Ask ChicagoNow: What are some of Chicago's best freebies?

Ask ChicagoNow: What are some of Chicago's best freebies?

ChicagoNow is a group of bloggers from all sorts of different backgrounds. One thing that helps tie them all together? Chicago.

With so much collective experience with the city, we’ve decided to put that knowledge to use by posing some of the oldest and most popular questions about Chicago to the group.

What are some of Chicago’s best freebies?

“Crown fountain in the summer is wonderful.” — Kim Cavill, Sex Positive Parent

“Chicago Public Library – various branches have meeting rooms for free, you get plenty of books and their Interlibrary loan program? Splendid…and you can even check out ebooks and audiobooks online!” — Gordon Dymowski, One Cause At A Time

“I love everything downtown Chicago has to offer. Millennium Park has those amazing water towers in the summer, not to mention the free concerts. Maggie Daley Park is free and offers ice skating in the winter. Navy Pier offers free fireworks, the bubbles, the sprinklers, the lake view. The beaches, the Lincoln Park Zoo, the house music days at Daley Plaza, the Polar Adventure Days at Northerly Island. Never a dull moment when living in Chicago and broke as hell.” — Mandie Molina, The Parental Venting Machine

“There is so much great free music in the summer. Millennium Park has pop concerts on Monday and Thursday night. Then there’s Blues and Jazz Fest which almost always brings in a big name or two. It’s one of the best reasons to put up with living here in the winter.” — Howard Moore, I’ve Got The Hippy Shakes

“Chicago Public Library. Whether I wander into my neighborhood branch (Manning!), venture downtown to the awesome repository of knowledge that is Harold Washington, or comb through the e-books and journals from many states away…it blows my mind to have access to so much knowledge and entertainment for zero dollars.” — Nicolle Neulist, Picks & Ponderings

“Sign up for emails from comedy clubs like Zanies, The Improv, The Laugh Factory and Second City and from independent showcases like Comedians You Should Know. You’ll receive emails with offers of free and heavily discounted tickets. Also check out the many free comedy showcases in Chicago throughout the week where you can see rising stars and nationally touring headliners who are frequent surprise drop-ins.” — Teme Ring, Comedians Defying Gravity

“Illinois resident days at our museums! I never tire of visiting them, new exhibits and collections are always being added so there is always something different to see.” — Sophie Sanchez, Cosmic Chicago

“The Grant Park Music Festival. 3 free concerts per week during the summer featuring The Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, led by Carlos Kalmar, which is excellent. They feature top soloists, and the Grant Park Symphony Chorus under Christopher Bell is great! They have a Wednesday concert, then a different program Friday which is repeated Saturday evening. Free seats, and the lawn is free, too, at the Pritzker Pavilion in Grant/Millennium Park. The Michigan Ave/Randolph Street setting is spectacular. The only drawback is the occasional distraction of emergency vehicle sirens, but, hey! it’s free and the only free classical music festival in the country!” — Floyd Sullivan, Waiting4Cubs

“Lake breezes – gratis”. — H. Van Howe, Pizza For Breakfast

If you have a question about Chicago that you want answered, email it to Think you have the answer to the above question? Let us know in the comments below.

Lead image via Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune

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