The Broke Student’s Guide to Chicago

by Kai Newell, correspondent

Money is often limited for college students. Living in downtown Chicago presents unique challenges when it comes to finding new and interesting ways to spend free time. However, the city has plenty to offer in terms of free entertainment. Here are a few of them:

Shakespeare in the Park

If students are interested in Shakespeare, they may wish to check out some of the performances in the park. Tirzah Walker, senior Jewish Studies major, is a big proponent of this event. It runs all summer,” she said. “This year was ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ They do try to stay with familiar plays so that people actually go to them.” Concerning the location of the events, she said, “Every day is a different park.”

Lincoln Park Zoo

The Lincoln Park Zoo was founded in 1868 and is the oldest free public zoo in the nation. The zoo has 80 species of mammals; 70 species of reptiles, amphibians, and fish; and 75 species of birds. The zoo has plenty to offer for both young and old.


If students are interested in a trip to the past, they should consider checking out one of Chicago’s many museums. Most museums have free admission for several days throughout the year. The Chicago Art Institute is free every Thursday from 5:00 to 9:00 pm. The Field Museum is free September 10, 11, 23, 24, among other times. The Museum of Science and Industry has free days throughout the year for Illinois residents with a valid ID, which include September 5-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-29 and October 2-5. The Chicago History Museum is free every Tuesday from 12:30 to 7:30 pm. Click here for more details on how to visit a museum for free.

Chicago Summer Dance

Are you cursed with two left feet? Chicago Summer Dance offers free lessons at Grant Park Mondays through Wednesdays between 6:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. as well as Sundays from 4:00 to 7:00. Stop by to get lessons on the Waltz, Cha-Cha, or Swing from professional instructors. There will also be live music for all to enjoy. Chicago Summer Dance continues through September 10th.

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