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Free Things to do in Chicago, Explore Places, Zoo, Museums and Shows.

The third-most populated city in the US after New York City and Los Angeles is Chicago, which is also the most populous city in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is also the most populated city in the Midwest, with 2,746,388 residents according to the 2020 census. The city serves as the administrative headquarters for Cook County, the second-most populous county in the United States, and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world.

It was established as a city in 1837, next to a portage that connected the watersheds of the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. Midway through the 19th century, it experienced fast growth; by 1860, it had become the youngest American city to have a population of over 100,000. By 1880, the population had increased to 503,000, doubled to more than a million, and continued to rise.

 Chicago Riverwalk, the displays at Art On The MART.

The Art on the MART projections that illuminate the Merchandise Mart each year from spring through fall is among the top free attractions along the Riverwalk. This city’s multi-award-winning Riverwalk has a lot to offer. The waterfront, which runs 1.25 miles through the center of the city, is constantly bustling with cafes, bars, and interesting buildings. It’s the ideal location for people-watching and seeing the magnificent architecture of the city. Even while the food on the riverwalk can be somewhat expensive, you can always pack your own for a picnic by the lake.

Art on theMART, the largest permanent digital art projection in the world, draws thousands of people to the Riverwalk each week by turning the 2.5-acre riverfront into breathtaking visual spectacles using 34 digital projectors. The majority of the year, spectators can view two free 30-minute projection shows there, The Riverwalk’s jetty area on Wacker Drive between Wells Street and Franklin Street.

Get entrance to Lincoln Park Zoo.

All throughout the year, going to Lincoln Park Zoo is enjoyable and cost-free. You may explore a “free world of wildlife” in the center of the city and have a variety of thrilling animal interactions at one of the few zoos in the nation that offers free entrance. There are more than 230 different species of animals at the zoo, as well as regular entertaining seasonal events like Zoolights, Fall Fest, the Zoo Ball, and Adults-Only nights.

If you’re an animal enthusiast, Lincoln Park Zoo is the best spot to go for free activities because it is home to primates, elephants, giraffes, sea lions, penguins, reptiles, and much more. There is no better time to introduce yourself than during the summer when numerous animals will be lazing around in the heat.

Entrance on a Wednesday to Adler Planetarium.

This is yet another well-known feature of the city. After a two-year break, the Adler Planetarium recently reopened and is now home to a brand-new telescope at the Doane Observatory, the largest public telescope in the state. Visitors will also note the planetarium’s gleaming new dome roof, which was rebuilt with brand-new copper tiles, giving the iconic 80-year-old dome a new glow. The best news is that Illinois residents can enter for free every Wednesday from 4 to 10 p.m. as long as they bring identification proving their residency.

National Museum of Mexican Arts.

Another excellent museum that is always open to the public is the National Museum of Mexican Art. It is the largest museum of its sort in the country and a terrific free thing to do in Chicago. It houses 3,000 years’ worth of artistic expression by Mexican and Mexican-American artists.

NMMA, which is situated in Pilsen, the center of Chicago’s Mexican community, offers a rich, all-encompassing art experience with a number of outstanding shows and collections of Mexican culture.

A number of other noteworthy events are held at the museum throughout the year, including the “Da de los Muertos: Love Never Dies Ball,” “Sor Juana Festival,” “Mercado Navideo—Christmas Market,” and more.

RELATED: Top 10 Lake Charles Restaurants To Try

Visit the Culture Center.

The city’s original public library was housed in this splendid structure in the downtown area. Visits are warranted only for the structure itself. There is a wealth of history within the meticulously designed walls of the CCC, which houses the largest stained-glass Tiffany Dome in the world. This is a fantastic free destination to spend the day if you enjoy culture, architecture, and history.

Incredibly rare imported marble, polished brass, mother-of-pearl, and tinted stone were used in the construction of the structure, which was finished in 1897 and serves as both a public library and a memorial to the Civil War. In 2008 saw the restoration of the nearly 30,000-piece Tiffany dome, which is 38 feet in circumference. Today, it is always free and accessible to the public seven days a week. Regular public activities and exhibitions are typically free to attend as well.

Experience the Chicago Air & Water Show.

One of the most well-known August events and another amazing free show could be seen in the skies of this city. In August, the  Air and Water Show in it will be back to wow the crowds that will be gathered along North Avenue Beach and a Lakefront from Fullerton to Oak Street. The largest free event of its sort in the nation, presented by the City, includes both military and civilian acts.

The Navy Blue Angels, the Golden Knights Army Parachute Team, and numerous other performers will perform in the air from 10 am to 2 pm on August 19 and 20 respectively.


What is the city of Chicago known for?

This city is renowned for its stunning architecture, thriving music scene, incredible cuisine, especially deep-dish pizza, and well-known neighborhoods. Let’s look at some of the best features that distinguish and characterize Chicago.

Do kids enjoy visiting Chicago?

Chicago has a ton of family-friendly attractions for kids, including zoos, parks, and museums. Depending on the season, you could even go ice skating or to the beach. Don’t forget to sample a deep-pan pizza, which is popular with children.

Describe five facts about Chicago?

Location of the Modern Architecture Birthplace.
The first open-heart procedure in the country.
The only river that flows backwards in the world.
Beginning towards the Atomic Age.
The tallest building in the world was created by a woman architect.
World’s first brownie; the first presidential debate to air on television.

What is the nickname of Chicago?

Call it Chi-town, the Windy City, and the City of Big Shoulders, but one moniker has undergone a particularly fascinating metamorphosis over time: the Second City. Is the dreaded Second City Chicago improv ensemble connected to the title .

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