Chicago City Pass: Save Money and Time

As I have mentioned in other posts, we like to give trips for gifts. I lived in Chicago when I was between the ages of 5 and 8. Two of my grandkids are now in that age range so for Christmas we gave them a trip to Chicago, the kids, their mom and me. We stayed 3 days and were on the go the WHOLE time. One of the best buys of the trip was the Chicago City Pass The City Pass saves you over 50% in the costs of admission (see breakdown below) and gives you priority entrance the the city’s top attractions. For those of you not familiar with Chicago, it also saves you time on researching what to see and do. They have done it ALL for you.

View of Chicago from the Skydeck
Pacific White-Sided Dolphins getting ready for their show. Shedd Aquarium
Museum of Science and Industry: The Great Train Story


Shedd Aquarium All Access plus 4-D experience

Adult $44/Child $35

Priority Entrance

Adult $49/Child $49

Field Museum All Access

Adult $38/Child $27

VIP entry
Museum of Science and Industry Adult $32/Child $20 or 360 Chicago Observation Deck Adult $23/Child $16 Express Entry
Adler Planetarium Adult $35/Child $29 or Art Institute Adult $35/ Under 13 Free Fast Pass


We went to the Shedd Aquarium, the Skydeck, the Field Museum, and the Museum of Science and Industry. Sadly we didn’t have time for the Planetarium or the Art Institute. They will move to the top of the list for our next trip. Here is your  cost comparison

City Pass Adult $106. If purchased separately $164 with a $35 ticket left unused.

Child $89.  If purchased separately $131 with a $29 ticket left unused.

Field Museum Chicago
View of Lake Michigan from the Shedd Aquarium


Everyone likes to save money but time is invaluable. City Pass is priceless in this aspect. The lines for tickets and admission to these attractions can sometimes be over 2 hours. With our City Pass we never waited more than 30 minutes ( and that was our second destination of the day so we didn’t arrive until 2pm). Another way City Pass helps you make the most of your trip is that the pass can be used on ANY day for 9 consecutive days after the first use. Many of the places listed above require you to specify the date of your visit when you purchase your ticket. We had one rainy/snowy day during our trip. City Pass allowed us to change our itinerary so that we could spend that day indoors at one Museum.


We were able to get to ALL of the above places either by walking or by train, a tremendous savings as well as convenient. Parking at our hotel, The Palmer House by Hilton  ranges from $45 – $82 per night and who would want to drive in that traffic anyway! Total cost for transportation including getting to the hotel from the airport was under $100 dollars. We did take an Uber to the Shedd Aquarium but ONLY because it had snowed the night before and having lived in Florida for the last 32 years that was not in my desired experiences. We did walk back to our hotel and the kids thoroughly enjoyed walking along the lake through the park.

I cannot recommend Chicago City Pass enough. Its value gave us more money for extras and the time savings was an unexpected bonus!



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