There are many world-famous attractions in Chicago that are worth every penny, but you don’t need to break the bank to enjoy a fun-filled family holiday in the Windy City. In fact, there are so many budget-friendly options your biggest challenge will be choosing where to stay, eat, and play! Here is the lowdown on free things to do and inexpensive ways to make the most of your cheap Chicago family getaway.
Find Cheap Family-Friendly Accommodation
It is tough to find cheap family-friendly accommodation in Chicago, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a deal! A quick and easy way to find the best price on hotels, wherever you want to stay in Chicago, is to use Hipmunk to search Chicago hotels. They let you customize your preferences to find the amenities you need and the price you want in a few simple clicks. If you prefer accommodations more like home, Airbnb is a great choice. They have many entire place rentals in Chicago for under $100 USD a night!
Travel in the off-season and save even more on accommodation. Spring and fall are great times to visit, the weather is warm and hotel rates are more reasonable because of fewer visitors.
Look for Sightseeing Savings
Consider buying a pass for discounts on activities like the Chicago CityPASS or the go Chicago Card. With Chicago CityPASS, a booklet saves you 51% or more on five famous attractions. The Go Chicago card is a customizable pass that lets you choose what you want to see for one discounted price.
Another way to see popular sites inexpensively is with Free Tours by Foot. It is a group of local independent tour guides who conduct “pay what you want” walking tours of popular areas including Loop highlights and literary and blues music-themed routes. There are no costs upfront, you decide on a value at the end of the tour.
Visit Free Festivals and Attractions
Chicago packs a full calendar of free festivals and events like Chicago World Music Festival in September, and events like dyeing the Chicago River green for St. Patricks’ Day in March or the holiday kickoff on Michigan Avenue with the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival in November.
Find Food For Less
Chicago is a treasure trove of multiculturalism with so many unique neighborhoods representing over 100 different countries. Let your taste buds be your guide and check out local neighborhood eateries for low-cost ethnic delights. Greektown, Chinatown, Little Italy and beyond all offer tasty gems to suit every budget just outside of downtown.
With so much to experience in Chicago’s culturally rich neighborhoods, it’s helpful to have a little direction. Chicago Greeter is a free program that pairs you with local guides to show you around the city giving their own in-depth insider orientation. Make the most of your cheap Chicago family getaway with this budget- friendly tour and learn about the amazing history, public art, and architecture that makes this iconic city so great.
Featured image by Chris Stevenson via Flickr