Don’t Break the Bank at IACP 2011

Although you’ll be spending most of your time at McCormick Place West; the Museum of Science and Industry; and conference hotels for workshops, exhibits, and functions, we also hope you will take the time to explore and enjoy the city of Chicago. And as in any city, doing touristy things in Chicago can be expensive. Fortunately, according to the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB), there are four attractions in the city that you can access without even opening your wallet.

1. Chicago Cultural Center. As one of the most comprehensive free art showcases in the United States, the Chicago Cultural Center is a landmark building providing visitors a great place to start their journey in Chicago. Expect to find exciting daily programming covering a wide range of the performing, visual, and literary arts. From an extensive visitor center to admission-free exhibitions, this beautiful jewel of Chicago is a must-see. —CCTB

2. Lincoln Park Zoo. Come to Lincoln Park Zoo, the wildest spot in Chicago, where in the shadow of skyscrapers, you can see gorillas climb trees, sea lions frolic in their pool, and lions roar in the open air to no one in particular. Best of all, this wonderful zoo is open every day of the year and is always free. —CCTB

3. Garfield Park Conservatory. One of the largest gardens under glass in the nation, Garfield Park Conservatory features five permanent collections, an indoor children’s garden, outdoor gardens, and five annual flower shows. Admission and parking are free. Also free are the peaceful and enchanting gardens in the Lincoln Park Conservatory in the heart of Lincoln Park, adjacent to the Lincoln Park Zoo. —CCTB

4. Chicago Greeters. Why not let a friendly local show you around? You can make a reservation and a Chicago Greeter will gladly take you on a tour of the city. More than 100 Chicago Greeter volunteers speak 13 different languages. The Chicago Greeter registration system matches greeters with visitors based on language and interest. This service is entirely free! —CCTB

And, of course, there’s the value of education, accessing new products and services, and networking with your powerful peers at IACP 2011, which we hope is priceless to you.

Visit for more great ideas to see Chicago for less.

For conference information, be sure to visit and stay tuned to this blog throughout the conference and in the weeks following your return from Chicago.

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