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Amazing Free (or Super Cheap) Activities to Do with Kids in Chicago

By Lindsay Pinchuk

At Best of Bump Club we hosted one of our favorite mom panels about navigating the city of Chicago with little ones. We loved what was shared so much that we wanted to put some of our favorite tips on the blog. First up, Tanya Findlay, yoga teacher and mommy blogger over at Momma Prana, shares her list of fun and free activities across the city:
Indoor activities:

Take it outside 

  • Explore Chicago beaches – each has different activities and amenities like parks, concessions, etc.
  • Neighborhood Parks offer FREE events for kids/families, including Movies
  • Maggie Daley Park & Millennium Park (Crown Fountain, the Bean, Lurie Garden, Pritzker concerts)
    • If too crowded, check out the “hidden park” in nearby LakeShore East – has a small play area
  • Festivals have Kid tents/activities (& most Suburban fests have carnival rides too)
  • Lincoln Park Zoo offers FREE admission (daily, year-round)
  • Northerly Island – hike or bike around the trails, safer biking for small children than the lakefront
  • Water Taxis – not FREE, but very cheap!
  • Riverwalk – walk or bike along, sit and watch the boats go by or the bridges go up!
  • Metra rides – weekend pass $8/adult, kids ride FREE – unlimited rides (Saturday & Sunday in Summer)
  • Ravinia offers low cost kids performances in (June & August)
  • Arlington Park offers Family day on Sundays with kids activities – including a petting zoo
  • Botanic Garden offers Trolley from the Metra (Sundays, during Summer)
  • CPL Museum pass holders park FREE (usually $25/car)


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