Chicago on a Budget: Fun and Affordable Activities for All Ages

By Amelia
8 Min Read

Are you looking for fun and affordable activities to do in Chicago? Look no further! The Windy City has a plethora of attractions that won’t break the bank, whether you’re traveling solo or with the whole family. From exploring iconic landmarks to trying out delicious street food, this city is full of budget-friendly adventures waiting for you. So grab your friends and family, pack some snacks, and get ready to explore all that Chicago has to offer without breaking the bank!

What are some fun activities to do in Chicago on a budget?

Chicago is a city with endless fun to be had on a budget. With parks, museums and popular attractions all within reach, there are activities for everyone in the city. Here are some of our favourites:

One of the great things about Chicago is that it never stops growing. So no matter what your age, there’s always something new to explore. For kids, hop on a bus or ride the train and explore new neighbourhoods each time you go. Or try out one of Chicago’s free tourist sites like Millennium Park or Shedd Aquarium. There’s so much to see and do in Chicago that you’ll never run out of things to do!

For adults, take advantage of Chicago’s nightlife scene by hitting up different neighbourhoods late at night for entertainment options galore. There are also lots of festivals and events throughout the city that you can attend without spending a fortune. And if you’re looking for a little more relaxation, head to one of Chicago’s top spas for some pampering at an affordable price point. From massages to body scrubs, you’re sure to find what you need without breaking the bank!

What are some affordable activities that everyone can enjoy?

Chicago is a bustling metropolis with endless entertainment options, but some activities are more budget-friendly than others. Here are four affordable activities that everyone can enjoy:

Take in a play at the theater: Chicago has many amazing theaters, both small and large, that regularly offer plays for under $10. Head to the Lyric or Steppenwolf Theaters for top-notch productions.

Experience nature: Both Grant Park and Navy Pier offer free entry during the warmer months and offer a unique outlook on Chicago. Additionally, there are several natural areas just around the city that are perfect for taking a hike or biking, like Douglas Park or Jackson Park.

Play games in an arcade: There’s nothing like playing classic arcade games for cheap at establishments like Dave & Busters. Plus, it’s always fun to test your skills against friends or family members!

Tour historic sites: From Lincoln Square Chicago History Museum to The Art Institute of Chicago, there is no shortage of places to learn about Chicago’s history. Admission prices vary significantly based on the site being visited, so do your research before making a purchase.

Which activities are perfect for all ages?

Chicago is a city full of history and culture, but it can be expensive to experience all that this great city has to offer. No matter what your budget, there are plenty of fun and affordable activities for all ages in Chicago. Here are some suggestions:

-Take a walk through Millennium Park: This large park offers beautiful views of the city skyline as well as a variety of walking trails. There is also a beautiful aquarium situated within the park.

-Visit one of Chicago’s many libraries: If you’re looking for a relaxing day out, check out one of the city’s many libraries. Some offer free family events and special exhibits throughout the year.

-Attend a Cubs game: Baseball is one of America’s favorite sports and Chicago’s beloved Cubs are playing at Wrigley Field right now! Tickets can be pricey, but it’s worth it to see a hometown team win.

-Go on an urban scavenger hunt: Urban exploration (aka urban scavenger hunt) can be a lot of fun for all ages – even if you’re not very good at directions! There are plenty of these type of challenges across the city, some with minimum requirements like photographing specific items in specific locations.

What are some tips to make sure you have a successful Chicago adventure on a budget?

When planning your Chicago adventure, make sure to account for the sky-high cost of lodging and eats. Here are a few tips to help you have a jam-packed, fun-filled city exploration on a budget:

1. Look for deals online! Use discount websites like Groupon and LivingSocial to find deals on both food and accommodations. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save by booking in advance!

2. Rent an Airbnb! This is a great way to score cheap room rates without having to deal with any pesky host families or long term leases. Just beware of scam artists who may try to take advantage of you, so be sure to read the reviews before checking out an Airbnb.

3. Hit the marketplaces! Chicago has tons of food markets where you can nab bargains on soups, falafel, wings and more. Don’t forget about the street vendors too – they always have some tasty treats up their sleeves (or under them!).

4. Fill up on freebies! Chicago offers plenty of free events and attractions that are perfect for exploring at your own pace (try wandering around Millennium Park during summer Sundays for live music!).

And remember: there are often mandatory donation boxes scattered throughout tourist-heavy areas like Grant Park or Lake Michigan shoreline spots like Navy Pier – donate what you would spend at a store if necessary and then go enjoy your bargain hunt!


Chicago is an amazing city to explore on a budget, and there are plenty of activities – both fun and educational – that can be enjoyed by all ages. Whether you’re looking for things to do with the kids or something fun to do alone, we’ve got you covered. Check out our list of Chicago’s best budget-friendly attractions and see for yourself how easy it is to have a great time without breaking the bank!

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