What You Could Get in Chicago for $10 – Anything Less than 10 Dollars in the Windy City

Back when I was a kid, I think long before I knew about New York or any other cities in America, there was one city in the USA that I was most familiar with: Chicago. Yes, the city that we’re going to cover on this week’s $10 series!

Apart from the hype of Space Jam and the popularity of Michael Jordan in his prime, the city was also mentioned in one of my favorite Indonesian comedies. To be fair, if the city wasn’t the first city in America that I got to know by name, I don’t know what possibly would be.

Fast forward to today, one of my best friends actually resides there ever since he decided to leave Indonesia around 10 years ago. And now, thanks to Valentina on Valentina’s Destinations, we’re going to see how far $10 USD is in the most populous city in the state of Illinois.

What You Could Get in Chicago for $10 - The BeauTraveler

10 Things to Do in Chicago for Under $10

Chicago is a world-class city with incredible options for dining, entertainment, and tourists. A trip to Chicago can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be!

Here’s a list of 10 things you can do in Chicago for under $10 USD each. Opt some that fit the best of your traveling style, and go! 😀

Rent a Divvy Bike

You can find Divvy bikes all over the city of Chicago. That’s because they are available in over 500 locations!

You can rent one for as little as $6 USD per hour. Not only are Divvy bikes cheap, but they’re also great ways to explore the city. The best place to ride Divvy bikes is either along the lakeshore or in Lincoln Park.

Riding a Divvy bike in Chicago.

Visit a Street Festival

During the summertime like this time, there’s a new street festival in Chicago every weekend. From art to wine, crafts and even food, there’s a lot of fun festival opportunities in the windy city.

Most festivals are during the summer, but you can always count on one festival all year round… The Maxwell Street Market, and this one is FREE!

The Maxwell Street Market is the best place in Chicago to get authentic, home-made Mexican food in Chicago.

Splash Around in Crown Fountain

Crown Fountain is a permanent installation at Millenium Park in Chicago’s downtown Loop neighborhood.

This fountain’s reflecting pool is designed to be interactive. Slip off your shoes, splash in Crown Fountain as you enjoy its LED displays.

Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier.

Visit the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier

It can cost around $20 USD to ride the Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier, but visiting the Crystal Gardens is completely free.

The Crystal Gardens are a beautiful indoor botanical garden space, often used for events like weddings and so many others.

Rent a Lounge Chair at Oak Street Beach

Oak Street Beach is a part of Chicago’s glamorous Gold Coast neighborhood.

Bring $10 USD in cash to this beach, and you’ll be able to lounge in style. Stop feeling like a tourist, and enjoy the frigid cold lake Michigan shores like the locals!

Oak street beach.

Get an Italian Beef at Portillos

Portillos is a fast food chain famous for its Chicago roots and authentic flavors.

The thing that is super recommended to order here is the Italian Beef. You can’t get a deep dish pizza for under $10 USD, but you can bite into Chicago flavors at Portillos.

The best Portillos location is at 100 W Ontario.

Tour Lincoln Park Zoo

The Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the coolest places you can visit in Chicago for free. The zoo was first established in the late 19th Century, so it’s one of the oldest zoos in America!

If zoos aren’t your thing, you can still enjoy the beautiful Lincoln Park Conservatory – an enormous indoor garden that showcases tropical and exotic plants. Also, get great Chicago skyline views from the bridge over south pond in Lincoln Park!

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Another fun feature in Lincoln Park, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is fun for the whole family for only $9 USD. It is most well-known for its butterfly house.

Comedy Show at Second City

Second City is a famous comedy club in Chicago. Many important actors today got their career started at Second City. Those include the star of Parks and Recreation slash new mom, Amy Poehler!

While the main stage performances can cost closer to $50 USD, there are cheaper shows offered at Second City. You can even get free tickets. The Comedy Studies showcases are usually free, and these include Second City’s student actors.

Imagine, seeing a comedy star of tomorrow for free today!

John Hancock Building.

Use the Chicago Greeter Service

Prearrange this service at least 10 business days before your trip, and get a free Chicago guide!

You must prove to be a Chicago visitor by showing your bookings and accommodations, and this is definitely a great way to learn more about Chicago as well as make a new friend. 😀


Contributor: Valentina from Valentina’s Destinations.

Valentina’s Destinations was born from Valentina’s obsession with meticulously researching, organizing and planning her itineraries. She is originally from Nis, Serbia. Her family moved to the US when she was young, and she has been living in Chicago for the last decade. Her passion is traveling the world with her boyfriend, Remigijus. When they’re not traveling, she works as a physician assistant in the psychiatry field. The mental health field is as rewarding as traveling can be. 

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