Your Illinois LINK Card Can do THIS?!

(Last Updated On: September 30, 2019)

Receiving food stamps in Illinois? 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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Got an Illinois LINK card? Get discounts!

Amazon 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! You’ll need to verify that you receive food stamps or Medicaid to get this incredible price.

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. 

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!

Internet for just $5 per month?! It’s true! We’ve found a series of low income Internet discounts from providers like Comcast, CenturyLink, AT&T and more! Click here to learn how to get discounted Internet services!

Power companies often offer special programs for low income customers. If you’ve got Illinois food stamps benefits, you may also qualify for special benefits from your power company!

Property tax exemptions may be available for both low income seniors and disabled veterans! If you own your own home, please check with your county for more information about these exemptions and how to apply.

Student loans feature special repayment programs for low income borrowers. Get the details on these low income student loan repayment plans here!

Veterinary care can be so expensive! Spay Illinois offers low-cost spay and neuter surgeries for pets that belong to low income households. These programs provide both grants and low-cost loans to low income pet owners. Get the details here!

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.

Did you know you could buy this with your Illinois food stamps card?

Did you know you can buy this?! You can buy seeds and produce-bearing plants with your Illinois food stamps card! You can also buy certain gift baskets and birthday cakes.

Did you know you can shop here?! Did you know that Costco, farmer’s markets and even you-pick strawberry fields can accept EBT benefits? Some retailers even give you discounts or free stuff if you shop there with your food stamps card!

Double your money at certain Farmer’s Markets! Certain Illinois Farmer’s Markets offer a “double up food bucks” program that lets you get twice as much produce for your money when you shop with an Illinois LINK card!

Wait — you can’t afford to miss this!!!

You could qualify for more food stamps funds! Let’s be honest: the amount you’re awarded in food stamps is never enough to actually buy the food you need for any given month. Fortunately, we can help! We’ve figured out how food stamps awards are calculated and what you can do to increase the amount you receive each month. If you would like more food stamps money each month, then you need to read this!

You can even get cash back from your food stamps card! It’s true and it’s legal – no cash benefits required. One of our readers earned an additional $437.84 just by shopping with her food stamps card. She uses that extra money to buy diapers, wipes and other essentials. Here’s how.

Get in FREE or cheap with an Illinois LINK card!

Illinois is indeed a great place for families and individuals who have an Illinois LINK card. For your convenience, we’ve decided to list the free and discounted museums alphabetically by city. The museums with green titles are Museums for All participants. At this time, these venues accept EBT cards from all 50 states. Thus,  you don’t have to be a Illinois resident to get these great deals!

It is important to realize that you cannot pay for admission with your EBT card. Firstly, you will show the EBT card to receive the discount. Afterward, you will need to pay the remaining admission price, if any, in cash or with a credit/debit card.


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. Current exhibits focus on the brotherhood and the tools associated with firefighting. They’ve also opened a Children’s Discovery Room!

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!

Champaign County


Orpheum Children’s Science Museum – $1 per person (up to 4)

For just $1 per person (limit of 4 people), families can explore the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum. Parking is metered during the week but free on the weekends.

Cook County


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!

Art Institute of Chicago – FREE

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

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! Check out the calendar of events to find out what is happening today!

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.

You can also get Chicago History Museum passes from CPL!

Divvy for Everyone – $5 per year

For just $5 per year, low income Chicago residents can sign up for a Divvy for Everyone membership. Get the details on this discount here. 

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 17 and under are FREE!

You can also get DuSable passes from CPL!

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.

You can also get Field Museum passes from CPL!

International Museum of Surgical Science: $3 or less per person

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.

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.

Lincoln Park Zoo – FREE

Lincoln Park Zoo offers a free, family-oriented wildlife experience! Browse their animal collection, from aardvarks to yellow-spotted Amazon River turtles, by clicking here!

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!

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 up to two adult Museum Entry tickets and up to six children (under 18) Museum Entry tickets.

Your free admission includes the permanent exhibits, including Science Storms and Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze, as well as Extreme Ice. It does not include the special exhibits that require an additional admission charge, such as the U-505 Submarine On-board Tour, WOW! Tour, Coal Mine, Giant Dome Theater films, Fab Lab or Future Energy Chicago. 

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.

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! For $4.95 per person, you can upgrade to a 4D experience.

Although there is a limit of 4 discounts per EBT card, you may be able to pick up a pass from CPL that allows four more people to get FREE admission! Check out the freebies you can get from CPL by clicking here!


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.


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. At this time, guests under 12 months of age are always free.

Oak Lawn

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

Oak Lawn’s favorite place for both learning and fun is now accepting EBT cardholders for a discounted admission rate! Current exhibits (as of Jan 2017) include a nanoscale exhibit, cafe, theater, imagination station, tree house, building station, air maze, and many play structures.

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! There are six permanent experience zones, including a farm to market zone, building zone, gardening zone, outdoor zone and more.


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.


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 servicemembers can always receive free admission.


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 ALL Kids, you can get an even better deal! You can score a $20 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!

Just bring your qualifying documentation and photo ID to the children’s museum to apply for this program.

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. To learn more about Naper Settlement and the Naperville Heritage Society, click here.


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. Alicia Anderson, the membership and retail operations manager, has confirmed via email that families with either a Link Card (EBT) or a WIC card can receive full access to the gardens, museums and special events for just $1 per vehicle (up to 8 passengers). However, ticketed events, fee-based programs, paid tours and other discounts are not included.

It is important to remRemember, 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, McCormick Day, Constitution Day and Veterans Day.

Macon County


Children’s Museum of Illinois – $4 per person

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 $3 each.

Madison County


Edwardsville Children’s Museum – FREE

The Edwardsville Children’s Museum includes a Makerspace, animal hospital, credit union, market, cafe 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


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 Playhouse Children’s Museum – FREE

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 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


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


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.

Go more places FREE with a library card!

Want more free stuff in Illinois?

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