FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I need to register to attend a tour?
Yes, please. It's very difficult for our guides to give tours to groups of more than 40 people, so we ask that everyone attending the tour please register via the RSVP link provided. That way, we can keep our numbers in check and ensure everyone has a good time. We also ask that you sign off on a liability waiver, which is embedded into the registration.
What is the price of the tour? Is it free?
We offer our public programming on a pay-what-you-can basis. We suggest a donation of $10-20 per person, if you are able. If you are experiencing financial hardship, you may absolutely attend the tour for free! Folks more comfortable in their financial standing are encouraged to donate to help fund the organization. Right now, our only source of income are your generous contributions. You can even donate online here!
Can I pay with a credit card?
Yes! We have a Square and can accept credit card donations before or after each event. You may also donate online on our website -- in advance, or after you attend the tour -- either is fine! There is also an option to donate through our Eventbrite registration pages, although they take about 3%.
Is this a "real" nonprofit? Is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes we are! We are incorporated as a nonprofit organization in the State of Illinois and are tax-exempt as specified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. We provide donation receipts at the conclusion of our events and can also email one to you.
How do I cancel my ticket?
Please follow Eventbrite's handy-dandy tutorial on how to cancel your free registration. We have no paid administrative staff and appreciate you taking the time to cancel your ticket if you can no longer attend. Please note: if you registered for a spot on the tour and donated through Eventbrite at the same time, you might have some trouble canceling your ticket. Just email us, and we'll get it sorted out.
Can I book a private tour?
Yes! Please visit the Private Tour section of our site.
Can I bring my dog on a tour?
Yes!! We love dogs! However... do be aware that tours are often noisy, hot or cold, full of people, etc. Lots of people will probably want to pet your pup. It's best for everyone if you have a friendly dog who is not easily startled by crowds. Please remember to also ensure your little buddy is properly hydrated.
Is the tour child-friendly?
Yes! Our tour content is generally appropriate for humans of all ages. We do occasionally talk about vice districts, corrupt politicians, murders, and other potentially "scandalous" information, so be sure to email us if you want a run down of the tour's content to proof it for your kiddo. Our tours can be pretty long, distance-wise (up to 3 miles), so do bring water, strollers, and comfy shoes. If your little one gets tired, cranky, or bored, and you would like to leave the tour a bit early, that's no problem. We understand!
How will I find the tour guide? Who is leading the tour?
Make sure to read the event description closely and meet at the location specified. Look for the person holding a clipboard and looking for you! You can find a list of our guides here. Usually, it's Patti and the "special guest collaborator" specified in the event description.
Ahhhh!!! I can't find the group anywhere!!!!
Double check the event description: are you in the right spot at the right time? Check other exits: we usually meet at El stations, and some have multiple entrances. Do a quick lap around the starting location, keeping your eyes peeled for a big group. Sometimes we're just standing off to the side to get out of the way of pedestrian traffic. You can definitely call or text us, but remember that we're often juggling too many aspects of check-in to pickup the phone.
What if I'm running late?
Please leave yourself adequate wiggle room to get to the start location on time-- we aren't able to hold the group to wait for latecomers. We tend to cover the history of our first stop right off the bat, so if you're less than 10 minutes late, you can usually find us somewhere close to the starting point. Know in advance you'll be running behind? If you email us at least half an hour before the tour begins, we can usually send over a map of the route. Please do not call us if you are running late. Our guides are usually unable to take your call.
What are these punch cards? What do I do if I fill mine up?
We give all of our first time tour-takers Certified History Lover punch cards at the start of each event. We want to encourage you to keep coming on tours and learning about your city! Click on over to this page of our website.
I want to help create or lead a tour. What qualifications do I need?
How exciting! Please contact us, we'd love to work with you. Our qualifications are super basic. You must live or work in Chicago, and you must love sharing the neighborhood you live or work in with others. While we tend to give preference to minorities, women, and experts in South & West side neighborhoods, we are always looking for help and would really love to have any and everyone reach out to us!
How many miles is the tour? Are there bathroom breaks?
Tours are generally 2-3 miles long. We do not schedule bathroom breaks, but you can certainly dip out at any time to find one.
Can I leave the tour or event early?
You are more than welcome to leave early, but please notify your tour guides before doing so. We also encourage you to tip before you go -- if you're able!
I'm hearing impaired or have trouble walking. Can I still come?
Yes! Unfortunately, we don't have the financial capacity to provide artificial amplification on our tours (yet). Folks who are hearing impaired are encouraged to notify the guide and make their way to the front of the group. We will do our best to make sure you can hear and have a good time!
Tours stay primarily on paved paths and sidewalks; however, these routes may still include potholes and uneven surfaces. Folks who have trouble walking are welcome to join us for as long as they are able. We are also happy to work out a time to sit down, grab a coffee with you, and chat about the neighborhood! Email us to set something up.