Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking my kids on a tour of Chicago on a double decker bus from Chicago Trolley and Double Decker Company. Growing up in Chicago, the thought never really crossed my mind to go on a tour of the city, but I like giving my kids new experiences so we decided to go. I realized that I’m always driving or trying to get somewhere with them and we never end up admiring the buildings or noticing new things that we could be taking advantage downtown!
Our tour guide, Patrick, was hilarious and energetic, pointing out so many sights in the city. My kids laughed many times and listened to all of his interesting facts, stories and jokes.
My daughter talked about which buildings were her favorites and asked questions like, “How are sky scrapers built?” It was so great to sit on the top of the double decker bus, with the cool breeze through our hair (definitely a plus on a 90 degree day). And with being up so much higher we had an amazing view! We had the chance to see all of the intricate stone carvings on the buildings and incredible views throughout the city. Most of all we got the chance to relax and talk, laugh and share the experience which was awesome.
We had decided to make it a “transportation day” so we rode the train in the city, walked to the pick up location for the double decker, walked to the Millenium Park fountains afterwards to run around and play, then took a cab back to the train station. It was freeing not to worry about parking and my kids had a blast experiencing so many different ways of getting around! The Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Company also has options for hopping on and off to get to many locations in the city so you can take advantage of parts of the tour with other destinations as well.
Here’s the details on what the Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Company offers…
The Signature Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour
The Signature Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour covers 13 miles with 13 stops, giving patrons the option of visiting Chicago’s hottest retail, cultural and family attractions. Among the stops on the Signature Tour are Skydeck Chicago, the famed museum campus (Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium), Millennium Park, Water Tower Place, The Art Institute, Navy Pier and the John Hancock Center. The full downtown tour is approximately two hours riding time, with all day access to hop on and off. Tours operate daily from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
The Neighborhoods Tours
The treasures of Chicago’s rich culture and historic charm come alive through Chicago Trolley’s Neighborhoods Tours. The North Neighborhoods Tour travels to Wrigleyville (home of the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field), the Lincoln Park Zoo and Chicago’s Blue Man Group at the Briar Street Theatre. The South Neighborhoods Tour stops at the Museum of Science and Industry, tours though the beautiful Hyde Park neighborhood and travels through the site of Chicago’s legendary Columbian Exposition. During the lively tour, guides will weave in stories and highlights of President Obama’s Chicago experiences and connections. The world becomes a smaller place with The West Neighborhoods Tour. This special route offers a sneak peek into Chicago’s rich, cultural diversity by taking passengers though Chinatown, Greektown and Little Italy.
The City Lights Night Tour
The City Lights Night Tour, which operates May 1 – Sept. 30; 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. (last boarding time is at 10 p.m.), allows passengers to view the city at night in all of its lit up glory. Highlights will include the John Hancock Center, Millennium Park, Navy Pier and the Magnificent Mile. Tickets for City Lights Night Tour are included in the Explore Chicago ticket or can be purchased separately for $20.
The Explore Chicago Pass is a 3-day pass that includes access to Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co.’s famous Hop-on Hop-off Signature Tour plus all three Neighborhoods Tours as well as the City Lights Night Tour. The pass includes a free Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co. t-shirt, free treats from Garrett Popcorn and Hershey’s, as well as a coupon book with over $100 in savings at partner venues.
Explore Chicago Passes are $45 for adults; $18 for children 11 and under (children under 3 ride free). Passes can be purchased from Chicago Trolley & Double Decker red-vested tickets sales agents posted in multiple locations throughout the city or online at
www.chicagotrolley.com. Riders will save 10% off of regular rates when purchasing tickets in advance online (discount does not apply to the 1-day ticket). Groups of 15 or more receive a 20% discount off the regular retail price per ticket. To receive this group rate, tickets must be purchased in advance by calling the Group Ticket Sales Department at 773-648-5000.
A One-Day ticket for $35 is also be available.
Tours operate daily with vehicles departing the designated stops every 8-12 minutes beginning at 9 a.m. year round. The last boarding call is 5 p.m. daily during the summer months, Memorial Day through Labor Day. There are no tours Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
This post brought to you by Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Company.