Travel tips: Hidden gems near Chicago tourist spots provide free family fun

Chicago welcomed more than 43 million tourists in 2011 and while there are some spots on the tourist track that are absolutely worth the trip, they can be pricey. After living in Chicago for a decade, I've discovered some family-friendly hidden gems that are within walking distance of major attractions. Best of all: they are free.

Scroll through the gallery below, which features a tried and true tourist attraction followed by the free, lesser-known location within walking distance. Want to see a million dollars? Head to the Money Museum! Ever checked out stained glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany? You can do so at Navy Pier! And I've got info on my favorite beach in the city. While these activities are certainly fun for tweens, they can be enjoyed by any age group. My tween and I have enjoyed them all, and hope you do, too. Have a great time in the Windy City!

Please share your favorite cheap Chicagoland activities in the comments.

For more tween travel posts, click here.

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Filed under: Travel

Tags: Chicago, family, travel

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