9 Free Things to do in Chicago this September

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  1. Lincoln Park Zoo

A Chicago favorite, Lincoln Park Zoo is home to nearly 200 unique species from all over the world. After long months of staying at home, the animals are ready for some company. While indoor exhibits and buildings are closed, the animals are happy to roam in their outside habitats to greet you. If you’re missing the lions, the giraffes or some apes, head on over to explore the zoo. Before visiting, check their website for the most updated hours. 

  1. Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool

Before leaving Lincoln Park, pay a visit to the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool. This hidden garden is open to the public, providing a cool, refreshing, and relaxing time. The garden is home to gorgeous plants, singing birds and a gentle waterfall. After a long walk at the park or a fun-filled day at the zoo, Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool offers a piece of mind and escape from city life. Grab a friend to soak in the calming nature.  

  1. The 606

September has the perfect weather for runners–not too cold, not too hot. The 606 is a Chicago favorite for all athletes alike. Located on the northwest side of the city, you can explore the 2.7 mile long trail, connecting several popular neighborhoods, including Wicker Park, Bucktown, and Logan Square. Enjoy an end of summer run with special pandemic regulations: mask and social distancing required! 

  1. Cloud Gate

An iconic monument, Cloud Gate, or best known as “The Bean”, is on most people’s Chicago bucket list!. Standing 33 ft. high and 66 ft. long, this unique piece of art is an absolute must for the full Chicago experience. Located in Millenium Park, Cloud Gate is always ready for selfies and group pictures. While visitors won’t be able to get up close and personal with “The Bean” just yet, you can view it and take pictures from Chase Promenade Central.

  1. Jay Pritzker Pavilion

As one of Millennium Park’s main attractions, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion offers a relaxing outdoor experience. The Amphitheater allows you to take in some refreshing downtown air and scenery. While big events and shows have been postponed due to pandemic regulations, they have a large grass area perfect for a fall picnic. Pack a basket and head on over to see autumn trees and scenery. With its overarching steel rod design, the Pavilion offers a memorable day picnic with friends, with a touch of Chicago architecture. 

  1. Garfield Park Conservatory  

Chicago is ready to welcome you back to some of their finest gardens! Garfield Park Conservatory is an astonishing botanical wonder, showcasing over 10 acres of plants and nature. If you’re looking for an escape from the routine city life, this conservatory will do exactly that. This September, a new exhibit named The Flowers of Monet in the Artist’s Garden, invites you to experience an interpretation of Claude Monet’s art. With limited entry, make sure to reserve your spot soon. 

  1. Chicago Riverwalk

Located on the waterfront of the south bank of the Chicago River, our city’s Riverwalk allows you to venture Chicago freely. With September having close to perfect weather, the Riverwalk brings in a nice breeze, all while taking in the true nature of Downtown Chicago. There’s nothing better than roaming through our beloved city on a beautiful day. Just make sure to bring your mask! The feeling of being right next to the river cannot be beat. 

  1. Museum of Contemporary Photography

The Museum of Contemporary Photography is a hidden gem in our city. Located in Columbia College Chicago, this museum proudly displays purposeful work by local photographers. The museum is home to a vast collection of contemporary photography, and widely intends to recognize powerful new talent. Now through September 19th, you can visit their current exhibition Temporal: Puerto Rican Resistance, which explores the island’s contemporary history as a United States territory. Reserve your tickets to learn more. 

  1. Magnificent Mile

Window shopping is always free! Chicago’s Magnificent Mile is a sight to behold. Filled with beautifully designed shops, their aesthetic makes for a picture-perfect moment. You could wander through the shops for hours. Get your feet moving and get your wish list going.  Stores have opened back-up with safety regulations, and while shopping may look different, stores are ready to meet your needs. Sephora, Coach, Macy’s and the Disney Store are just a few shops waiting for your visit.

Written By: Jessica Narvaez

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