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Finding something to do in a big city can be overwhelming. Most everything seems to cost an arm and a leg, and it leaves a person frustrated, wondering what fun can be had on a tight budget. The good news is that there is quite a bit to do in Chicago that does not cost a thing. You can visit these five places for free and not spend a penny.
The Chicago Riverwalk is a fantastic experience for anyone who enjoys a leisurely stroll. You will see some of the best views Chicago has to offer of the river as well as Chicago's unique architecture. Also, the Riverwalk provides access to boat tours, water taxis, and several cafes and restaurants with waterfront views.
Chicago Museum of Science and Industry
The Museum of Science and Industry has a little of something of interest for everyone, from nature to space to aviation and everything in between. Generally, this museum charges an admission fee, however, certain days of the year are free. Check the website for the free admission dates.
Lincoln Park Zoo
Not many cities can boast that they have a zoo with a free entry fee, but Chicago can. The Lincoln Park Zoo is open 365 days a year and is totally free to enter and explore. While there, visitors can choose to help support the zoo, though, by dining at the cafes or purchasing gifts in the gift shop.
Chicago Cultural Center
Open year-round; the Chicago Cultural Center always has something free to see. It offers beautiful architecture as well as other visually stimulating art exhibitions. Also, a variety of public performances takes place here.
Art Institute of Chicago
If you enjoy exploring art from a wide range of style, and that spans many decades, the Chicago Art Institute offers free general admission to Illinois residents every Thursday evening from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Participants still have to pay, however, to see special exhibits.
Whether you are a tourist or a local looking for an inexpensive day on the town, there are plenty of free things to do in Chicago. Visit one or more of these places and still have money in your pocketbook for other adventures.
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Chicago Illinois is located in Cook County on Lake Michigan and is the county seat. It is called the "Windy City" and had an estimated population of 2,869,121 in 2003. Chicago, Illinois is the third largest city in the country and is also considered the transportation and financial center for the Midwest. It is known for fine arts and ethnic neighborhoods as well as a bustling downtown area.
Chicago Illinois was incorporated as a city in 1837. Some notable events in the city include the Great Fire of 1871, construction of Wrigley Field in 1914, the building of the Sears Tower (world's tallest building until 1996) in 1973, and the Chicago White Sox winning the Major League Baseball World Championship in 2005. Nearby cities are Oak Park, Stickney, Forest View, Cicero, and Berwyn.
Chicago Illinois has been called home by several well-known people including Benny Goodman, Quincy Jones, R. Kelly, Studs Terkel, and Hugh Hefner. It was the filming location of "The Blues Brothers" and "Goodfellas" movies. Chicago's local bands include Smashing Pumpkins, Chicago, Chi-Lites, and Earth, Wind, and Fire.
Chicago's performing arts culture shines with the local Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Steppenwolf Theatre. Chicago Illinois is also big on sports with several major teams including the White Sox, Bulls, Cubs, Bears, Sky, Fire, Rush, and Wolves. Local universities include DePaul University, University of Chicago and North Park University. There are also several museums in the area for those who enjoy exploring history. These include the Art Institute of Chicago, Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry and the Shedd Aquarium.
Chicago Illinois hosts several events throughout the year such as the Chicago Blues Festival at Grant Park in May and June. Venetian Night-Chicago is accommodated in the gorgeous lakefront and has a parade and fireworks. It is the oldest event held by the Chicago local government. Each summer, the Chicago Air and Water Show takes place at the lakefront with impressive flying and water stunts. Another local event is Taste of Chicago, known as the largest food festival in the Midwest. It is held at Grand Park in downtown Chicago Illinois, and features live music, plenty of food, cooking demonstrations, fireworks and more!
One of Chicago's most popular attractions is the Navy Pier, which has 50 acres of gardens, parks, shops, restaurants and attractions. Also, the Water Tower is a must-see while in Chicago, Illinois. It's one of the few buildings that survived the Great Fire of 1871 and housed the City Gallery. The Sears Tower is another unusual sight, being the tallest building in the world. Visitors can ride to the top of the building to catch a breathtaking view of the buildings, neighborhoods, and lake below.
The Lincoln Park Zoo is a beautiful 35-acre landscape with many magnificent animals and the Great Ape House. Admission is free to the zoo!
For great ice skating in winter and outdoor entertainment, the Millenium Park in Chicago Illinois offers a fun alternative from usual nightlife. It is quickly becoming one of the most famous sites in the city. Some other great attractions are the Buckingham Fountain and Shedd Aquarium along Lake Michigan.
For those wanting to experience a blend of culture and modern-day city life, Chicago, Illinois is the place to visit. Go to the Chicago Traveler website to learn more about Chicago Illinois USA.
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