Dance To EvOLvE Blog

Free Things to do in Chicago This Winter!

Posted by Brittany White on Jan 21, 2016 7:49:29 PM

Happy New Year!

Got a case of the post-holiday empty wallet blues?

    It’s okay, trust us, we understand. But don’t leave all of the fun in December. We’ve got a bunch of ways to bring the family fun into 2016, for free! Frugal fun seekers, rejoice!

    For starters, at the Fine Arts Building, the same place we host our kids dance classes, is a gallery of breathtakingly beautiful murals and paintings. This historic Chicago landmark houses paintings, as well as the offices of the Jazz Institute of Chicago, the Boitsov Classical Ballet School and Company, and the Chicago Youth Symphony. We’re so lucky to share a kids dance space with such wonderful pieces of art, and so many ways to get more involved in the Chicago fine arts community! Set some time aside before or after class Monday through Saturday, to expose the kids to some truly wonderful art, at zero cost.



    Feel like soaking in some history on a Sunday? The DuSable Museum of African American History offers free admission to everyone each and every Sunday of the year! With exhibits like Africa Speaks, a collection of over 2,000 ancient artifacts and contemporary pieces showcasing the cultural richness of the continent, it’s an awesome way to expose young ones to some of the different cultures of the world, while keeping the credit cards in your wallet!

    Swim on over to Old Town Aquariums for a bit, to see beautiful exotic fish in artfully crafted installations. It’s a whale of a time, with none of the hassle of getting tickets to a real aquarium. Even better, if you do see one you like, you can bring it home with you, 'no squidding'. Take this oppor-tuna-ty to 'ooh' and 'ahh' at some pretty fish with your shrimps for an hour or two. Or, if your busy schedule aligns with one of the Community Discount Days, flip your fins over to the John G. Shedd Aquarium for free family admission with an Illinois ID! Winter free admission days coming up are January 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 22-26, and February 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29. After a full day at the aquarium, you and the kids can dive into a bowl of popcorn and watch Finding Nemo! This is bass-ically the best way to wind down after a long day.


(Alright, we agree, it’s time to stop floundering around with all these fish puns, we promise to stop being so koi.)

    For the littler tinkerer in your family, lots of hands on museums offer free family days to enjoy. The Chicago Children’s Museum offers free admission every Thursday night, from 5:00- 8:00 PM. Some of the current exhibits include Snow Much Fun, Tinkering Lab, Skyline, Dinosaur Expedition, and WaterWays. Second Saturdays, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, feature family-friendly activities from 11:00AM- 3:00PM. With arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, and look and learn activities aplenty, there’s tons here to keep your little one occupied all afternoon. The Chicago Architecture Foundation features open studio days, where Lego Inspiration Stations let kids imaginations run free in the structural realm. Check their site to find out more information on when these Open Studios are taking place.


    Cat and Mouse Games in West Loop offers free craft activities for kids every Sunday from 10:00AM-12:00PM. Families can drop in and try out a new game or two from the game library on the first Friday of every month, for Free Family Game Night!

     For a sweet treat, go for a few samples at Cone Gourmet, our newest Dance to EvOLvE location. This ice cream parlor offers something for the whole family, with ice creams infused with Jameson, Guinness, and Baileys, or cheeky flavor choices like Netflix and Chill for the adults, and classics like cake batter, mint chip, and peanut butter chocolate for the kiddos. 

     Did the kids just get out of dance class, but are completely wired from that ice cream? Bring them to one of several free indoor play areas in the city, to let them run off the extra energy. There’s one in the Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens, one in Gurnee Mills Mall, and one in Northbrook Court. All of them feature sitting areas, so you can catch up on some reading while your little ones run amok for half an hour.

Hope these ideas help get your family out of the house during the blustery winter! Most of these free Chicago activities are inside, so no need to worry about catching cold. And the best free activity for your kids this winter? Taking a risk free trial dance class at one of our new Chicago locations in North Center, at the Dance Center Chicago, in The Loop, at the American Rhythm Center, or in the West Loop, at Cone Gourmet Ice Cream Parlor and Dance Studio. Call or email us now, to set a date for your trial dance class now! We can’t wait to see you there!

Happy New Year, from Dance to EvOLvE!

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Tags: free family friendly activities in Chicago