Chicago Travel Guide

USA  #3 in Best Weekend Getaways
Credit

Courtesy of jaskoomerovic/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Free Things To Do in Chicago

If you have extra time, Lincoln Park Zoo is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Millennium Park
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    #1 in Chicago
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    A first-time visit to Chicago isn't complete without a stop at Millennium Park. Situated in the Loop just north of the Art Institute of Chicago, this 24.5-acre space is used to showcase cutting-edge art, architecture and landscaping; it also acts as a backdrop for concerts and festivals. Most visitors come to

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  • #2
    Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain
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    #2 in Chicago
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Often referred to as "Chicago's front yard," Grant Park is a 319-acre swath of green space that starts at the eastern edge of the Loop and stretches down to the northern fringes of the Near South Side. First-time visitors should plan on spending a fair amount of time in Grant

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  • #3
    Lincoln Park Zoo
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    #3 in Chicago
    Zoos and Aquariums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Zoos and Aquariums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located 2 miles north of the Loop in the North Side neighborhood of Lincoln Park, the Lincoln Park Zoo is home to dozens of species, such as zebras, sloths and hippos. Visitors can view the zoo's furry (or scaly) friends in their natural habitats: Check out the gorillas in the

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  • #4
    The Magnificent Mile
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    #4 in Chicago
    Cafes, Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Cafes, Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you can feel your credit card burning a hole through your wallet, make your way to The Magnificent Mile. This portion of Michigan Avenue – which stretches between Lake Shore Drive and the Chicago River – beckons to shopaholics with department stores and luxury retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue,

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  • #6
    Navy Pier
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    #6 in Chicago
    Amusement Parks, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Amusement Parks, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Extending out onto Lake Michigan, Navy Pier offers plenty in the way of family-friendly entertainment. The first thing you'll spot once you set foot on the pier is the towering Ferris wheel (which stands 196 feet tall); you'll also find a swing-seat ride and a carousel. Once the kids have

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  • #10
    The Chicago Riverwalk
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    #10 in Chicago
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    When the weather warms up in Chicago, there are few better places to enjoy the outdoors than the Chicago Riverwalk. The 1.25-mile pedestrian walkway on the south bank of the Chicago River is the perfect place to take a walk and observe the city skyline. Plus, there are numerous activity

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  • #13
    Maggie Daley Park
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    #13 in Chicago
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Maggie Daley Park is an expansive property located just east of Millennium Park in downtown Chicago. The massive green space offers numerous activities for both kids and adults on-site, including a climbing wall, a mini-golf course, a playground, a public garden, an ice skating rink (during the winter) and a

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  • #18
    North Avenue Beach
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    #18 in Chicago
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located in Lincoln Park directly on Lake Michigan, North Avenue Beach is one of the most popular swimming spots in Chicago. The sandy beach has volleyball courts, plenty of space for visitors to stretch out and multiple things to do near nearby, plus it offers spectacular views of the city

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  • The 606
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    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Dividing Chicago's Logan Square and Humboldt Parkneighborhoods, The 606 is a former industrial rail line that's been transformed into a nature trail and a public space. In addition to being an excellent place to enjoy the outdoors, the 2.7-mile-long park hosts an assortment of events and shows for visitors to

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Explore More of Chicago

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