chicago cultural center


Where to Find Free Wi-Fi in Chicago

(Photo: Songquan Deng/

Sometimes, you need Wi-Fi as much as water. Just in case you have to whip out your laptop to make one last edit for that persistent client, these five Chicago spots won’t let you down. In fact, they’re pretty cool hangouts even if you don’t need an Internet hook up.

Museum of Contemporary Art

This iconic museum has free Wi-Fi throughout its winding quarters to encourage visitors to interact with the exhibits and post Instagram and Twitter pictures of their favorite finds, but you can use that to your advantage. Catch up on some work while relaxing in the terraced sculpture garden with a view of Lake Michigan, and check out a few of the exhibits afterwards.

Chicago Cultural Center

There’s plenty of comfortable seating on the first floor of what was originally Chicago’s first Public Library, opened way back in 1897. There’s often live music to enjoy and other free public programming including lectures, dance and theater performances–you never quite know what you’ll find at this oasis across the street from Milennium Park.

Year-round rotating exhibitions feature primarily local contemporary photographers, painters and mixed media artists. While you’re here, be sure to head upstairs to see the world’s largest Tiffany dome, most stunning during the day, when the fish-scale pattern of Tiffany Favrile glass is kissed by the sun.

Water Tower Place

This shopping center can double as your own personal work mecca, and its windows filled with coveted potential purchases will spur you to action on your computer. Don’t worry if the food court seats are all taken, as they often are on weekday afternoons. Nearly every floor of the shopping center has a comfortable cluster of sofas and lounge chairs, and several levels have easy-to-spot charging stations so you can juice up your batteries if you’re running low.

LYFE Kitchen

This lively but relaxed healthy chain has a couple of Chicago locations, with more on the way. Organic coffee, edamame hummus, fish tacos, roasted Brussels and Art’s famous “unfried” chicken nourish your mind and body as you type away. Sit at one of the comfortable tables by the window for great natural light and a city vibe that’s not too distracting.


Let the sun stream in from the skylights in this Lincoln Park café, where reliable Wi-Fi and fresh-baked sweet and savory treats make it a local favorite hangout to log on and check emails. Head upstairs to the second floor for a more peaceful work environment. Wi-Hi Fi is yours for the price of a cup of coffee or croissant. We recommend the chocolate almond cream.