5 Free Things to Do With Family in Chicago

Among the largest cities in the US, Chicago is a fantastic destination with ample choice for things to see and do. You can experience some of the best aspects of the city for free, so traveling with the family doesn’t have to break the bank.

Looking for a few ways to entertain everyone? Discover our top 5 recommendations for free things to do with the family in Chicago:

1. Take in incredible city views.

Pack up the family and head to a lesser-known city gem: Promontory Point. Take a walk through the park to marvel at beautiful cityscapes, including one of the most incredible views of downtown there is! Don’t forget the camera, and maybe even a picnic.

2. Meander through Lincoln Park Zoo.

One of the oldest zoos in the US, Lincoln Park Zoo offers nearly 40 acres of wildlife, exhibits, events, and more – all for free! Discover plenty of fascinating animals and how they’re cared for, including mammals like monkeys, lions, zebras and more, as well as plenty of birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

3. Ride a bike along the Lakefront.

A popular place for a walk, jog, or bike ride for locals and visitors alike, Chicago’s Lakefront Trail is a fantastic way to see the city and its many incredible views. Boasting a beautiful 18-mile stretch, run, walk, bike or rollerblade with the blue waters of Lake Michigan to one side and gorgeous, green parks to the other. Along the way, enjoy beaches and gardens, volleyball nets, soccer fields, tennis courts, and so much more.

4. Admire the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Boasting 26 spectacular gardens, the Chicago Botanic Garden is a 385-acre living plant museum. There is so much to see, from greenhouses, to meadows, to McDonald Woods, the Model Railroad Garden, Sensory Garden, Aquatic Garden, and more. 

5. Enjoy some quiet time at the Library.

A visit to the Harold Washington Library Center is the perfect way to spend an afternoon with the kids. Let them discover books and reading nooks, while you marvel at the grand lobby, marble floors, and elaborate architectural details. Don’t miss the Winter Garden, with a 53-foot glass-paneled dome, as well as the center’s public art collection.

Pair with budget-friendly accommodations.

If you find yourself in Chicago for a few days or more, consider choosing a budget-friendly extended stay property for your stay. With InTown Suites, you’ll get great rates in addition to the comforts of home, like kitchens, laundry services, WiFi, and much more.

Discover our Chicago extended stay housing options.

A Weekend in Salt Lake City

Traveling on business to Salt Lake City? Hopefully you’ll have the weekend to explore and get to know this beautiful city. To help you on your way, we’ve picked out some of the highlights you shouldn’t miss. These suggestions will give you a true taste of what the city has to offer.

Popular attractions & things to do:

Hogle Zoo.

Boasting over 42-acres, the Hogle Zoo houses many animals from diverse ecosystems. Offering plenty of programs and exhibits for all ages, the zoo also has daily attractions, up-close animal encounters (like rhino or bird feedings), ample dining, and shopping. Don’t miss sea lion or seal training, a wildlife theater bird show, lion training demonstrations, and so much more!

Red Butte Garden and Arboretum.

Featuring an unforgettable botanical garden, an arboretum, and an amphitheatre, the Red Butte Garden and Arboretum offers over 100 acres ripe for exploration. Enjoy hiking trails, the Garden, 450,000 springtime blooming bulbs, educational programs, and much more.

Discovery Gateway.

An exciting, hands-on museum, the Discovery Gateway lets you explore, imagine, create, and discover in an environment perfect for children and adults alike. Don’t miss the many exciting exhibits, including The Garden (where a 30-foot beehive will greet you), the Story Factory & Sensory Room, the Block Party, and more.

Trolley Square.

If you’re looking to do a little shopping, start with Trolley Square, a partially enclosed shopping center offering high-end, trendy shops and services. Here you’ll find plenty of prominent retailers, including Weller Book Works, Pottery Barn, and Cabin Fever. Don’t miss an up-close view of the Trolley Square water tower, or a walk across the sky bridge.

Where to eat:

Blue Poblano.

Known for their “Mexican and Native American influenced street cuisine,” Blue Poblano deserves a visit. Enjoy margaritas, tacos, brisket, ramen, and so much more, including a delectable brunch menu!

Caputo’s Market & Deli.

With multiple locations across Salt Lake City, you’ll love the selection at Caputo’s Market & Deli for all things decadent, including meats, cheeses, chocolate, fine olive oils, and so much more. Take advantage of daily specials at mealtime, and then pick up a few groceries for later.


Stop in for a bite at Mazza and enjoy unforgettable Middle Eastern cuisine, including falafel, shawarma, kebabs, dips, salads, and much more. Come with friends, family, or business partners to enjoy specialty sharing platters, and be sure to ask about their large selection of Middle Eastern beer and wine!

Eva’s Bakery.

For all things fresh, delicious, and of course, buttery, check out Eva’s Bakery. Home to some of the most incredible artisan breads, pastries, croissants, pies, espresso, and more, you’ll satisfy any craving here. Don’t miss out on the tasty sandwiches, too!

Need a place to stay when you’re in Salt Lake City? Take advantage of our extended stay property which is within walking distance to TRAX, Salt Lake City’s light rail transportation system. We’re also only a mile away from Utah State University and are close to many of the area’s local attractions, retail stores, and restaurants.

Discover more things to do in Salt Lake City on the Guide tab!

And if you’re traveling on business, here are 4 reasons extended stay accommodations are ideal for business travel.