2019 Fun Summer Specials

 John Ruh   Uncategorized

Our annual list of free/low cost things to do in our great city of Chicago.

Walk Chicago Riverwalk – Free

Hamilton exhibit on Northerly Island

CAC Chicago Architectural Tour

Pullman Historic Monument: www.pullman-museum.org

Bloomingdale Trail Park: http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cdot/supp_info/bloomingdale_trail.html

Best Value: Chicago Architectural Center http://www.architecture.org/.  Rated the #1 thing to do in Chicago!

  • More than 85 FREE walking and bike tours
  • Buy-one-ticket-get-one-FREE on the Architecture River Cruise*
  • Priority Pass for citywide festival Open House Chicago
  • Discounts on bus, elevated and Segway tours
  • Access to Members Travel Program and Behind-the-Scenes tours

Best Kids Special

Chicago Things to Do

Enjoy IL / Chicago

Chicago Events for the Next 12 Months

2019 City of Chicago Cultural Affairs & Special Events

Choose Chicago, what to do in Chicago: Chicago Official Visitor’s Guide

Chicago Summer Festival Guide

Chicago Food Truck Fest

Additional Chicago Attractions

The Adler Planetarium – http://www.adlerplanetarium.org/

The Field Museum http://fieldmuseum.org/

Free Days:

  • June 26, 27, 28

Shedd Aquarium discount days for Illinois residents https://www.sheddaquarium.org/

  • June 17, 18, 24, 25
  • August 26 – 27
  • September 3,4, 9-11, 16-18, 23-25, 30
  • October 1,2
  • December 4

The Art Institute of Chicago http://www.artic.edu/

Charnley-Persky House Museum http://www.sah.org/about-sah/charnley-persky-house

Wednesdays – 12 p.m.
Cost: Free

Chicago Children’s Museum – http://www.chicagochildrensmuseum.org/?gclid=CNHE0qehhLcCFeZFMgodDQcA7g

Target Free Family Night
Thursday Evenings 5pm – 8pm
Free admission for all visitors
Free First Sundays
First Sunday of each month
Free admission for visitors 15 and under

Teachers, Firefighters, & Police Officers
To honor their contributions to the community, Chicago Children’s Museum offers a discounted admission price of $5.95 to teachers, firefighters and police officers with a valid form of employment identification.

Veterans & Active Military
For their service to our country, veterans and active military receive free admission every day. Please present a valid form of military status identification at the admissions desk to receive free admission.

Museums for All $3 Admission
All Illinois EBT or WIC card holders receive $3 admission for up to 6 people. Families must include 1 adult and 1 child age 15 or younger. Present a valid EBT (known as the Link card) or WIC card to qualify. Learn More

Chicago History Museum – http://www.chicagohs.org/

The Museum is free to Illinois residents every Tuesday* from 12:30 to 9:00 p.m. and on Commemorative Days: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, March 4, and July 4. *Excludes December 17, December 24 and December 31.

Clark House Museum – http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/clarke_house_museum.html

Free Public Tours

Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 1pm and 3pm; Starting April 1, tours will take place at 1pm & 2:30pm

One-hour guided tours

Admission is FREE

Tours are limited to 15 people, available on a first-come, first-served basis. For groups of 5 or more, please contact clarkehousemuseum@cityofchicago.org.

DuSable Museum of African American History – http://www.dusablemuseum.org/ Tuesday’s free

Glessner House Museum – http://www.glessnerhouse.org/ Wednesdays free

Loyola University Museum of Art – http://www.luc.edu/luma/ . Tuesdays free

Museum of Contemporary Art – http://www.mcachicago.org/

FREE for members of the military and police and fire departments, veterans, and anyone 18 and under

Admission is free for Illinois residents on Tuesdays, year-round

Notebart Nature Museum – http://www.naturemuseum.org/

Spertus Museum http://www.spertus.edu/

Swedish American Museum Center and Children’s Museum of Immigration – http://www.swedishamericanmuseum.org/

Lincoln Park Zoo http://www.lpzoo.org/ free

McCormick Tribune Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museumhttp://www.chicagoriver.org/get-involved/attend/mccormick-bridgehouse-chicago-river-museum ($5/pp)

Pritzker Military Library – http://www.pritzkermilitary.org/

Chicago Sinfonetta: http://www.chicagosinfonietta.org/

Combination of symphony and funk.

Garfield Park Conservatory http://www.garfield-conservatory.org/ free

Navy Pier  https://navypier.org/

Grant Park/Millennium Park http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/millennium_park.html (The Bean, Lurie Gardens, Pritzker Pavilion) free

Chicago Cultural Center

(Tour of Tiffany glass/structure) free

Federal Reserve Bankhttp://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/education/money_museum/index.cfm  (See $1 million in a briefcase)

Metrowalkz Self-guided Walking Tours. Download at www.metrowalkz.com

Illinois Holocaust Museumhttp://www.ilholocaustmuseum.org/

Adult Admission*: $15.00
Senior (65+): $10.00
Student (12-22): $8.00
Child (5-11): $6.00
Retired/active Military personnel & up to 5 family members: 50% Off
Disabled visitors (with Federal ID) – 50% off
Members: Free

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art http://www.lizzadromuseum.org/ – Fridays free

Illinois Railway Museum – Thomas and Friends Days
The new dates of the event are:

  • Saturday, July 13th, 2019
  • Sunday, July 14th, 2019
  • Saturday, July 20th, 2019
  • Sunday, July 21st, 2019

Additional calendar for special events at http://www.irm.org/schedule/index.html

Historic Water Tower http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/city_gallery_in_thehistoricwatertower.html – free

Lincoln Park Conservatory http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks/lincoln-park-conservatory/ – free

Bahai’i House of Worship https://www.bahai.us/bahai-temple/

Oriental Institute http://oi.uchicago.edu/ – free

Jane Adams Hull House http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/hull_house.html free

Newberry Library http://www.newberry.org/ – free

National Museum of Mexican Art http://www.nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org/ – free

Museum of Contemporary Photography http://www.mocp.org/ – free

Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/ – free

Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture  http://www.balzekasmuseum.org/

Terra Museum of American Art http://www.terraamericanart.org/

Museum of Broadcast Communications  http://www.museum.tv/

Smart Museum of Art http://smartmuseum.uchicago.edu/

Garden Conservancy Garden Walk, https://www.gardenconservancy.org/

Volo Auto Museum http://volocars.com/#sthash.b23JuiDo.dpbs

Websites for additional attractions:

Concierge Preferred: http://www.conciergepreferred.com/chicago-attractions/4305-top-10-chicago-attractions.html

Greg Borzo http://www.gregborzo.com/

Greg is a Chicago author and tour guide on the Chicago El, Chicago Cable Cars, Biking in Chicagoland, and Chicago History in general. Superior knowledge.

Chicago Interactive Map: https://www.choosechicago.com/mapexplorer/

Broadway in Chicago for theater lovers: http://www.broadwayinchicago.com/

Chicago Shakespeare Theater: https://www.chicagoshakes.com/

Chicago Riverwalk: https://www.chicagoriverwalk.us/