Top 11 Free Things to Do in Chicago in 2024

free things to do in Chicago

Did you know you can visit Chicago without spending a lot of money? You can find many free things to do in Chicago in its busy streets and tall buildings. here offers furnished apartments in Chicago that are both comfortable and stylish, ensuring your visit is relaxing and fun. While you are on an exploration spree, enjoy these activities here that are fun and don't cost anything. Whether you live in Chicago or are just visiting, you’ll have a lot of fun. You can make great memories without spending money by visiting exclusive parks and unique museums. 

To show you that Chicago has many free places plus how welcoming and diverse it is, here’s a crisp list for you:

1. Millennium Park

Millennium Park is located right in the middle of Chicago. It is a free public place to visit for people who love art and culture. Famous sights in the park include the Cloud Gate sculpture and Crown Fountain. For those who enjoy ice skating, there is a skating rink; however, admission is fee-based. Nevertheless, everyone travelling to Chicago should visit Millennium Park, a fantastic location for strolls and photo ops. The park has many different art pieces and pretty gardens. It's a peaceful spot away from the busy city. It is an ideal free thing to do in Chicago to spend time with family or just have a quiet moment to think.

millennium park chicago(Image Courtesy:

2. Lincoln Park Zoo

For those who love animals, Lincoln Park Zoo is a great place to see wildlife for free. This well-kept zoo lets people get close to nature and see many kinds of animals living in areas made just for them. You can get in without paying, but some special activities with animals might cost a little. Walking around the zoo's green areas and seeing different animals from all over the world is fun for everyone, making it a great place for family trips or a peaceful visit alone in a busy city. The zoo also has learning programs and hands-on displays, which make the visit even better and teach about protecting wildlife.

lincoln park zoo chicago(Image Courtesy:

3. Art Institute of Chicago 

Art lovers, get ready! Free admission is available on certain days and hours to the Art Institute of Chicago. It is well-known for its extensive and diverse collection spanning several centuries. This is an incredible opportunity to explore a world of priceless artistic masterpieces. Before you schedule your visit, it's crucial to check their website to find out the precise hours when entry is free. You will be astounded by the variety of artwork on display at the museum, which includes both contemporary installations and timeless paintings. To provide an engaging setting where visitors can connect with art and artists more closely, the museum also hosts a variety of workshops and talks. So, this makes it a popular free thing to do in Chicago. 

Art Institute of Chicago(Image Courtesy:

4. Navy Pier

Navy Pier, right by Lake Michigan, is a famous and free Chicago spot to visit. It's a fun place with great views of the lake and the city buildings. You might have to pay for things like rides at Navy Pier, but just walking around and enjoying the fun vibe is nice too. You can see street performers, look at the big Centennial Wheel, or just feel the breeze from the lake. Navy Pier is a beautiful place to spend a relaxing day. Also, the pier has many cultural events and festivals all year, making it an exciting and active place for everyone.

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5. Garfield Park Conservatory 

For individuals who enjoy nature or simply need a quiet area, Garfield Park Conservatory is like a tranquil green space in the middle of the metropolis. As one of the free things to do in Chicago, here you can enjoy a collection of indoor and outdoor gardens featuring plants from all around the world, and admission is free for everybody. Special shows and exhibits may occasionally require a fee, but the majority are free to view. The conservatory is an excellent resource for learning about plants and gardening because it offers informative tours and activities as well.

Garfield Park Conservatory (Image Courtesy:

6. Museum of Contemporary Art 

The Museum of Contemporary Art, a big part of Chicago's art scene, lets people in for free every Tuesday. This museum is full of modern art that makes you think and talk about new ideas. On days that aren't Tuesday, you need to pay to get in. But getting to see cool, new art for free makes it a great place for those who love art. It's perfect for anyone who really likes art or just wants to see what modern art is all about. The museum changes its exhibits often, so there's always something new and interesting to see each time you visit. Additionally, while exploring these places you can also stay in a furnished apartment in Chicago close by to make your itinerary more accessible. 

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7. Chicago Cultural Center

The Chicago Cultural Center, a beautiful building in the city, shows how much Chicago loves the arts. You can go inside for free. It's not just a pretty building but also a lively place for cultural activities. They have art shows and music, and while some events might cost money, many do not. So you can consider exploring this centre as an interesting free thing to do in Chicago. Here, the building features intricate mosaics and stunning stained-glass ceilings that are quite impressive. Everyone interested in the arts should visit the Chicago Cultural Center as it's a fantastic site to view the city's artwork and cultural offerings. It's a hub for community gatherings and discussions as well, which makes it a significant location for culture in the city.

Chicago Cultural Center(Image Courtesy:

8. The Magnificent Mile 

If you like seeing city sights, The Magnificent Mile in Chicago is a great place to go. It's a fun and free thing to do in Chicago to walk around this famous area, good for looking at store windows and buildings. You have to pay to buy things in the shops, but just walking on this street lets you see the city's amazing buildings and feel its lively mood. Walking on The Magnificent Mile, you'll see old landmarks, fancy stores, and busy street life. It's perfect for people who love taking photos or exploring cities. This place shows the lively spirit of Chicago's streets. Throughout the year, the street also has festivals and parades, making it even more fun. 

The Magnificent Mile (Image Courtesy:

9. Green City Market 

Green City Market, a top farmers market in Chicago, is a fun and colourful place you can visit for free. You have to pay if you want to buy fresh food or handmade items, but just looking around, trying local food, and talking to the people who sell things is enjoyable. This market helps local farmers and shows how much Chicago cares about the community and being eco-friendly. Going to Green City Market is one of the nice free things to do in Chicago to spend some time, with all the lively energy of the people who grow and love food. The market also has cooking shows and classes, which are great for people who like food and those who want to learn to cook better.

green city market chicago(Image Courtesy:

10. Wrigley Field 

One of the nation's oldest baseball stadiums, Wrigley Field, appeals to both history buffs and baseball enthusiasts. On select days, you may take advantage of complimentary excursions to view behind the scenes of this well-known sporting facility. While taking one of these tours is a free opportunity to discover the history and allure of Wrigley Field, attending a game or other paid event is a different experience. Whether you're a die-hard baseball fan or you just want to see a cool location, a free thing to do in Chicago for a unique experience is touring Wrigley Field. The stadium also has special events and shows about its long history and baseball, making it an interesting cultural spot.

wrigley field chicago(Image Courtesy:

11. Chicago Riverwalk

In the heart of the city, there is a serene Chicago Riverwalk. It is located along the Chicago River. Those who like spending time in nature can visit there to spend some quality time with loved ones. Walking around here is one of the calm, free things to do in Chicago. Additionally, after enjoying this area you can visit the pubs and restaurants located nearby. We wish those were free too but sadly they are not. Visitors to Chicago must not miss the Chicago Riverwalk which demonstrates how masterfully the city blends with the surrounding landscape. The Riverwalk is a bustling and fascinating location to visit, especially with its variety of art and cultural events.

Chicago Riverwalk(Image Courtesy:

Final Thoughts

It's not necessary to spend a lot of money to have fun in Chicago. There are many free things to do in Chicago that allow you to see the city's various attractions without having to pay any money. As you prepare for your journey, consider booking a stay at one of The's furnished apartments in Chicago. They're a terrific spot to stay while you explore the city because they're attractive and comfortable. Keep in mind, whether you're looking at art, walking in parks, or going down old streets, the special part of Chicago is how it gives everyone great memories without costing a thing.


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