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5 Low Cost Activities To Do During a Chicago Winter

blackhawk park indoor pool

image via (Chicago Park District)

Some people love the Winter and everything that it brings; snow, cooler temps and even grey skies. Mostly I think people like the beautiful white snow and not so much the rest.

Then there are others, who can’t wait for it to be long gone. If you’re one of these peeps but still are always on the lookout for things to do in Chicago – even though the temp is not ideal. The list below is for you. And each one is low cost as well, to keep you on budget.

1. Netflix Binge Watching –

This “activity” has been everywhere lately and it’s because people love it. They pick a show they like and haven’t been able to see either in its entirety or maybe they’ve missed a few episodes. Whatever the case, they Netflix binge watch. This means they will watch an entire season of a TV show in one sitting. From Scandal to Orange is the New Black – binge watching has become extremely popular. Netflix.Binge.Watching can be done from the comfort of your home, a friends home and yes! it’s low cost. Perfect budget friendly Chicago wintry activity. AAA+

2. Indoor Arcade/Water Park/Roller Skating –

In the state of Illinois, there are several good indoor water parks, retro arcades and unique roller rinks. From Key Lime Cove Water Park in Gurnee to Emporium Arcade on Milwaukee Avenue to the soon-to-be-opened Logan Arcade in Logan Square; you have your pick of awesome indoor fun. To keep these activities on budget – use a coupon, go on discount days or assemble a group outing. AA+

3. Free Admission Museum Days –

Almost every museum in most states have a free day, in Chicago – there are many that have a FREE day. Whether it’s Tuesday or Thursday – seek out the free day at your favorite museum; from the Shedd Aquarium to the Art Institute and enjoy a day filled with art, wonder, beauty and fun. AA+

4. Walk in the Park –

A walk in the park (almost any Chicago park) is free, you can’t get lower in cost than that. Just be sure to layer up, pick your favorite park and go alone or invite a friend or two and enjoy a nice Winter Wonderland walk. AA+

5. Swimming –

If you’re a member of a gym or a YMCA, and it has an indoor pool. Then swimming is a low cost activity that you and or your family can do that reaps many benefits. You get a nice workout, its fun, its included in your gym or YMCA membership and if you’re not a member, you can usually come as a guest and do a few laps. Guest passes (if you go with a friend who is a member) are usually free, if not – they could be as low as $10. The guest pass cost will vary by gym – but swimming is a great low cost Winter activity, so it’s worth looking into. AAA+ Side note: The Chicago Park District boasts an impressive 28 indoor pools throughout the city.

Enjoy! Hope you found an activity or two to try this Winter. If so, share your story with us – on Facebook. Where? How much? And anything else you want to share.

About the author /


Musings from Chicago is a blog dedicated to all things about the Windy City - from fashion and travel to tech and dining. We try to cover a little bit of what interest us and hopefully interests you as well. :) We love to interact, so please follow on Twitter and or fan us on Facebook.

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