Chicago is a great city to explore with your family and there are many free activities to enjoy! If you’re planning a budget-friendly trip to Chicago or live here and just want to explore, here are some of my favorite free kid-friendly activities.
- Visit Millennium Park: This public park is located in the heart of downtown Chicago and features beautiful sculptures, fountains, and gardens. The park also hosts free concerts and events throughout the year.
- Explore the Lincoln Park Zoo: The Lincoln Park Zoo is a free zoo that is home to a wide variety of animals from around the world. Visitors can see lions, tigers, bears, and many other animals.
- Walk along the Lakefront Trail: The Lakefront Trail is a scenic path that runs along the shore of Lake Michigan. It’s a great place to go for a walk or bike ride with your family.
- Visit the Museum of Contemporary Photography: This museum is located on the campus of Columbia College and features a collection of contemporary photography. Admission is free. Check other museums for their free days, too!
- Stroll through the Garfield Park Conservatory: This beautiful conservatory features indoor gardens and exhibits that showcase a wide variety of plants from around the world. Admission is free.
- Explore the Chicago Cultural Center: The Chicago Cultural Center is a free public space that hosts a wide variety of events and exhibits throughout the year. Visitors can see art exhibits, live music performances, and more.
- See the Buckingham Fountain: The Buckingham Fountain is a beautiful landmark located in Grant Park. It features a stunning water display and light show that takes place every hour.
- Visit the Navy Pier: While many of the attractions at the Navy Pier require paid admission, there are still plenty of free things to do, such as watching the fireworks show on Wednesday and Saturday evenings during the summer.
- Walk along the Magnificent Mile: The Magnificent Mile is a famous shopping district in downtown Chicago, but even if you’re not looking to shop, it’s still a great place to go for a walk and take in the sights.
- Visit the Art Institute of Chicago: While admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is not free, children under 14 can enter for free. The museum features an extensive collection of art from around the world, including famous works such as Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” and Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte.”
This is your sign to get out and enjoy Chicago!