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 (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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