The suburban community of Cicero in Cook County, Illinois, is popular for being named after the famous Roman statesman.
However, there's more to Cicero than its name since it's one of Chicago's significant blue-collar communities due to its rich manufacturing history.
At the same time, Cicero is one of the most sought-after communities for people to settle down in.
Currently, this suburban community, which nestles on the west side of Chicago, has 85,200 inhabitants, which makes it the 11th most extensive Illinois municipality.
Regarding attractions and activities, Cicero can offer travelers a nice weekend getaway.
This suburb has a rich history, heritage, and laid-back vibes, which completely contrasts with Chicago's bustling city scene.
Besides its manufacturing industry, Cicero was associated with the infamous gangster Al Capone, who relocated to its community in the 19209s.
Today, Cicero remains a charming community that thrives in various sectors.
Meanwhile, its place has plenty of parks, historical landmarks, and recreational activities you can enjoy for free.
Cicero is a place to check out besides Chicago.
Here are some of the free things to do in Cicero, Illinois:
Take Photos of the Hawthorne Works
The Hawthorne Works is an abandoned spacious factory facility that is a testament to Cicero's rich industrial past.
You can visit this old factory along W. Cermak Road.
This building, known for its hundred-foot tower, closed in the 1980s after decades of manufacturing appliances and telephone equipment.
Back in the day, the factory employed over 45,000 people.
However, it eventually closed down as parts of the factory were redeveloped into a shopping mall.
Still, Hawthorne Works' castle-like iconic tower remains tall today, which you can visit and take photos of as souvenirs.
Chill at the Cicero Community Park
Cicero Community Park is known for its relaxing ambiance, lush and vast greeneries, and plenty of park amenities.
You can visit this park along S. Laramie Avenue, with multiple access points at W 34th Street and 53rd Avenue.
Besides its relaxing ambiance, many Cicero locals love to spend their time at this park picnicking, catching up with friends, and catch some local activities.
Cicero Community Park is famous for its free concerts, carnivals, and summer movie nights which draw many locals to have top-notch leisure activities.
There are many ways you can enjoy your time at this park in Cicero, depending on your mood and preferred activity.
So, remember to visit this park upon arriving in town.
Let Kids Have Fun at Safety Park
Safety Park is one of Cicero's best places to bring your kids for a fun time.
You can locate this park along 34th Street.
Like most parks you'll visit in Cicero, generous local donors of the town also constructed this one.
The park mainly caters to toddlers because of its play set or playground, specifically designed for fun and safety.
Hence, the park is named Safety Park because of its features.
Your kids would eventually grow bored visiting attractions in Cicero that grownups would only enjoy.
Remember to let them have fun at this neighborhood park.
Spend Time at the Cicero Public Library
Cicero Public Library is one of the best free places you can check out in town.
You can visit this library along W. Cermak Road.
Many people recommend this library because of its extensive collection of historical references and information.
It has full-text articles from Cicero and Chicago's newspapers, which includes relevant events that shaped the area.
At the same time, many youngsters love its crafts and hobbies programs.
These programs include various workshops for painting, indoor recreation, home and garden classes, and plenty more.
With all that in mind, it's a no-brainer why this library stands above others.
Whether you're a bookworm or an average tourist, remember to drop by the Cicero Public Library.
Take a Break at Drexel Park
Drexel Park is a small but packed neighborhood park.
You can visit this park along 36th Street.
It's a nice place to enjoy a break from exploring Cicero, especially with your family or friends.
If you're yearning for a worthwhile stroll, it has a hiking trail that takes you to some of its scenic points.
Also, Drexel Park has a nice picnic area for everyone to enjoy.
Besides relaxation, you can play sports and other activities at this Cicero neighborhood park.
Step inside the Our Lady of Czestochowa and Charity Parish
The Our Lady of Czestochowa and Charity Parish is a famous church in Cicero and the entire Chicago metro area.
It's considered a monument by historians, not just for its century-old history.
It's also where Al Capone's sister Mafalda got married in the 1930s.
However, the church has magnificent Neo-Gothic architecture that virtually takes you to Europe because of its design.
It was designed after the usual Polish cathedrals, hence its remarkable architecture and unique beauty specific to the Great Lakes region.
The Our Lady of Czestochowa and Charity Parish is a famous and iconic place in Cicero.
Amazingly, you can see the church for miles around because of its twin towers which stand 200 feet tall.
Test Your Skills at the Clyde Park Soccer Field
Clyde Park Soccer Field is part of the Larry Dominick Foundation's generous grant to bolster youth sports and recreation in Cicero.
You can visit this soccer field along S. Laramie Avenue.
This soccer field features standard artificial turf, making it an ideal place to play soccer or watch locals strut their wares.
Besides playing this beloved sport, you can watch local leagues on this soccer field.
During fall, this soccer field reaches its busiest, hosting leagues and workshops for the youth.
Besides its top-notch sports facility, Clyde Park Soccer Field is known for other outdoor recreation, such as picnicking and hiking.
Engage in Outdoor Activities at Hawthorne Park District
Hawthorne Park District is one of Cicero's biggest parks.
You can visit this park along W. 29th Place.
It's mainly situated beside the Hawthorne Works and its famous factory and tower.
Many locals love spending time at this park for various outdoor activities.
They also love to pass the time there after a busy day at work or school in metro Chicago.
It has basketball, volleyball, tennis courts, and a play set for kids to enjoy.
At the same time, the park has a vast green open field used by locals for various purposes.
Whether you're looking for an excellent spot for a picnic or outdoor activities, Hawthorne Park District has something exciting waiting for you.
Stroll along West Cermak Road
West Cermak Road serves as Cicero's main street or downtown area.
It's where most of Cicero's businesses and other attractions are located.
This thoroughfare is Cicero's main artery, running East of McCormick Place, a few miles from Downtown Chicago.
It's a nice place to stroll during the morning or afternoon to see what keeps Cicero's locals busy.
Otherwise, you can rub elbows with Cicero's folks to learn more about the community.
At the same time, you're guaranteed to enjoy sightseeing with the tree-lined streets filled with small shops, giving you a homey feeling.
Remember to include West Cermak Road in your itinerary when visiting Cicero.
Show Off Your Tricks at the Cicero Bowl/ Laramie Skate Park
The Cicero Bowl/Laramie Skate Park is a local skateboarding venue.
You can check out this skate park along S. Laramie Avenue.
It features a skate park that stretches 4,000 square feet.
It's equipped with ledges, pads, and other obstacles for a pleasant skating experience.
If you're an avid skater, this skate park is ideal for enjoying a session with your friends.
You can also meet local skaters who would love to see your tricks.
If you're not a skater, don't worry.
Cicero Bowl/Laramie Skate Park is regularly packed with local skaters who will likely entertain you with their tricks.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Cicero isn't just an excellent place for its local attractions.
It's also an ideal jump-off point to explore the Windy City, which is a stone's throw away from this suburban community.
At the same time, it has neighboring towns and cities offering different attractions that are free to visit.
So, here are some recommended free things to do nearby Cicero, Illinois.
Join the Exciting Chicago Greeter Tour
Exploring Chicago won't necessarily cost you a lot of money.
The Chicago Greeter Tour offers everyone free tours throughout Windy City.
You can explore Chicago with a knowledgeable and friendly tour guide who volunteers in this group.
Experience strolling through Chicago's historical attractions, gorgeous parks, scenic locations, and hidden gems with this one-of-a-kind tour.
At the same time, you can customize your tour depending on your preferred attractions and activities in Chicago.
The Chicago Greeter Tour is something you mustn't miss when visiting Windy City.
It's not just because it's free, but also because of the great experience it offers everyone.
Chicago, Illinois, is 13 minutes from Cicero.
Wander Columbus Park
Columbus Park is one of Chicago's most famous outdoor attractions.
This park is six minutes or 2.3 miles north of Cicero.
The park is renowned for its masterful prairie-style design and architecture.
The park's design came from the creative mind of Jens Jensen back in the day.
The park spans 141 acres and is a great place to explore its history, natural beauty, and outdoor recreation.
It has plenty of amenities and facilities to check out, requiring an entire morning or afternoon to enjoy.
Besides activities, Columbus Park is also an excellent place for relaxation.
This park offers a calm environment and the lush greenery that envelopes the entire park.
Traverse the Chicago Riverwalk
The famous Chicago Riverwalk is something you mustn't miss when visiting Windy City.
The entire riverwalk spans 1.25 miles which meanders through the Chicago River.
While strolling, you'll pass through various attractions and sceneries, offering you a more immersive experience exploring Chicago.
At the same time, the riverwalk takes you to four distinct districts.
These are the Esplanade, the Civic, the Arcade, and the Confluence, each with its unique charm and excitement.
Prepare for a one-of-a-kind adventure traversing the famous Chicago Riverwalk with your friends or family.
The Chicago Riverwalk is 17 minutes from Cicero.
Reconnect with Nature at the Oak Park Conservatory
Oak Park Conservatory is a charming place filled with greenery and rare plants.
You can visit this attraction ten minutes northwest or 3.6 miles of Cicero in the neighboring town of Oak Park, Illinois.
The place holds a remarkable collection of botanical wonders and local heritage.
The conservatory is a botanical garden and a research facility for botanists.
It's open for the public to visit daily.
It has plenty of rare plants and trees you won't find anywhere else.
Whether you're a plant enthusiast or a tourist who wants to enjoy free things, the Oak Park Conservatory has something worthwhile waiting for you.
Meet the Animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the few zoos worldwide with free entry to everyone.
You can visit this park in Chicago, 22 minutes from Cicero.
The zoo opened initially as a park in the late 1800s.
It is famous for its free entry, thanks to the park commissioners who declared it must remain free for the public.
Today, the zoo remains open and is one of Chicago's must-visit places.
It has more than 200 animal species you can check out in various enclosures.
Inside the Lincoln Park Zoo are lions, elephants, bears, meerkats, gorillas, zebras, other mammals, reptiles, and birds you only see on television.
Seize the chance to see animals in Chicago before returning home from your Cicero adventure.
Visiting Cicero offers a unique experience of small-town vibes and some bustling city appeal since it's located next to Chicago.
You won't run out of free things to do in Cicero, Illinois, especially if you consider this well-curated list as your itinerary.
Plenty of hidden gems in Cicero await you, making this small suburban town an idyllic weekend destination for solo travelers, family, or friends.