Fire truck tours are conducted for groups by reservation only.
O'Leary's can customize tours for birthday parties or specific
events and has a special Fireworks Tour that ends at Navy Pier. It
can even bring a fire truck to your door for birthdays.
If you are looking to boost your family's civic pride, O'Leary's
Chicago Fire Truck Tours may be the best tour in town.
Owner/Operator George Rabiela is a former captain with the Chicago
Fire Department. His pride in Chicago and its firefighters shines
through his unique view of the city and its many landmarks.
Guests of all ages get a kick out of riding down Michigan Avenue
in a 1965 vintage canopied fire truck while its speakers blare
great Chicago-themed songs. On our tour, kids in complimentary
plastic firefighter hats sang, "Go Cubs Go" while waving to
pedestrians along Roosevelt Road. As if the bright red engine isn't
enough, the balance of facts and history, Chicago architecture and
periods of classic music make this tour unlike any other.
The tour takes off from Illinois Street (at Michigan Avenue)
where you take in classic architecture like the Tribune Tower and
the Wrigley Building, but moves quickly along to new skyscrapers
like Trump Tower.
On our tour, the truck made its first stop at a working fire
station, Engine Company 13, in the heart of downtown, where
families heard about the dedication and sacrifice of firefighters
across the country. The station houses a 9/11 Memorial as well as a
memorial to a fallen Chicago firefighter. Rabiela doesn't shy away
from the dangers of the profession, so parents should be ready for
kids' questions about dying in the line of duty.
We caught a glimpse of Millennium Park and Buckingham Fountain
before making a second stop at the Chicago Fire Academy in the
South Loop. Here, we learned more about Mrs. O'Leary's cow and the
other theories related to the Chicago Fire. The academy is on the
exact spot where Mrs. O'Leary's barn stood, a fact my sons found
fascinating. Kids can watch firefighters in training and examine
some of the old-fashioned fire engines in the main lobby.
O'Leary's Chicago Fire Truck Tour
Alena Murguia lives in Berwyn, Illinois along with her husband and three growing sons.
See more of Alena's stories here.
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