Chicago’s student discount tickets

By Anna Calkins, Editor of Arts and Entertainment

As Chicago students, we have a world of opportunities to explore at our fingertips, and these programs make it even easier to access them.

My $15 seat at the symphony center over Thanksgiving break

I know I myself tend to forget this, but we live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world- and one of the cities with the most incredible resources. Earlier this year, a friend referred me to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra website, suggesting I have a look at the student tickets. Seats usually priced at upwards of $200 were available at just $15. I was shocked and delighted. I’ve attended 3 concerts since, and each has blown me away. This opportunity had been at my fingertips for years, and I couldn’t believe I’d never taken advantage of it before. So, after this experience, I began searching the websites of all the other Chicago establishments I could think of. I’ve compiled a comprehensive list below of the discounts students/youth can get at each location.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

As previously mentioned, the CSO offers student tickets for nearly every concert at just $15. Order online and present your student ID when you arrive, and you’re all set! Performances are pretty regular, and each one is sure to impress. The CSO isn’t considered one of the top orchestras in the world for no reason, after all. If just listening to classical music isn’t for you, they also have performances where movies are projected while the orchestra plays the soundtrack. 

Museum of Contemporary Art

The MCA has free days pretty regularly. These are likely to be crowded, though. Youth Chicago residents (under 18), luckily, can get in free any day. All you need is a student or legal ID to confirm your age at the door! The MCA’s collections rotate regularly and are consistently thought-provoking.

Art Institute

I cannot sing the praises of the Art Institute enough. The museum’s 300,000+ pieces of art give you plenty to look at. Plus, Chicago residents under 17 can get in free. My personal favorite exhibits include the Thorne Miniature Rooms and the realism exhibits. Their temporary collections are also incredible and give you something new to see each time you go. Access to the permanent exhibits is free for all Chicagoans, and Chicago teens can secure tickets for temporary exhibitions for free. 

Adler Planetarium

The Planetarium recently announced that admission would be free on all Wednesdays. If you are looking for a fun and interesting plan for after our next seminar day, head down to the planetarium! Check out giant telescopes, falling meteors, and more all for free!

Teen Arts Pass

The Teen Arts Pass isn’t an event, but it is one of the greatest resources for Chicago teens who want to check out the arts. You can sign up through their website and get access to dozens of discounted tickets and limited events. The program makes incredibly cool opportunities available for cheap. On the day of a given performance, any remaining tickets at the venue can be purchased for $5 with the pass. 

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