A student's guide to exploring Chicago!
Unless otherwise noted everything listed below is free.
- Explore Chicago’s famous architecture during Open House Chicago. Each October for 48 hours over 200 buildings throughout the city are open to the public for free!
- Open all year round, Lincoln Park Zoo is easily accessible by public transport.
- Millennium Park offers free summer concerts all summer long and indoor events throughout the rest of the year.
- Maggie Daley Park is designed to be a park for all ages with its play gardens, wave lawn, climbing wall, ribbon skating, tennis courts, picnic grove and mini golf course. Note, not all activities are free.
- Located in the lovely Millennium Park, McCormick Tribune Ice Rink is a free admission ice skate rink. Skate rental is available for those without skates.
- Discover for yourself why Chicago is called the City of Neighborhoods taking with you as a guide one of these books.
- Visit Chicago’s museums on a free day or by checking out a Kid’s Museum Pass from a Chicago Public Library. The following museums are always free: DANK Haus, National Museum of Mexican Art, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago Design Museum, Oriental Institute, Jane Addams Hull House Museum, Federal Reserve Bank Money Museum and the Cambodian American Heritage Museum.
- Chicago Cultural Center offers free events, performances and exhibitions all year long!
- Explore the sites and sounds of Navy Pier.
- Join the outdoor dance party and learn new dances at SummerDance in Grant Park throughout the summer.
- A favorite way to combat the winter blues is by making a visit to the Lincoln Park Conservatory or Garfield Park Conservatory.
Chicago sits on the western bank of Lake Michigan and is centrally situated in the Midwest region of the United States. The Midwest enjoys a continental climate generally characterized by hot summers, cold winters and moderate temperatures during spring and fall. Chicago on average annually sees 10 days above 90°F / 32°C, 140 days below 32°F / 0°C, and 16 days below 0°F / -17°C. Due to its proximity to Lake Michigan humidity, wind and snow fall are more extreme in Chicago than in other parts of the region. The lake can also cause severe fluctuation in weather, so checking the weather forecast before you leave home and dressing in layers are always a good ideas!