Audio Slideshow: Family Adventure Days are a cheap, easy way to see Chicago
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
You don't have to do any driving, someone else makes the picnic lunch and a guide entertains both you and your kids. Oh, and do this all for less than $50 for a family of four, including food.
Family Adventure Days, which take place on Fridays from June 25-Aug. 27, and on Saturday, Aug. 28, let families choose from tours that visit six different Chicago neighborhoods. At $12 per person ($10 if you use the code word KIDS when booking online), your family will ride public transportation to places like Bronzeville and tour interesting Chicago locations, plus enjoy a boxed picnic lunch at a scenic city spot.
Liz Hoffman tagged along a July 2 tour of Bronzeville and Bridgeport. Click here for an interactive map or watch the audio slideshow below to see highlights from the tour.
"It's a very special, extreme service experience. All the planning is done; you get to go along for the ride and enjoy the trip," says Dorothy Coyle, director of the Chicago Office of Tourism.
Tours run from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and reservations are required. Book early since tours fill up. The trips are best for kids 6 and up, with things even older kids will enjoy, Coyle says.
The Frauenheim family came down from Holland, Mich. for the July 2 Bronzeville tour. Though they come to the city fairly often, says dad Bill, the tour was a chance to see a side of Chicago most tourists don't get to.
"We know the city but kind of do the same things every time," he says. "It was exactly what we had hoped, just a nice, fresh look at the city in an area we probably otherwise wouldn't have come to."
In addition to the tours, the city is also offering free Chicago Greeters for July. The greeter service pairs a knowledgeable tour guide with your family for a customized tour. Register for the greeter service online at chicago greeter.com.