What’s better than summertime fun? Free summertime fun! The western suburbs are full of countless ways to have fun as a family, but the costs can certainly add up quickly. We’ve gathered ideas for you to spend time together without worrying about the price tag. After all, the best things in life are free!
2022 Free Summer Fun in the Western Suburbs
Here are a few of our most popular articles with free ideas for summer fun:
- The Kidlist Park Playdate series is happening again after a really successful 2021 lineup. We’re bringing back entertainment, snacks and giveaways for kiddos at each event! Pencil in these dates now.
- Watch a movie in the park! Outdoor movies are more popular than ever this year. Some require pre-registration, so plan ahead.
- Pack up the lawn chairs and listen to a free concert through one of the summer music series. While many towns offer nighttime outings, Naperville and Warrenville host children’s performances during the day.
- Visit Chicagoland nature centers, which are a year-round source of free fun, and make for a great home base (with air conditioning!) for an outdoor adventure.
- Save on your dinner tab at these restaurants where kids eat free in Chicago’s west suburbs.
- Get some relief from the heat at these splash pads. (Many are free, while some charge a small fee.)
- Check our a new (to you) playground using our Ultimate Guide to Parks and Playgrounds. Big, little, sand-free, full of sand, we’ve got them all.
- Not sure where to start? Discover a new playground or visit one of our readers’ top playgrounds together. So many have opened up over the past year!
- Go fly a kite or find a kite festival!
- Hit the trail with the best forest preserve trails for kids and parks with paved paths.
- Encourage art appreciation by exploring a local art fair and festivals. Many have their 2022 plans out now!
- Support local farmers and businesses at a farmer’s market.
- Some west suburban Vacation Bible School programs have a fee, but many are free. Different churches are offering all kinds of options for in-person and at-home experiences.
- Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago and Primrose Farm in St. Charles are two of our favorite spots to see local farm animals. Added bonus: they’re free!
- Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago and Phillips Park Zoo in Aurora are always free! Adler Planetarium is free to Illinois residents on Wednesday evenings. Other local zoos and museums may offer free days, too.
- Chicago Park District Beaches are free. Their site has great information about parking, restrooms, and other tips for visiting. Enjoy a beautiful summer day along the lakefront.
- Libraries excited to be doing summer reading programs! Check with your local branch to see how their program is operating this year.
Free Events for Kids
Go to our events for kids page to find amazing family-friendly events, including many for free summer fun. Keep it bookmarked for easy reference.
Free Bowling for Kids
With Kids Bowl Free, registered kids receive 2 free games of bowling every day all summer long. You must create a login and enter your child’s month and year of birth in order to be eligible. Participating bowling alleys in this program include:
Strike N Spare II
811 Northern Drive
Lockport, IL 60441
1101 Butterfield Road
Wheaton, IL 60187
Wood Dale Bowl
155 W Irving Park Road
Wood Dale, IL 60191
We’d love to hear from our readers about what free family fun is happening in your town. Please share in the comments field below! Then, find more outdoor family fun.