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Free Things To Do In Chicago

Did you know that Chicago is the third most populous city in the United States?

It’s a great place to visit in America if you’re looking to immerse yourself in art and culture as Chicago has a fantastic art gallery and museum scene.

There’s also awesome parks situated throughout the city and plenty of walking trails to enjoy too for beautiful views of Chicago.

If you’re looking for inspiration of things to do in the city, check out our extensive list of the 10 best free attractions in Chicago, as well as the top 10 rated paid attractions to enjoy in Chicago.

Free Attractions in Chicago

Top Rated Chicago Attractions

Free

Millennium Park

Renowned as being one of the best and most popular public spaces in the world, Millennium Park stretches across an impressive 24.5-acres and offers a great area for performing arts and musical showcases.

Inside the park you’ll also see the sculpture that’s arguably the most famous free attraction in Chicago; the Cloud Gate, or the “bean” as it’s more affectionately referred to.

There’s also...

Chicago CityPASS

clock Duration: 9 days
  • Get the chance to explore the city of Chicago
  • Trip entitles the traveller to a 9-day tour pass to visit various places of Chicago
  • An opportunity to spend less money and get to see places like Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck, and the Chicago Field Museum, which are considered to be the best locations in the city.
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Free

Lakefront Trail

The Lakefront Trail is another one of the best free attractions in Chicago that’s an ideal excursion for the whole family.

It’s an 18-mile path that spans along the western shore of Lake Michigan and will take you all the way from the far north of Chicago, to the south side of the city.

The trail is an ideal place for walkers, runners, cyclists and skateboarders, and it’s popular with both locals and tourists...

Chicago Segway Tour and Skydeck Ticket

clock Duration: 2 to 4 hou
  • Take a trip to Chicago by Segway and also explore the best vintage point - Skydeck.
  • Avail this tour to discover downtown Chicago by getting yourself combo tickets to experience the Segway tour.
  • Gain entry to the Skydeck, observe the deck atop Willis Tower for sightseeing.
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Free

Garfield Park Conservatory

Renowned for being one of the world’s largest indoor garden spaces, the Garfield Park Conservatory is a must-visit place on your list of things to do in Chicago.

It’s a great place to bring the kids as there’s plenty to see and enjoy while you’re there.

You’ll get to see the ever-changing species of plants that are constantly being brought into the Conservatory, as well as the Elizabeth Morse Genius...

Go Chicago Explorer Pass with SkyDeck and 360 Chicago

clock Duration: 60 days
  • Explore the city with this Go Chicago Explorer Pass
  • This trip includes a visit to the Skydeck and 360 Chicago Tower
  • Main attractions include Lincoln Park Zoo, 10pin bowling lounge, Museum of Contemporary Arts, American Writers Museum, and Brookfield Zoo
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Free

Chicago Riverwalk

The Chicago Riverwalk has won awards thanks to its eclectic offering of art, sculptures and music shows that are paraded along the riverbank in central Chicago.

It’s a 1.25-mile promenade so you can easily see the whole thing in less than a couple of hours and you can bring the kids along to admire one of Chicago’s best free things to do.

There are six main intersections where you can join up with the Chicago...

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago 2 Hr. Playtime Session

clock Duration: 7 hours
  • A trip that allows the travellers to visit the Legoland discovery centre, here in Chicago.
  • Explore the 30,000 square feet area filled with beautiful attractions and LEGO sized adventures, for all enthusiatic participants who look so tiny amidst this extended land.
  • A popular choice for tourists who are travelling with kids
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Free

Chicago Botanic Garden

The remarkable 385-acre plant museum is one of the best free attractions in Chicago if you’re wanting to escape the busy city streets for a few hours and immerse yourself in beautiful, natural surroundings.

There are over 27 gardens that are spread out across nine different islands inside the Chicago Botanic Garden and it’s an absolute sanctuary for outdoor lovers!

You could happily bring the children along to the...

Adler Planetarium

clock Duration: 3 hours
  • Take a part in this trip and get a chance to explore the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.
  • Explore this 60,000 square feet planetarium filled with interesting facts about the universe within its walls.
  • Receive answers to questions about the universe, such as when can a celestial body be called a planet?
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Free

Chicago Cultural Center

The Chicago Cultural Center is one of the most visited free attractions in Chicago; every year hundreds of thousands of people flock to the city’s epicentre of culture to experience art, lectures and music performances.

It’s an iconic landmark in the city of Chicago; defined mainly by the world’s largest Tiffany stained-glass dome that sits atop the Cultural Center with pride.

You’ll love a visit to the...

Breakfast in the Sky: Early Access to Skydeck of Willis Tower in Chicago

clock Duration: 1 hour 30
  • Grasp this excellent opportunity to witness a breathtaking view of the city of Chicago from the Skydeck of Wills tower.
  • The Wills Tower is one of the highest buildings in the city and is a beauty in itself, being very entertaining to those who visit the place.
  • View from the 103 towered, glass - covered balcony is one of the
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Free

Humboldt Park

What you need to know:

Humboldt Park spans across an impressive 197-acres in Chicago.

It’s known for its many public park areas, the island beach and lagoon and the Boathouse Café.

You could easily spend hours wandering around Humboldt Park and enjoying all the free activities is has to offer, or you could head to the paid-for gym if you so wish to ensure you’re getting some exercise in...

Skydeck Chicago Ticket

clock Duration: 3 hours
  • Here is a trip designed for travellers who wish to immerse themselves into the beauty of the panoramic view of the city from the Skydeck in Chicago.
  • Gaze upon the Windy City from a glass balcony. Allowes travellers to experience something very unusual yet breathtaking.
  • Enjoy a panoramic view of the city from the 103rd
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Free

Lincoln Park Zoo

The Lincoln Park Zoo is very special for a number of reasons. Not only is it one of the oldest zoos in North America, but it’s also one of the very few free admissions zoos in the country.

This makes it the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon out with the whole family.

You can see a vast range of exotic animals and reptiles such as lions, giraffes, elephants, sea lions and snakes.

The Zoo is actually open every...

Willis Tower Skydeck Dinner

clock Duration: 2 hours
  • A wonderful tour that gives travellers an exclusive view of Chicago by standing on the Wills Tower Skydeck.
  • Enjoy a VIP dinner at the deck while enjoying the breath taking view of the city .
  • Perfect for any special occasion for visitors as well as for locals.
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Free

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

What you need toknow:

Known as one of the best places in the city to listen to free, outdoor music, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion is one of the best free things to see in Chicago.

At the Pavilion, you’ll find a wealth of different performances happening on the proscenium bandshell, with famous musicians and performers from all over the world putting on a show for the whole...

Art Institute of Chicago Fast Pass Ticket

clock Duration: 3 hours
  • Use this fast pass admission to skip the long line on the entrance and be treated as a priority guest.
  • Witness the second-largest art museum in North America that will unravel the artist in you.
  • This is indeed an art feast as you get to see 300,000 art Impressionist, post-Impressionist, modern, and contemporary paintings from
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Free

Smart Museum of Art

The Smart Museum of Art is renowned for being one of Chicago’s most intriguing cultural institutions.

Located on the campus of the University of Chicago in Hyde Park, the Museum houses an astounding collection of over 15,000 incredible exhibits, paintings, sculptures and artefacts and is often cited as one of the best free attractions in Chicago.

It’s a place that’s more aimed towards those seeking a bit of...

Chicago Helicopter Tour Nighttime Experience

clock Duration: 12 to 15 m
  • Chicago Helicopter Experience provides you the most spectacular, panoramic views of the world’s best skyline.  Your exclusive experience begins at our downtown heliport just minutes from the “Loop.”

    Relax in our helicopter lounge and enjoy a brief preflight video before boarding. You'll board a modern helicopter equipped with 6...read more
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