Best Free Things To Do in Chicago

Every season is perfect for being outside. Relaxing to the sound of the best indie music on the pavements of the Chicago Cultural Center may sound like the perfect idea, or strolling through the breathtaking sunset view of Navy Pier might be your cup of tea; whatever your interest is, Chicago has the best of everything for you. The most delightful part is, you don’t have to spend a dime to enjoy what the City of Big Shoulders has to offer.


For The Nature Lover

Chicago prides itself with its undeniable support for sustainable development through its preservation and strict maintenance of all green spaces in the city and the greater Chicagoland area. There are more than 50 nature areas and two first-class conservatories within the city limits alone. Reward and recharge yourself with the healing powers of nature in Chicago’s very own compendium of ecological retreats.

For The Nature Lover

Morton Arboretum

This 1,700-acre nature preserve is your much needed getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Take a relaxing walk and let the canopies absorb all the negative energies you definitely don’t deserve. Bask on a mat under the refreshing afternoon sun or play catch with your family and friends. You’ll soon realize that a day will never be enough for a time at Morton Arboretum.

Garfield Park Conservatory

With an impressively curated 12-acre outdoor and 2-acre indoor gardens, you’re sure to learn a ton of information about different plant species from around the globe. The conservatory includes a play and grow garden for the kids, an infamous lily pond, a horticulture hall and so much more.

North Park Village Nature Center

Stroll along trails that will lead you to woodlands, savannas, prairies and wetlands. This 46-acre nature preserve, apart from giving you the best-of-nature experience, also offer interactive exhibits and summer camps that’ll make you appreciate the wildlife even more.

For The History Buff

Did you know that Chicago is the birthplace of cartoon’s very own Walter Elias Disney? That’s right, the creative mind behind your favorite Disney characters was an original Chicagoan. But more than that, Chicago has had its share of history that helped shape the greater American Culture. Know more of the 1871 Great Fire and The Chicago Water Tower as you visit Chicago’s many museums.

Chicago Union Station

This grand transportation corridor was built between 1913 to 1925 and replaced the city’s 1881 Grand Passenger Station. It now serves as the city’s primary commuter rail terminal. It is famous for its majestic Great Hall featuring Beaux-Arts architecture and a stunning 219-foot glass ceiling.

Clark House Museum

Take a peek into what life was pre-Civil War and say Hello to Chicago’s oldest house. Built in 1836, The Clark House Museum has been moved twice from its original location. You can now find it at the Chicago Women’s Park, still erect with its original structure and design.

Pullman Historic District

Also known as the Pullman National Monument, this 4,000-acre township was built in 1880 as a company town for the Pullman Railroad Company. This takes a spot in history as one the country’s earliest suburban communities complete with an administration building, residential areas and even industrial establishments. If you’re not a fan of walking, you may hire group transportation services that will give you a comfy tour of the district.

For The Music Fan

You couldn’t just leave the windy city without a taste of some authentic Chicago Blues. If that’s not your jam, you’re sure to find your hype throughout Chicago with its year-round engagements in different music events and festivals.

Chicago Full Moon Jam

Visit Foster Beach during the summer months and you might get a chance to experience this unique gathering of fire performers and musicians. This non-profit, volunteer-ran music and light festival is a family-friendly scene as regulated by the Chicago Park District authorities.

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

This venue has heard all kinds of music. From the classical notes of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony to Tori Amos’ rockin’ beats, visitors are always in for a treat. Free music events take place in Jay Pritzker Pavilion all year round so be sure to check schedules before going to the venue.

Chicago World Music Festival

Immerse in and explore different musical styles and art from around the world, free of charge. This festival lasts for more than 2 weeks and has been celebrating unity in musical diversity for over 20 years now. It has featured thousands of artists from around the world and one of the (or probably the only) music festivals in Chicago that is multi-venue so you don’t have to worry about overcrowding.

For The Fitness Enthusiast

If you are not one yet, be ready as Chicago is going to transform you with its array of well-maintained, fully functional fitness and sports areas.

Millenium Park

Situated right in the heart of Chicago, Millenium Park is part of the larger Grant Park along Michigan Avenue and houses multiple sports recreational areas such as tennis courts. Bike trails and walking pathways are also available around the park.

Rainbow Beach Park

For those days when you just need to inhale some good old sea breeze, take a swim at Rainbow Beach Park where you can also get one of the best views of the Chicago skyline. Near the southern end of the beach, you can find an area for non-motorized sports activities such as kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.

Maggie Daley Park

This 20-acre family active park features a rock climbing wall, a massive playground with a huge slide, a skating rink that serves ice skaters in the winter and roller bladers in the summer, a mirror maze and so much more!

For The Art Aficionado

Chicago is not only known for its world famous hotdogs, pizza and jazz music. Great architectural designs and infrastructure, like The Rookery and The Mansueto Library, are also spread across the city along with an enormous pool of local art talents.

Busy Beaver Button Museum

You guessed it right, welcome to the World’s only museum of pinback buttons! Be fascinated with thousands of button designs that express different, unique stories of its creators.

DePaul Art Museum

Visit this 3-storey art building within DePaul University and be impressed with their collection of 20th century Midwest artwork and photography pieces.

The Smart Museum of Art

Located within the University of Chicago, this compelling hub of contemporary art features exhibits that inspire dialogue in resolution to critical issues. Built in 1971, the museum has over 15,000 objectives in its archives.

No matter the season, Chicago always has something in store for every type of traveler. The list above only represents a minute portion of cool things to do in the city. Your family and friends can explore the beauty of the city and the greater Chicagoland area through our hassle-free tour bus rentals wherein we can create the itinerary for you. But of course, if you want a cheaper, yet still convenient way to go around, you can pick out your own Chicago charter bus destinations. For further questions, please contact us at 847-260-9797 and let us know how we can help you.


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