The Journey to a Free Chicago

Maybe you’re off work early or you don’t have (want) to go to school. Every city has its own unique gems, but a lot of them are either too expensive or we just don’t know about them.

In the words of Douglas Adams, “Don’t Worry”

We’ve compiled a list of things to do without having to hurt your wallet too much. Some of them have a time limit so be sure not to miss it! If you have any other inquiries, just leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to answer it. If anything, every inquiry you make will let this list grow.

Free Museums in Chicago 2012-2013

We could all use a little culture. Why not step outside your home and make it an effort to adventure into the past? Sure, it should cost a bit, but this list is here to show you how to enjoy all things sophisticated without hurting your wallet.

Arts Institute of Chicago

The current exhibitions are Rarely Seen Contemporary Works on Paper, Katharina Fritsch, and Film and Photos in New York among other things. Look on the link posted above for more. It’s only free the 1st and 2nd Wednesdays of the month for Illinois residents.

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Museum of Contemporary Art

The current exhibitions are Martin Creed Plays Chicago, Phantom Limbs, and Jimmy Robert Vis-à-vis. There are more, but be sure to check out the site or go to the Museum. There’s free admission but only for Illinois residents from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

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Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park

A great place to have a picnic and enjoy the atmosphere. If you’re crunched for time, you can always cruise around a bit and take some quick photos. Be sure to go during daytime to get the most out of your experience. Free all day, any day!

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Here’s a list of other Museums:

Free Places to Visit in Chicago

Chicago is a major city with countless attractions that you just have to visit. While there are plenty of places to go, here we listed just a few of the must-see attractions to make your life that much easier.

Buckingham Fountain

One of the largest fountains in the world and conveniently located in the ever popular Grant Park. It operates from 8:00 AM to 11:00 with shows firing water as high as 150 feet every 20 minutes. Make sure to stop by here and see it.

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Millennium Park

This is one of the hottest landmarks to hit. If you plan on not planning, you can simply stroll around as you listen to street musicians jamming out, reflect on the beautiful sculptures by Yvonne Domenge, or enjoy the scenery at Lurie Garden. If you are planning your trip, be sure to click the link for Millennium Park as there are countless events to choose from on any given day and the park is free year round.

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Navy Pier

The Pier is a definite go-to place regardless of whether you’re in Chicago or visiting. Bring your camera because you are going to see the most amazing view of the Chicago skyline. If you’re in that splurging mood, there’s a lot of events like comedy shows, food, music, and movies.

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Adler Planetarium

Here you can thirst for exploring the great unknown. Here you can view the planets, explore the heavens, and even dine under the stars. It’s a great place to introduce your kid to the mysteries of the universe, take your significant other on a free and romantic date, or even just exploring on your own. Note that the dates are fairly fickle: November: 6, 7, 13, 14

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Lincoln Park Zoo

This is one of the nation’s oldest zoos with 1250 animals. If you love baby animals (who doesn’t?), you’ll be delighted to hear that the zoo recently acquired a baby zebra, Bolivian Gray Titi Monkey, Fairy Bluebird, White-Cheeked Gibbon, and a list of others. Like all things on this list, it’s free, and better yet, it’s open every day.

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The Shedd Aquarium

Home to a wide variety of sea life, you can both immerse yourself into the spectacles of sea life as well as leave a little more knowledgeable. Even though the aquarium has discounts/free days for Illinois residents, please note they are only for the following days: November: 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27

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The Chicago Botanic Garden

Here is a massive 385-acre garden with nine different islands surrounded by lakes. Home to 2.5 million plants, this is a great place to go if you want to rest your feet and enjoy the beauty that nature has to offer. The garden also boasts more than 200 bird species, a sculpture collection, and plant varieties from across the world. It’s open from 8 AM till sunset, every day.

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The Magnificent Mile

This mall could be your last stop as it is a 3.1 million square feet of food, shopping, and sights. Though walking around is free, it is just so tempting to splurge. Try out the high life at the magnificent mile!

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Free Music in Chicago – Free Arts in Chicago

Maybe you’re in Chicago and want a place to rest your eyes as you doze off to the calming strums of a bass or wrap yourself in a play. Though the list is small here, there’s plenty to do.

The Shakespeare Project of Chicago

This free theater is showcased at a number of venues. While we will continue to update on future shows, the current play will be “Othello, the Moor of Venice.” Check out the website for dates as they range from October 26th to 28th at four different locations. If not, there’s free theatrical readings between Friday to Sunday.

The Chicago Cultural Center

If there is anywhere you HAVE to go, it’s here. The Center is considered one of the most comprehensive art programs in the US. With more than 800 attractions a year ranging from jazz to classic plays, there will always be something to do there. If not, the architecture of the center is absolutely mesmerizing. Be sure to check out the times in the link, but the center is free year round.

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Remember: These are just a few things to do, but if you look further on this site, you’ll see that new things pop up on a regular basis. If anything, take this post as a list of free things to do while you look for MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, or concerts for low prices at SeatGeek