Category Archives: Free In Chicago

Free WAT-AAH! Taking Back The Streets Art Event This Weekend

WAT-AAH! EventIf you’re looking for something to do this weekend, make some time to go over to the WAT-AAH! Taking Back The Streets art event at Moonlight Studios! This will be a weekend-long free art exhibition located at 1446 W. Kinzie St. Launched as a way to encourage everyone to drink more water this summer, the exhibit is an extension of the ongoing WAT-AAH! Taking Back the Streets traveling art campaign.

Featuring work by some of the nation’s preeminent street artists including POSE, Hebru Brantley, Kenny Scharf, Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Lady Aiko, Eric Haze, Maya Hayuk, and others, the WAT-AAH! Taking Back the Streets art exhibit will invite guests to look at a variety of original artwork and WAT-AAH! bottles created with custom-designed labels. Saturday, July 19th and Sunday, July 20th the exhibition is free and open to the public from11 a.m. to 7p.m.

The WAT-AAH! exhibiton at Moonlight Studios marks the culmination of the Chicago leg of the WAT-AAH! Taking Back the Streets initiative. Earlier in the month, WAT-AAH! unveiled an eye-catching #WATAAHWALL mural in Chicago’s West Loop, which was created by street artist POSE and five art students chosen by the University of Chicago’s Arts Incubator Design Apprenticeship Program (DAP).  The 75’ by 15’ mural can be found at the intersection of Lake and Racine.

The Chicago WAT-AAH! Taking Back the Streets art exhibition is a continuation of the company’s groundbreaking national art campaign that connects today’s leading street artists with the brand’s mission to fight childhood obesity and promote healthy hydration among kids and teens.

Again, this event is completely free on both Saturday and Sunday, so take a look around and think about bringing the kids! We need to get everyone involved in the fight against childhood obesity and healthy hydration!

Hidden Cash Game Being Played In Chicago!

Hidden Cash GameIf you’ve heard about the Hidden Cash Game being played in other parts of the country, you will be thrilled to hear that it’s now in Chicago! If you’re not familiar with the Hidden Cash Game, this is a social experiment being conducted for what seems like the sole purpose off helping other people. Follow Hidden Cash on Twitter (in Chicago you’ll also follow this account) and you’ll be given clues to where there is hidden money in different areas of the country or the city you live in. The first person to find it wins! That is it. That is all.

It has recently been revealed that Jason Buzi, San Francisco real estate investor and entrepreneur is the “host” of the game that has taken off all over the country. He has been quoted as saying “Just because I am a businessperson doesn’t mean everything for me is about making money. It isn’t.” And with an estimated $10,000-$15,000 spent on the game – at the end of the day, that’s not a ton of money to launch a goodwill movement. Hopefully it is just enough.

The whole idea behind this game is one that we need to encourage. Pay it forward! Do you have an extra $20 that you found in a coat pocket? Hide it and tweet about it to your friends! Maybe add the #HiddenMoney hasthag and you’ll pay it forward a little further. I am fascinated to see how this social experiment turns out, but I know that the next time I find some unexpected cash around my house, I’m going to play!

So how do you take part in the Hidden Cash Game around Chicago? Follow Hidden Cash on Twitter, watch for clues and then jump into the game! And if you do find some money, think about paying some of it forward. That AND I want to hear about it!

Interested in more free activities that you can do around Chicago? Read about those here.

Chicago Family Staycation Ideas – Enjoy Your City!

Chicago Family StaycationChicago Family Staycation Ideas

Summer is the time when our kids get out of school, the weather is warm and people like to travel. The biggest problem with that is that is that travel can get expensive! You’re talking about hotels, plane tickets, gas money and more. Perhaps it’s time for a Staycation! Here are some Chicago Family Staycation ideas for you to help you enjoy your own city and do it on a budget:

Chicago Museums & Tours

Chicago Kids Activities

Downtown Chicago Activities

Chicago Zoos

Chicago Sports Activities

Chicago Amusement and Water Parks

Other Notable Chicago Activities

This list is just a beginning for your Chicago Family Staycation ideas! Chicago is such a large city that I’m sure there are many more. Feel free to leave additional Chicago Family Staycation ideas in the comments and I’ll update the list!

Here are some other cities to check out:

A – D

Phoenix, Arizona — Saving For Someday
Fresno, California — Living A Frugal Life
Orange County, California — More With Less Today
San Diego, California — Southern Cali Saver
Denver, Colorado — Bargain Blessings
Washington, District of Columbia — Kidventurous

F – I

Disney World, Florida — The Happy Housewife
Jacksonville, Florida — Saving The Family Money
Orlando, Florida — Coupon Mamacita
St Augustine, Florida — Simply St. Augustine
Tallahasse, Florida — SwagGrabber
Tampa Bay, Florida —
Atlanta, Georgia — Pretty Frugal Diva
Dahlonega, Georgia — Kathys Cluttered Mind
Savannah, Georgia — This Mommy Saves Money
Aurora/Chicago, Illinois — A Savings WOW!
Indianapolis, Indiana — Chaos Is Bliss

K – P

Lexington, Kentucky — Homeschool Village
Louisville, Kentucky — The Kennedy Adventures
Northern Kentucky, Kentucky — Simply Sherryl
Carroll County, Maryland — Looking at life CreativLEI
Boston, Massachusetts — Maven of Savin
Battle Creek, Michigan — Pichea Place
Grand Rapids, Michigan — Give Me Neither
Metro Detroit, Michigan — Saving Dollars and Sense
Kansas City Area, Missouri/Kansas — Redefined Mom
Omaha, Nebraska — Family Fun in Omaha
Central, New Jersey — Our Good Life
Cincinnati, Ohio — Adventure Mom
Cleveland, Ohio — Kosher on a Budget
Columbus, Ohio — Cleverly Simple
Dayton, Ohio — Savings Lifestyle
Mansfield & Richland County, Ohio — The Traveling Praters
Miami County, Ohio — Something 2 Offer
Northeast, Ohio — Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring
Portland, Oregon — Frugal Living NW
Harrisburg/Central, PA — Family Balance Sheet
Erie, Pennsylvania — Growing Kids Ministry
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — Moms Need To Know
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — The Coupon High

R – W

Arlington, Texas — Grocery Shop For FREE
Fort Worth, Texas — Coupons and Freebies Mom
Houston, Texas — Melissa’s Bargains
Katy, Texas — Moms Confession
San Antonio, Texas — How to Homeschool My Child
Tyler, Texas — iLoveMy5Kids
Charlottesville, Virgina — How to Have it All
Norfolk, Virgina — The Talking Suitcase
Richmond, Virgina — Vacation Maybe
Seattle, Washington — Thrifty NW Mom
Tacoma/South Puget Sound, Washington — Queen Bee Coupons
Oshkosh, Wisconsin — A Little Bit of This and That

Kids Bowl Free Chicago Locations!

Kids Bowl Free Chicago LocationsKids Bowl Free Chicago Locations

Summer is upon us and that means that it’s a new year for the Kids Bowl Free program! This is an option for children to have somewhere safe and constructive to go each and every day of the summer, not to mention develop a skill and have some fun! For those of us in Illinois, there are a lot of Kids Bowl Free Chicago locations participating! You will want to check the site for the full list in other states as well as locations outside of the Chicagoland area, but here are the Kids Bowl Free Chicago locations that are participating:

Arlington Lanes

Castaways Bowl

Lawn Lanes
Waveland Bowl

Mardi Gras Lanes

Tivoli Bowl

Elk Grove Bowl

Lisle Lanes

Lakeside Lanes

Wheaton Bowl

Willowbrook Lanes

Wood Dale Bowl

Here is the description of the program from the website:

Select bowling centers and schools around the country are participating in the first ever Kids Bowl Free program. This program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer.

Children whose age does not exceed a limit by a participating bowling center are eligible to register for 2 free games a day, all summer long, courtesy of the participating bowling centers along with the schools and organizations.

Whether the kids are in camp for the summer or you are just looking for a last minute, air-conditioned activity, sign up for this great program and enjoy the  perks this summer!

Interested in more? Read about activities that are Free In Chicago and other Chicago Kids Activities.

Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago Free Days 2014!

Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago Free DaysMuseum of Contemporary Art Chicago Free Days

Another of the great museums in our windy city is the Museum of Contemporary Art. This is one of those jewels that many Chicagoans know about, but most out-of-towners may not have heard of. Even better for Illinois residents, there are Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago free days!

The Museum of Contemporary Art (also called the MCA) is dedicated to the art of our time rather than the cherished art that we see exhibited from hundreds of years ago. There are fascinating pieces in addition to those that you will stand and blink at, but the MCA is definitely a museum worth visiting.

One of the nation’s largest facilities devoted to the art of our time, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago offers exhibitions of the most thought-provoking art created since 1945. MCA Chicago documents contemporary visual culture through painting, sculpture, photography, video and film, and performance. Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, the MCA boasts a gift store, bookstore, restaurant, 300-seat theater, and a terraced sculpture garden with a panoramic view of Lake Michigan.

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Free Days: As with a few other museums in the city, the MCA has chosen to offer free admission one day per week rather than a few days here and there throughout the year. The MCA offers free entrance to all IL residents every Tuesday between 10AM-8PM with a valid ID.

Visiting the MCA will have you exposed to artists that you’ve heard of (like Frida Kahlo and Andy Warhol) in addition to lesser known artists that are just as talented. Give yourself the gift of art and plan your schedule so that you can visit during any of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago free days!

Interested in more free activities that you can do around Chicago? Read about those here.

Free White Sox Kids Club And Baseball Game Tickets!

Free White Sox Kids ClubFree White Sox Kids Club

It’s another baseball season and another chance to join the Free White Sox Kids Club in Chicago! This is a fantastic opportunity for kids to get involved with supporting a team while actually getting to attend a free baseball game with the family! That’s right, when your child joins the free White Sox Kids Club, they will be given four free tickets to a game.

There are a few options when it comes to the White Sox Kids Club. The Free White Sox Kids Club option is called the Slugger Membership and it gives your child the following:

  • Official Membership Certificate
  • Official Welcome Postcard
  • Chris Sale Wall Cling
  • White Sox Beach Ball
  • White Sox Eye Black
  • 4 Game Ticket Coupons

Each household is limited to 5 Slugger Memberships, but if you have a family of eight, you can register two children per year for two years and be able to attend two games for free with the entire family!

There is also a paid White Sox Kids Club option called the All-Star Membership. This will cost you $37 with $2 in handling fees, but you do get a lot more. Here is what’s included in this membership:

  • Official Welcome Postcard
  • Chris Sale Wall Cling
  • White Sox Beach Ball
  • White Sox Eye Black
  • White Sox Baseball Braided Necklace
  • White Sox Cap
  • White Sox Lunch Bag
  • White Sox Flashlight
  • Southpaw Keychain
  • 6 Game Ticket Coupons
  • 2 Kids Club Parade Passes
  • A Birthday Card from the White Sox
  • 3 Editions of Pinwheels, the official Kids Club newsletter
  • 1 Brookfield Zoo pass
  • Invitation to private All-Star member events

If the All-Star pass benefits sound good to you, you’re actually getting an incredible deal. Tickets to see the White Sox run about $17.50 each for the cheapest seats. By investing in the All-Star Membership, you’ll essentially be paying for just over two tickets to the game and getting everything else for free!

The membership of your choice will be mailed to your home approximately 4 weeks after you apply. There are select games at which you can use your free membership tickets, so be sure to look at the calendar and book a date sooner rather than later. Available dates currently include:

9, 26, 27, 28

9, 10, 11, 17, 18, 30

1, 2, 4, 21, 22, 23

4, 5, 18, 19, 20, 26, 27, 28

8, 9, 10, 12, 25, 26

Whether you choose the free White Sox Kids Club or the All-Star Membership – either way your child will be thrilled. Give them the benefit of baseball!

Interested in more? Read about what’s Free In Chicago and other Chicago Kids Activities!

Free Comic Book Day 2014 – Saturday May 3rd!

Free Comic Book Day 2014Free Comic Book Day 2014 is upon us, so it’s time to mark your calendars, Chicago! This year, Free Comic Book Day is Saturday May 3rd.

If you aren’t familiar with it, Free Comic Book Day is a day where you can visit participating comic stores and receive a completely free comic book! Some stores also provide additional events or sales, so you will want to be sure to check the free Comic Book Day 2014 store locator to make sure you know what to expect and what time you might want to plan to arrive.

In the Chicagoland area there are a bunch of stores participating, so you should have no problem finding one that’s accessible to you. A few of the stores I’ve looked through on both the North and South sides have creator appearances, sales, food and/or entertainment in addition to the free comic book giveaway. Mark your calendars and make a day of it!

One thing to consider when planning for free Comic Book Day 2014 – think about bringing your child, nice, nephew, grandchild or a young friend with you to this event. Comic books are a great way to get children reading – particularly those who either struggle or really have no desire to engage in a book. Many kids have never been to a comic books store or seen an actual comic book. Exposing them to this kind of an event might just open up their world to lots of new possibilities. And speaking as a parent myself, there is nothing better than when my kids are climbing all over each other to tell me about something great that they experienced. This is an easy way to give them something fun to do while giving them the gift of reading on the sly. And even better, since Free Comic Book Day is now a yearly event, you can make it an annual tradition for your family!

Interested in more free activities that you can do around Chicago? Read about those here.

The Art Institute Of Chicago Free Days 2014

Art Institute Of Chicago Free DaysArt Institute Of Chicago Free Days

One of the most peaceful museums in this great city is The Art Institute of Chicago. Voted the #1 Museum in the United States through Trip Advisor, The Art Institute is a treasure trove of culture that you won’t experience anywhere else. They lend their collections out to museums all over the world, so you never quite know what you will see, but what you do see will leave you in awe of it’s magnificence. There are no Art Institute Of Chicago free days, but in my opinion their option for us is even better.

Art Institute Of Chicago Free Days: The Art Institute of Chicago is free to Illinois residents every Thursday from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Their regular hours are from 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM and they are open every day of the year other than Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Having free hours each week enables you to be able to really take advantage of the museum. Three hours is enough time to thoroughly explore two or three exhibits and since The Art Institute does have some revolving pieces, you will likely always see something new.

The Art Institute of Chicago is located at 111 South Michigan Ave. in Chicago and has very specific guidelines about what is permitted inside the museum. This is their list of items that are not permitted:

  • Art materials other than pencil (including ink pens)
  • Backpacks and backpack baby carriers
  • Bags, camera bags, or purses larger than 13 x17 inches
  • Shopping bags
  • Flowers or balloons
  • Food or drink
  • Toys
  • Tripods, flash attachments, and video cameras
  • Umbrellas (small umbrellas can be stowed in bags)
  • Wrapped packages (gifts)

Please plan your trip accordingly so that you do not get stuck with any of these items and get turned away. You are invited to check items in the check room for $1 each (other than flowers, balloons, food and beverages), but it will be easier for you if you plan to travel lightly.

Interested in more free activities that you can do around Chicago? Read about those here.

Museum Of Science And Industry Free Days 2014!

Museum of Science and Industry free daysMuseum of Science And Industry Free Days

I was born and raised in Chicago – as most of you know – and I also attended Chicago Public Schools. When I was in high-school, my friends and I would occasionally skip school, hop on the train and then hop on the bus to go to the Museum Of Science And Industry. Yes, we were those kids. Who needs math class when you can go learn on Museum Of Science And Industry free days! I’m not advocating for skipping school, but my husband and I have had long talks about the fact that if our city-raised children are going to ditch (and we know they will), hopefully they’ll opt for city culture over other options.

Whether you’re going on the up & up or not, you can also visit on the Museum of Science and Industry free days! During the 2014 calendar year, these are the days that are currently listed as free:

May 5
June 1-6
September 8-12, 15-19, 22-26, 29
October 6, 7
November 3
December 8

On Illinois Free Days, Museum Entry is free for all Illinois residents who show valid proof of residency. Omnimax films, Coal Mine and optional U-505 onboard tours and certain temporary exhibits are not included in Museum Entry, and require separate admission.

The Museum of Science and Industry is one of those special locations in Chicago that you can visit over and over and always find something new. There are unique exhibits as well as films and other nooks and crannies that you likely haven’t explored. This is the time to do it! Mark your calendar now with the Museum of Science and Industry free days and enjoy some Chicago culture!

Interested in more free activities that you can do around Chicago? Read about those here.

Chicago’s Pizza Coupons – Free Small Thin Crust Pizza!

Chicago's Pizza CouponsChicago’s Pizza Coupons

Chicago people are particular about Chicago pizza and with good reason. In my opinion, we have the best pizza in the country and we have a lot of it! Everyone tries to be the best by tinkering with the crust or the sauce, but there are only some who succeed. One of these local haunts is Chicago’s Pizza.

Chicago’s Pizza Coupons: Chicago’s Pizza is a small restaurant chain consisting of three locations in Lakeview/Lincoln Park, Ravenswood and Old Irving Park. They offer dine-in, delivery and take-out and I’ve always found their food to be consistent as well as a really good meal. As a bonus, they also offer coupons!

Currently the Chicago’s Pizza coupons include free Coca-Cola products for making a purchase (the free item gets larger as the total of your order rises – i.e. 1-liter, 2-liter or 6-pack), free wings with purchase and more. Those are currently valid at all locations, but there are others that seem to be good at each specific Chicago’s Pizza location. The Old Irving Park restaurant is currently offering a free small thin crust pizza when you sign up for their points program! The points program is a loyalty program that will earn you additional points for placing orders online or referring friends. Eventually your points will earn you free food!

If you haven’t tried Chicago’s Pizza yet, I highly recommend it. I’m a huge proponent of stuffed pizza, but I can vouch for their thin crust as well, so you won’t be sorry! Whatever you do, be sure to also take advantage of the Chicago’s Pizza coupons when you order!

Looking for more? Read about more Chicago Deals, Chicago Restaurants and what’s Free In Chicago!