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Survive This Economy: Saving Money On Spring Break

Autumn Wright and her older sister Tierney are looking forward to spring break and their parents are looking for fun ways they can spend their free time without spending a lot of money. (Credit: CBS)

Autumn Wright and her older sister Tierney are looking forward to spring break and their parents are looking for fun ways they can spend their free time without spending a lot of money. (Credit: CBS)

Dorothy Tucker Dorothy Tucker
Dorothy Tucker has served as a reporter for CBS 2 Chicago since 1984....
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CHICAGO (CBS) – The next three weeks kick off spring break for hundreds of thousands of students all over the Chicago area. So on Thursday, the Wright family, like many families in the area, is looking for something to do, without spending a lot of money.

CBS 2′s Dorothy Tucker showed their children how they can do their favorite things, for little or no cost.

Autumn Wright said she likes spring break “a lot,” because “it’s so much fun, because I get to do a lot of things.”

Arts and crafts top of the list of fun things the Wright sisters like, so the Art Institute’s family center is a perfect spot to visit during spring break.

Kids under 14 are always free, but regular admission is $18 for adults. The girls’ parents can save that money by going on the first and second Wednesday of the month, when admission is free for everyone.

“My favorite museum is, I’m just going to have to say the Children’s Museum,” Autumn’s older sister Tierney said.

The best time to go to the Children’s Museum at Navy Pier is Thursday evenings, when it’s free; instead of the usual $48 admission price for a family of four.

You can also find $1 off per person coupons on the museum’s website.

Most museums in the city don’t offer free days during spring break, but the Museum of Contemporary Art has a spring break special on Saturday, April 14. It’s free for families with children 12 and under. That’s another $24 the Wrights can pocket.

Both girls love to read, so they can spend some time at their local library in Bolingbrook; or check out WTTW’s “Readers are Leaders” free event at Navy Pier on April 15. It offers sing-a-longs and storytelling.

Lincoln Park Zoo is always free, but for something a little different and free, the girls can fly kites at the Cary Park District on April 14 and join the Easter Bunny in a free Easter egg hunt at the Haunted Trails in Joliet on April 7.

“I can find a lot of them,” Autumn said. “I just look for, I just use my eyes, look on the ground, look everywhere.”

Although most museums in the city don’t offer free days during spring break, city residents can check out museum passports at the city’s libraries. The passports allow free admissions for two adults and two children. Act quickly, because the passports go fast.

With our spring break plan, the Wright sisters should have lots of fun and the family will save $90. That brings their total savings through the “Survive This Economy” series to $2,299.