Things to do for Budget Travelers in Chicago 

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  • 1

    Lincoln Park Zoo

    2001 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614-4712
    83 reviews

    I thoroughly enjoyed being able to walk through this free zoo in Chicago and seeing the different animals, plus it's another great place for a view of the Chicago skyline with a diagram pointing out what the buildings are that you're looking at.

    Popular withFamiliesBudgetOutdoor
  • 2

    Millennium Park

    201 East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601-6530
    261 reviews

    Touristy, Yes! Photo Op, Yes! Great Park, Yes! Must See, Heck Yes!! I've been here before, but during the night. Experiencing it during daylight hours was a real treat. I like this park. Plenty of greenery to just relax and enjoy the nice (but chilly) day. Great place to people watch. You can also find the "Bean" here. A giant ...

    Popular withFamiliesOutdoorBudget
  • 3

    Cloud Gate

    AT&T Plaza, Chicago, IL 60686
    79 reviews

    I heard about "The Bean" but really nothing prepared me for the entrancing and charismatic nature of this public art. It shines in the urban landscape reflecting the grids of the buildings on Michigan Ave, and the trees in the park. It reflects everything, distorting in weird and exciting ways. Stand right under it. Look at yourself, then you friends. ...

    Popular withDesignFamiliesBudget
  • 4

    Art Institute of Chicago

    111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603-6110
    139 reviews

    I just about grew up at this place and visit every time I'm in Chicago. They have a terrific collection of Impressionist's work, and now the new Modern Wing has three floors with lots of space for some really great contemporary art. I like the de Koonings, but you may go for the Jasper Johns. It's a big museum, so ...

    Popular withDesignHistoryBudget
  • 5

    Grant Park

    337 East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601-7403
    39 reviews

    Just happened to be in town for the annual blues festival this weekend. Lots of fun! They had a street festival with food, drinks and souvenir/ trinkets. Other than that this park is still pretty to walk through, but doesn't hold much entertainment value.

    Popular withOutdoorLocalBudget
  • 6

    Lincoln Park

    600 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611-3016, United States
    27 reviews

    Frederick Law Olmstead, the man behind Central Park in New York, designed this green space in Chicago. Within it, you’ll find the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Chicago History Museum, the Lincoln Park conservatory, and opportunities for activities ranging from rowing to running. A great place to enjoy a warm summer day.

    Popular withOutdoorLocalBudget
  • 7

    Big Star

    1531 North Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622
    23 reviews

    Yes. Amazing tacos, but good luck getting a seat. Minimum 2 hour wait usually. Oh, and it's cash only.

    Popular withFoodiesTrendstersBudget
  • 8

    Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum

    1300 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605
    30 reviews

    Confession: I have the shortest attention span in the universe when it comes to museums. But! The planetarium kept me engaged far longer than any other museum I've ever been to. The films, especially, are really well done. Make some time to sit in a dark theater and stare up at the stars. When you're in town, look for Adler ...

    Popular withFamiliesStudentsBudget
  • 9

    Crown Fountain

    201 East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL
    11 reviews

    This multimedia fountain and waterplay sculpture is simply amazing. Fifty-foot high monolithic projected faces of real people spurt playful fountains of water where kids and adults frolic in the shower. The faces are videos that show the people smiling, blinking and puckering up to spurt. This interactive fountain was designed by Jaume Piensa. The water feature is turned off for ...

    Popular withFamiliesBudgetDesign
  • 10

    John G. Shedd Aquarium

    1200 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605-2402
    96 reviews

    A world-class aquarium miles and miles from any salty seas! It's all there: the Caribbean Reef, Jellyfish, octopi, and sea stars. YOu can also take in an aquatic show featuring dolphins and beluga whales. I gave it only 4 of 5 stars because it was so packed with visitors the day I went.

    Popular withFamiliesAdventureBudget
  • 11

    Wicker Park

    23 reviews

    Probably the most popular neighborhood along the Blue Line, Wicker Park is home to some of the best book stores, thrift shops, and live music venues in the city. Within steps of the Damen Blue Line station are hundreds of things to do: the park, Big Star (tacos!), the Flat Iron building, the Double Door, Quimby's...I could go on. Come ...

    Popular withTrendstersLocalBudget
  • 12


    318 West Cermak Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616-1916
    51 reviews

    There will always be a chinatown in every country or large city just like in chicago however I liked the one I visited because I found authentic chinese stuff specially the herbal and medicines. Got myself some chrysanthemum authentic tea which i would usually ask my friends in china to get me. Worth the visit.

    Popular withLocalFoodiesBudget
  • 13

    John Hancock Center

    875 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-1779
    114 reviews

    The John Hancock Center is a "must see" in Chicago. Visitors have the opportunity to go up over 90 floors to an observatory that offers spectacular views of the city and Lake Michigan. After some scenic photo taking, visitors can head over to the Signature Room on the 95th floor for a nice romantic dinner in the dining room or ...

    Popular withFamiliesLocalBudget
  • 14

    Field Museum

    1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605-2827
    67 reviews

    This amazing institution has exhibits and programs on anthropology, botany, geology, paleontology and zoology. They also have a vast collection, amassed over the decades and now used for research. But really it's just a fun place full of very cool stuff and great people. So much goes on there. As I write this they have a show on chocolate, one ...

    Popular withHistoryFamiliesBudget
  • 15

    Museum of Science and Industry

    5700 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60637-2003
    82 reviews

    One of the best science museums on the planet. What's really special about this place is the size. It's huge, with high ceilings and vast halls. In the halls are thing you usually see outdoors, like real train, and planes and automobiles, reinforcing the feeling that technology is amazing.

    Popular withFamiliesLocalBudget
  • 16

    Chicago Cultural Center

    78 East Washington Street, Chicago, IL 60602-4801
    13 reviews

    A great place to start you visit to Chicago, the Cultural Center is in the former Chicago Public Library, an architectural treasure. It now offers free public events: music, exhibitions, dance, lectures and plays. Inside you'll find the visitor information center offering lots of free advice on what to do in town.

    Popular withHistoryLocalBudget
  • 17


    1880 West Fullerton Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614, United States
    9 reviews

    Great draft beer selection, and a unique sport experience. Bumper cars meets lacrosse? Uniquely Chicago. A great place to bring a group for bonding or just a change of pace.

    Popular withLocalAdventureBudget
  • 18

    Lakefront Path

    McCormick Place to Belmont, Chicago, IL 60661
    17 reviews

    On warm, sunny days, the Lakefront Path is packed with tourists and locals alike. If you're a biker, runner, or roller skater, you're going to want to hit this path with your gear. If you're not, get ready for some great people watching. Either way, prepare yourself for the best views in Chicago.

    Popular withLocalOutdoorBudget
  • 19

    Ohio Street Beach

    400 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60611-4308
    4 reviews

    Just a short walk from the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, and most of the nicest downtown hotels, the Ohio Street beach is a great place to spend an afternoon catching some sun or just walking off dinner. It's a small beach, but clean and usually not too crowded.

    Popular withOutdoorFamiliesBudget
  • 20

    Skydeck Chicago

    233 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL
    7 reviews

    Just a short walk from the Jackson Blue Line station, the Skydeck is a must-see on your trip to Chicago. From the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower (the locals still call it the Sears Tower--forgive us), the city looks like a Lite-Brite at night. If you're brave, you can stand in a glass box and look at the ground ...

    Popular withLocalDesignBudget
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