passport. The program is scheduled to end on Aug. 5. 

The Illinois State Museum is located in the State Capitol Complex at 502 S. Spring St. in Springfield. 

The museum is open each Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and each Sunday, from noon to 4:30 p.m. 

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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