Yes, the best things in life are free, including this list of 61 free things you can do in Chicago. So if you happen to have blown all your cash at a Cubs game (hey, beers and Hot Doug's will do that to you), not to worry: as The Notorious B.I.G. never said, “no money, no problems.”
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Save the $20 you'd use to go up the Sears Tower (and get a much better view) by hitting the bar on the 95th floor of the Hancock Center.
Some of the finest trails in the country are just a bike ride away. So what are you waiting for? A chance to ride them naked?
It’s a massive 219-acre park complete with a fitness center, two gymnasiums, an inland beach, and lagoon. Also, The Boathouse Café (OK, not exactly free) = summer done right.
There are 5 miles of underground tunnels and overhead bridges linking more than 40 Downtown blocks. A nice alternative to, say, sitting in traffic on State St (also free).
This nature sanctuary tucked into Lincoln Park is one of the city’s finest treasures, and totally free. The adjacent North Pond restaurant, however, is quite another story.
Free on Tuesdays for IL residents. That means you. Unless you just moved here from Ohio and haven’t yet updated your license. In which case, you get what you deserve.
Bike the full 18 miles from Ardmore St to 71st St. On second though, let’s not overdo it. It’s a long summer.
One of the best parks in the city is also one of the least known, and the views of Downtown over the lake are pretty much the best in the business.
It’s the nation's first and most comprehensive free municipal cultural venue. What, you didn’t know?
Stand outside the Biograph Theater, where the cops finally got their man in 1934. Make a mobster face, if you must.
No, this doesn’t mean sneaking into Wrigley circa October 2016. It means finding a spot somewhere on the UIC Medical Campus, site of the former West Side Park that hosted the 1908 celebration.
Really cool. And totally free 365 days a year. Bonus: zebras and shit.
16. Wander the city’s best beach/park combo
Perform scenes from Star Wars and other films in front of an audience, karaoke-style. No cover. Free embarrassment.
Millennium Park’s Lurie Garden is helping to up your game with a variety of date-worthy strolls.
Things get weird every full moon in summer. After that, you’re on your own.
Because dogs rarely carry cash.
It’s called the Free for All. Pretty much sums that one up nicely.
Every Friday at Empty Bottle, courtesy of The Hoyle Brothers.
24. Tour a brewery
Revolution offers free tours Wednesdays-Fridays, available for groups of up to 30 on a first-come, first-served basis.
The listening is free. So is the people watching.
It’s also one of the most beautiful buildings in the state. Which is nice.
If you stand close enough, it’s almost like it’s yours. Right?
One of the city’s finest cultural treasures, free on Sundays.
Inside Columbia College hides one of the country’s finest photography museums. And yes, we’re pretty sure none of the pics were taken with an iPhone.
One of the best museums in the city is also one of its most overlooked.
This city-sponsored gallery is the Ron Burgundy of museums.
Reckless has free in-stores. Check their site to find out when.
Yes, you can go inside this Mag Mile landmark. Don’t worry. You really can.
You know that one friend who claims to know everything about Logan Square? We doubt he knows as much as an official city-sanctioned greeter, offering free tours of your neighborhood of choice.
How the hell is such a beautiful place totally free (not counting parking, of course)? Don’t ask. Just go.
Free Street Theater has been doing their thing since 1969. It’s about time you check them out.
It’s called The Paper Machete. And it goes down every Saturday afternoon at Green Mill.
Douse yourself in body paint and dance till dawn at Blacklight Blackout, uncorked on the third Friday of each month on the second floor of Exit.
One of the city’s craziest ragers is serving up free insanity with a side of chicken at EvilOlive’s illicit Porn & Chicken party every Monday night.
There are free wings at 8:30pm during the week at Burwood Tap. And they’re better than BW3.
Beauty Bar is always free after 9pm, but Tuesday is free all night with the manic dance tunes of Timbuck2 alongside weekly rotating guests (past guests have included A$AP Rocky and Freddie Gibbs).
It’s called “The Chapel in the Sky” at First United Methodist Church Downtown. And it almost makes going to church worth it.
If you know someone who lives on Waveland, that is.
Because why pay when these ones are free?
A stained glass museum. Yes, you heard that right.
Because, what could go wrong?
Tuesday is free day. That’s all we’re allowed to say.
Better than the Shedd? Maybe. Certainly cheaper. Unless, of course, you buy something.
It’s sort of like American Bandstand, only way cooler.
One of Logan Square’s coolest events is also free.
From Cubs/Sox games to festivals and concerts, there’s always something interesting happening on board this tripped-out party bus that looks like something ripped straight out of the float parade scene in Animal House.
Extraordinary Popular Delusions make extraordinary (and free) music most Monday nights at Beat Kitchen.
They call it The Best Night Ever. We’re not sure about that, but pretty damn fun.
Beautiful boulevards connecting some of the city’s most beautiful parks. What’s not to like?
57. Go “grazing” at your nearest supermarket
See how many free samples you can get at Whole Foods before the kids show up and steal all the good shit.
Chicago Blues Fest. Ever heard of it?
The Chicago Air & Water. It’s tradition.
Cheaper than Book of Mormon tickets.
Weekdays at noon at Daley Plaza.
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