Chicago is one of the greatest cities in the USA. The birthplace of some of the world’s most feared mobsters, including the dreaded Al Capone, the city has come far from its gangster ways and is now a leading centre arts and fashion as well as being a terrific place to visit.
If you’re looking to save a bit of money and maintain a healthy bank balance when travelling around the USA, here are some fun and free things to do in Chicago to help keep your wallet happy:
Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo is one of few free zoos in the whole of the United States. With free admission every day of the week, it’s a terrific place for families, couples, and anyone who loves observing a large collection of animals. Home to many different animal species from all over the world, the extensive zoo is not only one of the best free things to do in Chicago, but it is also one of the best things to do – period.
Animals include lions, tigers, monkeys, polar bears, rhinos, seals, birds, and more. There is a special viewing area where you can see water-dwelling creatures with greater ease. Take a stroll along the Nature Boardwalk to get even closer to the animal kingdom, and watch as kids delight in the farmyard area.
Looking for somewhere to enjoy excellent views of the famous Chicago skyline? Then head to Promontory Point! With terrific vistas of the lake and downtown area, it is also a nice park for a stroll and to relax.
Another free park in Chicago, the large Millennium Park was created for a blend of music, art, dance and workshops. There are events throughout the year at the park; many are free! There’s also lots of interesting public art to admire.
A huge park with many fun rides and buildings, admission to Navy Pier itself is free. There are, however, varying costs applied for admission to different buildings and to go on the rides. Even if you don’t want to do so much once inside though, it’s still an interesting place for a visit and a wander.
Each building has a different subject and theme. It may not sound so great at first, but one of the most captivating things to do at Navy Pier is to visit the museum of stained glass windows. Home to stained glass from throughout the ages, there are some exquisite exhibits and displays.
Chicago Cultural Center
There are several ways to enjoy this attractive landmark … take a free tour, wander around independently, or simply admire the architecture and designs from the outside. The Chicago Cultural Center is one of the premier free cultural centres in the USA. Look out for the large stained-glass domes, and keep your eyes open for free performances and workshops.
If you’re into art, have a great time whilst sparing your wallet at the City Gallery, the Hyde Park Art Center, the Smart Museum of Art, and the National Museum of Mexican Art.
Learn about different parts of the world at the Oriental Institute Museum and the Cambodian American Heritage Museum. Chill out in one of Chicago’s many free parks, or relax on a public beach, stroll through the colourful and fragrant Chicago Botanic Gardens, visit the Bahá’í House of Worship for North America, walk the 606, peek into the past at Hull House, and more! There really are plenty of free things to do in Chicago!