Free, Free, Free! Chicago Arts + Events

Free Free Free! Chicago Arts + Events

"Free, Free, Free!" is an e-newsletter and website that provides a monthly curated list of free programs, events and activities happening throughout the city in our libraries, museums, cultural centers and parks. We encourage you to express your culture through the arts and take advantage of the many opportunities the City of Chicago provides you to engage, create and participate!


(events are subject to change)

Year of Chicago Theatre

Year of Chicago TheatreYear of Chicago Theatre

2019, Citywide

The City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres have designated 2019 as the Year of Chicago Theatre.

This citywide, year-long focus on theatre is the first of its kind in the U.S. The initiative will include theatre performances — including improv, dance, opera, puppetry and more — and special events for the public at hundreds of cultural venues, theaters, parks and neighborhood locations throughout the city.


Millennium Park Campus Winter Programming

City of Chicago Christmas Tree LightingCity of Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting

Friday, November 22, 6pm

Millennium Park's Wrigley Square, Michigan Ave. & Randolph St.

The program will feature Grammy® Award-winning artist Jonathan Butler who grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, and recently released his second Christmas album, Christmas Together. Also performing will be Cielito Lindo, a modern Latino Mariachi made up of the 9-member Lucero family. Performing the traditional music of Mexico, these 4th generation musicians are passionate about inspiring families to enjoy music, culture and creativity together. Following, rag doll Eleanor and the elves from Eleanor's Very Merry Christmas Wish - The Musical will show off their wrapping and "rapping." The music performances will be followed by a special appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus.


Millennium Park Art Market with School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College ChicagoMillennium Park Art Market with School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago

November 2224, Friday & Saturday 117pm, Sunday 115pm
Millennium Park, Chase Promenade North, 280 E. Monroe St.

Start your holiday shopping with one-of-a-kind items, including jewelry, fashion, painting, sculpture, prints, drawings and more on sale by student artists.


Wreathing of the LionsWreathing of the Lions

Friday, November 29, 10am
Art Institute of Chicago Michigan Avenue entrance, 111 S. Michigan Ave.

Join us on the Michigan Avenue steps as we reveal our beloved lions in their festive wreathes. Enjoy special performances by Chicago Gay Men's Chorus and complimentary hot chocolate while you welcome the holiday season. Following the ceremony, head inside the museum for art-filled activities in the Ryan Learning Center. Outdoor wreathing is FREE; museum entry requires general admission, though children under 14 are FREE.



Chicago Cultural Center

First Friday LecturesFirst Friday Lectures

Friday, November 1, 12:15pm

Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater, 78 E. Washington St.

Hosted by the Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults. Lectures are offered at 12:15pm on the first Friday of every month except July, in the Claudia Cassidy Theater of the Chicago Cultural Center.


First Friday LecturesTaiwanese Play Readings

Sunday, November 17, 124pm & Monday, November 18, 610pm

Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater, 78 E. Washington St.

IVP brings global voices to Chicago stages through commissions, translations and production. We collaborate with consulates, cultural partners and universities throughout the Chicagoland area and collaborate with national and international theatres to promote global playwrights at the national level. A global city demands global art.



Live Music Now! Young People's Concert - Ballet ChicagoLive Music Now! Young People's Concert - Ballet Chicago

Thursday, November 21, 10:30am & 12pm

Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall, 3rd Floor South, 78 E. Washington St.

In another captivating "Young Artists for Young Audiences" program, Ballet Chicago teams up with the Merit School of Music to bring to the stage exciting world premieres by rising young DanceVision choreographers, performed live by Ballet Chicago Studio Company dancers and members of the Merit School of Music Suzuki-Alegre String Ensemble. Also on the program are excerpts from Ballet Chicago's magnificent "Nutcracker", and the ever popular audience participation "mini lesson "in Ballet.


Chicago Park District

Fountain Decorating Social at WickerFountain Decorating Social at Wicker

Saturday, November 16, 8am–4pm

Wicker (Charles, Joel) Park, 1425 N. Damen Ave.

Wicker Park Advisory Council & Garden Club in partnership with the Chicago Park District will kick off the Holiday Season with community spirit and even some long-standing decorating competition! Join us and help decorate Wicker Park's historic Gurgoyle Fountain. We will begin by cutting up 30 trees to make greens for the urns, collect ornamental grasses and dried flowers from the park's 10,000 sq. feet of garden, then decorate the 12 urns and install lights and garland on the fountain. TOOLS: Bring Gloves, Pruners, Loppers, and Small Hand Saws if you have them. BRING FOOD: Bring some finger food to Share.


MasQUEERade Ball at Columbus RefectoryMasQUEERade Ball at Columbus Refectory

Sunday, November 17, 6–10pm

Columbus Park Refectory, 5701 W. Jackson Blvd.

Queering the Parks Initiative presents: MasQUEERade Ball. The MasQUEERade Ball is a joyful celebration of LGBTQAI+ youth culture. The event will feature dancing, costume contests, DJs, candy, entertainment, and beauty. Youth ages 13-24* are welcome to be seen, heard, and affirmed. *Adult chaperones, volunteers, and queer elders are welcome!


Family Owl Prowls at NPVFamily Owl Prowls at NPV

Friday, November 22, 6–7:30pm

North Park Village Nature Center Park, 5801 N. Pulaski Rd.

Learn about owl, hunters of the night. Our Prowl will begin with an educational slideshow about owls and will end with a walk through the preserve to search for this amazing bird that hunts all winter. Dress warmly! Registration required. 312.744.5472


Family Owl Prowls at NPVPiano Concert at Indian Boundary

Sunday, November 24, 3–4:30pm

Indian Boundary Park, 2500 W. Lunt Ave.

Internationally known performer and teacher, Yulia Lipmanovich advanced piano students perform a free concert for the community.


Chicago Public Library

14th Chicago Latino Music Festival Presents: Chicago Panamerican Ensemble and Eykamp String Quartet with Joanne Chang, Pianist14th Chicago Latino Music Festival Presents: Chicago Panamerican Ensemble and Eykamp String Quartet with Joanne Chang, Pianist

Wednesday, November 6, 6:30–7:45pm

Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St.

This concert features chamber music from Mexico, Argentina and Uruguay (from duets, to quartet to septet) with music by Gutierrez Heras, Moncayo, Ginastera, Piazzolla and Del Aguila. The Chicago Panamerican Ensemble was founded by pianist Beatriz Helguera and cellist Andrew Snow in 2008. The CPE engages some of Chicago's finest musicians in chamber music repertoire that ranges from Baroque to Contemporary with an emphasis in promoting the work of composers of Latin America.


Art, Movies and PerformancesDrawing Class with Vivian Visser

Thursday, November 14, 6–8pm

Sulzer Regional, 4455 N. Lincoln Ave.

Join local art teacher Vivian Visser to learn and improve on your drawing skills. In this class composition, perspective, shading and line quality will be covered. All skill levels are welcome with Vivian providing one-on-one instruction as needed. All supplies included and space is limited, but registration required.


Ben NobleWe See You Comedy Presents: Laughs at the Library

Saturday, November 16, 2–4pm

Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St.

Join us as comedian Ben Noble, one of the funniest rising comedians in the country, brings the "We See You Comedy Show" to the Library. Trust us, this is possibly the most hilarious comedy show in Chicago! Ben who recently participated in the 2019 NBC's Breakout Comedy Festival and toured recently in Canada, will be joined by a diverse group of local comedians performing individual sets in this stand-up comedy showcase event. This is a lineup you do not want to miss!




Clarke House MuseumClarke House Museum

Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 1pm and 2:30pm

1827 S. Indiana Ave.

Built in 1836 for Henry B. Clarke, the Clarke House Museum is Chicago's oldest house. The house shows what life was like for a family in Chicago during the city's formative years before the Civil War. Its fascinating history began at a time when Chicago received its city charter and much of the area was still undeveloped prairie.

Over the years, the house survived fires, belonged to a church, and was moved twice - during the second move, the house was stuck in the air for two weeks. The house is now located in the Chicago Women's Park in the Prairie Avenue Historic District, and operated as a museum by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Learn more about this gracious Greek Revival style house and plan your visit today.


Around Town

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival & Tree-Lighting ParadeThe Magnificent Mile Lights Festival & Tree-Lighting Parade

November 22-23, Friday 4–8pm, Saturday 11am–7pm

The Magnificent Mile (North Michigan Ave.)

The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival returns in 2019. Free, family fun culminates in the grand Tree-Lighting Parade down North Michigan Avenue with grand marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World® Resorts Florida.


The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival & Tree-Lighting ParadeChicago Architecture Biennial Family FestivalChicago Architecture Biennial Family Festival

November 2, 12–4pm

Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.

Join us at our Biennial Family Festival from noon to 4pm! We invite families with children ages 5-12 to come learn about architecture and design through hands-on activities.


 Supporting Information Facts

 Additional Information

Follow us:

facebook twitter Instagram YouTube

 I Want To