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  1. #1
    Deal GURU
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    Default Free Things to do in the Chicago area with kids?

    We live right outside of Chicago. I am looking for FREE, or very, very
    inexpensive things to do with my family. We have an almost 3 year old
    boy and a 5 yo girl.

    Here's what we've done/found so far: library, Trailside Museum, free
    days at Chicago museums, parks and playgrounds, forest preserves for
    bike walks and hikes, bike rides, and of course the sprinkler. I also
    check http://www.chicagoparent.com for their calendar. We also bought pool
    passes, since I really want my kids to learn to swim.

    Any other great ideas, hidden treasures I don't know about?


    Thanks in advance!

    Amy
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  2. #2
    Deal GURU
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    Default

    http://tinyurl.com/lfnfk <---a FREE film festival, held on Tuesday
    nights outdoors.

    http://www.tasteofchicago.us/ A free food festival, held June 30th,
    to July 9th.

    http://tinyurl.com/pkfw2 <---a list of parades held through out the
    year.

    http://tinyurl.com/ooa3y <---- a list of festivals

    http://tinyurl.com/kfe67 <---Maxwell Street Market, an open air
    market, find fresh produce, cooked foods, clothing, antiques, and
    more. Open Sunday's from 9-3.

    http://www.lpzoo.com/index2.html <---Lincoln Park Zoo, which is one
    of the last ones in the nation that is FREE to get into. Please
    note, they charge a LOT for parking. You might want to look into
    going by bus.

    http://www.sheddaquarium.org/ticketprices.html <---an aquarium in
    Chicago, pricey, but you can also get passes that let you see 5
    different attractions in Chicago for 1 price, including the AMAZING
    Musuem of Science & Industry. I've been there twice, both times with
    school trips (once for me, once as a chaperone for my little
    sister), and loved it both times. They have a working coal mine! The
    link goes directly to pricing. You can choose many different types
    of tickets.

    Don't forget to look for just regular parks! Down time to play is
    great for kids, and resembles thier regular routine more so than
    sight seeing all day. Find a grocery store, buy a loaf of bread, and
    some pb&j, juice boxes, etc, and make a picnic lunch. Left over
    bread can be used to feed ducks, or to save for snack sandwiches
    later in the trip.
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  3. #3
    Deal GURU
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    Check with Schaumburg Airport, is a private airport. They had this program available to kids under 18. Free fligth for 30 minutes. They are trying to promote the program to the kids. I'm not exactly sure of the name of the airport, but the restaurant is Pilot Petes. Also on father's day your child can fly free.

    Pirets cove in Elk Grove Village. It is for childern 10 and under.

    Santas Village is an amusment park (about $20.) It is also for younger children.

    Randall Oaks Farm in Dundee. It is a petting zoo with picknick area and a playground area.

    Visiting a fire department. You need to call and make an appointment.

    Lincoln Park zoo is free. It's near downtown Chicago.

    The fountain, in Chicago downtown. It is nice after the sunset, with different colors of water.

    Botanical Garden. I think it is in Northbrook
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  4. #4
    Deal GURU
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    Thanks so much for the tips. I love the airport idea - my daughter wants to fly
    on a plane (she hasn't been in one since she was 9 mos. old).

    I think Santa's Village is closed right now . . . they were in serious debt
    and didn't open as schedule on Mother's Day.

    Botanic Garden - my in-laws are members, so it's free parking for us! Great
    suggestion.

    Visiting a fire department - also a great idea. My little guy is obsessed with
    anything related to fire trucks, construction equipment, etc.


    Thanks again,

    Amy
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
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