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New Half-Day Bus Tours Explore Chicago Neighborhoods

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Experience Chicago’s diverse communities from an insider’s perspective with four new tours being offered by Chicago Neighborhood Tours.

Find out where more residents were born from around the globe than in any other Chicago community on the new Albany Park tour; celebrate the Lincoln Bicentennial and Burnham Centennial with special tours that travel to multiple neighborhoods; and discover sculpture, mosaics, paintings and monuments in surprising places on the new Art Around Town tour.

chicago-lincoln.jpgThese affordable half-day bus excursions highlight the history, stories, traditions, and most importantly, the people of Chicago. Choose from three kinds of tours: Neighborhood Tours that visit a broad range of Chicago communities, Special Interest Tours that explore Chicago themes and historical events, and Summertime Sampler Tours that combine brief visits of several Chicago neighborhoods.

With local residents as guides, NEIGHBORHOOD TOURS take visitors off the beaten path and into the heart of Chicago’s distinctive communities. New this year, the Albany Park tour (May 30, August 15) visits the Cambodian American Heritage Museum, the River Park Dam and Waterfall, the 155-acre-North Park Village with its roaming urban wildlife, and the famous Superdawg Drive-In. To commemorate the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, the new Land of Lincoln tour (April 4, August 1) travels to Civil War gravesites at Oak Woods Cemetery, the Stephen A. Douglas Tomb and Monument, Grant and Lincoln Parks, and the Chicago History Museum’s collection of Lincoln memorabilia.

chicago-hydepark.jpgOn the Hyde Park & Kenwood tour (April 18, July 18, September 19), drive by President Obama’s Kenwood home and see the University of Chicago campus where he once taught. Explore Hyde Park’s St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church and the Oriental Institute Museum followed by a walk through Jackson Park’s enchanting Osaka Garden. On the South Shore Neighborhoods tour (February 21, November 14), visit the South Shore Cultural Center, the site of President Obama’s wedding reception and an architectural landmark; stop at Saint Philip Neri Catholic Church; and see the restored New Regal Theater.

Other Neighborhood Tours include Great Parks of Chicago (April 4, October 3); Historic Bronzeville (April 25, September 12); Pilsen & Little Village (June 6, September 26); and Devon Avenue (June 6, August 8).

Led by historians and other experts, SPECIAL INTEREST TOURS explore Chicago architecture, culture, history, and food. Celebrate Daniel Burnham and William Bennett’s 1909 Plan of Chicago and its legacy with the new Make Big Plans: Burnham Centennial tour (June 13, July 11, August 8, September 12). Beginning with a presentation at the Chicago Cultural Center followed by a viewing of a Harold Washington Library exhibition, the tour proceeds to Jackson, Burnham, and Lincoln Parks, and ends at Burnham’s gravesite in Graceland Cemetery.

A returning favorite, the White City tour (various dates from February to November), visits the site of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition where hundreds of buildings originally stood and enthralled 27 million visitors. Another popular tour, Taste of the Neighborhoods (various dates from February to November), features trips to ethnic restaurants throughout the city to savor cuisines from lands near and far.

Additional Special Interest Tours include Polish Chicago (March 21, November 14); the Great Chicago Fire (May 9, October 3); Great Cemeteries of Chicago (June 13, July 11, August 15); and Literary Chicago (October 17).

SUMMERTIME SAMPLER TOURS combine the charms and histories of three diverse neighborhoods including Greek Town, Chinatown, & Little Italy (every Thursday from May 28 to July 16); Andersonville, Uptown & Lincoln Square (May 29, June 26, July 24, August 21); Humbolt Park, Wicker Park & Ukrainian Village (June 5, July 31, August 28); and Little Italy, Pilsen & Little Village (June 19, July 17, August 14). The new Art Around Town tour (June 12, July 10, August 7) visits mosaics, paintings, sculpture and monuments in parks, plazas, building lobbies, viaducts and other surprising places and illustrates why Chicago is a leader in public art.

Chicago Neighborhood Tours is a division of the Chicago Office of Tourism. For descriptions of tours and to make reservations, call 312.742.1190 or visit www.chicagoneighborhoodtours.com. All tours depart by motorcoach from the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph Street at Michigan Avenue, at 10 a.m. (check-in at 9:30 a.m.) and include some walking. The cost for each Neighborhood Tour is $30 ($25 for seniors/students) and includes refreshments. The cost for each Special Interest Tour is $50 ($45 for seniors/students) and includes lunch. Summertime Sampler Tours cost $20 per person. Group rates are available. Reservations are strongly recommended as tours often sell out. A calendar of all tours follows.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD TOURS 2009 CALENDAR

FEBRUARY
07 CHICAGO’S MAGNIFICENT CHURCHES
14 THE WHITE CITY
21 SOUTH SHORE NEIGHBORHOODS
28 TASTE OF THE NEIGHBORHOODS

MARCH
07 IRISH CHICAGO
07 BEAUTIFUL BEVERLY
14 GREEK CHICAGO
21 POLISH CHICAGO
28 TASTE OF THE NEIGHBORHOODS
28 THE WHITE CITY

APRIL
04 GREAT PARKS OF CHICAGO
04 LAND OF LINCOLN –new tour
18 TASTE OF THE NEIGHBORHOODS
18 HYDE PARK & KENWOOD
25 HISTORIC BRONZEVILLE
25 THE WHITE CITY

MAY
02 BEAUTIFUL BEVERLY
02 WICKER PARK & BUCKTOWN
09 THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE
09 PULLMAN HISTORIC DISTRICT
16 LITTLE ITALY
28 GREEKTOWN, LITTLE ITALY & CHINATOWN
29 ANDERSONVILLE, UPTOWN & LINCOLN SQUARE
30 TASTE OF THE NEIGHBORHOODS
30 ALBANY PARK –new tour

JUNE
04 GREEKTOWN, LITTLE ITALY & CHINATOWN
05 HUMBOLDT PARK, WICKER PARK & UKRAINIAN VILLAGE
06 DEVON AVENUE
06 PILSEN & LITTLE VILLAGE
11 GREEKTOWN, LITTLE ITALY & CHINATOWN
12 ART AROUND TOWN
13 MAKE BIG PLANS; BURNHAM CENTENNIAL – new tour
13 GREAT CEMETERIES OF CHICAGO - GRACELAND
18 GREEKTOWN, LITTLE ITALY & CHINATOWN
19 LITTLE ITALY, PILSEN & LITTLE VILLAGE
20 THE WHITE CITY
20 WICKER PARK & BUCKTOWN
25 GREEKTOWN, LITTLE ITALY & CHINATOWN
26 ANDERSONVILLE, UPTOWN & LINCOLN SQUARE
27 TASTE OF THE NEIGHBORHOODS

JULY
02 GREEKTOWN, LITTLE ITALY & CHINATOWN
09 GREEKTOWN, LITTLE ITALY & CHINATOWN 
10 ART AROUND TOWN
11 MAKE BIG PLANS; BURNHAM CENTENNIAL – new tour
11 GREAT CEMETERIES OF CHICAGO - ROSEHILL
16 GREEKTOWN, LITTLE ITALY & CHINATOWN
17 LITTLE ITALY, PILSEN & LITTLE VILLAGE
18 TASTE OF THE NEIGHBORHOODS
18 HYDE PARK & KENWOOD
23 GREEKTOWN, LITTLE ITALY & CHINATOWN
24 ANDERSONVILLE, UPTOWN & LINCOLN SQUARE
25 THE WHITE CITY
25 CHICAGO’S MAGNIFICENT CHURCHES
30 GREEKTOWN, LITTLE ITALY & CHINATOWN
31 HUMBOLDT PARK, WICKER PARK & UKRAINIAN VILLAGE

AUGUST
01 LAND OF LINCOLN – new tour
06 GREEKTOWN, LITTLE ITALY & CHINATOWN
07 ART AROUND TOWN
08 MAKE BIG PLANS; BURNHAM CENTENNIAL – new tour
08 DEVON AVENUE
13 GREEKTOWN, LITTLE ITALY & CHINATOWN
14 LITTLE ITALY, PILSEN & LITTLE VILLAGE
15 GREAT CEMETERIES OF CHICAGO - GRACELAND

15 ALBANY PARK – new tour
20 GREEKTOWN, LITTLE ITALY & CHINATOWN
21 ANDERSONVILLE, UPTOWN & LINCOLN SQUARE
22 TASTE OF THE NEIGHBORHOODS
22  PULLMAN HISTORIC DISTRICT
27 GREEKTOWN, LITTLE ITALY & CHINATOWN
28 HUMBOLDT PARK, WICKER PARK & UKRAINIAN VILLAGE
29 THE WHITE CITY
29 LITTLE ITALY

SEPTEMBER
03 GREEKTOWN, LITTLE ITALY & CHINATOWN
12 MAKE BIG PLANS; BURNHAM CENTENNIAL – new tour
12 HISTORIC BRONZEVILLE
19 TASTE OF THE NEIGHBORHOODS
19 HYDE PARK & KENWOOD
26 THE WHITE CITY
26 PILSEN & LITTLE VILLAGE

OCTOBER
03 THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE
03 GREAT PARKS OF CHICAGO
10 IRISH CHICAGO
10 BEAUTIFUL BEVERLY
17 PULLMAN HISTORIC DISTRICT
17 LITERARY CHICAGO
24 TASTE OF THE NEIGHBORHOODS
24 WICKER PARK & BUCKTOWN
31 THE WHITE CITY

NOVEMBER
07 CHICAGO’S MAGNIFICENT CHURCHES
07 GREEK CHICAGO
14 SOUTH SHORE NEIGHBORHOODS
14 POLISH CHICAGO
21 TASTE OF THE NEIGHBORHOODS
21 THE WHITE CITY

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