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Top Ten Free Summertime Activities in Chicago 2012

1. Movies in the Park

The Chicago Park District and Charter One host the 12th annual Movies in the Park. Current and classic films can be viewed for free at 128 city parks through out Chicago, starting Monday June 11 – October 26. Grab a blanket and some snacks and get ready to enjoy summertime in Chicago. Brochure can be downloaded for schedule of movies and locations at

2. Chicago Museum Free Days for Chicago Residents

The Art Institute of Chicago

We all love that word FREE. Below are the list of the free days for some of Chicago’s most popular museums.

Adler Planetarium: June 1,4,5,6,7,8  Sorry this summer free dates have ended for future dates

Art Institute of Chicago: !st and 2nd Wednesday of each month

Chicago’s Children’s Museum: Thursdays 5 pm – 8 pm free for all visitors
1st Sunday of the month for children ages 15 and under

Shedd Aquarium:  June 17,28,29,20,21,22

Field Museum: June 1,4,5 Sorry this summer free dates have ended for future dates

Museum of Science and Industry: June 4,5,6,7,8,11 Sorry this summer free dates have ended for future dates

3.  Fireworks at Navy Pier

Enjoy the FREE fireworks display over Lake Michigan every Wednesday at 9:30pm and Saturday at 10:15. Starting  May 26  - September 1 watch as the  fireworks are synchronized to music. Admission to Navy Pier is always free.

Concerts at Millennium Park

4. Free Concerts at Millennium Park

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events will be hosting a free concert series at the the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park this summer. There will be an eclectic mix of music all free. Just grab a blanket and make a night of it in Millennium Park. For more information on dates and genre of music go to

5. Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park is an amazing zoo. Visitors will find not the animals are not the only attraction here. The grounds and the architecture are worth the trip alone. Best of all, it’s FREE!

6. Chicago Beaches

There 23 free beaches in Chicago. In addition to swimming and soaking up the sun, the beaches are a great place to roller blade and bike ride. Chicago is also home to the World’s Largest Beach Volleyball League with over 20,000 participants.

For a complete list of Chicago beaches and water condition and restrictions

7. Navy Pier

This top tourist destination has a wide variety of shopping and dining options. There are always exhibitions and entertainment and the giant ferris wheel. Navy Pier is also home to an Imax Theatre and the Chicago Children’s Museum.

8. Chicago Parks

Cloud Gate

Chicago has over 8,100 Acres of green space, 580 parks and 26 miles of lake front. Two of the more famous parks are Millenium Park home of  the Cloud Gate sculpture known as  ”The Bean” and Grant Park home of Buckingham Fountain. For information on the parks and the amenities at each park go to

9. Chicago Festivals

Summertime is festival time in Chicago. I found so many festivals that I didn’t know which ones to choose for this post. I found a really great list on link below so check it out and let us know of any festivals you feel are missing.

10. Free Loop Art Tour

Want to explore some of Chicago’s great art. Just grab a comfy pair of shoes, download a map and you are on your way. There are 17 stops and you can download a map or an audio tour.

For additional information on summertime fun in Chicago go to

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