CHICAGO (AP) — It may be known as the Windy City, but cash does not need not go flying from your pockets when you visit Chicago. From the shores of Lake Michigan to the sidewalks along the Magnificent Mile, you can find outdoor family fun along with history and culture without spending a cent. Here are five free things to do.
A walk along the Magnificent Mile is a great, free way to take in Chicago's history and architecture. Start at the bridge over the Chicago River on Michigan Avenue and walk 13 blocks north to Oak Street. Check out the historic bridge towers and take in the view of two of Chicago's most famous skyscrapers, the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower. Dozens of stones from around the world are embedded in the Tribune Tower, from places ranging from the Alamo to Egypt's Great Pyramid to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
The Chicago Water Tower, near the northern end of the Magnificent Mile, now serves as a city visitor's center, but it's also a historic landmark as one of the few buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
The mile is also home to 460 stores (some of the ritziest in the country), 275 restaurants, 23,000 hotel rooms in 60 hotels and five museums.
Chicago's nearly century-old Navy Pier has transformed from a military training facility to a destination for 8.6 million visitors a year. The stretch of pier that juts into Lake Michigan features shopping, dining, theater and is the departure point for boat rides and cruises. The pier is home to the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Chicago Children's Museum, an IMAX movie theater and a 150-foot tall Ferris wheel.
Navy Pier is also tourist central for Chicago, with bicycle rentals for lake parks and paths; a carousel and Segway tours; boutiques, carts and stores filled with souvenirs; and dining at popular chain restaurants as well as local favorites.
Chicagoans consider Grant Park and Millennium Park the city's front yard. The parks comprise hundreds of acres along southern Michigan Avenue filled with gardens, public art and views of the city and Lake Michigan. Grant Park is home to the iconic Buckingham Fountain and hosts summer food and music festivals. It offers easy access to The Art Institute of Chicago, Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium.
Most afternoons Millennium Park is filled with children splashing at Crown Fountain or tourists snapping pictures of "Cloud Gate" — the reflective, shiny statue more widely known as "The Bean." Crowds gather under the crisscrossed canopy at Pritzker Pavilion on summer evenings to hear music and in winter for an ice rink.
Looking to swim, bicycle, run, rollerblade, play volleyball or go sailing? Head to Chicago's Lake Michigan shoreline.
The Chicago Park District maintains 26 miles of lakefront property. Beaches are free, open late May to early September, with lifeguards on duty 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Among the most popular of Chicago's nearly two dozen beaches are Oak Street Beach and Ohio Street Beach near downtown.
Ten harbors also dot the Lake Michigan coast in Chicago with accommodations for about 6,000 boats. Cyclists, runners and rollerbladers will appreciate the Lakefront Trail, which runs paved for 18 miles from Hollywood Avenue on the North Side to 71st Street on the South Side. The trail offers parks, beaches, gardens and statues.
Families flock to the 49-acre Lincoln Park Zoo a few miles north of downtown Chicago. It's one of just a handful of free zoos in the country, home to 200 species, from outdoor exhibits of tigers, monkeys and sea lions, to indoor pavilions for birds, penguins and reptiles. There's also a children's zoo and an African-themed section with dwarf crocodiles, pygmy hippos, meerkats and warthogs.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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