Last Updated on February 14, 2021 by Ankit Suhane
Free Things to do in Chicago this Weekend, Are you bored this weekend? Do you want to head out and do something fun? But what if its the end of the month? What if you are a bit tight on ‘green paper’?
What if everything fun that you can think of is expensive or costs cash?
Is there a way to have serious fun without having to pay a dime? Is there anything like ‘Free Cool Stuff to do at Chicago’?
Let us assume that all of your expectations can be easily fulfilled. Let us say that you can spend your weekends at Chicago amazingly and without having to pay anything. But let us take things up a notch and show you 17 completely ‘Free Cool Stuff to do at Chicago’.
Chicago is the third most populated city in the United States of America.
It is a very historical land also widely known for its architecture, both traditional buildings, and modern skyscrapers.
17 Unique Free Things to do in Chicago this Weekend
- Lincoln Park Zoo
- Chicago Riverwalk
- Millennium Park
- National Museum of Mexican Art
- Chicago Lakefront Trail
- Garfield Park Conservatory
- Chicago Cultural Center
- Clarke House Museum
- Harold Washington Library Center
- Maggie Daley Park Play Garden
- Museum of Contemporary Photograph
- National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture
- Navy Pier
- Smart Museum of Art
- Chicago Festivals
- First United Methodist Church
- Chicago Botanic Garden
Now, if you are wondering what one can do for free at such a huge metropolitan city, you will be surprised to find a lot of stuff that you can do. Chicago has a truckload of fun things to do.
There is free stuff to do that suit all kinds of age groups, ethnicities and hobbies or interests. This article aims to list out 17 ‘Free Cool Stuff to do at Chicago’. So sit back, relax and scroll down for a slice of this free, delicious cake!
1. Lincoln Park Zoo
Best Time To Visit- 10 AM – 5 PM
The Lincoln Park Zoo has an ape house, an aviary, a Midwestern farm, a rainforest habitat, a savannah habitat and so much more. Lincoln Park Zoo spans over 35 acres and is home to more than 230 species of animals. The zoo is home to wild animals like lions, tigers, giraffes, gorillas, sea lions, reptiles, rhinos, elephants, African penguins, and much more.
It is compared to an oasis amongst a city filled with skyscrapers. The Lincoln Park Zoo is the oldest free public zoo in America. It is open 365 days. The Lincoln Park Zoo also has a greenhouse.
It is an amazing place to take kids to. Plus the zoo also hosts special events and activities throughout the year. It is the best and truest place in a metropolitan city like Chicago to enjoy nature and animal life to the fullest.
2. Chicago Riverwalk
Best Time To Visit- 10 AM – 7 PM
The Chicago Riverwalk is an award-winning promenade. It is a 1.25-mile walk along the riverbank where one can see art, hear music and watch boats passing by. It is a fun place to be to while away the time and if one likes walking.
It is a great place in chicago to go on a date too! One can also visit the McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum.
The entrance fee for both of these attractions is free. Families with kids in their tow can take their children to the Water Plaza where kids can play in the water spray. The Chicago Riverwalk offers some of the most spectacular urban sceneries, with both modern and traditional buildings in the background of the river.
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Best Time To Visit- 10 AM to 7 PM
Millennium Park has some of the biggest sculptures in the world. The park is 24.5 acres and is one of the most sophisticated public parks at the global level. During summer, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, at Millenium Park, hosts free concerts and movie screenings. During winter, the McCormick Tribune Plaza turns into an ice skating rink.
While at Millenium Park, one cannot afford to miss out on the fantabulous Lurie Garden. But the star attraction at Millenium Park is ‘Cloud Gate’, also known as ‘the Bean’, a massive work of art that provides a very interesting reflection of the city.
4. National Museum of Mexican Art
Best Time To Visit- 10 AM to 5 PM except on Monday
Check out traditional Mexican art and taste authentic Mexican food, only at the National Museum of Mexican Art. The most popular and coolest exhibit at the National Museum of Mexican Art is the Day of the Dead exhibit. This exhibit continues to attract both kids and adults. It is easily one among the list of large museums.
The National Museum of Mexican Art has a permanent collection of about 10,000 artifacts.
5. Chicago Lakefront Trail
Best Time To Visit- 24 hours a day
This is an 18.5-mile walk that starts from the North of the city and ends at the South. It is very common among joggers and cyclists. To prevent accidents, there are separate paths for both.
The Chicago Lakefront Trail is bordered by a wide array of attractions, like the Museum of Science and Industry, Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, the Chicago Children’s Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Lincoln Park Zoo, and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.
6. Garfield Park Conservatory
Best Time To Visit- 9 AM – 5 PM, Wednesday 9 AM – 8 PM
It is easily one of the world’s largest indoor gardens. It has rare plant species, 6 greenhouses, a desert habitat and a tropical habitat spread across 2 acres of indoor gardens and 12 acres of outdoor gardens. It is home to an amazing and diverse collection of flora.
7. Chicago Cultural Center
Best Time To Visit- 10 AM to 7 PM
The Chicago Cultural Center is the best place where one can get to know everything about Chicago, from its history to architecture.
8. Clarke House Museum
Best Time To Visit- 11 AM to 7 PM.
Check out the oldest house in Chicago, built by Henry B. Clarke in 1836.
9. Harold Washington Library Center
Best Time To Visit – 9 AM to 9 PM (weekdays), 9 AM – 5 PM(Saturday) and 1 PM -5 PM(Sunday).
It is one of the largest public libraries in the world. It also has lots of art exhibits from both local and international artists.
10. Maggie Daley Park Play Garden
Best Time To Visit – 6 AM to 11 PM.
It is located east of Millenium Park and was designed very specially for kids, with a life-sized shop, upside down trees, a suspension bridge, a mini lighthouse and much more. It derives its design from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’.
11. Museum of Contemporary Photography
Best Time To Visit – 12 PM to 5 PM
A truly one of a kind museum dedicated purely to displaying photography.
12. National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture
Best Time To Visit – 10 AM – 5 PM (Tuesday To Saturday)
The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture is a great place to learn about Peurto Rican history, tradition, and art. The Museum also hosts many art festivals each year.
The National Museum of Peurto Rican Arts and Culture also hosts many art workshops, this provides visitors with a chance to discover, learn and work on their artistic skills.
Best Time To Visit – 10 AM–10 PM
Navy Pier is one of the most famous landmarks in Chicago. It is an amazing place to hang out, spend the weekends or go on a date. There are free firework shows on Wednesday and Saturday evenings.
Free outdoor concerts are also hosted at Miller Lite Beer Garden. Head on to the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows or just take a stroll along with the 50-acre playground. Navy Pier also has some of the most scenic lakefront views.
14. Smart Museum of Art
Best Time To Visit – 10 AM – 5 PM (Tuesday To Monday)
The Smart Museum of Art has a collection of 15,000 objects consisting of Asian art, Modern art, European art, contemporary art, and the works of infamous artists like Picasso, Goya, and Rivera.
15. Chicago Festivals
Here are some free and amazing festivals that you need to check out:
● Grant Park Music Festival- 12 June to 17 August 2019
● Chicago Jazz Festival- 23 August to 1 September 2019
● Summer Dance- 27 June to 24 August 2019
● Chicago Air and Water Show- 17 August to 18 August 2019
16. First United Methodist Church
Best Time To Visit – 9 AM – 5 PM
It is one of the tallest churches in the world and is well known as ‘The Chapel in the Sky’. The best time would be to attend the Sunday service.
17. Chicago Botanic Garden
Best Time To Visit – 7 AM – 9 PM
It is 385 acres of gorgeous garden which houses millions of flora in 27 gardens, spread across 9 islands and divided into four natural habitats: McDonald Woods, Dixon Prairie, Skokie River Corridor, and Lakes and Shores. If you are a nature lover, this place should be on your list.
There are loads of kinds of stuff to do in Chicago especially during weekends. It is one of the best places across the globe where you can have real fun totally free of cost. Hope this article helps you to plan your weekend well in advance.
Have a happy weekend and explore the beautiful Chicago with your family and friends. Make good memories and keep traveling.
These were the Free Things to do in Chicago this Weekend. If you know any other place also please let us know through comment box and we will add these places too.