Free Things to do in Chicago

Visiting Chicago and enjoying all the attractions, theatre and delicious food can add up. Which is why I put together a list of activities to enjoy for free.

Millenium Park

Stop by Millennium Park and enjoy Cloud Gate (The Bean), fountains, art installations, have a picnic, or enjoy their Summer Film Festival.


There are many food establishments surrounding Millennium Park, but if you want a different experience, grab food from one of the food trucks.



Summer Film Series

Grant Park

If you’re visiting Chicago, stop by Grant Park and take a picture in front of Buckingham Fountain. There is also access to the lake front and walking trails.


Walking Tour of the Loop

The Streets of Downtown Chicago are like a free walking museum. Discover Daley Plaza, Financial District, and the West Loop.


Chicago Theatre on State Street


Iconic picture of the “L” tracks


Picasso at Daley Center

Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo is a small charming zoo in the middle of the city. Don’t miss out on the Lion House, Primate house and the carrousel.



Navy Pier

Enjoy this mile long pier a long Lake Michigan. Walk it all the way to the end, and enjoy all the shops and exhibits it has indoors. Watch free fireworks during the summer. Visit for more information.


Lake Front Trail

Bring out your bike or rent one and cruise along the lake front. If biking is not your thing, put on roller-skates or walk along the lake.

Chicago River Walk

The River walk will show you a different angle of the city. Appreciate the architecture from the bottom up.


Museum Campus

Museum Campus is home to Shed Aquarium, Field Museum and Adler Planetarium. Although, entrance to all of these can be pricey, they do offer free days and discounted tickets. However, the view from Museum Campus is free and one of the best in the city.


View From Museum Campus

Art Institute of Chicago

111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

Enjoy access to one of the biggest art collections in the world. If you like Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh and many more, this place is worth going to. Illinois residents enjoy free access on Thursday evenings.


Museum of Contemporary Art

220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

The Museum of Contemporary Art is free on Tuesdays for Illinois residents.

Oak Street and North Avenue Beach

For Chicagoans, this is a real beach. Bring a towel, snacks, a Starbucks iced drink you can pick up a few blocks from the beach, and lay out in the sun. Play some volley ball or just relax.





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