When visiting Chicago, there are numerous free activities and attractions to enjoy. Here are the top 10 things to do for free in the city:
- Millennium Park: Explore Millennium Park, home to iconic attractions such as “The Bean” (Cloud Gate) and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Take a stroll, enjoy the outdoor art installations, and during summer, catch free concerts and events.
- Navy Pier: Visit Navy Pier, a lively entertainment destination on Lake Michigan. Take in the beautiful waterfront views, watch fireworks (seasonal), and enjoy free public art installations and performances.
- Lincoln Park Zoo: Spend a day at the Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the oldest and most renowned zoos in the country. Admission is free, and you can see a wide variety of animals while strolling through the park.
- Art Institute of Chicago: On Thursdays from 5 pm to 8 pm, the Art Institute of Chicago offers free admission to Illinois residents. Explore the museum’s impressive collection, which includes works by renowned artists such as Van Gogh and Monet.
- Chicago Cultural Center: Visit the Chicago Cultural Center, a historic landmark known for its stunning architecture and rotating art exhibitions. The building also hosts free concerts, films, and performances throughout the year.
- Grant Park: Enjoy Grant Park, known as “Chicago’s Front Yard.” This expansive green space offers beautiful views of Lake Michigan, Buckingham Fountain, and the city skyline. Take a leisurely walk or have a picnic in the park.
- The 606: Explore The 606, an elevated park and trail that spans several neighborhoods. Take a bike ride, go for a walk, or enjoy public art installations along the trail.
- Garfield Park Conservatory: Escape into the lush greenery of the Garfield Park Conservatory. Admission is free, and you can wander through various themed gardens and beautiful plant displays.
- Chicago Riverwalk: Take a stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk, a pedestrian-friendly path that stretches along the Chicago River downtown. Enjoy the scenic views, watch the boats go by, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.
- Chicago Public Library: Visit the Harold Washington Library Center, the central library of the Chicago Public Library system. Explore the stunning architecture, browse the vast collection of books, and enjoy free events and exhibitions.
These free activities and attractions allow you to experience the beauty, culture, and entertainment that Chicago has to offer without breaking the bank.