Things to Do in Chicago in January


Chicago slows down a bit in January. The excitement of the holidays are over and most people are just trying to make it through the next month or so without contracting cabin fever from spending so much time indoors avoiding the cold. But that’s not to say the city shuts down completely. There are still lots of events, both indoors and out, to keep you busy, and as an added bonus for budget travelers, many of them are free.

All month – Free ice-skating in Millennium Park

January 3-7, 10-14, 17-21, 24-28, 31- Free admission at the Museum of Science and Industry

January 6, 13, 20, 27  – Free admission at the Art Institute from 5pm to 8pm and free admission at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum all day

January 7 First Friday at the MCA – Enjoy music, art and wine (cash bar) from 6pm to 10 for $13.

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January 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30 – Free tours of Half Acre Beer Company at 1pm. RSVP required.

January  9, 16, 23, 30 – DuSable Museum of African American History from noon – 5pm

January  9, 16, 23, 30 Free for All. Free improv comedy shows at the Playground. Best of all, shows are BYOB.

January  4, 11, 18, 25 – Free admission at the Museum of Contemporary Art

January 14- Pilsen 2nd Friday Artwalk. One of my favorite monthly events, the Artwalk is held at galleries in Pilsen, around 18th and Halsted. Free wine and cheese and great art make this is an excellent (and low-cost) night out. 6pm-10pm

January 20 – Adler After Dark – Enjoy cocktails and appetizers while the Adler stays open late, from 6pm – 10pm.

January 22 –Polar Adventure Days featuring live animals, winter activities, ice sculpture carvings, and music from the Old Town School of Folk Music

Photo by Stuck in Customs