FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Scroll down for more FAQs relating to scavenger hunts, walking tours, lecture events and virtual events.
What do your events cost? Are they free?
We offer our public programming on a pay-what-you-can basis. We suggest a donation of $10-20 per person, but invite you to contribute whatever amount fits your budget. If you are experiencing financial hardship, you may absolutely attend our events for free! Folks more comfortable in their financial standing are encouraged to donate to help fund the organization. More than 90% of our income comes from your contributions.
Do I need to register to attend your events?
Virtual events: No!
Simply visit our event page and look for the link to the livestream. Scroll down on that same page for recordings.
In-person events: Yes!
We ask that everyone attending in-person events please register on Eventbrite using 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.
How can I donate? What payment types do you accept?
We accept any and all payment types. Donate online via credit or debit card, Venmo us, give cash or swipe your card at an in-person event, or make a check out to "Chicago for Chicagoans"! Email us if you need our mailing address.
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. You can deduct donations made to our organization from your taxes. Email us if you need a donation receipt for your records (we also pass them out in person).
Can I book a private tour, virtual event, or scavenger hunt?
Yes! Visit the Private Tour section of our site for details and contact us to set something up.
I'm not a Chicagoan... Is that okay?
Yes! We invite anyone and everyone to attend our hyperlocal history excursions. An average tourist may find our content too niche for their taste, but a tourist who wants to discover deep city history & how people actually live in Chicago will love it!
How do I cancel or change my ticket?
Free or RSVP tickets: 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.
Paid tickets: you may request a refund up to 7 days before the event using these instructions. You can transfer your tickets to someone else or edit attendee names at any time using these instructions. If you are unable to attend on short-notice, please contact us .
I want to get involved with your organization. How can I help?
How exciting! You can sign up to volunteer here, or contact us to inquire about becoming a tour guide or lecturer.
What qualifications do I need to lecture or give tours for your organization?
Very few! All we ask is that you currently live or work in Chicago and have a passion for educating others about your city. We provide training on research methodology, tour planning, public speaking, & more at no cost. We give preference to minorities, women, experts in South & West side neighborhoods, and those with lived experience relating to the topics or areas they aim to showcase.
Are your events child-friendly?
We believe our content is generally appropriate for history-loving humans of all ages. However, you may occasionally hear a swear word or two, and some events/tours discuss vice districts, corrupt politicians, murders, and other potentially "scandalous" information. You are welcome to email us in advance if you want a rundown of the event's content to proof it for your kiddo.
What are these punch cards? What do I do if I fill mine up?
We give all of our first time event attendees Certified History Lover punch cards. We want to encourage you to keep coming to events and learning about your city! Click on over to this page of our website to learn more. Even virtual events count!
What do you do with the money?
Mostly we use it to pay our speakers. We use the rest to pay for insurance, website fees, annual filings, office supplies, printing (so much printing!), and other unglamorous, necessary items. One day we hope to be able to hire & pay administrative staff, but we are a long way from that. Donate here!
ATTENDING In-PERSON LECTURES
Do I need to register to attend the event?
Yes! We require you to register on Eventbrite using 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 are the requirements for attending in person?
How do I find & enter the venue?
Room 13 can be found below the Old Chicago Inn, located at 3222 North Sheffield Avenue in Chicago. At the southern end of the building you will find a narrow set of stairs leading down to a heavy wooden door. Knock on the door to be admitted, and be sure to have your PASSWORD, VAX CARD, and PHOTO ID ready to show the doorperson.
Where the heck is my top-secret password?
All attendees who registered through Eventbrite will receive the event-specific password by email 48 & 4 hours in advance. Check the email you used to register, look in your spam folders, or ask the friend who signed you up.
Will there be beverages or food?
Room 13 is a cocktail bar offering a selection of vintage cocktails and other standard spirits. Limited beer & wine options are available as well. No food is available at the venue (though many delicious restaurants exist nearby). Drinks can be purchased with cash or card.
OH NO! I forgot to get tickets or the event sold out. What do I do? Can I still come?
What time do the doors open?
Doors open at 6:45pm. We recommend arriving early, as seating is first-come, first-serve. Plus, you'll want time to order a cocktail before the lecture begins!
What time does the lecture start & how long does it last?
Lectures begin promptly at 7:15pm. Attendees can expect a lecture lasting about 45-60 minutes. Afterwards, there will be an informal Q&A, mingling, and group conversation.
Can I stay at Room 13 after the event?
Usually — but check with the bartender that night just to confirm! Interested in making a reservation, or curious about becoming a member of this snazzy space? Email
firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Is the venue wheelchair accessible?
Unfortunately, the historic greystone building is not wheelchair accessible. A flight of 10 stairs leads down to the entrance to the event.
What do I wear?
As a period-appropriate speakeasy, Room 13 asks that guests come in proper dress, following a business casual model.
ATTENDING EVENTS VIRTUALLY
How do I watch / join the event?
Do I need a Facebook account to watch?
Nope! Our live videos are available for anyone to watch. If you see a message asking you to log in or create a new account, simply click "Not Now" on the pop-up window, and the notification will retract to the bottom of the page. It's recommended to enlarge the player and enter the fullscreen to avoid being disturbed.
Do I need to register to attend the event? Do I need a ticket to attend? Can you send me a link via email?
Nope! Registration is not required and tickets are not needed to attend. Just click here at the specified date and time. If you like or follow our Page on Facebook, you'll even get notifications when we go Live.
Will the event be recorded? What if I miss some or all of the event? What if I'm running late?
Yes! The event will be recorded and posted on our website and Facebook page within 48 hours of the event's conclusion. If you miss part of the event, you can rewind the broadcast a little or watch the recording.
Does this event have captions?
Yes! Facebook will auto-generate captions during the broadcast. For help enabling captions, please click here. Keep in mind that robots are writing them... so they may be a little weird, and will appear at a slight delay.
How do I ask a question? Can I give feedback to the lecturer? Is it live?
Yes, our events will be happening live! To ask a question or leave a comment, you will need to create & login to a free Facebook account prior to the event. Once you're watching the video, click "Comment" and type your question or thought into the box. Our moderators will scan for queries and send them to the speaker to answer during the Q&A. We may not be able to answer all questions, but we'll try!
What technology do I need to participate? Can I join by phone or tablet?
We recommend joining by computer for the best experience, but yes — you can also use your phone or tablet. Make sure to download the Facebook app if you plan to login via phone or tablet. Visit this page and select your device in the drop down next to "Copy Link" for instructions tailored to your tech.
Ahhhh! I can't find the video!!!!
If you are on the correct page, and don't see the video or a popup that says "Happening Now" or "Chicago for Chicagoans is Live," try refreshing the page, scrolling down, or restarting your app. Make sure it is the right day and time. Our events are scheduled in the Central (Chicago) timezone. We try to start on time (7:10PM), but give us a few minutes in case of technological hiccups.
Oh no. The video or audio aren't working.
Refresh the page or restart your app. Make sure you are connected to wifi — mobile networks can be spotty. Check out this page for help. If you try everything and still can't get access the event, remember that we'll post a recording you can watch later.
My question isn't here / I need technical support!
Our all-volunteer staff juggles many, many plates. If you are able to login to the event, you can try asking our moderators and other attendees for help in the comments. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individualized tech support to all of our participants. If you are not able to watch the event live, send us an email and we'll try to help you for next time. You can always watch the recording — we'll have one up within 48hrs.
WALKING TOUR FAQ
Ewww.... the weather looks bad. Is it cancelled?
Nope! We run events rain-or-shine. If things are looking ultra-dicey and we do end up cancelling, we'll be sure to send you lots of emails.
Can I bring my dog to an event?
Yes!! We love dogs! However... do be aware that tours & hunts 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.
Can I bring my child along?
Absolutely! See "Are your events child-friendly?" above. Keep in mind that our hunts & tours can be pretty long, distance-wise (up to 3 miles), so do bring water, strollers, and comfy shoes. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a guardian. For scavenger hunts, we recommend at least one adult player per team due to historical references and vocabulary that may prove difficult for younger audiences.
How many miles of walking is involved? Are there bathroom breaks, food stops, or water breaks?
Tours are generally 2-3 miles long. Hunts cover a similar amount of ground, but the distance will vary. We do not schedule any stops, but you can certainly dip out at any time to take care of your needs.
I'm hearing impaired or have trouble walking. Can I still come to the tour?
We currently lack the financial capacity to provide artificial amplification. 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. If mobility concerns are an issue, but you're dying to know what's covered on the tour, email us! We will bend over backwards to make sure you can learn along with us... one way or another.
How will I find the tour guide? Who is leading the event?
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 or a "special guest collaborator" specified in the event description.
Ahhhh!!! I can't find the group anywhere!!!!
Double check the event description: are you at the right address at the right time? Check other exits: we often meet at El stations or parks, and some have multiple entrances. We always specify the exact address we're meeting at in the event description. 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.
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. Tours and hunts depart from the starting location within 20 minutes of the start time.
What COVID precautions should I be aware of?
Our tours take place entirely outdoors. Please wear a mask if the CDC recommends you to do so.
What should I bring?
Comfy walking shoes, drinking water, a weather-appropriate outfit.
Do I have to stay the whole time?
Nope! You may depart the tour at any time. Please be sure to inform your tour guide before you depart so they don't think you're lost, though.
I did not enjoy my event, and would like a refund.
We're sorry to hear that! Because we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, your donations are tax-deductible. In most cases, we do not offer refunds. However, you are welcome to email us & ask.
SCAVENGER HUNT FAQ
How does this scavenger hunt work?
Is this for children?
Our clues are designed to be challenging for grown adults. Children are welcome to attend, but we recommend at least one adult per team to ensure everyone has a good time.
Can I use my cell phone? How hard is it?
Not only are you allowed to use your cellphone, you'll probably need it! The hints on these Google-proof hunts are written by our neighborhood historians, and tricky enough to stump even the biggest know-it-alls around. Neighborhood familiarity will help you, but strategy is the secret to success! (Even tourists have been known to win with clever choices and smart teamwork.) It is virtually impossible to cheat.
How do I change the names of my teammates?
You can transfer your tickets to someone else or edit attendee names at any time using these instructions. Please ensure your attendee list and ticket details are accurate. You may not be allowed to play if your name does not appear on a ticket.
Is this all outdoors?
Yes! Entirely outdoors.
Do I have to wear a mask? What COVID precautions should I be aware of?
Everyone is required to wear a mask at the beginning and ending locations of the hunt. You must follow CDC guidelines appropriate to your vaccination status throughout the rest of the hunt. Everyone attending the event must register their group in advance and sign off on our liability waiver. No walkups are allowed — if your name doesn't appear on a ticket, you can't play. No exceptions.
What should I bring?
Charged cell phones, masks for all attendees (even if you're vaxxed), comfy walking shoes, drinking water, a writing utensil, and a weather-appropriate outfit.
How can I get free tickets?
All of our events are offered on a pay-what-you-can basis, with a suggested donation of $15 per person. Our organization exists to ensure all Chicagoans are given opportunities to learn about the history of their surroundings, no matter what their financial situation may be. Free tickets for our hunts can be obtained by using the promo code "PAYITFORWARD" on Eventbrite. If you can afford to buy tickets, please do so — your contribution is a tax-deductible donation that benefits our organization, its work, and other, less-fortunate Chicagoans.
What if I want to play with more than 4 people?
"Too many cooks in the kitchen" is a real thing! Trust us, it's easier to play (and win) with a smaller group. We ask that larger groups split into two or more teams to help avoid crowding and ensure comfortable distances can be maintained.
I'm hearing impaired or have trouble walking. Can I still attend the scavenger hunt?
Yes! All scavenger hunt instructions are written down and handed out on paper. There are two ways to play: competitively, or self-paced. Folks with mobility issues are welcome to play competitively in the hunt with reasonable accommodations (scooters, wheelchairs, etc = totally fine! driving your car = not so much). If you're playing the hunt at your own pace, feel free to play however you want. Stretch out the activity over multiple days, use motorized transport... whatever you need to do to have a good time.