Fun and Cheap Things to Do in Chicago

Fun and Cheap Things to Do in Chicago
A trip to Chicago doesn't have to break the bank. A variety of activities and resources are available for visitors who are interested in exploring without spending a lot of money. Outdoor activities such as cycling, the Chicago Outdoor Film Festival and a day at the beach are all inexpensive options in Chicago.

Bike Chicago

Chicago's more than 100 miles of bike lanes and more than 50 miles of bike trails in addition to the more than 10,000 bicycle racks around the city make it one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. Hopping on a bicycle for a self-guided tour can be a fun and inexpensive way to explore Chicago. Casual cyclists can enjoy views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan with a leisurely ride along the lakefront path while more experienced cyclists can hit the streets and explore the city's many neighborhoods. The City of Chicago provides bike maps and cyclist resources at Visitors looking to rent bicycles can reserve adult bikes for as little as $8 an hour or $25 for the day from Bike Chicago Rentals and Tours. Bike Chicago has locations at Millennium Park, Navy Pier, North Avenue Beach, Foster Beach and Riverwalk. Cyclists can receive the lowest rental rates by making their reservations online at


Chicago Outdoor Film Festival

Each summer, the city of Chicago treats residents and visitors to the opportunity to experience classic American movies on a super-sized scale. On Tuesday evening through July and August classic films such as "Sunset Boulevard" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" are shown on an enormous screen with a state-of-the-art speaker system in Grant Park with the Chicago Skyline serving as a backdrop. Film lovers are invited to bring picnic baskets, blankets and chairs to Butler Field in Grant Park to sit back and enjoy a screening of a classic film at no charge. Films begin at dusk.

A Day at the Beach

Chicago's location on the shore of Lake Michigan gives residents and visitors the opportunity to spend a day at the beach without leaving the city. The city's 26 miles of open beach are free for public use and maintained by the Chicago Park District. Outdoor enthusiasts are often found swimming in the cool water during summer months, playing volleyball in the sand, and walking, jogging and rollerblading along the beachfront paths.


Article Written By Beth Culp

Based in New Orleans, Beth Culp has been a freelance writer and producer since 2004. She enjoys researching and writing about a variety of topics, including travel and outdoor adventure. Culp holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and sociology from Loyola University New Orleans.

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