View of Chicago's The Bean and Lake Michigan
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21 Free or Cheap Things to Do in Chicago This Summer

Chicago's The Bean in Summer

Since I’ve been job searching this summer, I’ve been watching my pennies a little more carefully than normal. Luckily, that doesn’t mean I miss out on all the fun, either. I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on free and cheap things to do in the city that actually sound legitimately fun, so I thought I’d share with you guys in case you’re looking for something to do!

Check it out and let me know if there’s anything missing that’s on your list!

Art & Culture

Concerts in Millennium Park: Various Dates, FREE.

Chicago SummerDance (Dance Lessons and Music): Every Wed – Sunday in Grant Park, FREE.

Art Institute of Chicago Free Nights: 5-8pm Thursdays, FREE to Illinois Residents.

Museum of Contemporary Art Free Days: Every Tuesday, FREE to Illinois Residents.

Lincoln Park Zoo: Open and FREE everyday!

Garfield Park Conservatory: Open and FREE everyday! (This would be a beautiful photo shoot location – looking at you blogger friends or newly engaged people!)

National Museum of Mexican Art: Tuesday – Sunday 10-5, FREE.

Half-Price Theater Tickets (or check out my favorite shows here): Various Prices on Hot Tix.

Asian American Theater Fest @ Victory Gardens: August 13-18, tickets start at $10.

Chicago Jazz Festival @ Millennium Park: August 30-Sept 2, FREE

Keith Haring Mural Exhibit @ The Chicago Cultural Center: Now through Sept 23, FREE

 

Food & Street Fests

The Taste of Chicago: July 11-15 in Grant Park, FREE Admission and only $10 for 14 Food Tickets.

Square Roots Festival in Lincoln Square: July 13-15, $10 Suggested Donation.

Taste of River North: July 20-22, $5 Suggested Donation.

Tacos y Tamales Festival (Pilsen): July 20-22, $5 Suggested Donation.

Wicker Park Fest: July 27-29, $10 Suggested Donation.

Randolph Street Market: July 28-29, $10 in advance or $12 at the door.

 

Sports & Workouts

White Sox Baseball Games: Various Dates, Tickets start at $7 – lol that’s not a typo. (Pro tip: If you show up around the 6th inning they’ll sometimes just give you a FREE ticket.)

Millennium Park Summer Workouts: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, FREE.

5K Timed Runs in Humboldt, Washington, and Warren Park: FREE, just make sure to sign up in advance!

Workouts at Gallagher Way (Wrigleyville): Mondays-Saturdays, FREE.

 

[This guide from Choose Chicago and this list of street festivals from LakeShore Lady were super helpful in putting this together, go check them out!]

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