Admire Art At The Mart
While strolling along the Riverwalk in the evening, be sure to walk along the south side of the Chicago River so that you can see a newer art installation called Art of the Mart.
It is a series of non-sponsored projections on the side of a historic Chicago building called the Merchandise Mart.
Find out more from their website, Art at the Mart.
Free Things To Do In Chicago
BY Jacky RuniceChicago Local Expert
When you see the price of admission to museums you’ll be glad to know that most of our world-class museums offer free days – so check the web sites and plan your visit accordingly. Then, there are those that are always free such as the National Museum of Mexican Art and the Smart Museum of Art. Want to enjoy a scenic path for your morning run? Chicagos Lakefront Trail cant be beat. Ice skating is free during the winter at Millennium Park and the Riverwalk just keeps on getting better with art installations, live music and nooks to hang out and watch the world go by.
Book a Chicago Greeter and let them know what youd like to see. Theyre well-versed on Chicagos history as well as its continuous progress and are happy to share their knowledge.
No visit to Chicago is complete without a photo at Cloud Gate, aka The Bean, an undulating, shiny lump of cheer. Located at Millennium Park, the park also features free live music just east of the park at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion during the summer months. Across the street, the Chicago Cultural Center always programs free cutting edge art exhibitions and concerts.
Lincoln Park Zoo, just a few miles north of downtown, is free 365 days a year while the Garfield Park Conservatory offers a beautiful, historic respite west of the Loop.
Labor Day On The Mile
As summer comes to a close, check off those last minute bucket list items, and head to The Magnificent Mile! There is no shortage of dining, experiences, or things to do during your three-day weekend. Whether you are visiting for the weekend or live locally, we have rounded up Labor…Read more
From the Blog
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Friendly Reminder: Always Confirm All Details Before Heading Out
Chicago On The Cheap does its best to verify every item published and strives for 100% accuracy. However, due to Covid hours and events change or are canceled, locations close, prices change without notice, errors may occur, etc.
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Enter To Win: Marriages On The Mile
Enter to Win an once-in-a-lifetime elopement on The Magnificent Mile on September 26, 2021! is a free opportunity for up to 50 couples to marry or celebrate a civil union outdoors underneath the iconic Wrigley Building bridge during the large Meet Me on the Mile closed street celebration Michigan Avenue.
From the Blog
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Von Steuben German Parade
This German parade on September 7 at 2 pm honors Baron Friedrich von Steuben, who came to America to assist General George Washington.
This fun and celebratory parade will have many participants who dance and play music.
Located in the German neighborhood of Lincoln Square, this parade leads to the annual Oktoberfest.
Neon And Light Museum
The new Neon and Light Museum pop-up invites guests to stand in, under and around some seventy professional neon and light-based sculptures in a dazzling and dramatic immersive exhibition opening.
Among the highlights are certain to be: Breathe, a 14-foot-tall perspective-based neon sculpture whereby when seen from the west, an image of a mature woman smelling a rose appears, while the view from the north reveals an image of a young girl blowing the seeds of a dandelion, as created by artist John Bannon Circles Edge, Monika Wulfers dynamic installation inviting participation with activated gas trapped in glass tubes and an iconic neon self-portrait by legendary Beatle John Lennon. Other remarkable talent represented in neon and light includes internationally renowned British artist Sarah Blood, feminist neon artist Zoelle Nagib, pop sign artist Jason Pickleman, neon master bender Jacob Fishman, the digital imagery of Detroits Annica Cuppetelli and Cristobal Mendoza, the projected light of Gary Justis, the language play of San Franciscos Helen Lee, and abstract sculptor Michael Young, with additional special guest artists to be announced!
Thursday-Friday: 4p-10p Saturday: 11am10p Sunday: 11am6p
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Go To A Baseball Game
We have two baseball teams here, so there are plenty of options for families to go catch a game!
The Cubs play north of downtown at Wrigley Field, and the White Sox play south of the skyscrapers at the Guaranteed Rate Field.
Tour both stadiums, or just enjoy the fresh air while cheering on our Chicago teams!
Go To The Game Room At The Chicago Athletic Association
Inside the historic Chicago Athletic Association building you will find much more than a luxury hotel.
On the second floor, there is a Game Room with shuffleboard, pool tables, foosball, and bocce.
All free to use, find the game master to make a reservation while you enjoy something to sip on. Click here for more details.
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See More For Less With A Chicago City Pass
Many of Chicagos biggest attractions have entry fees. While you do pay for a tourist discount pass, it can give you a bulk discount and free admission into some interesting tours and museums, saving you up to 55%.
They can also save you time withskip-the-ticket-line privileges.
Each Chicago Tourist Discount Pass includes a variety of fun family-friendly activities and attractions.
Here are a few examples of what you can visit with a tourist pass, for a discount or for free.
For more details, make sure to read our full post covering Chicago tourist passes.
Helmut Jahn: Life + Architecture
Helmut Jahn: Life + Architecture is a new exhibit at the Chicago Architecture Center honoring the late Chicago architect and style icon. Get to know this extraordinary man who will continue to inspire generations to come.
Chicago lost a radiant star with the recent death of Helmut Jahn . Known for the creation of progressive, often provocative buildings around the globe, Jahns talent, style and charisma also caught the attention of the world beyond design aficionados. Having received nearly every architectural accolade over the course of his career, Jahn still managed to compete in dozens of world championship sailing competitions and grace the cover of popular magazines like GQ.
Born in Germany, Jahn came to Chicago in 1966 to study at the Illinois Institute of Technology . With an education rooted in formal modernism, he began forging a career in his adopted hometown with bold works that both extrapolated from and challenged modernist orthodoxy. Helmut Jahn: Life + Architecture presents important designs by the powerhouse architect, ranging from signature early projects like the crystalline Michigan City Public Library and Chicagos dazzlingly provocative James R. Thompson Center to the transformational urban marketplace Sony Center in Berlin and the forward-looking Pritzker Military Archives Center, currently under construction in Somers, Wisconsin.
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Go To A Sporting Event
There are plenty of sports events in September. You’ve got football, baseball, womens basketball, and soccer. More details about Chicago teams are below the video.
If you are looking for evening plans, seeing a game is an option. For more things to do at night, check the section on nighttime activities below.
- Womens Basketball| The Chicago Sky
- Soccer | Fire
Fun fact: Softball was invented in Chicago in 1887 on Thanksgiving Day!
Booze Cruises On Lake Michigan Aboard Anita Dee Ii
Save Booze Cruises on Lake Michigan aboard Anita Dee II to your collection.
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Celebrate The 4th Of July
Celebrate the 4th of July in Chicago as the city honors this country with a day full of American classics, concerts, and spectacular firework shows at 9:30 pm shooting off from Navy Pier.
The annual tradition of a concert with patriotic anthems and marches to celebrate the nations birthday continues as a part of the Grant Park Music Festival with Independence Day Salute, held in Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park beginning at 6:30 pm.
After the concert, you can catch one of Navy Piers best firework displays of the summer, with patriotic music in the background.
Our Riverwalk and History Tour will bring you a short walk to Navy Pier, just in time for the fireworks on Wednesday and the 4th of July!
Spring Awakening Takes An Autumnal Turn
The start of October will feel like summer in Chicago, thanks to traditional summertime events like Spring Awakening, Chicago Pride Fest, and Wingout finding a new autumnal home. You can also tap into the season with art, comedy, an apple fest, a 5K, and more. Heres everything fun to do in Chicago this weekend.
Thursday, September 30 – Sunday, October 3Revel Fulton MarketOne of the top independent art showcases makes a pit stop in Chicago with thousands of pieces of affordable artworks from 120 local artists paired with live performances, DJs, immersive experiences and installations, street food, murals, and more.Cost: Tickets start at $15 per person
Thursday, September 30 – Monday, October 4Various locationsIts closing weekend for this under-the-radar social justice-leaning music festival. Expect a variety of artists and speakers performing at venues across the city, including the Kehrein Center for the Arts, DePaul Art Museum, Epiphany Center for the Arts, and other noteworthy institutions.Cost: Ticket prices vary
Friday, October 1 – Sunday, October 3Halsted between Addison and GraceChicago Pride Fest returns with the changing leaves this year, replacing the cancelled summer Pride Parade with three days of live music, drag shows, a pet parade, over 100 arts and crafts vendors, food and drink vendors, games, and more.Cost: Admission runs $15 per person
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Juice Box Concerts At The Cultural Center
Head to the Cultural Center with your family of little ones every first and third Friday and Saturdays at 11:00 am-11:45 am for an engaging musical event!
While this will be enjoyable for the whole family, it is geared to kids between the ages of 1-6.
See their website for more.
NOTE: This event was cancelled for 2020 and has not yet been rescheduled.
Chicago In Tune Festival
Join the rest of the foot-tapping crowd in Millennium Park throughout September to enjoy Chicagos annual free Jazz Festival .
This event was renamed to Chicago In Tune for 2021.
There will be many local artists and some guests as well. Either get there early to snag an up-close seat or bring a blanket and a picnic lunch to enjoy in the lawn space.
This is a free festival and family-friendly! Get more details are here.
TIP: Learn more about Millennium Park on our Pay-What-You-Like walking tour of the Loop & Millennium Park.
Or if you prefer to move at your own pace, use our self-guided Millennium Park Tour.
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Hold Your Event At Navy Pier
Planning a special event in Chicago? Wow your guests with a private event venue unlike any other in the city: Navy Pier.
From weddings to corporate retreats to festivals to trade shows, Navy Piers breathtaking venues and unmatched service provide an unparalleled private event experience, ensuring that no detail goes unnoticed.
Attend A Food Or Music Festival
Chicago loves to celebrate and hold festivals during the summer months and July is no exception.
Here are just a few. Some of these events are free to enter and others require a ticket.
- July 26th: Caddyshack
- July 29th: The Big Sick
Bring your own picnic blankets for this movie-filled summer. Check the Navy Pier events page for more details.
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Go Out For A Cocktail
Chicago has speakeasies fitting for the mobster history of the Windy City, some of the Best Rooftop Bars.
In our Guide to Chicago Bars you can find out about historic bars, game bars and where to have a pint while playing some trivia.
If youre looking for more than just atmosphere and want to find one of the best Craft Beers, we can make sure you find a local pint.
Be sure to check out our post on top things to do in Chicago at night for even more suggestions.
Welcome To Chicago Il
Experience the Thrills and Excitement of the Windy City in Chicago, ILThe metropolis lies along the shores of Lake Michigan on the northeastern border of the state. Today, more than 50 million people from across the country and around the world visit the city for the chance to attend Broadway presentations, music concerts and professional sporting events. Some of the many popular attractions include the John Hancock Observatory, Navy Pier and the Museum of Science and Industry.
Things To Do
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Whats Happening This Weekend In Chicago
Happy Friday! I hope you had a great week!
As always I like to send a link with the TOP FUN things taking place around the Chicagoland area this weekend.
Top Things Taking Place In Chicago This Weekend
I hope you have an amazing weekend and if you need anything I am around and working all weekend!
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Dessert Fest At The Zoo
Try out some of the best desserts in Chicago while visiting the zoos permanent residents.
Tickets include admission, dessert tastings, live entertainment, giveaways, and more! A portion of the proceeds benefits Lincoln Park Zoo.
Find out information and buy tickets from the Dessert Fest website.
NOTE: It has not yet been confirmed whether or not this event will take place again in 2021.
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Chalk Howard Street Festival
This street art festival in Rogers Park will feature internationally-renowned 3D street artists and 2D chalk artists.
There will be live music and tasty street food and drink at this family-friendly art festival.
NOTE: This event was taken virtual for 2020, and they have yet to announce whether or not it will be back in-person for 2021.