Add these 6 free Chicago attractions to your next visit

We think these places are worth checking out!
Cloud Gate, aka the Bean, in Chicago.

Cloud Gate, aka the Bean, in Chicago. 10chicagobean / Suzy Fleming Leonard/FLORIDA TODAY

Traveling expenses can add up, so it’s helpful on the wallet when you visit a city and there are free things to see and do. While there are plenty of attractions in Chicago worth spending money on, we wanted to highlight some of the free attractions that are worth checking out on your next visit!

Chicago Cultural Center

Stop by the Chicago Cultural Center for one of the many free public performance events that take place there. Even if you visit on a day that no performances are taking place, it is still worth a stop. A visit to the Preston Bradley Hall Tiffany dome is a must. Not only is it the world’s largest stained glass Tiffany dome, but the size and beauty of the piece is truly breathtaking and should be viewed in person. If your visit happens to land on a Thursday or Friday, you can hop on a free building tour to learn more about the building’s history. Take a walk through the galleries to see the Center’s current visual art exhibitions. Several hours can be spent visiting the Chicago Cultural Center. 

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Money Museum

The Chicago Money Museum is a small museum located inside the Federal Reserve Bank. It is open weekdays, except for Federal Reserve Bank holidays. Here you will find exhibits, some of which are interactive, detailing the history of money, military displays and more. A visit will last approximately 45 minutes or less. 

Garfield Park Conservatory

The Garfield Park Conservatory has both indoor and outdoor exhibits. There are 10 acres of outdoor gardens, including the Lily Pool, the Labyrinth and the City Garden. Inside the Conservatory you can wander the Fern Room, the Palm House and Desert House. Garfield Park Conservatory is located on North Central Park Avenue. It is free to visit, but reservations are required. Regularly check the Conservatory's calendar, as they often have special events and programs taking place. 

Lincoln Park Zoo

The Lincoln Park Zoo has been free for visitors since it first opened in 1868. It is home to almost 200 different species of animals. You will see everything from aardvarks and giraffes to Madagascar hissing cockroaches and snow leopards. There are also over 850 different plant species that can be seen in one of the zoo’s many gardens. There are many free daily activities taking place at the zoo including seal training and feeding and polar bear care. For a small fee, guests can take a ride on the Lionel Train or the Endangered Species Carousel or enjoy Gorilla Trek, a virtual reality experience. Many hours can be spent enjoying your day at the zoo. 

Millennium Park

Millenium Park is made up of several different spaces. Visitors will want to make a photo stop at Cloud Gate, more popularly known as “The Bean.” This art installation has become an iconic landmark of Chicago. Lurie Garden is a four-season garden, where there is something beautiful to see year-round. Crown Fountain is not only part of Chicago’s public art collection, but mid-spring through mid-fall, guests can view and enjoy an interactive water feature. Walk through the outdoor Boeing Galleries to view contemporary and modern art exhibitions. From Millenium Park take a walk across the BP Pedestrian Bridge. This is not only a unique architectural piece, but it is also a walkway that connects to Maggie Daley Park. 

National Museum of Mexican Art

The National Museum of Mexican Art was founded in 1982. The museum celebrates Mexican art and culture, showcasing its diversity through different mediums including photography, paintings, film, textiles and more. The 48,000 square foot space is located on West 19th street in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. 

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