TAKE A TOUR WITH A CHICAGO GREETER
Without a doubt, one of the best deals of the city is its free Chicago Greeter program. A local volunteer will take up to six people (more if it is one family) on a tour of whatever interests them. There are more than 40 themes to choose from (including antiques, churches, public art to the zoo.) Or, if a specific neighborhood interests your group, that’s fine, as well. Chicago Greeter Tours are open to visitors outside of the city–near and far–by registering online HERE seven to ten business days in advance of their scheduled arrival. Local residents, entertaining family or friends, are also welcome. For those who do not have the time to schedule in advance, the city offers an InstaGreeter service.
Whether it’s Little Italy, North Michigan Avenue or The Loop, or anywhere in between, there’s a local waiting to take you. Reservations can be made as much as a week in advance (877-244-2246 or www.chicagogreeter.com). If that’s too much trouble, visit the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St., 312-744-6630), and see if an InstaGreeter is available. You can get a one-hour, free tour of the downtown area, which is a great get-acquainted-with-the-city tour.
Let a friendly, knowledgeable local give you an insider’s orientation to Chicago! Register at least 10 business days in advance for a FREE 2-4 hour guided visit of Chicago. Greeter visits are customized based on your choice of neighborhoods, language and interests. We have over 200 enthusiastic volunteers waiting to share their expertise and passion about the city with you!
Chicago offers a wonderful service to make visitors from around the world feel at home in the Windy City. The service is ‘Chicago Greeter’.’ ‘Chicago Greeter’ is a free program provided by the Chicago Office of Tourism that matches visitors with well-informed personal tour guides who volunteer their time. Greeter tours highlight more than 40 special areas of interest and 25 diverse Chicago neighborhoods.
The Chicago Greeters, established in 2002, is a diverse group of more that 180 Chicagoans from various walks of life and neighborhoods that have one thing in common–a love for Chicago. Greeter tours are generally 2 to 4 hours in length and are designed for parties of six or fewer thus allowing visitors a very personal experience. In addition to English, greeters speak dozens of languages from Mandarin to Portuguese.
The InstaGreeter tours offer first-come, first-served 60-minute walking visits of several Chicago neighborhoods.
Downtown Chicago InstaGreeter Tour.
Tours are available from the Chicago Cultural Center (77 E. Randolph) InstaGreeter booth Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10a.m. to 4p.m. CST–with the last visit of the day departing at 3p.m. The visits highlight Chicago history, architecture, the Chicago River and lakefront. Tours from the Chicago Cultural Center InstaGreeter booth are available year around.
Special InstaGreeter Tours.
Visitors can take a walking tour of the 24.5 acre, award-winning Millennium Park and learn about the gardens, sculptures and structures located within the park. The tour, first-come, first-served is limited to ten or less. It originates at the Millennium Park Welcome Center, located at 201 E. Randolph Street, daily tours are available at 11:30a.m. and 1:00p.m. Millennium Park Tours are offered Memorial Day through Columbus Day.
The Old Town InstaGreeter Outpost is located in the heart of Old Town at Second City– training ground of comedians such as John Belushi, Bill Murray, Steve Carrell and Tina Fey. The Old Town Tour is limited to groups of six or fewer. Visitors will learn about the history of the neighborhood and view popular restaurants and unusual boutiques. Old Town Instagreeter is available every Saturday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., leaving from the Second City, 1616 N. Wells Street. Tours of Old Town are offered from Memorial Day through Columbus Day.
These one-hour guided walking visits are the perfect introduction to this historic neighborhood, which is also home to the University of Chicago, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House, the Museum of Science and Industry, DuSable Museum of African American History and many other cultural gems. Hyde Park Instagreeter is available every Saturday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., from the Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Avenue. Hyde Park InstaGreeter Tours are available from Memorial Day through Columbus Day.
A Typical Tour.