Gifts for People Who Love Chicago

People who love Chicago appreciate gifts that show some Chicago pride and explore the stories of our city’s architecture and history. At least – this is what we think! We at Chicago Detours have designed, printed and compiled holiday gifts. These limited-availability gifts are available for purchase in our Chicago Gift Store.

Badass Women Journal Booklet

The Badass Women Journal is designed to uplift and inspire people who respect diversity, love women’s history, and are badasses themselves.

We give a portion of the proceeds to the South Side Giving Circle of the Chicago Foundation for Women.

This 5.5” x 8.5” booklet with blank pages and eight fun and colorful illustrations of inspiring women from the past who we should know about. Included are brief stories of each woman, including daredevil pilot Bessie Coleman and community activist Guadalupe Reyes. These women have Chicago roots with impact that resonates  well beyond our city limits and across the country. 

Blank pages include some thought-provoking quotes from famous female heroes like Gloria Steinem and Michelle Obama. 

Buy this gift for all the badass women in your life – moms, daughters, wives, sisters, cousins, co-workers, bosses, and friends. 

Chicago Architecture Crash Course Rental 

This 12-week rental of the “Architecture Crash Course” series explores Chicago’s most renowned feature across history. Your rental is for the entire series of recordings of our half-hour-long live, virtual presentations.

Topics range from grand commercial structures to humble neighborhood cottages, and from urban redevelopment to the historic preservation movement. 

Buy this “Architecture Crash Course” rental for the people you know who love learning about architecture! Includes our Virtual Boat Tour as a bonus!

gift card holiday virtual event

Printed Gift Card

Give the gift of a live, virtual event from Chicago Detours. A friend or loved one can join you from afar!

What’s a virtual event?
Stories of Chicago architecture and history told by a live narrator with vivid images. Games and creative challenges make them exciting and interactive. We have remotely hosted more than 26,000 guests on our five-star-rated live events, which we hold via Zoom. 

We specialize in live virtual events for corporate team-building and offer these at least monthly to the public. 

Your gift recipient can sign up for their choice of date, time and event. Public event options include “Badass Women of History” and “A Deep Slice of Chicago Food History.” We do our interactive virtual events for the public at least once every month. 

Buy this gift card and your recipient will receive a tangible gift in the mail, which is always fun!

Digital Gift Card

Directly email a gift card for a public virtual event from Chicago Detours. A friend or loved one can join you from afar! 

Your gift recipient uses their gift code to sign up for their choice of date, time and event.

  • $20 gift card covers the full value of a single ticket.
  • $35 gift card covers household (2-5 guests).

Our public virtual events are a great way to connect with family and friends from afar. 

SWAG FOR PRIVATE VIRTUAL EVENTS

All of the above make for a great addition to a swag gift box for our private virtual events. Our quality swag ideas thematically tie in with your event and enhance the sensory experience for virtual event guests.

We also have food options and a historic liqueur gift available for their corresponding virtual events. Learn more about our virtual events for remote corporate team-building by filling out this form

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Ellen

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.”
Robert
GetYourGuide

Jen

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.”
Heather
TripAdvisor

Elyse

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.

Anthony

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.

Marie

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.”
Lorit
TripAdvisor

Sonny

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
TripAdvisor

Alex

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
Yelp

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
Yelp

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