A Letter from Dad About Fun Tours in Chicago

fun tours father's day chicago
Your dad is ready for some fun tours!

This blog post is written from the point of view of Alex as “Dad,” as immortalized in a photo from Halloween years ago.

Hello sport,

This is your father writing. Remember me? Man who bred and raised you. I’d hope you do! (haha!) Wanted to send along the photo up above. Do you still have that mustache? Your mother still has that sombrero! Happy times. Good memories.

It’s been a while, of course, since you up and left your mother and I (please call her – she worries!) to move out to the big city. We know you’re busy with your yogas and all of that, but we’re anxious to see you. So it’s time for a visit, and it’s time for Father’s Day, June 16 – right around the corner! You and me and your dear old mother are going to take some fun tours of Chicago! Your pop’s got a whole list of them ready to go!

#1. Annual Jazz, Blues, and Beyond on June 10th

In some ways, I blame myself. I must have sung “Sweet Home Chicago” to you a million times. It implanted this city in your brain. Actually, second thought, I don’t blame myself – I blame Jim Belushi! It’s his fault that you moved to Chicago and it’s Ringo Starr’s fault that your older brother ran off to join Beatlemania. To be honest, when I look at the photo above, the signs were already there regarding him and the Beatles. But we can heal together by going on the Jazz, Blues, and Beyond Bus Tour that Chicago Detours offers annually.

fun tours father's day Chicago

You get on a bus and visit old clubs, learn about SWEET HOME Chicago music history, and even get a blues harmonica lesson on the bus. And you know how your old Dad loves that Chicago architecture! Looks like the tour goes to Uptown and Bronzeville – both neighborhoods that I’ve never seen before.

This is at 10:30am on Saturday, June 10th, and apparently they only offer in once a year. WHICH MEANS YOU, MY SON, WILL HAVE TO WAKE UP EARLY FOR ONCE – HAHA!

#2. 1893 World’s Fair Tour with Bars

Scamp, this 1893 World’s Fair Tour with Bars should be a real treat. Your mother, bless her soul, has always been fascinated with the past. She says life was better back then. Always telling me that she wishes she’d raised all of you with only 19th century technology. Says she’ll do it that way with her grandkids SOMEDAY (hint hint – haha).

By the way, how’s it going on all that? Any kids yet? We’re waiting. If you don’t want to tell me now, then your mother can ask before the tour.

1893 Worlds Fair Tour iPad group

Speaking of! I think this is one of those fun tours that’ll let your poor mother live in the past for a few hours. She’ll get to visit spectacular buildings from the Gilded Age and discover how the World’s Columbian Exposition changed the whole dang country. The human-operated elevator will thrill her.

Plus, the two of us will get to share some drinks. Knocking back some cold ones with my son! Love it. Looking forward to it. We can do 5:45 next Wednesday, 1pm next Friday, or 4:30pm these next two Saturdays. Maybe we’ll take all of them. That will please Mother, I think. Or if we miss one of these times, then gift cards don’t hurt either!

#3. Loop Interior Architecture Walking Tour

Sadly, m’boy, our weekend visit will have to end on Father’s Day itself. We’ll have to race home that evening. Your mother needs her beauty rest. In fact, since you left, she will frequently sleep for days at a time. Don’t ask – it’ll worry her to know that you’re worried about her.

fun tours chicago father's day

But before we go, let’s all go on this Loop Interior Architecture Walking Tour together, hey? It’s mostly indoors, which will be good for my hair on a hot, humid Father’s Day weekend. (ha!) No joke, though, your poor old dad’s gone bald since you last saw him, son.

In all seriousness, we’ll stay almost entirely indoors on this 2-hour tour. Seems we get to explore hidden highlights like a church inside a skyscraper (glad to know we’ll be in church on a Sunday) and the mysterious underground Pedway tunnels. Nice and cool down there, I hear! The reviews for this tour are great and it runs at 1:30pm on Father’s Day, which is Sunday, June 18th. It oughta be a great cap to our visit.

Ah, any and all of these tours would make for a spectacular Father’s Day gift this year.

Looking forward to seeing you! Save some pizza for me!


Your Dad


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Private Tour Coordinator and Tour Guide

There is no shortage of things to discover in Chicago—I love being an urban explorer and uncovering its hidden places. I have an MA in Public History from Loyola University Chicago, and I have worked as a museum educator and kindergarten teacher. My desire to learn new things fuels my passion for educating others, which I get to experience every day as a Chicago tour guide. I live in the northern neighborhood of Rogers Park.

“Our guide Ellen was exceptional and gifted with a great personal touch.”


Tour Guide

Whether you are a first-time visitor or a lifelong resident, the vibrant history and modern majesty of Chicago never ceases to amaze. I’m a graduate of Columbia College with an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Art. I’ve worked for many years as an educator at City Colleges of Chicago. As tour guide at Chicago Detours, I integrate my enthusiasm for culture and architecture with my passion as an educator. West Town/Noble Square area is home for me.

“Jen was a perfect storyteller and kept us spellbound for hours.”


Tour Guide

With our Chicago neighborhoods, vibrant cultural institutions and nearly two centuries of larger-than-life stories, there’s never a dull moment here! I’m a fifth generation Chicagoan and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to guiding tours, I’m a creative writer and amateur genealogist. I also enjoy the city’s dynamic theater scene. You can also read overlooked stories from 19th-century newspapers on my “Second Glance History” blog. I live in River North.


Tour Guide

Chicago is unique as it always evolves into the future while holding on to the past. I’m fascinated by how people latch on to old architecture but happily pave over others. My background is in theater and performance and I’ve been a tour guide here for more than 10 years. Currently I’m finishing my Master’s in Public History at Loyola University because I love to teach the history of this scrappy city. I’m in the Edgewater neighborhood.


Operations Coordinator and Tour Guide

Chicago’s history is so fascinating, you could spend a lifetime uncovering its secrets…I’m willing to give it a try! I have an M.A. in US History from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and then pursued doctoral studies in Urban History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I love to learn new aspects of Chicago’s rich history and then share my knowledge as a tour guide with Chicago Detours. I live in Ravenswood.

“Marie was a bubbling fountain of information and contagious enthusiasm.”


Operations Coordinator and Tour Guide

As a fourth generation Chicagoan, I have been living and loving Chicago by bike, on foot, public transit or automobile. I am a graduate of UIC where through the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, began my eagerness to understand the nature, history and impacts of urban planning and development. It is incredibly rewarding to give back to this wonderful city by helping out in the office of Chicago Detours. I live in the incredibly diverse neighborhood of Albany Park.
“Sonny was extremely knowledgeable about all things Chi-town.”
Wade K


Content Manager and Tour Guide

Chicago has so many neighborhoods, buildings, and by-ways that it’s hard to go long without seeing something new, or something familiar from a new angle. I studied Cinema History for my M.A. from the University of Chicago. I’ve worked as a culture writer for various publications and as an educator of the humanities at the City Colleges of Chicago. I’m thrilled to share my love of this city’s busy past and unique architectural spaces with Chicago Detours. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park.

“Alex was fascinating to listen to. He clearly knows his history and it shows.”
Katie K

Amanda Scotese

Executive Director and Tour Guide

I’m an interpreter of personal stories from the past and the city’s landscape. I love to imagine what originally happened inside old unmarked buildings, and what forces have shaped their design. I studied Chicago history, architectural history, and anything Chicago-related through my M.A. in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. My love for stories was enriched by my B.A. in Literature from the University of Michigan. I’ve written travel articles for publications like Rick Steves’ Italy best-selling travel guides, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and The Chicago Food Encyclopedia. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of West Avondale.
“You can TELL Amanda is hyper-passionate about doing the research and getting the story that nobody’s heard before.”
Shelby F

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