By Raelee Kelley
With the upcoming summer of 2017, there are a plethora of activities available to ensure that this summer will be an unforgettable blast. Whether strolling through one of the country’s only free zoos, Lincoln Park Zoo, and encountering over 250 species of animals, or learning about the exciting Chicago past when encountering architectural gems on one of Chicago Architectural Foundation’s over 65 walking tours through various zip codes, there will be no such thing as “boredom.”
Since 2004, after Frank Gehry’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion, was completed, it has been a favorite (and free) venue for Chicago residents and tourists alike to adore. The Pavilion is “kicking off” Summer with the free Gospel Fest taking place from June 2 to 3, and there are many more concerts and events mentioned on the City of Chicago webpage.
Starting May 27, Navy Pier will host their twice weekly fireworks shows on Wednesday nights at 9:30 p.m. and Saturday nights at 10:15 p.m., ending the firework display season Sept. 2.
For those who wish to spend their summer connecting with nature, not only can you stroll through Chicago’s lush parks, but you can kayak or canoe on the river or Lake Michigan. A few kayak rental locations offer student discounts, so always remember to carry your Harold Washington College student ID and ask about courtesies extended to students.
The Art Institute, which is located quite conveniently in relation to HWC, has been rated as a top museum in the world for many years now, and over 1.5 million people travel to The Art Institute annually. With more than 415,000 square feet of exhibit space and over 35,000 artifacts, it is impossible to leave The Museum of Science and Industry without learning something new.
Additionally, Hamilton is playing here in Chicago through Sept. 12, which means that $10 tickets are still available daily. For your chance to see this award-winning play for $10, visit the Broadway in Chicago webpage. Just be sure to have a form of identification on hand once you arrive at the theater.
Also located conveniently close to campus is the Chicago Cultural Center, the nation’s first and most comprehensive free municipal cultural center. The Cultural Center is home to the world’s largest Tiffany glass dome, and importantly, it is always free to walk in and look around.
The following are museum free days and student discounts with a valid ID:
Art Institute Chicago, Free admission Thursdays, 5 to 8 p.m. with Illinois ID
DuSable Museum of African American History, Student admission, $5 with student ID; free every Tuesday
Museum of Contemporary Art, Free admission Tuesdays with Illinois ID
Peggy Notebart Nature Museum: Free admission Thursdays with Illinois ID
Adler Planetarium: Free admission days: June 5 to 9 with Illinois ID
Shedd Aquarium: Free admission days: June 5, 6, 12, 13; Aug. 28, 29
The Oriental Institute Museum: Free admission daily
National Museum of Mexican Art: Free admission daily
The Museum of Science and Industry: June 5 to 9, 12 with Illinois ID
Chicago History Museum: Free July 4 historical event with all access to museum exhibits