Illinois LINK chicago EBT free

Your Illinois LINK Card Can do THIS?!

(Last Updated On: November 8, 2018)

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! I know this is a long article but don’t leave too quickly! After the museums list, I’ll show you more exciting perks like how to get Internet for less than $1! =D

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Got EBT in another state?
Please click here!

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.

Illinois LINK card discounts deals

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

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

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.

Chicago

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!

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!

Decatur

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.

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.

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

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 servicemembers 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 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.

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.

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.

Peoria

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.

Springfield

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!

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. 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.

Go more places FREE with a library card!

Want more free stuff in Illinois?

Click here to see everything we know about this state!



110 thoughts on “Your Illinois LINK Card Can do THIS?!”

  1. Nicole, my name is Brian Failing and I am the Director at the Aurora Regional Fire Museum. We are $1 per person with LINK card. We also opened a Children’s Discovery Room. Feel free to call the museum to confirm.

  2. you can also get basic $10 internet and phone service at AT&T and $10 Internet at Comcast Xfinity. Im still looking into other companies

    1. Hello, Eric. I have edited your comment to remove the profanity. Per our terms, this is a family friendly site and we do not allow vulgarity here.

      Although your question isn’t entirely clear, I want to assure you that you aren’t “buying” these benefits. Food stamps is the only government-funded program discussed here. Everything else, including museum admission discounts, is privately funded by donations and corporate sponsors. They simply use EBT cards as a quick way to determine income eligibility for their low income admission programs.

      If you’re seriously offering, though, I could really use a better car. 😉

      1. Perfect response! Thank you for shutting that closed minded simpleton down in such an educated, non confrontational way!

      2. So the government is funded by TAXPAYERS. Ostensibly we ARE PAYING largely for this. Yes there is some corporate sponsorship, but not as much as you are making it appear. It’s nice that low income people are getting some perks, but we taxpayers have to pay for ours and theirs too. I’d prefer that they would be working or getting education to enhance their employability.

        1. Hi, Trayce! I completely agree with you, largely because of your word choice. As you may know, ostensible means “being such in appearance, plausible rather than demonstrably true or real.” Yes, it appears that taxpayers are funding most of this… but that’s not really the case. 😉

          As far as I am aware, the only programs that rely on taxpayer funding here are the Lifeline Subsidy and the EBT benefits themselves. It is my understanding that taxpayer funding is not used for the Museums for All discounts, the Amazon Prime discounts, the low-cost veterinary care programs, etc.

          If you find evidence to the contrary, please let me know immediately. I do strive to keep this website as factual and accurate as possible.

          1. Just because there are people who are low income does not mean that they do not pay taxes. I pay taxes but because most employable jobs/careers do not pay enough even with a degree I’m just keeping my head above water. These awesome discounts now make it easier for me to be able to do fun things with my children. Just because people are low income does not mean they can not enjoy life just as much as someone who has the means to pay full price. Have compassion.

        2. i just graduated from school and am in the process of getting a job and even with my job i still will b low income everyone isnt rich and cnt afford to pay as much as you. we want to take our kids to do stuff too. i pay taxes also and am happy to help the low income familez cuz i understand what they are going thru. walk a mile in our shoes and then u would understand.

          1. Well said, Andrea! There are many working families who still don’t make enough to get by and THAT’S why I created this site. We’re here to help! 🙂

        3. apparently you have never been a taxpayer that fell on hard times and needed help to recover and provide basic nbeeds and let me tell you this assistance in no way makes up for what you loss at all we still loss our homes, lifestyle, activities dignity and self esteem. Try explaining to your kids how health and the loss of a well paying job left mommy and daddy unable to put even bread and butter on the table!!! Think before you speak

        4. Just because someone has a link card or is low income doesn’t mean they don’t pay taxes! I am a divorced mother of 2, I work 40 hours a week and still qualify for government assistance.. oh and btw, I pay taxes count it as a blessing that you make enough money to support yourself and or your family!

          1. Exactly, Valerie! Most of our readers are hardworking people who pay taxes. Some work 2-3 jobs and still struggle. That’s why we do what we do! 🙂

      3. Thank you for the article Nicole very helpful!!!
        Also if Eric is serious I could really use a newer car as well!

        Thanks again Nicole! That was a great comeback to Eric!

    2. I am with you Eric, it seems that if you are on any kind of state assistance you get more discounts and free stuff, being lazy, then someone working their but off to provide for their family. I know woman or men that make 10.00 to much to qualify for ebt, why do you have to get food stamps to receive any kind of discount. to me it’s discrimination, and it makes me sick. I know alot of families that suffer because the state says they make to much, but can’t afford food, or their bills, because they don’t make enough. I received food stamps when my children were little, you would never catch me shopping for food out side of a grocery store, and you wouldn’t catch me buying steak, seafood, or junk food. I made them last the whole month. my income was 450.00 dollars a month, and I had to fight to get food stamps, on that income. when does the hand outs stop!!! what ever happened to earn it for yourself! that 20.00 dollars or more you spend at subway, you could buy groceries for your house to feed your children. the state assistance programs have become a way of some people’s living, and not the temporary relief it was made for. even the elderly couldnt afford these discounts, even on food stamps, they are only offered about 120.00 a month at the most, some get way less, that’s what they get for groceries. I don’t think the senior discounts are that good.

      1. Hello, Alice. I understand why you feel this way but I would like to clarify a few things that you seem to have misunderstood.

        1) You need food stamps to qualify for these discounts because the organizations that offer these programs use EBT eligibility as an easy, fast way to determine someone’s low income status. If you meet the income criteria, you meet the income criteria for these programs. Asking to see an EBT card is much more efficient than asking someone to bring in proof of income statements.

        2) You cannot use the EBT funds to pay for museum admission. You receive the discount if you have an EBT card but you must pay the admission fee in cash. You cannot use your food money to get into the museum.

        3) I refuse to judge people based on how they spend their food stamps budget. Most of my readers are hardworking people who are struggling to make ends meet for their families. I am 100% supportive of hardworking mothers and fathers being able to buy their kids an Easter basket, birthday cake or enjoy the occasional pizza night. If you have an issue with how EBT funds can be used, please contact your federal lawmakers. They’re the only ones who can change that.

        4) I’m sure I can find some great deals for seniors, also. I’ll add that to my to-do list. Thanks for the suggestion! 🙂

        Thanks for visiting LowIncomeRelief.com!

        1. Somebody always misunderstanding the system but ready to jump on people because they receiving benefits. Just hope you never need the assistance. Most people working still needs assistance also. They just not below the level government requires

          1. I totally agree, Jeffrey! So many people misunderstand what it’s like to work hard and still not make ends meet. I know way too many hardworking people who just can’t get ahead. 🙁 That’s why I started this site – I’m here to help anyone who needs it (whether or not they receive government assistance)!

      2. I don’t know why everybody thinks that people on public aid sit around and do nothing all day. I work 40 hours a week and I still don’t make enough to make ends meet. I’m sorry that you either were born with a silver spoon in your mouth or had money to further your education. But with your rude comments maybe you should open your eyes and see that not everybody’s privileged enough to be just like you princess

    3. I pay the same taxes u do so technically I’m paying myself our tax money pay fa school funding firefighters police ECT cut the privilege bs u not doing nothing for no body

      1. Hi, Kenya! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I understand your frustration with Eric. I just wanted to let you know that I edited your comment for profanity. I do my best to keep this site family-friendly. 🙂 Have a great day and thanks for visiting LowIncomeRelief.com!

      1. My daughter is a single mom with a child with a disability. Shea works forty hours a week and is just a few dollars over the limit for reduced lunches or the link card. She doesn’t have cable or internet for her child for school. The child’s medical bills are in the hundreds every month but they don’t take that into consideration. How is she suppose to make ends meet .the system is broken and needs to be changed. This was always suppose to be a hand up.

        1. I’m so sorry, Sara! That is very frustrating. 🙁 I try to help everyone, not just LINK cardholders. If you let me know what city/county to look in, I can see what community resources I can find for your daughter!

  3. Do we just go to one of the listings above and show the link card?? Will we be turned away as nothing is stated on their websites(for obvious reasons I assume).

    1. Hi, Choley! It really is that easy. Some venues want to see a photo ID also.

      Don’t be afraid to be persistent! Occasionally I find an employee who isn’t familiar with the program, so don’t be afraid to ask to speak to someone else. It’s not that the program doesn’t exist, it’s just that some people haven’t been properly trained on it. 😉

      If you’d like to see my sources, I’m happy to provide them for you. My primary source for this material is the Museums for All website itself. To clarify prices, I often reach out to the museum directly via Twitter, Facebook or over the phone. 🙂

  4. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! I was looking for something to do with the kids that was within our price range! Now I’m wondering if 6 flags offers anything?

    1. Hi, Christy! Unfortunately, Six Flags doesn’t offer any sort of low income discount at this time. They do occasionally donate tickets to organizations like United Way, though… but I’m not exactly sure how those are distributed. I’m sorry!

          1. No problem! Thanks for visiting LowIncomeRelief.com – and if this information has been helpful to you, please share it with others! =D

      1. Hi Nicole, I live outside of Chicago, in the western suburbs. How do I go about getting the Shedd Aquarium discount? Thanks in advance and for this awesome website

        1. Hi, Jennifer! It’s as easy as showing up with your EBT card (or proof of WIC benefits) and showing it at the admissions desk. I’ve organized the list by city so that it’s easier to find museums in your area but you don’t have to live in the city to receive the discount. In fact, Shedd honors EBT cards from all 50 states! 🙂

  5. Hi just saw a couple of comments that mad me upset but being as we”‘re being family friendly I won’t tell the un educated person about his self I work in the DHFS offices people who receive tanf or food stamps are required to show proof of employ or school enrollment to receive benefits so that means if they are working they pay taxes so they are in turn earning their benefits

    1. THANK YOU very much for sharing this information!!!!! Too many people fail to realize that there are already work requirements in place for most benefits programs. I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to clarify this! <3

    1. Hi, Chris! I’m sorry. These are all the EBT specific discounts I was able to find in Illinois… but I update the list monthly so be sure to check back!

      In the meantime, here are some other non-EBT related options you may find interesting.

      Eckerts Belleville Farm hosts a FREE concert series on Saturdays & Sundays. They also have fun activities for kids! The field access fee is just $1 per person.
      -You can get a discounted YMCA membership through their financial aid program.
      Kids Bowl Free and Kids Skate Free at locations throughout the US

  6. This is awesome! I have a family of 5 and I always struggle with finding cheap and fun things to do with my kids, especially because one of them is a teenager. Thank you so much for this!

    1. I’m so glad we were able to help, Lina! We LOVE discovering free and cheap activities for families. Did you see these other articles we’ve written? 🙂

      Get free admission to Brookfield Zoo & more with your library card!
      Kids can bowl & skate FREE all summer with this program!
      Go to the cinemas for just $1 per person with this summer program!

      If there’s anything else we can look into for you, just let me know! And remember, we update this LINK card article every month because new museums are constantly joining the program. Be sure to check back every once in a while! 🙂

  7. I can see both sides of things here. Please consider all things before you get unkind to eachother. I grew up in a low income family. We always struggled to pay the bills. We received food stamps and didn’t waste it on a bunch of junk. My mom always made meals that she could stretch out as far as possible ( we are a lot of spaghetti). As kids, we didn’t get to do a lot of the fun stuff because my parents couldn’t afford it. They did all they could. It wasn’t our fault as children. Our parents tried. They weren’t lazy people. We still always struggled with bills. That being said, I work hard for everything I have. My bills are paid, but I don’t have a ton of extra money to go do a whole lot of extracurricular activities. I see A LOT of people taking advantage of the system and it is infuriating. It is very frustrating and wrong. And the people who work do pay the taxes to fund all of these things. But, we also don’t know the whole story. You can’t tell whose who and you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. So don’t rally the lynching mob if you see a mom buy one candy bar for a child. That could be all they get. Be kind to eachother.

    1. Hi, Breann! That’s a great question. As a Museums for All partner, Shedd Aquarium offers FREE admission to anyone who receives food stamps in any state. 🙂

  8. I love all this info! I ignore anyone who is negative about the link because they do not know my story, I work Wed-Sat and only get sat evening, sun, Mon&Tues at home, I also take my kids to work with me because I can not afford a babysitter, I wear hand me down clothes and buy myself maybe a pair of tennis shoes a yr and buy $1 flip flops in summer! I work my butt off, I’m always exhausted and still don’t make enough to feed us through the month, and trust I do not buy steak and shrimp, more like hot dogs & Mac n cheese! Thank you for taking time out to give us this info! God Bless

    1. Thanks, Andrea! I love your attitude and ability to ignore the negative people. I’m so glad you found this site and I hope that we’ve been able to help you! A lot of the information we provide is written by request so if you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask!

    1. Yes, it does! I just reached out to Shedd Aquarium on Facebook and I received this reply: “Hello Nikki, visitors with WIC cards can gain free admission! We hope to “sea” you soon!” I’ve updated the article accordingly. Thanks for asking, Grace! 🙂

  9. Hi,
    First I would like to thank you. I never knew about this. My question would be, can we go on a weekend or is it only for weekdays?

  10. Thank you so much for this article. People don’t seem to realize that low income families don’t generally have opportunities to go to world reknown educational facilities like these. Education goes a long way toward breaking the cycle of poverty.

  11. Nicole, thank you so much for posting this site. For over 30 years I was gainfully employed. I paid my taxes, as I do now, and helped in places I could. A year ago I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and was deemed disabled by my doctors. For the first time since I started working I was unable to do so. I went from being able to provide for my family to being totally reliant on them. After a lengthy process I am receiving ssi benefits and yes food stamp assistance. The two programs together equal less then 1/3 of what I was making. I have lost everything. I am working hard now to get well so that I may once again be able to afford to care for myself and those who have cared for me. It’s nice to know that through a very small effort I can contribute a little fun for my family and friends. I don’t need sympathy and I don’t care about being judged. I just am happy to have a chance to enjoy life and not break the bank doing it. Not every one who gets assistance is violating the system. The majority of us would prefer not to be on it at all. I just am thankful it’s there and I am thankful for you helping us realize the true benefit of the help afforded to us!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, Melvin! I know so many people who have ended up in situations like yours… and that’s exactly why we do what we do! I’m so glad we’ve helped you have some affordable fun with your family. 🙂

  12. Hi Nicole,
    Thank you so much for compiling the list of places. I always wanted to take my boys to Shedd Aquarium but the admission price was too high , I called few times to ask if they have anything for low income families but couldn’t get the answer…
    Anyways do you if the Lego land in Shaumbuarg takes the link card?

    1. Hi, Safia! I’m so glad we were able to help you visit Shedd Aquarium. I update this list during the first week of every month, so be sure to check back for updates. I’ve checked and it doesn’t appear that the Legoland participates in any sort of LINK discount program. Sorry!

  13. Great article Nicole! Who knew? The Chicago Crusader newspaper would like to repost the first few paragraphs (with read more link) of this article on our free daily eblast. Please let me know if that’s possible. Again great article!
    Marissa Bullock
    Web editor
    Chicago Crusader

  14. Tried to use my target cartwheel savings with Link EBT and it can not be done I am told you can not use savings programs with the EBT or coupons. I find this disturbing, any one know about this?

    1. That’s very interesting… and that doesn’t sound right to me. When I received EBT discounts, I regularly used coupons and store loyalty programs to save a little extra. :\

  15. I understand like anything in life there are a few bad apples who make all of us who are getting assistance look bad.
    That being said I worked all my life (I am now 55) and I went to college and to be blunt there are no jobs in many areas other than minimum wage P/T less than 25 hours a week ones. I worked for 7 years at Dollar Tree and even had a 2nd job part of that time but still fell below the poverty line. I paid taxes just like anyone else.
    I got hurt at my job and during the time their insurance company took to get the surgeries done I had to cash in my 401K ( over $17,000 and lost part of it) and my stock options (over $8,000) that took me 7 yrs to put together. I maxed out my credit cards as well. It took 3 years to get the surgeries done and get the claim settled. They kept not paying me so over half the money I got when it was settled was my back pay.
    Now I cant go back to work and I am on disability with almost no link assistance. I have opened a small business in the hopes that in the future we can start getting money put back for retirement again since it is all gone. We are not even making enough to pay our bills for the shop right now so it is rough.
    As I have said to condescending people in the past almost anyone in the middle class or less income brackets are only a few months away from being on assistance. If there is a catastrophic illness or surgeries or even injuries you can go from doing fairly well to having next to nothing. People shpuld think about that before they put anyone down.
    Oh and a funny ending to my comment. People say a lot buy steaks etc. When i had more we did buy steak on occassion for special dinners like anniversaries. I went to a local food bank since our link is $42 a month now and they asked me if I wanted chicken wings (small almost no meat) a roast or beef. I was going to take the roast but found out it had garlic so they brought out the other meat and guess what we ended up with? 2 thick T Bone steaks. Might only have been 1 meal of meat but it was great and I was happy to have it.

  16. Is parking discounted at science n industry? How about the planetarium?
    Thank you for all the information you are gathering.

  17. Thank you for writing this.. We are a Family of 9 and all this helps due to our family size at times we are limited on acativies with our family due at times there not being enough to go around after we pay our necessitates.
    I just got off the phone with the Dupage Childrens museum the yearly members is $20 per year but includes everything you have described above. Also I would like to also suggest those that are are a tight budget to check into the radio shopping show WRMN 1410 out of Elgin or WBIG 1280 out of Aurora.. Using this has allowed my family to buy get admission to Santa’s village for 5$ each, Kellers Crossing corn maze 3.75 per person. Oil changes the lowest ive paid is $6.75 at honda. Very discounted items I can just go on..

    1. That’s great information, Tamara! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this comment. I’ve updated the article accordingly and I appreciate your helpful tips!

  18. My son has Autism and right now I’m unable to work due to that dynamics of that..hoping to be able to work online soon….so if I took him to the Museum of Science & Industry…I would just show the Link Card and the fee would be free? Does that include for the coal mine too and what else? Thanks? Also for the Shedd aquarium what would that include? I have an adult friend on disability that gets link but I would need to take her and her boyfriend to help with my son (sensory overload) would they get in free by showing their link card then?

    1. Hi, Katie! All the museums with green titles (including Shedd and the Museum of Science and Industry) are Museums for All partners. These museums provide the same discount for up to four people per LINK card, unless otherwise noted in this article. All you have to do is show your LINK card (and sometimes a valid photo ID, depending on the location) at the admissions desk.

      I appreciate you asking this question because I did some additional research. Here’s what I found:

      The Museum of Science and Industry provides each LINK cardholder with two free adult Museum Entry passes and up to six free children Museum Entry passes. These do not include the extra ticketed exhibits, such as the coal mine.

      Shedd Aquarium offers free admission for up to four people per LINK card. It includes access to the permanent exhibits, the Amphibians special exhibit, aquatic presentations and the seasonal Stingray Touch experience. You have the option to pay $4.95 per person for a 4D experience upgrade.

      I hope this helps! Thank you for asking and I hope you enjoy your trips to these great places! 🙂

  19. I have worked 2 jobs fornthe past 2 yrs and I still get EBT as a single mother of 2 I work my fingers to the bone to be able to provide just the essentials and sometimes still come up short… and I just love when people make comments about how THEY provide for my family simply because I receive assistance. I simply pull out my recent pay stubs for both of my jobs and guide them to the taxes paid in section and I can also tell them I get less assitance then I actually pay in.

  20. Good day Nicole,
    I am so happy I came across this site! I have been exploring different things I can do with the kiddo’s this summer without spending so much money. Can you please share all the available programs to me? I am low income and I do have an EBT card. Thanks so much I’m advance.

    1. Hey, Gina! I haven’t found anything in your area yet but I update this list every month during the first week of the month. Check back every few months and hopefully we’ll find something in your area soon! 🙂

  21. Hi there is a correction for the DuPage Children’s museum. You cannot use your EBT card to get the $20 membership but you can us WIC, ALLKIDS and proof that your child receives free and reduced lunch. I was just there on 6/28 to get a membership using EBT and was told this info. It is also is their literature

    1. Oh my goodness, Elle, I’m so sorry! I don’t know when that changed but I appreciate you bringing it to my attention. I’ve updated this page accordingly. Thank you so much for letting me know and I’m very sorry for the disappointment!

    2. Naperville Il. Dupage Children’s Museum is $3 a person with the Link card……If you have a Wic, All Kids they offer $20 yearly membership for 2adults and 6 kids. Called July 10th 2018…..Thank you so so much for this page!!!! Made my daughter’s summer the best. # truehappiness

      1. Thank you so much for the update, Natasha! I’ve updated the article accordingly. I’m so glad that this information was able to help you guys have such an awesome summer! =D

  22. 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!

  23. Thank you for this article, I didn’t know my link card can do do much, my children are excited to visit places we couldn’t afford

      1. Great site. From now until the end of this year Brookfield Zoo is offering free days to everyone Tuesdays and Thursdays. NO LINK CARD NEEDED.
        Brookfield Zoo does not offer discount admission with a link card at any time so take advantage while you can. Regular admission is $21.95 for adults and $15.95 for children over 3….ouch

  24. 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

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