14 Free, Senior-Friendly Things to Do this Summer in Chicago
by Ashley Keenan
When you're caring for a senior there is no better way to help them stay active than to go outside and interact with and enjoy community. Thankfully, Chicago is known for its eventful summers. Check out the free events and activities below and plan your next senior-friendly outing.
Free things to do with your Client in June
- Make Music Chicago- Make Music Chicago, presented by Rush Hour Concerts, links Chicago with over 700 cities worldwide for an annual music-making celebration on the Summer Solstice. Enjoy free musical events in Millennium Park’s Wrigley Square.
- Grant Park Music Festival- Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar and Chorus Director Christopher Bell announce a rich array of programming for the Festival’s 2016 Season, taking place June 15–August 20 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park and venues throughout the city. Wednesday June 15 at 6:30PM, Friday June 17 at 6:30PM and Saturday June 18 at 7:30PM, Wednesday June 22 at 6:30PM, Friday June 24 at 6:30PM and Saturday June 25 at 7:30PM at Millennium Park.
- Millennium Park Summer Film Series- Chicagoans and visitors alike are invited to enjoy outdoor movies downtown as the popular Summer Film Series returns to Millennium Park, Tuesdays, June 21 – August 30, at 6:30pm. Guests may take a seat at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion or lounge on the Great Lawn as crowd-pleasing movies are presented on a state-of-the-art, 40-foot LED screen.
Museum Free Days- Most Museums offer free days to Illinois residents if they have an Illinois ID.
- Art Institute of Chicago is free to Illinois Residents every Thursday from 5PM-8PM.
- DuSable Museum of African American History is free every Sunday.
- Elmhurst Art Museum is free on Fridays.
- Museum of Science and industry is free June 1-3 and June 6-8.
- Field Museum is free from October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and November 6, 13
- The Shedd Aquarium is free on October 1, 2 and December 4
- Finally, these museums/zoos are always free:
- The Chicago Cultural Center
- Cantigny Park and First Division Museum in Wheaton (parking is $5)
- Chicago Botanic Gardens, Glencoe (parking $25)
- Clarke House Museum
- DePaul Art Museum
- Elmhurst Historical Museum
- Garfield Park Conservatory
- Lincoln Park Conservatory
- Lincoln Park Zoo
- Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art (Northwestern University campus, Evanston)
- National Museum of Mexican Art
- National Veterans Art Museum
- The Oriental Institute Museum (suggested, but not required donation $10 adults; $5 children)
- Smart Museum of Art.
- Walking tours of Chicago- Free Tours by Foot has a whole bunch of tours that you can take while on foot, this is recommended for elders that are more physically active, or are able to walk with the assistance of a cane or walker.
- Farmer’s Markets- There is a whole host of farmer’s markets in the city of Chicago on everyday of the week.
- Shakespeare in the Park- Chicago’s favorite summer tradition, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks brings Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits, free for all, to audiences in 18 Chicago neighborhood parks throughout the city. Shakespeare’s memorable characters come to life in a unique and surprising mash-up of scenes from his most celebrated plays—from Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth to The Taming of the Shrew and As You Like It.
- The 606 is an elevated trail that includes art installations and landscaping to create an urban oasis and a new way to explore the city. It is open for short walks and picnics all year long.
- Family Night Out at Skinner- Enjoy quality time together at the park playing games and having fun. Tuesday, June 14 from 5:30PM-7:30PM.