With all the fun events that summer has to offer, it’s easy to get off track when it comes to financial goals. Here in Chicago, there is plenty of fun to be had without dishing out a ton of money. Here are some ways you can have fun in the summer without blowing through your budget.
The Navy Pier is free and open to the public. If you want to ride on the various rides throughout the park or participate in other attractions, those tend to cost a bit. Something you might want to check out this summer, as part of the Navy Pier’s Centennial renovations, is the outdoor ice skating rink. That’s right, it’s open throughout the summer! It’s $15 to skate and rent, or $10 if you bring your own skates.
Kayak Chicago has locations on North Avenue Beach, North River, and Montrose Beach. A single kayak rental costs $25 and includes kayak, paddle, and PFD. It’s a fun way to get out on the water at a reasonable rate, and could be a fun outing for a group of friends, too. For more information and online scheduling, head to Kayak Chicago’s website.
Head to one of Chicago’s free beaches! North Avenue Beach is considered one of the trademark beaches of the city, it’s beach even has wifi access. You can pack a picnic lunch, or head to one of the vendors. If you have a dog, Montrose Beach has a designated dog area and is generally family friendly. To see a list of all the free Chicago beaches, check out this link.
North Park Village Nature Center is a 46 acre nature preserve perfect for a walk in the woods and potential birdwatching. Facilities include a nature path, wetlands, savannah and woodland, birding area, and the nature center itself. There are also some events (including movie nights in the park) and programs to check out (some of these cost money but many don’t).
A solo IMAX ticket at the Navy Pier costs $20, http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/navy-pier-outdoor-summer-ice-skating-rink/
Millennium Park offers a Summer Film Series every year, free and open to the public! This year’s series starts on June 21st with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. If that’s not your type of film, they have a robust schedule that has something for everyone!
On a rainy day, head inside and visit the Chicago Cultural Center! They offer different events and exhibits, including tours (Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday), film screenings, and more. The full schedule is available online here. All events, unless otherwise noted, are free!
Make It An Event
One of the biggest events in the summer, both citywide and nationwide, is the Fourth of July. There are parades and other festivals throughout the city for all ages, as well as fireworks! Check out NBC’s website for a full list of public celebrations on the Fourth.
If you go to North Avenue Beach August 20-21, you’ll catch the annual Chicago Air and Water Show.
Check out the end of our newsletter for more event ideas to add to your calendar this summer.
Good times are at arm’s length here in Chicago. Having ideas within your budget mean you can have fun this summer! What are some we’ve forgotten?