Whether you’re looking for free events in Chicago or just
want to experience the rich history and culture of the city, don’t miss a visit
to the Chicago
, a creative epicenter with free art exhibits, concerts,
guided tours and more. Here are 7 must-sees to get you started.
1. Go on a guided
architecture tour of the Chicago Cultural Center.
Experience the magnificent architectural features of this
historic building during one of the free Chicago
Cultural Center tours. The 45- to 60-minute tours will take you beneath the
world’s largest Tiffany stained-glass dome, past colorful mosaics and through
rooms featuring intricate detailing such as marble arches, crown molding and
coffered ceilings. Tours are offered Wednesday through Saturday at 1:15pm and
meet in the Randolph Street lobby. Tours are limited to the first 20 people, so
be sure to arrive early.
2. Brighten your
weekday with a classical music concert.
Every Wednesday at 12:15pm, the Preston Bradley Hall inside
the Chicago Cultural Center comes to life with classical music during Dame
Myra Hess Memorial Concerts. These free, 45-minute music concerts feature a
lineup of emerging artists, from violinists to pianists and more.
3. Introduce a young
one to the magic of music.
Intended for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade, the Young People’s Concerts at
Chicago Cultural Center introduce the magic of classical music to young minds,
featuring everything from opera to orchestral symphony productions. These free,
45-minute concerts are presented by the International Music Foundation and take
place in Preston Bradley Hall, beginning at 10:30am and noon.
4. Get your toddler
to dance and play at “Juicebox.”
Plan for some playtime with your little one at Juicebox,
a special cultural event that introduces toddlers to music from around the
world, while encouraging dancing and interacting with performers. These free,
kid-friendly events take place on alternating Fridays from 11-11:45am in
Preston Bradley Hall.
5. Peruse the exhibits
in the Chicago Cultural Center’s free art galleries.
The Chicago Cultural center is home to a number of rotating
art exhibits located in galleries throughout the building. Learn more about upcoming Chicago
Cultural Center exhibits:
- In the Michigan Avenue Galleries, see
how artists Nicole Marroquin and Andres L. Hernandez portray citizen struggles
and resident-led protests at their exhibit titled Historical F(r)ictions (through May
6. Share your story
at the StoryCorps oral history project.
The largest oral history project of its kind, StoryCorps
interviews and records the diverse stories of people from all walks of life in
Chicago. These personal accounts are preserved at the Library of Congress and
shared with listeners of NPR’s Morning
Edition. Make an appointment to share your own story at the Chicago
7. Explore the underground
Deep beneath the city is an extensive pedestrian walkway
system, which connects more than 50 buildings across 40 Chicago city blocks.
Explore the Pedway
from the access point in the Chicago Cultural Center’s Randolph Street lobby.
Looking for even more fun things to do? See the
Cultural Center events calendar to find what will be going on during your
next visit. And check out even more free
things to do in Chicago.