Chicagoland Spring Travel on a Budget
If you've traveled for study-abroad programs, or if you have a large family, or perhaps you're taking time off to travel after your college graduation, you may relate to having a desire to explore that isn't always supported by your bank balance. But travel needn't be expensive; it's all about the experience.
Which is why, with spring here and summer days on the horizon, we have some great options for low-cost entertainment with a high-value return right here near Loews Chicago O'Hare.
Rosemont (aka "The Mini-Mile"), a Chicagoland suburb near O'Hare Intentional Airport, has flourished as a destination in itself with dozens of dining options, walkable paths within acres of public forest preserves, kid-friendly activities, and so much more. Parkway Bank Park, the ever-growing entertainment district in the area offers up year-round activities and free programming to help the whole family stay fit and get a little vitamin D, too. In case you were worried how to get from the hotel to the park — don't. Rosemont's "Entertainment Circulator" will scoop you up for a complimentary ride to a handful of the local restaurants and attractions. The bus runs Monday to Thursday, circulating every 7–10 minutes, until 12:00 AM. On Friday and Saturday, it runs until 3:00 AM, and on Sunday, until 9:30 PM. Click here to learn more.
Parkway Bank Park Website
Everyone likes free.
Free Fit Fun
Every year the park offers up dozens of free fitness classes in its sprawling 200,000 square-foot entertainment complex. From Zumba to yoga, there is a class for every body type. All ages are welcome, so bring the kiddos and stretch out those travel kinks so you can enjoy more of what Rosemont has to offer while in town.
Rockin’ in the Park
Now you're fit, it's time to rock out! Parkway Bank Park hosts concerts for all ages with their weekly Rockin’ in the Park series of free concerts, (previously held on Thursday evenings through August 30 — 2019 schedule pending). The series features music by classic cover bands, food and beverage tents on the park’s great lawn and a musical fireworks display after every show. Grab a blanket, slip on your coolest shades and join your fellow concertgoers on the green at Parkway Bank Park for a free toe-tapping experience.
Chicagoland Forest Preserves
If finding your center on a yoga mat isn’t your thing, but walking and enjoying nature is, Rosemont has that, too. Catherine Chevalier Forest Preserve, just across the street from Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel, is a great way to experience Mother Nature in an otherwise urban setting. With over 300 miles of trails and paths to explore, the local forest preserves provide a place where you can stay active, enjoy the local area maybe even have a picnic, all free to the public. Click here for more information on the preserves and paths. For a more immersive experience, check out this interactive live map of all the walking trails the Chicago area has to offer.
Spring Fling in Chicagoland
Photo Credit: @alexandrecqr
After you've had some time to explore the local area, you may want to head downtown to explore what else the windy city has to offer, and you can do so for practically pennies. The CTA Blue Line Rosemont Train Station is a short 10-minute walk away, down River Road, and the spring is the perfect time to enjoy the fresh air and nice weather. Of course, if you're not feeling like a stroll, the Entertainment Circulator will take you to the station for free. The Blue Line that will take you directly into the heart of the city for cheaper than a coffee at just $2.25, and that includes one free transfer within 90 minutes of the first use.
The city is your oyster. Once you get downtown, here are some free or inexpensive options for everyone:
- Wander your way through archaeological history, peer through the lenses of our universe or take a step back in time and dance under the dinos at Chicago's annual Free* Museum Days! For a full rundown of these locations and promotions, visit the Choose Chicago site.
- Get cultured at the Chicago Cultural Center with these 7 free things to do. Click here for more information.
- These hidden gems around the area offer up a more unique perspective of Chicago with several distinctly different neighborhoods worth visiting. Learn more.
- Get interactive ... with some art in the Loop. This free-to-the-public installation is on display through May 12, 2019.