Free Things to Do in Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL

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North Avenue Beach - Beach | Outdoor Activity in Chicago.

Party Earth Review One of the most popular of Chicago’s 33 lakefront beaches, North Avenue Beach gets packed as soon as it opens on Memorial Day, as a wave of image-conscious 20-somethings peel off their heavy fleeces to reveal the results of their winter workouts. Besides surf and sun, the beach’s main draws are the nearly ... more


1600 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60614

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Lincoln Park - Beach | Culture | Outdoor Activity | Park in Chicago.

Party Earth Review Unlike its often status-conscious namesake neighborhood, Lincoln Park itself is a serene escape from the bustling city, providing access to a host of sandy beaches, cultural events, outdoor theater, water activities, and wide open spaces. Spanning nearly six miles, the park runs through the neighborhoods of Lincoln Park ... more


2045 Lincoln Park West
(address of Lincoln Park Cultural Center)
Chicago, IL 60610

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Map of Lincoln Park Free Things to Do

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Free Things to Do in Lincoln Park Overview

Café Ba-Ba-Reeba - Spanish Restaurant | Tapas Bar in Lincoln Park, Chicago

Lincoln Park’s restaurants and boutiques may cost a pretty penny, but the neighborhood might have the largest number of free things to do of any area of the city. It’s right there in the name: Lincoln Park. With over 1,200 acres of lakeside green space, Lincoln Park (the park itself) is a free play-space year-round. Extensive running/biking trails and sunbathing space are plentiful enough to never get congested, and open spaces often see impromptu soccer matches, football games, and Frisbee time. Basketball and tennis courts, as well as an archery range, are also free. Farther from the Lincoln Park neighborhood, the park also has beaches, a dog beach, a skate park, and many volleyball courts—all without fees. In the summer, a few areas of the park are designated for evening movie screenings.

Nestled in the park is the Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the country’s oldest, which is completely free every day of the year. Lions roar and penguins swim about in the shadow of lakefront high rises, and the entire place lights up with elaborate Christmas light displays during the holidays for “Zoo Lights.” The zoo throws other free events, including group dance lessons and movie screenings.

On one side of the zoo, the Lincoln Park Conservatory lets winter-weary Chicagoans escape into the tropical air of its greenhouses. Also neighboring the zoo, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, which allows visitors to walk through a thousand fluttering butterflies in their habitat, has “suggested donation” entry on Thursdays. Clearly, there are so many free things to do in Lincoln Park because the neighborhood is lucky enough to border such great parkland.

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