Great FREE Chicago Activities!

Chicago is full of exciting entertainment and activity – especially in the summer – but sometimes a night on the town can break the bank. Here are some great FREE opportunities that are sure to please everyone!

1. Chicago Summer-Dance

This wildly popular annual dance festival is celebrating its 13th year in the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park. You and your beau can pop in for a free 10 hour dance lesson from professional instructors and then show of your skills while enjoying 2 hours of live music on a 4,6000square-foot dance floor. Excellent bands play everything from salsa to reggae to swing. Head over to Grant Park every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening from 6 to 9:30pm, or Sunday from 4 to 7 pm to join the fun!

2. Grant Park Music Festival

Chicago is the last city in America that presents a totally free, open-air, professional series of orchestral concerts every summer! The amazing Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park is the perfect place to listen to the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus display their music talent. Lawn and general seating is free, but be sure to get to this popular event early to get a prime spot. Concerts take place most Wednesday and Sunday evenings throughout the summer, but check the website for the complete schedule.

3. Graceland Cemetery

A cemetery may seem like a strange destination for fun, but Graceland Cemetery in Chicago is a beautiful place to take in some of the historic side of Chicago. This victorian-era cemetery stretches along Clark Street in the Andersonville, and was the precursor to other great municipal parks like Lincoln Park. In fact, much of Lincoln Park started ofd as a cemetery back in the day! Chicago notables like Marshall Field, George Pullman, and Cyrus McCormick have graves in this sprawling green space. For those of you who enjoy a good scare, stop by this historic hotspot to watch the sun set over the edge of beautiful ponds and lush greenery.

4. Lincoln Park Zoo

This Chicago staple is sure to please the whole family. Open 365 days a year, these animal wonderland is the perfect place for an afternoon stroll. The Kovler Lion House is a boasts beautiful architecture and exotic animals that are sure to excite adults and children alike! Head to the zoo’s website for information on special events coming up this summer!

5. Garden Walks – Sheffield and Dearborn Editions

The Sheffield Garden Walk takes place in mid-July and is one of the largest and best organized of its kind in the city. You can tour backyard gardens while munching on delicious food or sampling refreshing drinks. If you don’t necessarily love gardening, don’t fear! These walks also offer live music, children’s activities, and more. The Dearborn Garden Walk is also in mid-July and offers a glimpse into the backyards of Gold Coast luxury. Many of these yards are designed by world-famous architects and designers, but if you don’t care for plant-life feel free to check out the live music, marketplace, of some architectural tours! If you are interested in taking a seld-guided, free tour of the gardens just pick up a map and check out how Chicago maintains its beautiful green spaces!

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