Chicago Greeter ProgramExplore and experience the Uptown and Hyde Park neighborhoods with Chicago InstaGreeter! The hour-long walking tours are part of the official Chicago Greeter program. InstaGreeter is a spur-of-the-moment option with no reservations or registration required. All you have to do is pop into a departure location a designated meeting time. Get the most out of your visits to Hyde Park and Uptown with these FREE, fun and informative guided tours.


Hyde Park InstaGreeter

Dates: First Thursday of the month (July 7, August 4, September 1 & October 6)
Times: 4, 5 & 6 p.m.
Tours depart from: Ancien Cycles and Cafe, 1558 E 53rd Street

This tour will guide you through Hyde Park, one of the most historically significant neighborhoods of Chicago! Your InstaGreeter will share some fun facts about the area that wouldn't be readily available to the average visitor. Host of the Chicago World's Fair back in 1893, Hyde Park's past is rooted in innovation.

University of Chicago

Today, the area is a blend of old and new, and is known for the world renowned University of Chicago, one of the most highly respected colleges and research institution in the country. Just a hop, skip and a jump away, you can find late boxing-legend and activist, Muhammad Ali's house, as well as the home of former Illinois state senator and current President of the United States, Barack Obama. Don't miss the chance to check out the Robie House, also located in Hyde Park. The house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and is considered to be one of the most iconic masterpieces of American Design.

Hyde Park InstaGreeter Heller House

As you walk, your guide will point out the locals' favorite shops and restaurants along the scenic 57th Street. Tours will also travel through Nichols Park, location of 2 of the city's 4 unique sculptures that have been carved from dead tree trunks. At the end, you will be returned back to Ancien Cycles and Cafe, the off-campus hub of the neighborhood. 

The fun doesn't have to stop once your tour does. Don't miss out the discounts and specials offered by 50+ Hyde Park establishments every first Thursday of the month. Get 15% off clothes from Akira, $5 sandwiches from Ancien Cafe and more when you mention "First Thursday". From the Museum of Science and Insustry to the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute, there's plenty to do in Hyde Park. Visitors can easily spend a whole day in the neighborhood with this Hyde Park Itinerary

Uptown InstaGreeter

Dates: Second Saturday of the Month (July 9, August 13, September 10 & October 8)
Times:  2, 3 & 4 p.m.
Tours depart from: Crew Bar + Grill, 4804 N Broadway

Uptown was in full swing during the ‘20s. Nearly a century later, the prohibition-era glitz and glamour is still roaring in this north side neighborhood of Chicago! Let your InstaGreeter guide you around town showing you the coolest things this area has to offer.

Essanay Studios

With your tour passing Art Deco classics like the newly restored Uptown Bank and Uptown Theatre, you're sure to be awestruck by the architecture. Go past the post office on N. Broadway and see more Art Deco in the form of murals commissioned by the Works Progress Administration in 1935. Then, learn about Chicago's brief golden age in film. The old Essanay Studios building where Charlie Chaplin shot "His New Job" back in 1915 still stands in the Uptown neighborhood today.

Green Mill Uptown

Your InstaGreeter will also show you a local's guide to most happening places in this Uptown.  Visit Green Mill, the infamous 100-year old Chicago jazz club and favorite hangout of Al Capone, where you will be transported back to the swinging good times of the ‘20s. Your InstaGreeter will also take you past the Aragon Ballroom and Riviera Theatre — venues built in the early 1900s that now hosts some of the hottest names in music including Alabama Shakes & Major Lazer. This north side neighborhood's vibrant nightlife is sure to "Uptown Funk" you up.

Aragon Ballroom

At the end of your 60 minute journey, you'll be returned back to Chicago Cultural Center and can explore all that Uptown has to offer. For dining ideas, check out Little Saigon for Asian Cuisine on Argyle Street. For some live entertainment, stick around after your tour to see Uptown Saturday Nights, a concert series offering free shows around Uptown every second Saturday of the month. Enjoy the next performance July 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Butterfield Park (4901 N. Sheridan).

To learn about more FREE tours, read our full article on Chicago Greeter!