The Disaster! Tour Details

April 22, 2013 9 Comments »

This tour will run until 11/2/14 and then it will go on hiatus until warmer days. It is available as a private tour or choose one of the other tours, like the Pedway Tour, that run all year!

TIMES: Thursday and Sunday at 1:00PM – the tour is 90 minutes and is 20$.

EXPECTATIONS: This tour is about a mile and a half – a good amount of walking in city streets and all that entails. It’s a fairly quick-moving tour with ups and downs, escalators, stairs, revolving doors, curbs, etc.

KIDS: Sure, this tour is great for kids as long as they’re not too sensitive, we do talk death and destruction! And mayhem!

“If there’s a flaw, it’s human. It always is.” – Colin Farrel – Minority Report

DESCRIPTION: What do a dense army captain, an unbalanced boat and mess of ghost cows have in common? They’re all included on the Disaster! Tour. This award winning tour (named Best New Tour by Chicago Magazine!)  takes you through a series of unfortunate incidents, from the largest theater fire in the history of the world, to the um…mistake…made by the Dave Matthews Band in 2004.  We’ll wander through creepy alleys, go underground to the Pedway and look out for ghosts swimming in the Chicago River. No part of the urban fabric is free from mayhem! Come discover how human folly and regrettable timing led to Chicago’s greatest disasters and alternately, it’s greatest victories. This tour does have some sensitive information on it, it’s a death and destruction tour, but we probably laugh more on this tour than any other, don’t let the death and destruction scare you.


START LOCATION: The corner of Wacker & Wabash by the statue of George Washington and friends, I’ll have my red baseball cap on so you can find me.

We took the “Disaster” tour on labor day weekend with our 2 teenagers. Margaret was energetic and engaging and had just the kinds of stories that held the kids’ interest. It was a great way to learn about some of the architecture and history that has formed Chicago’s personality. Margaret is a great guide, and if we’re in Chicago again, we’d definitely go on another of her tours. Highly recommended! – JJ from St. Paul



  1. Chris September 15, 2011 at 12:10 pm -

    This looks like a great tour. Sounds very informative and on point.

  2. admin September 15, 2011 at 1:26 pm -

    Oh thank you very much! It’s a really weird and fun to give alright alright.

  3. Serhiy Pylawka October 21, 2011 at 6:05 pm -

    If you tire of walking you can always take a train. Check out this new book by me about how to see Chicago sitting down.

  4. admin October 26, 2011 at 11:07 am -

    Hey Serhiy, that looks really neat! Congratulations on your book!

  5. boyd whitt August 27, 2013 at 8:29 pm -

    Great tour and a very energetic tour guide

  6. Margaret Hicks August 28, 2013 at 1:22 pm -

    Whoo! Thank you Boyd!

  7. Debra Marlin October 18, 2014 at 8:53 pm -

    Great tour. The Binocular Tour! We laughed and cried and had such a wonderful time learning what you know and love about your city. Thanks again.

  8. Margaret Hicks October 20, 2014 at 12:28 pm -

    Thank you Debra! I’ll see you next time around!!

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