1893 World’s Fair Tour with Bars
This very special walking tour digs into how and why the 1893 World’s Fair captures 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, you’ll dig deeper on this downtown tour. You'll visits some of the few remaining and spectacular buildings from the time of the World’s Fair, also known as the World's Columbian Exposition. The fairgrounds themselves were south of downtown, but you can best see the impact of the fair in the Loop. Here the architecture and landscape still show the World’s Fair imprint even today, nearly 125 years later. And beyond just looking at buildings from outside, our mostly indoor walking tour sees the beauty of architectural details within.
On this fun and insightful walking tour, you’ll venture into beautiful architectural spaces from the era. You will play a few thoughtfully designed games, like visual scavenger hunts. Along with guide commentary, your guide will show you photos and archival materials via shared iPads that illuminate this historic event of the 1893 World's Fair.
On this walking tour, you will eat a couple light snacks and we'll play a few educational games with prizes for the winning team. Plus, you can opt to get drinks (on you) at two stops, and we end in a building from 1893 that has numerous drinking options! You can think of this 2.5-hour-long walking tour as being 5% outdoors, 95% indoors, 20% clue-based games and visual scavenger hunts, 10% drinking time, and 100% awesome historical tour time. We know the math doesn’t add up – we hope you get the idea!
With just intermittent walks outside, the 1893 World’s Fair Tour makes for a great walking tour in all seasons. This tour makes the World’s Fair’s lasting impact come to life. We hope you’ll join us!
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
- A secret alley building
- The opulent Chicago Athletic Association 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 Tour Includes:
- Professional tour guide commentary
- Shared iPads with historic photos
- One small snacks
- Game prizes and gifts
Reservation Does Not Include:
- Drinks: At the tour meeting spot, we welcome you to get a drink at the bar before check-in. To streamline the tour, we take your order and cash for your second drink at check-in ($8 for beer, $10 for wine, includes gratuity). At the third drink stop, you may independently purchase a beer, wine, or cocktail of your choice.
- Dietary restrictions: one small snack is included. We may be able to accommodate vegetarians. If you are gluten-free, dairy-free, or have other allergies, we cannot make substitutions.
- Tour guide gratuity.
Walking Distance: 0.9 miles
Walking tour ends inside the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, 12 S. Michigan Ave.