10 No-Spend Chicago Holiday Date Ideas

December 1, 2022

I’m not going to lie, this post was a challenge for me. I saw this idea on Pinterest and I had to do a Chicago version. It definitely challenged me, but I think we came up with some REALLY great No-Spend Chicago Holiday Date Ideas! I hope you like it!

No-spend Holiday Date Ideas

1. Lincoln Park Conservatory Winter Flower Show then walk around Lincoln Park for holiday lights. Or if you can grab tickets for the Zoo Lights, even better! It’s free but reservations are required. You can make it an entire no-spend date (unless of course you buy food/parking)

2. Andersonville Holiday Market, trolley, live music, and more. The trolley is free to hop on and off and you can explore the neighborhood and local shops! This is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Chicago, but I love it even more during the holidays! It’s so cute!

3. Zoo lights on free nights and there is still availability!

4. Michigan Avenue tree stroll with Millennium Park sing alongs. Walk around Michigan Avenue, check out some lights and trees, check out the Macy’s windows and stop at the Daley Plaza Christkindlemarket.

Ice skating in Chicago

5. Garfield Park Conservatory Holiday Flower Show– Free tickets but need to registration in advance!

6. Free Beethoven Concerts at Roosevelt University! CCPA’s Conservatory and Orchestra will be joined by CCPA graduate students and alumni singers in an all-Beethoven program. It is free but advance registration is required.

7. Art Institute free day and walk along Michigan Ave. to see trees and lights! Upcoming free museum days for Illinois residents at the Art Institute of Chicago. Weekdays (Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays) are free from Jan. 3 – March 17, 2022, but advance registration still required.

The Art Institute lions are decked out.

Getty Images

8. DuSable Museum is free on Wednesday’s and walk around downtown Hyde park, see the lights and tree.

9. Maggie Daley Park ice skating (if you have you have your own skates, it’s free!) Stop in Fairmont or Knickerbocker Hotel- their lobby’s are decorated SO nicely!

10. Find the CTA holiday Brown or Purple line train, take it through the loop to catch the lights AND Art on the Mart Nutcracker display! Check the schedule and try to plan it ahead of time!

Photo via Chicago Transit

Ok thats it! How did I do? These no-spend ideas are all things that Manny and I would definitely do! I hope these are some things you might like to do this holiday season. If you need more Chicago holiday ideas, check more out here.


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