Where To Workout For Free In Chicago

By Tahnee Lacey

When you live in a city like Chicago where you can boast about things like being stuck on the LSD (that's shorthand for Lake Shore Drive) during Chiberia '11 or running outside in a -20 degree wind chill then you learn to appreciate the roughly 120 warm days you can actually spend in the sun. Since we are in the peak of those days right now it's time to take a break from your indoor workouts and check out some of these outdoor sessions.

Millennium Park Workouts

Saturdays at 7am

Millennium Park

Grab your mat for an early morning sweat session with hundreds of your closest strangers while you practice Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates and Zumba in front of the gorgeous silver dinosaur that is the Pritzker Pavilion. Namaste.

Mountain Athletics & The November Project

  • Tuesdays  at the Lincoln Monument in Lincoln Park at 6:30pm
  • Wednesdays at the Kwanusila Totem Pole in Lakeview at 6:28am
  • Thursdays at Mary Bartelme Park in the West Loop at 6:30pm
  • Fridays at the Bean downtown at 6am

Mountain Athletics and The November Project have teamed up to offer you a variety of morning and evening workouts. From sprints to body weight strength sessions the two things I can promise you are challenging workouts and hugs. This supportive crew will quickly become your new #fitfam and you will be thankful that they don’t have weekend workouts on their schedule.


Anytime, anywhere

For those of you who like to fly solo, the newly updated NTC app has plenty of workouts to take on the go. Grab your phone and head to a grassy knoll like the newly revamped lakefront area at Fullerton and the lake or the 606.

Summer Dance Series

  • Fridays & Saturdays at 6pm at Grant Park
  • Sundays at 4pm at Grant Park

Put on your dancing shoes and head to the Cloud Gate (aka the Bean) with a friend or find a new partner while you learn anything from Western Swing to Salsa. You don’t need any previous experience, just excitement to learn something new.


While I believe that running should have its very own where-to-go article, it's free and therefore it fits this category. In Chicago you can join great crews like City Fit Girls (duh) and Nike Run Club (NRC) to train and work on your farmer’s tan.

You can also join Real Good on Sundays at 9:30am at their Wells Street location for their run club which is followed by free juice. FREE JUICE! That’s as close as I can get to saying “The Juice is Loose” without actually saying it.

Of course if you want to workout outdoors and pay, we have those options as well:

Bender Yoga at Enrgi Fitness

Rock climb at Millennium Park

Shred 451 at Park Hyatt

SUP with Cross Town Fitness

Sweat at Joy District

Yoga at Lincoln Park Zoo


Get outside and play this summer! After all, winter is coming.

Where To Workout For Free in Chicago was submitted by Tahnee Lacey, a fitness and wellness blogger based in Chicago. You can find more of Tahnee's work on her blog, Fat Girl To Gym Rat, at fatgirltogymrat.wordpress.com