2009 Free Chicago Criterium Bike Race – July 26

The second annual Chicago Criterium bike race will take place in Chicago’s Grant Park on Sunday, July 26, 2009. With 10 races throughout the day, the first race starts at 7:00am and the final race will begin at 2:25pm. Admission is free.

The Chicago Criterium is a short-course bike race that will take place on a 1.1 mile loop through Chicago’s Grant Park. The Chicago Criterium start/finish line will be on Columbus Drive in front of the Buckingham Fountain, with several options for viewing different portions of the criterium course.

Free Family Fun during Chinese Cultural Week

The Family Fun Festival will celebrate Chinese Cultural Week in Chicago with its interactive China Spectacle on July 19 at 2:30 p.m. Visitors will meet at Cloud Gate and make their way through the Park, following the ancient Chinese love story of Qi Xi-The Story of Niulang and Zhinu, the Cowherd and the Weaver Fairy. C

Free Latino Expo USA, July 25–27

NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, will offer Chicago families valuable services and an array of free, fun activities at Latino Expo USA, July 25–27, during the 2009 NCLR Annual Conference to be held at McCormick Place West. McCormick Place West is located at 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.

Free Open Lunchtime Discussion with Cokie Roberts – July 13

Take a break from your busy work day downtown and join the Freedom Museum for a free lunchtime discussion on July 13th with renowned political commentator and author Cokie Roberts. Cokie Roberts is a New York Times bestselling author, political commentator for ABC news, senior analyst for National Public Radio – and a mother, grandmother, and daughter.

Roscoe Village Free Garden Walk – July 12

If it’s July, it is time for some excellent Chicago Garden walks and one of the best is the ninth annual 2009 Roscoe Village Free Garden Walk, sponsored by Roscoe Village Neighbors. Check out more than 40 urban gardens (and an old-fashioned sidewalk sale) in this quaint North Side community. FREE ADMISSIONgarden-walk.

Free Hotel Stay for Community Service

Are you a community-minded volunteer? Then maybe you can take advantage of the free hotel stay offer by Sage Hospitality. More than 50 of their hotels across the country are giving away a free night to guests who can prove that they completed at least eight hours of community service between July 1 and Dec. 20. To qualify, you must provide a letter on the nonprofit organization’s letterhead proving that you’ve completed the volunteer work at a 501c3 organization such as Meals on Wheels, Provision Theater or Habitat for Humanity.

Free Admission this Week at the Shedd!

Each year, the Shedd Aquarium hosts 52 Community Discount Days where the general admission is free, including the whole week of June 15-19! The Shedd Aquarium’s Oceanarium — home to beloved Beluga whales and Pacific white-sided dolphins — just reopened after a $50 million, nine-month renovation.

Free Car Show: Hollywood Cars – June 12-21

Car guys…..Do you remember the General Lee? Or the Ferrari Daytona Spyder from Miami Vice? Make plans to check out some of the most famous Hollywood cars that have graced television and feature films at the free The Hollywood Car Show June 12-21 at the Northbrook Court mall, with cars from the Volo Auto Museum.

Chicago’s Free Blues Festival – June 12-14

The Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free blues festival in the world and remains the largest of all of Chicago’s Music Festivals. During the three days (June 12-14) on six stages, more than 640,000 blues fans last year proved that Chicago is the “Blues Capital of the World”.

Provision Theater’s Open House Fundraiser – June 12

Provision Theater Company, is hosting an Open House benefit on June 12 to showcase their new facility, a 200-seat theater complex at 1001 W. Roosevelt. Doors will open at 6:00 pm for refreshments and tours,with a special performance by some of Chicago best actors and actresses at 7:30 pm. The evening will end with a live auction and full reception at 8:30 pm. The fundraiser event is open to the public and tickets are $50. Plus, there is free parking at the facility. (yoo hoo! — a rarity in Chicago).

Culinary Classes This Summer in Chicago

With all the excellent restaurants in Chicago, have you often wondered if you could take a cooking school class from one of these wonders of the culinary arts? Whether you’re interested in learning how to make fontana for a cake covering or you’ve always wondered how to make italian specialities, there’s probably a culinary class for you. From private cooking lessons to group classes, you can cobble together your own, personalized culinary education in your free time–and for a fraction of the cost.