A combination of food and drink with incredible architecture, fascinating historical stories of turn-of-the-century Chicago, and visual scavenger hunts and clue-based games.
This very special walking tour digs into how and why the 1893 World's Fair captures our imaginations more than any other event in Chicago history. Unlike other World's Fair tours and "Devil in the White City" tours, which likely revolve around facts and trivia, we dig deeper. We dug through archives, studied photographs, and designed games to devise a fun and insightful walking tour.
This walking tour is much more than just a tour! The food and beer on our tour connect with stories of the 1893 World's Fair. With just intermittent walks outside, the 1893 World's Fair Tour makes for a great walking tour this winter and spring.
We did serious sleuthing to create a downtown tour of the few remaining buildings from the time of the World's Fair. People think that you have to go south of downtown to understand the history of the World's Fair, but it's impact on the architecture and landscape of downtown Chicago is still visible today.
Tours that identify distinctly as "food tours" have guests eat a ton of food. On our walking tour we will eat a pleasant amount that can comprise a light meal.
Think of this 3-hour-long walking tour as broken up as 5% outdoors, 95% indoors, 20% clue-based games and visual scavenger hunts, 20% food and drink time, and 100% awesome historical tour time. We know the math doesn't add up - we hope you get the idea!
1893 World's Fair Walking Tour Highlights
Colorful mosaics in a hotel built for the 1893 World's Fair
The sweeping grand lobby of the Auditorium
Building Ride one of the last elevators downtown with a human operator
Delicious German food at the Berghoff Restaurant
See downtown Chicago's last remaining pre-Chicago fire building
The opulent Chicago Athletic Hotel, once an exclusive men's club
1893 World's Fair Walking Tour Stories and Ideas
The rapid changes in culture around the turn of the century
The 1893 Fair's array of foods and food sculpture Parlor songs in the past
The beginnings of consumer culture and advertising Amusements on the Midway of the 1893 World's Columbian
1893 World's Fair Walking Tour includes
- Professional tour guide commentary
- Shared iPads with historic photos
- Tastings that can comprise a light meal
- Game prizes and gifts
1893 World's Fair Walking Tour DOES NOT INCLUDE
- Beer or Wine Package: At check-in, guests have choices:
- Water ($3 CASH per person) - Covers server gratuities
- Beer package ($11 CASH per person) - 1 full-size beer + 2 sample-size beers
- Wine package ($11 CASH per person) - 1 glass of wine + 1 sample-size glass
- THESE FEES INCLUDE OUR RATHER HIGH CHICAGO RESTAURANT TAXES AND SERVER GRATUITY.
- Additional optional drink: For our last stop, guests may independently purchase a beer, wine, or cocktail of their choice.
- Tour guide gratuity or giving program donation.
Walking Distance: 0.9 miles
Walking tour ends inside the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, 12 S. Michigan Ave.
Link to meeting point map: