Cheap Family Activities in Chicago During Summer

Chicago winters can be so long that parents can’t wait to get the kids out of the house and active again, but which activities will keep both the kids and mom and dad entertained? Now that spring is here and the flowers are starting to bloom, it is time to plan some great summer adventures. Here are just a few great things to do with the kids outside this summer that won’t won’t break the bank.

Movies in the Park– Every year the Chicago Park District hosts Movies in the Park, a chance to see great films in an outdoor setting. Pack a picnic dinner for the whole family and let the city take care of your entertainment for the evening. Just a few movies that are on the agenda this year are: Dirty Dancing, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Big Fish. Movies are shown at parks throughout the city, so you won’t have to travel far to enjoy this free adventure. Movies in the Park returns for the summer on June 14th. For updates as they become available, follow the program’s Facebook page .

Tour Wrigley Field– Wrigley Field is known as the Friendly Confines, but it can definitely get rowdy on game days. Why not take a tour on an off-day when it is quiet and truly appreciate all that the historic stadium has to offer? Tours include trips to the press boxes, the dugouts, and even a chance to get onto the field. Tickets are $25 per person, and kids under two years can visit for free. $25 per person might sound a little steep, but it is a fraction of what a family of four will spend to go to a game. A portion of your admission goes to Chicago Cubs Charities, so your money goes even further. You can purchase tour tickets at

Lunch break Music Series at Millennium Park- All summer long, the city of Chicago will host lunch-time free concerts. The live music begins at 11:30 am and runs until 1:00 pm, and features jazz, blues, and many other types of music. The concerts are mainly held on weekdays, but there are weekend shows planned throughout the season as well. Its a great excuse to head downtown to show the kids all of the sites at the park, and enjoy some free entertainment as well. The complete concert calendar can be found on the city of Chicago’s tourism website.

Take a water taxi to Chinatown– Chicago has lots of different public transportation options, but the water taxi is probably the least-known way to get around. The kids will love going on a boat ride, and at $4 per person for a trip from downtown to China town, it is much more affordable than any of the tour boats in the city. Enjoy the afternoon shopping in the city’s amazing Chinatown district, grab some lunch, and head back downtown on the taxi. All day passes can be purchased for $6 each, which will get you there and back for even less. You can buy your tickets ahead of time at

There are so many great things to do outside in the city, so in addition to these ideas, check out your local neighborhood festivals, and check out the Chicago Park District, as they are always adding new programs to the calendar. Summer doesn’t get any better than it does in Chicago, make sure that you make the most of it!

Sources: Movies