Chicago
Educational Activities

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Our most recommended Chicago Educational Activities

  • Chicago: 1.5-Hour Lake and River Architecture Cruise

    1. Chicago: 1.5-Hour Lake and River Architecture Cruise

    Experience the architecture cruise that started it all — a Chicago family tradition since 1935. View Chicago’s historic and ever-changing skyline on Chicago's only architecture tour with views from both directly from the Chicago River, and those only possible from Lake Michigan. During this comprehensive sightseeing tour, all of Chicago's architecture highlights will be viewed, discussed, and experienced. Choose between the fresh air of the open-air decks or enjoy the comfort of the climate-controlled interiors during your cruise. The tour starts at the Michigan Avenue (DuSable) bridge and goes up the main branch of the Chicago River to Wolf Point before heading back past the Chicago Riverwalk towards Lake Michigan. On the way, you will learn about ornate, historic early skyscrapers like the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower, the imposing art deco Merchandise Mart, mid-century sky...

    The police were chasing drunken boaters, so the locks were closed to all. We spent a long time in Lake Michigan and still continued the tour of the river after the locks opened again. I think it was more like a 3 hour tour and it was great fun.

  • Chicago History Museum Admission

    2. Chicago History Museum Admission

    Explore the history of Chicago and America through a collection of permanent and temporary exhibits drawn from approximately 22 million holdings. "Chicago: Crossroads of America" explores Chicago’s development and its influence on American history. Explore a treasure trove of historical artifacts, including a chunk of the original Fort Dearborn, a restored original L train car, a re-created jazz club, and the actual first locomotive to operate in Chicago. Use all five senses to discover Chicago’s history with the “Sensing Chicago” exhibit, riding a high-wheel bike, hearing the Great Chicago fire, and even enjoying a famous Chicago-style hot dog. Check out temporary exhibitions on everything from Chicago art to the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Chicagoans, to the city's fashion history. Feel the intensity of the Great Chicago Fire and splendor of the World’s Columbi...

    Lived in Chicago my whole life and should've visited sooner!! Such a beautiful and wonderful museum! We're going back for sure. :)

  • Chicago City Mini Bus Tour with Optional Architecture Cruise

    3. Chicago City Mini Bus Tour with Optional Architecture Cruise

    After your hotel pick-up from most downtown Chicago hotels, board your climate-controlled minibus with a small group of twelve people or less. Enjoy the sightseeing tour which has won Chicago's "Concierge Preferred" award several years running.  Your tour begins in the heart of downtown Chicago, at The Loop.  Here you'll see incredible architecture, including the world's first skyscrapers.  You'll even go inside one that features a beautiful lobby designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  The stop also includes views of The Chicago Board of Trade and the Willis (Sears) Tower. After The Loop, you'll tour through Grant Park, which is known as the city's front yard. The centerpiece of the park is the Buckingham Fountain (operational May to October).  Museum Campus is up next, with three museums, Soldier Field and the most spectacular skyline views in the city.  After a ten minute photo stop, you'll...

    Excellent tour guide, personable, humorous, and knowledgeable. We will certainly highly recommend to friends and family.

  • Chicago: Must See Chicago 90 minute Walking Tour

    4. Chicago: Must See Chicago 90 minute Walking Tour

    Starting at the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), this tour gives you an overview of many of the must see buildings and landmarks in the City of Chicago. Led by an expert guide who has been rigorously trained by the CAC to be equal parts storyteller and educator, you will get a fantastic introduction to the city’s wide variety of architectural styles, construction methods, and materials. There is so much to see downtown, and this tour makes it easy and fun to learn about some of the buildings that make Chicago’s architecture world-class. There are lots of photo opportunities along the way, so be sure to bring your camera! The tour covers three of the main focal points of Downtown Chicago – the Chicago Loop, the heart of historic Chicago; the Chicago River, the lifeblood of the city; and Millennium Park, where the iconic “The Bean” sculpture is located. Landmark buildings covered on th...

  • The Chicago Theatre Marquee Tour

    5. The Chicago Theatre Marquee Tour

    Explore the grandeur of The Chicago Theatre, which opened in 1921, on a 1-hour guided tour. Your guide will accompany you through the elegant lobby, sweeping staircase and the majestic auditorium, which is complete with murals above the stage and on the ceiling. During your visit, you will get access to various sections of the seven-story, 3,600-seat auditorium and an intimate view of the 29-rank Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ, the first musical instrument having attained a city landmark status.  Next, view artist signatures on the dressing room walls, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Dolly Parton and many more. You will finish your tour on a high and feeling like a star as you get the chance to stand on the famous Chicago Theatre stage. Once called “the Wonder Theatre of the World”, the Chicago Theatre hosts over 175 events a year, bringing together the world’s brightest stars and g...

    Great tour, appreciate hearing and seeing historical accounts and changes. It was a disappointment To not to be able to go up on stage. We were not allowed, since there was a show that evening. I suggest the website be updated to indicate activities that may not be part of the tour.

  • Chicago's Modern Skyscrapers Guided Walking Tour

    6. Chicago's Modern Skyscrapers Guided Walking Tour

    Join a tour which focuses on Modernism, the dominant visual style of the 20th century, which continues to strongly influence design in the 21st century. Modernism has affected the shape of everything from houses to furniture and appliances, cars and even fashion. But the most spectacular effect of Modernism has been the modern skyscraper made of steel or reinforced concrete with vast areas of glass. It is a product of the age of mass production. Chicago is widely considered the birthplace of the skeleton frame, which forms the core of the modern skyscraper. On your tour, learn about how two men made a lasting impact on Chicago, Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and politician, Mayor Richard J. Daley. Enjoy superb views of the riverfront while walking along the River Walk. Highlighted buildings include Marina City, the Daley Center and the IBM Building.

  • Chicago: Riverwalk Guided Walking Tour

    7. Chicago: Riverwalk Guided Walking Tour

    Tag along on this essential Chicago experience: a guided walking tour of the Chicago Riverwalk. Spend your day exploring art, architecture, and all the locals’ favorite spaces. Visit the Meatpacking District, Chelsea Market, DuSable Bridge, and more. Birthed around the banks of the (now) Riverwalk, Chicago is a city teeming with tales. With the help of your local guide, discover the stories behind the sites you visit and see. Visit all four districts of the Riverwalk, each offering its own flavor of Chicago. Pass iconic sites including the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, DuSable Bridge, and the Marina Towers. As an added perk, become a Chicago insider with behind-the-scenes access at the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum. Stop at Heald Square and see the city’s many monuments and memorials. Along the tour, spot the touching Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Continue strolling d...

    Very knowledgeable. Hard to hear w all the noise at times. Went well beyond river walk. It was good but long.

  • Chicago: Private Architecture Tour - 3 or 6 Hours

    8. Chicago: Private Architecture Tour - 3 or 6 Hours

    Start with pickup from your hotel and meet your local tour guide, an expert on the architecture of Chicago. Travel through the city in luxury private transportation to discover its rich architectural history. See famous buildings such as the Sears Tower, The John Hancock Building, and the Wrigley Building Discover Gothic gems along the Magnificent Mile, historic brownstones, and the Frank Lloyd Wright homes of Oak Park. Enjoy a unique added value opportunity to view not only the outside but the amazing hidden interior of many of the buildings on the tour. At your discretion, make numerous stops along the tour to go to the top of the sky decks of famous skyscrapers. Walk along the Chicago River and enter the inside of buildings designed by many famous architects. This tour has several different options. Enjoy the sites of the downtown Chicago area with its many skyscrapers, amazing inte...

    We enjoyed our day with Stefan. He was friendly, knowledgeable and pleasant. With COVID restrictions and so many things not open yet, I think this made the tour a little difficult. We drove around a long time with Google Maps to find the Frank Lloyd Wright homes. I feel that guides should remember this info or have a cheat sheet to use. Otherwise, we enjoyed it. Also, upon signing up, it says someone from the local place will contact you. This did not happen. I had to email and confirm the night before that the tour was happening and the time/pick up location was correct. They should’ve reached out to me.

Other Sightseeing Options in Chicago

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What people are saying about Chicago

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 211 reviews

This tour gave me a new appreciation for the beauty of the buildings in Chicago! I recommend the tour - it was very interesting and worth the cost of the tour.

Knowledgeable tour guide for a beautiful tour of the Chicago skyline. We learned so much about the history of Chicago.

Not too crowded. Plenty of areas to see everything. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining.

I had the best of Chicago experience. Higy recommended. Best crew and guide.

Amazing experience if you want to know about Chicago's roots