Chicago offers many free attractions for frugal travelers. These free attractions are offset by more expensive varieties such as pizza with deep dishes, entrance to the famous Shedd Aquarium and a trip to the Sears Tower.
From Memorial Day weekends to Labor Day weekends, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., free strollers run every 20-30 minutes to Chicago’s most popular tourist spots. There are stops along the Museum Campus, Michigan Avenue (Magnificent Mile) and Navy. Make a few loops to feel the city. Often drivers give out bits of landmark information.
Street parking in the city center on Sundays is often free.
Baku Fountain, Grant Park and Millennium Park
A Buckingham fountain (seen in the opening of a TV show married to children) in Grant Park, near the waterfront, was designed to emulate the large fountains at the Palace of Versailles. It consists of three pools surrounded by four bronze seahorses.
More modern art can be found in the nearby Millennium Park. The crown fountain has two giant glass towers with protrusions of faces on them. Water splashes from the lips of the face, which greatly hinders children’s enthusiasm. Cloud gates resemble giant jellyfish made of stainless steel, which distort the reflection of visitors.
The Navy Pier conducts a street carnival setting. There is a classic black style at 148 feet, a music carousel with painted animals, a children’s museum, a stained glass museum and a maze of entertainment. Add seasonal street performers, food vendors and painters, and travelers can watch for hours.
Old water tower
The old water tower, located on the famous Michigan Avenue near downtown John Hancock, is one of the most famous survivors of the Great Fire. The old water tower, created to resemble a tiny European castle, is now a center for visitors.
Art Institute of Chicago
With American masterpieces like Grant Wood’s American Gothic, the Chicago Institute of the Arts is a must-see for art lovers and freebies for savvy travelers. From 31 May to 31 August, admission is free after 5pm on Thursday and Friday.
In Windy City there are many other free and economical attractions, shop windows on the Magnificent Mile, facades such as Dearborn Street Station, and others.