Four fun (and cheap!) things to do in Chicago over winter break

crosswalk at Chicago Water Tower

Chicago offers a variety of free, fun activities to do during your semester break.


As the holidays approach, so does the promise of glorious and well-deserved free time. Endless stretches of binge watching Netflix, sleeping until noon, eating mass amounts of Thanksgiving leftovers, and partying into the wee hours all lay ahead.

While I am overly excited to partake in all of these aforementioned activities, I do know that after a couple weeks it starts to get a bit old. While having absolutely nothing to do can be a fantastic feeling, especially for such hard-working students as ourselves, I have definitely found myself Google searching “fun things to do in Chicago” a few times.

Despite the fact that I have lived here my entire life, I sometimes forget or don’t realize just how much is going on in Chicago at any given moment. Many would agree but can attest that these activities cost money, something that us college students lack.

That is why I have put together a list of both cheap and free things to do around Chicago as well as why you should do them, in case any of you need some convincing. All of the things I list I have experienced myself and would highly recommend.


Museum Tuesdays

Chicago is filled with fantastic, world-class museums that many of us are missing out on. Up until about a year ago I had not been to a Chicago museum since a fifth-grade field trip. So, naturally, when my friend suggested we go to the Art Institute I laughed and made fun of her for wanting to go. We ended up going and afterwards I wanted to go to each and every Chicago museum. Going as a young adult is a completely different experience, and if you don’t believe me, go find out for yourself.


Movie at Webster Place

I think we can all agree movie tickets have shot up to ridiculous prices and waiting for it to come to a computer near you is much more affordable. However, I recently found out about $6 ticket Thursdays at Regal Webster Place 11 in Lincoln Park. Typically tickets this cheap are only good for matinees or older theaters, but for those of you who have never been to this theater will be pleasantly surprised. The movie theater is in a fantastic neighborhood equipped with up-to-date equipment and even reclining seats, not to mention this price is good for any feature at any time during that day.



If you’re interested in seeing free performances by talented up-and-coming artists Young Chicago Authors is a great place to go. The building is located in Wicker Park and offers a wide variety of presentations ranging from readings and poetry to musical performances. Note that during these open mic sessions anyone can perform (as long as you notify YCA beforehand), for those of you who wish to be on stage rather than in the audience.


Comedy Club

At MCL Comedy Theater in Lakeview, you can see side-splitting stand-up comedy and sketches for only $3 Wednesday nights. It lasts about two hours and has been frequented by some Chicago celebrities.


Lucy TeurelLucy Teruel is a sophomore majoring in communications and minoring in political science. Born and raised on the North Side of Chicago, Lucy loves music, French, shopping, going to the gym and traveling. She’s also an avid sports fan with a particular penchant for the Chicago Cubs. She hopes to one day become a sportscaster, so don’t be surprised if you catch her on the nightly news a few years from now.


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