Illinois is widely considered a popular destination for vacations of all kinds. From the historically focused trips to the just plain fun, there is plenty to do for all ages. Some visitors might be surprised to know that there are a number of cool activities that cost almost nothing just ready to be explored. Depending on your location, much of the things on this list can be visited today.
The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is a favorite among Illinois residents. There are plenty of things to do for families with children, and many engaging exhibits for adults. The most surprising thing about the zoo is that there is no cost of admission. Check out the perky penguins and the friendly sea lion that waves his fin while swimming around the enclosure.
In Evanston, Illinois visitors can visit a historic landmark not far from home. The Grosse Point Lighthouse is a beautiful and offers visitors a unique view of Evanston. The grounds of the lighthouse are free to visit, and open to the public throughout the year. Tours of the lighthouse are held seasonally on the weekends. At only $6 for adults and $3 for children, visiting the lighthouse is an affordable daytime trip for adults and families alike.
Held in Chicago’s Millennium Park, the movies in the park event is held during the spring and summer, offering popular classic films on a momentous screen. Visitors should plan ahead, bringing a blanket to sit on and some snacks for the movie. Admission is free for this event and is an especially pleasant experience when the weather is warm. Showing up early is recommended, as this event fills up fast.
Revolution Brewery offers tours of their facility in Chicago’s north side. Guests can enjoy a complimentary brewery tour that lasts about forty five minutes. They do not take reservations, so head into the taproom and sign up with the bartender. We recommend getting their nice and early as spots tend to fill up fast, especially on the weekends. Don’t worry, if you get there super early just grab a pint of their latest beer.
Many cities in Illinois offer some pretty cool festivals at low or no cost. Some well known examples include Chicago’s Blues Festival, the Jazz Festival, or even the Air and Water Show. The three mentioned in this list are totally free, but you will find that others festivals are generally low cost across the board.
This company offers free foot tours in many major cities and Chicago is no exception. Although this company boasts free walking tours, they suggest you wait until the tour is complete to pay what you think it was worth. We of course highly suggest paying something to compensate your tour guide for their hard work. Tours of Chicago can be expensive so this is an affordable way to learn more about the city. Popular tours include the Magnificent Mile Tour, Gangster Tour, and the Chicago Ghost Tour.