The Art Institute of Chicago, perennial favorite of visitors and locals alike, recently revamped its free day schedule. Pay zero admission weekdays through Feb. 4 -- including Thursday and Friday when the museum is open until 8 p.m. Free Thursday evenings (5-8 p.m.) then return on Feb. 10 and continue through May 26. Come June, the first and second Wednesday of every month will be free all day along. Combine some free culture with some fine dining on a budget: Terzo Piano -- recently named one of the city's best new restaurants by Chicago magazine -- is participating in Chicago Restaurant Week in February with prix fixe menus starting at $22 at lunch.
Find more attractions and hotels on Travelzoo's Chicago Destination of the Week page.