There are plenty of cheap things to do in Chicago that will keep you entertained without breaking the bank. From free museums and parks to inexpensive tours and delicious eats, there are plenty of options for budget-conscious travelers.
May 05, 202313 Shares903 Views
Chicago is a vibrant city with plenty of exciting things to do. However, many of the popular attractions can be expensive, which can put a damper on your plans if you're on a tight budget.
Millennium Park is a must-see attraction in Chicago, especially for first-time visitors. The park covers 24.5 acres and is home to many iconic landmarks, including the Cloud Gate sculpture (also known as "The Bean"), the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, and the Crown Fountain.
Visitors can explore the park on foot or by bike, and there are many free activities and events held throughout the year, including concerts, movies, and fitness classes.
The Chicago Cultural Center is a beautiful building that serves as a hub for arts and culture in the city. It is free to enter and features exhibits and performances from local and international artists.
Visitors can also attend workshops and lectures on a variety of topics, from music to literature to visual arts. The building itself is an architectural masterpiece, with stunning mosaics, stained glass windows, and marble staircases.
One of Chicago's most famous landmarks is the Buckingham Fountain located in the heart of Grant Park. The fountain is the centerpiece of the park and is one of the largest fountains in the world.
During the summer months, the fountain’s water display is accompanied by music and light shows that are truly spectacular. Visitors can also take a leisurely stroll through Grant Park and enjoy the lush greenery, gardens, and sculptures.
Located on Chicago's West Side, the Garfield Park Conservatory is a haven of nature and tranquility in the midst of the city's hustle and bustle. The conservatory has a collection of plants from around the world in eight different greenhouses.
Visitors can explore the lush and diverse indoor gardens, which include a fern room, a desert house, and an aquatic garden. Admission to the conservatory is free, but donations are encouraged.
Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) is dedicated to the medium of photography and its evolving role in contemporary art.
The museum has a collection of more than 15,000 photographs, ranging from historical works to contemporary pieces. Admission to the museum is free, but donations are encouraged. The museum also hosts a variety of exhibitions, lectures, and events throughout the year.
The 606 Trail is a 2.7-mile elevated trail that runs along the former Bloomingdale Line railroad track. The trail features art installations, gardens, and plenty of space to walk, run, or bike. It's a great way to get some fresh air and exercise while enjoying the city. Plus, it's completely free to visit.
The Harold Washington Library Center is the central library of the Chicago Public Library system.
In addition to being a great resource for books and research, the library also offers free events, classes, and workshops. Visitors can attend book clubs, writing workshops, computer classes, and more.
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the most famous art museums in the world. While admission to the museum can be pricey, visitors can explore the museum's South Garden for free. The garden features a variety of sculptures and plantings, as well as stunning views of the city.
The Chicago Federal Reserve Bank Museum offers free tours of its exhibits, which explore the history and functions of the Federal Reserve System.
Visitors can learn about the role of the Federal Reserve in the economy and see exhibits on topics like inflation and the global financial system. Tours are offered Monday through Friday and must be reserved in advance.
Families on a budget can enjoy a variety of activities in Chicago, such as visiting the Lincoln Park Zoo, taking a ride on the Navy Pier Ferris wheel, or exploring the Museum of Science and Industry on free admission days.
The summer months in Chicago are filled with free events and festivals, such as the Chicago Blues Festival, the Grant Park Music Festival, and the Chicago SummerDance series. Visitors can also enjoy free movies in the park or take a free architecture tour.
Chicago offers plenty of inexpensive or free activities for visitors and locals to enjoy. From exploring the city's public parks and beaches to checking out museums and cultural institutions on free admission days, there are always cheap things to do in Chicago.
And with so many affordable dining options and entertainment venues, visitors can make the most of their trip to Chicago without overspending. Whether you're a budget-conscious traveler or just looking for some wallet-friendly fun, Chicago has plenty to offer.