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42 Surprising Illinois LINK Card Discounts

42 Surprising Illinois LINK Card Discounts

We’ve found some incredible Link card discounts! If you have an Illinois LINK card (EBT card), you can receive discounted admission to dozens of awesome venues around the state!

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7 Things You Need to Know about Illinois LINK Card Discounts

After years of reporting on low income and food stamps topics, I’ve learned that there are several things that most people don’t know about their Illinois LINK benefits.

  • You need and Illinois LINK Card. Apply for food stamps on the government website. This is the fastest and easiest way to apply for food benefits.
  • Know what you can buy. Most people don’t know that they can buy seeds, plants and some gift baskets with EBT. We’ve got all the info, straight from the USDA!
  • Shop smart. You may be able to get more food for your money at farmer’s markets and You-Pick Strawberry Fields!
  • You may be eligible for more food stamps than you are getting. Many people are getting less than they should because they don’t get credit for all their deductions.
  • You may be able to get cash back from your food stamps card legally by using rewarded shopping apps. One of our readers earned an additional $437.84 in cash just by shopping with her food stamps card!
  • You can shop at some great stores! You can shop at Costco, Schwans, Papa Murphy’s, CSAs, Farmer’s Markets and more! Some farmer’s markets have double-up food programs that give you twice as much produce as you pay for! Here’s what you need to know.
  • You can buy gardening supplies and more. It’s true, we have a memo from the USDA right here.

Statewide LINK Card Discounts

No matter where you live in Illinois, you should have access to these benefits!

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50% off Amazon Prime

Amazonir?t=lir0e 20&l=ur2&o=1 for offers discounted Amazon Prime memberships for customers who receive Illinois food stamps! In addition to free two-day shipping, Amazon Prime members get access to FREE streaming access to thousands of movies and TV shows! Get it now!ir?t=lir0e 20&l=ur2&o=1 for

$5 Internet

You’re probably paying too much for internet. We’ve found Internet services starting at just $5 per month from providers like Comcast, CenturyLink, AT&T and more!

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Free Cell Phones & Service

Cell phones and service are available FREE for individuals and families who receive Illinois food stamps benefits. Find out who offers free phones and service in your area. 

Free Computers

We’ve found several organizations that offer free and low cost computers to low income families. Here’s how to get one.

YMCA Discounts

YMCA organizations typically offer discounts for low income individuals and families. If you qualify for Illinois food stamps, you may qualify for a discounted YMCA membership! Contact your local YMCA for details.

Other Discounts

If you’re looking for Illinois LINK card discounts, then you may also be eligible for these assistance programs:

Shedd Aquarium is on the list of Illinois Link Card Museum DIscounts
Shedd Aquarium is on our list of Illinois LINK Card Museum Discounts!

LINK Card Museum Discounts

The LINK card museum discounts are without a doubt the coolest benefits you can get from having an Illinois LINK card, but there are a few things you need to know before we go into the details.

You can’t pay for admission with your EBT card. Some attractions offer free admission but others just provide a discount. You will show the EBT card to receive the discount but you can’t use EBT to pay for any remaining admission cost.

This list is alphabetical for your convenience.

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Aurora

Aurora Regional Fire Museum – $1 per person

Over a thousand artifacts, two thousand photographs and countless volumes are available at the Aurora Regional Fire Museum. However, only about a hundred of these fascinating artifacts are on display at this time.

SciTech Hands On Museum – $3 per person

Engage with more than 200 interactive STEAM exhibits at SciTech! STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Every exhibit is a mini-experiment with instructions and explanations. There’s something to learn for guests of all ages!

Cook County

Chicago

Divvy for Everyone – $5 per YEAR

Divvy for Everyone (D4E) provides a discounted membership to low income residents of Chicago and Evanston. For just $5, you can get access to the Divvy bikeshare system for an entire year!

Adler Planetarium – $1 per person

When you show either a LINK card or WIC ID at the Adler, you’ll receive a Basic Pass (including one show) for just $1 per guest, up to 8 guests. For an additional $5 per person, you can upgrade to an All Access Pass with unlimited shows and the historic Atwood Sphere experience!

American Writers Museum – $3 or less per person

The American Writers Museum is the only museum dedicated to American writers and their works. The museum showcases every aspect of writing, including poetry, lyrics, speeches, drama, fiction, nonfiction, journalism and more.

Art Institute of Chicago – FREE

Enjoy the Art Institute of Chicago for FREE with your Illinois LINK card.

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Chicago Academy of Sciences & Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum – $1 per person

Enjoy exhibits and interactive classes as you learn about nature. In addition to standard exhibits, you also get access to the events and activities! Admission is just $1 per person, with your LINK card, for up to 6 people.

Chicago Children’s Museum – $3 per group

Illinois LINK card holders (or WIC recipients) can pay just $3 for up to 6 people. Families must include at least one adult and one child age 15 or younger.

I originally reported that they charged $3 per person. India, one of our wonderful readers, informed me that this was actually a mistake! She wrote, “Just a clarification – Chicago Children’s Museum charges $3 for up to 6 people, it isn’t $3 per person. We were pleasantly surprised by that info when we went. I was expecting to pay $15, which is still good, but we only paid $3!”

Chicago History Museum – $3 per adult

Illinois LINK cardholders can receive admission for just $3 per adult. Admission is always free for anyone age 12 and younger.

DuSable Museum of African American History – $3 per adult

The DuSable promotes the understanding and appreciation of the achievements, contributions and experiences of African Americans. Located in historic Hyde Park, the museum was founded in 1961 and features more than 15,000 pieces in its collections. Admission is $3 per adult (18+). Children age 5 and under are FREE!

The Field Museum – $3 per person

The Field Museum tells the story of life on Earth through historical and scientific collections. Solve mysteries, explore new subjects and enjoy the exhibits for just $3 per person (up to 6 people) when you show your Illinois LINK.

International Museum of Surgical Science – FREE

This 10,000 square foot museum is the only museum in North America that is exclusively devoted to surgery. The exhibits and rotating programs all showcase the surgical history and development. Up to four people are admitted for free, per EBT card.

Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art – $3 per person

What is intuitive and outsider art? Their website states that it’s “the work of artists who demonstrate little influence from the mainstream art world and who instead are motivated by their unique personal visions.” The Intuit spans 12,000 square feet with two galleries, a Study Center, the Henry Darger Rooom Collection and a gift shop. In addition to lower prices for adults with EBT, tickets are always free for visitors under 18 years old.

Lincoln Park Zoo – FREE

Lincoln Park Zoo offers a free, family-oriented wildlife experience! The zoo is always free but is also a Museums for All member, so it is included on this list.

Pick up a pass from CPL and you can also save 10% on food and retail purchases throughout the park!

Museum of Contemporary Art – $3 or less per person

Art is for everyone, says the Museums of Contemporary Art in Chicago. A generous pay-as-you-will admission policy ensures that nobody will be turned away due to inability to pay. Admission is always free for all Illinois residents on Tuesdays! The suggested admission with EBT is $3 each for up to 6 people.

Museum of Science and Industry – FREE

Visit one of the largest science museums in the world for just FREE! You’ll enjoy more than 400,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits. If you have an Illinois LINK card or a WIC card, then you can get free Museum Entry for up to two adults and six children (under 18).

National Museum of Mexican Art – FREE

The National Museum of Mexican Art brings the richness of Mexican culture to Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. With over 3,000 years of creativity on display, the museum features over 10,000 pieces in a 48,000 square foot space. Visit for free!

National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture – FREE

Located in the heart of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community, the NMPRAC is the only self-standing museum in the world that is solely dedicated to Puerto Rican arts and culture. Browse three galleries, multiple performance spaces, arts classrooms and more as you learn about the rich cultural heritage of Puerto Rico. Admission is always free.

National Veterans Art Museum – FREE

The National Veterans Art Museum promotes a greater understanding of the impact of war through exhibit and collections. All the artwork is created by veterans. Although there is art from veterans of all conflicts, there is a special focus on Vietnam.

Shedd Aquarium – FREE

Low income families with either an EBT card OR WIC benefits can get FREE admission to Shedd Aquarium! Your free admission includes access to all permanent exhibits, the Underwater Beauty special exhibit, and the seasonal Stingray Touch experience. For $4.95 per person, you can upgrade to a 4D experience as well.

Glencoe

Chicago Botanic Garden – FREE + Discounted Parking

Although the Chicago Botanic Garden is always free, Illinois LINK cardholders can receive a reduced parking rate of $10 per vehicle (parking is usually $25-$30). Active duty military, reservists, former POWs and their families can receive free parking with ID.

Glenview

Kohl Children’s Museum – $3 per person

Bring your Illinois LINK card and photo ID to receive $3 admission per person for up to 4 people.

Oak Lawn

Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn – $3 per person

Oak Lawn’s favorite place for both learning and fun is now accepting EBT cardholders for a discounted admission rate of just $3 per person, for up to 4 people!

Oak Park

Wonder Works Children’s Museum – $3 per person

If you receive either food stamps or WIC, then you can visit Wonder Works Children’s Museum for just $3 per person! Just show your LINK or WIC card and state ID to get reduced entrance fees for the first 4 people in your party. There are six permanent experience zones, including a farm to market zone, building zone, gardening zone, outdoor zone and more, and over 6,400 square feet of fun.

Schaumburg

Blocks to Bricks – $3 per person

This 12,000 square foot space is a celebration of construction toys, including LEGO®, Erector Sets®, Lincoln Logs® and more. With an EBT card, four people can receive admission for just $3 each!

DuPage County

Downers Grove

Downers Grove Museum – FREE

The history of Downers Grove is showcased through textiles, photographs and other collections. This museum also hosts a public research library with searchable census records, cemetery surveys, telephone directories, school yearbooks, genealogies, newspaper articles, birth and death certificates. Photographs are also viewable upon request.

Lisle

The Morton Arboretum – $1 per person

This internationally recognized nonprofit organization provides an engaging, educational experience across 1,700 acres of woodlands, prairie, meadows, lakes and streams. In addition, there are 16 miles of hiking trails and a number of tree and plant collections. Of course, their award-winning children’s garden is a great place to take the kids! With an Illinois LINK card, you will pay just $1 per person for up to 8 guests (as long as you’re all in one vehicle).

At this time, active duty service members can always receive free admission.

Naperville

DuPage Children’s Museum – $3 per person

With your LINK Card, you can visit for just $3 per person!

If you’ve got WIC, IHFS Medical or afree/reduced school lunch award letter, you can get an even better deal! You can score a $25 per year membership to DuPage Children’s Museum! The membership covers up to two adults and six children. You’ll get unlimited admission for an entire year, a 10% discount at the café and Explorer Store, and discounts on special camps. You’ll also get exclusive invitations to members-only special events!

Naper Settlement – $1 per person

Explore 12 acres of learning at Naper Settlement‘s family-friendly outdoor history museum. Learn about the past through exciting interactive exhibits, galleries and so much more.

Wheaton

Cantigny Park – $1 per vehicle with up to 8 passengers

Cantigny Park features 500 acres of gardens, with miles of stunning trails and multiple museums. Entrance to the park is always free, but there is a parking fee. With EBT, that fee is just $1 for your vehicle of up to 8 passengers. However, ticketed events, fee-based programs, paid tours and other discounts are not included.

It is important to remember that everyone gets free admission on the first Wednesday of each month! Veterans and active-duty military can always get free admission (and other perks) when they join the free Cantigny Honor Club. Free admission is also available on Armed Forces Day, Constitution Day and Veterans Day.

Macon County

Decatur

Children’s Museum of Illinois – $4 per person

The Chicago Museum of Illinois is 27,000 square feet of hands-on, interactive experiences for children from 3-12. Both LINK cardholders and military/veteran families can pay just $4 per person for admission. Up to four people can be covered by this discount.  It is important to realize that children under 2 are always free and senior citizens (65+) are also admitted for $4 each.

Madison County

Edwardsville

Edwardsville Children’s Museum – FREE

The Edwardsville Children’s Museum includes a Makerspace, animal hospital, credit union, market, café and many other play spaces for children. It is ideal for children ages 12 and under. Each EBT card includes free admission for everyone in the immediate household (parents and children).

McLean County

Bloomington

McClean County Museum of History – FREE

Simply show your EBT card at the reception desk to get free admission! The museum contains seven galleries with more than 20,000 objects in preservation.

Normal

Children’s Discovery Museum – $3 per person

If you have an Illinois Link card or WIC, then you can visit Children’s Discovery Museum in Normal for just $3 per person! There is a limit of six reduced admissions per EBT card.

Peoria County

Peoria

Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum – $3 per person

This hands-on children’s museum is nestled in the historic Glen Oak Park Pavilion building, adjacent to the Peoria Zoo. Designed to bring families together in exploration and play, the Playhouse offers special programming for toddlers, families and more. There’s even an adult maker space!

Families who receive WIC or LINK card benefits can apply to participate in the PlayHouse Explorer Program. You’ll also need to bring either a driver’s license or state ID with you and apply at the admissions desk.

Peoria Riverfront Museum – $3 per person

From your backyard to a distance galaxy, the Peoria Riverfront Museum’s exhibits feature a wide range of art, history, science and more. At this time, LINK cardholders can receive admission for $3 per person, up to four people. This rate includes access to the planetarium. It is important to realize that special exhibits and giant screen movies are not included.

Rock Island

Quad City Botanical Center – $2 per person

LINK cardholders can visit the beautiful Quad City Botanical Center for just $2 per person! You can even bring a picnic to the park as long as you do not bring breakable bottles, dishes, drinking cups or alcohol. You will be responsible to dispose of all wrappers and remaining food. 

Sangamon County

Springfield

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum – $3 per person

As a Museums for All partner, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum charges $3 per person, for up to four people per EBT card.

Illinois State Museum – FREE

The Illinois State Museum is always free but they have recently joined Museums for All, a program that pledges to make museums more accessible to households with food stamps.

Kidzeum of Health and Science – $3 per person

Tickle a giant nose and make it sneeze! Climb through a brain and gooey intestines of a three-story human body! Kidzeum is the ultimate kid-friendly learning experience for health and science topics. Visit for just $3 per person, as of July 2018!

Stephenson County

Freeport

Children’s Hands-On Museum of NW Illinois – $3 per person

Explore over 3,000 square feet of interactive exhibits for just $3 per person! Their subjects include agricultural science, STEM, social sciences, art, drama, music and sensory rooms..

Winnebago County

Rockford

Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden – FREE

Explore 155 acres of beautiful woodlands and botanic gardens at Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden, the largest public garden in Winnebago County. There are 1.4 miles of paved, handicap-accessible paths and approximately 3 miles of wooded trails. Admission is free for families and individuals with EBT or WIC benefits.

Want more free stuff in Illinois?

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Have too much month at the end of your money? Me too - and that's how Low Income Relief got started. I have over 20 years of professional research and writing experience. Over the years, I've worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. My work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today, eHow.com, Livestrong.com, Legal Beagle, The Daily Herald (Provo, Utah), The Chronicle (Centralia, WA) and others. At Low Income Relief, I use my professional research and reporting experience to help low income families save money and make ends meet. It's been my full-time job since 2016, and it's truly an honor to serve you.

Sarah Kopf

Wednesday 2nd of June 2021

Hello, When I was reading your site I believe it said any museum that’s green can be used with EBT cards from other states? I’m in Indiana, I’m very close to Illinois, so my question is can I show my EBT card to the admission at the shed aquarium to get the discount or the Chicago children museum? I’ve never done this so I’m trying to figure it out. Thank you for all the information!

Hannah Benge

Friday 4th of June 2021

Yes you can definitely use it in other states!-Hannah

Leslie

Friday 17th of May 2019

Nicole, went to the Shedd Aquarium on Saturday May 11. Admission is NOT FREE with the EBT card. The 3 adults had to pay $3.00 each. The 1 child with us is under 17 so he was free.

Riley Thomson

Saturday 18th of May 2019

Leslie, That is interesting. I just checked both their website, and I called. They said With and EBT card and valid ID that you can get up to 4 free passes per family. Were you getting more than 4? -Riley

Tricia K

Saturday 30th of March 2019

Nicole, I just discovered your site as I was researching Shedd Aquarium and EBT connections for free and reduced entry fees. I am amazed at the other-than-food benefits connected to EBT/LINK.

I'm a senior (retired) with an advanced degree in Education who worked for over 50 years and paid taxes the whole time. My education retirement income (OK, but not enough) and SS (less than $200/month) is not enough to cover my cost of living without help.

With such a low monthly income, I have been able to qualify for various benefits, and I am so grateful!

Keep up the good work with your information!

Riley Thomson

Friday 5th of April 2019

Tricia, I will pass this on to Nicole! Thanks so much for your support and your kind words! -Riley

Laura

Sunday 3rd of February 2019

How do they know if your EBT card is active? Do they scan it or something?

Nicole Thelin

Tuesday 5th of February 2019

No, the venues won't scan it. They just want to see it. If it's an older card or they have reason to suspect it's not valid, they may ask for a recently-dated benefits verification letter... but usually you just show the card to receive the discount.

Riley Thomson

Tuesday 5th of February 2019

Laura, It is different in every state. I did a quick google search and found this information for how to activate your Illinois LINK Card on the Illinois DHS website. I hope this helps. -Riley

Mrs. E

Saturday 10th of November 2018

Hi,

Thank you for providing all this helpful information. I had no idea of all the things we can do with the card. I have a question though, if the card is under my husbands name does he have to be present? Also I kept my maiden name. So we don't have the same last name.

Thank you

Riley Thomson

Monday 12th of November 2018

Mrs. E, You need to be listed on his benefits award letter to use your husband's card. So he will probably need to be present. I hope this helps. -Riley