About Margaret Hicks

I'm Margaret. I'm an author, a tour guide, a traveler and a whole bunch of fun.

Photo courtesy Chicago Tribune.

Get Up On – Tour Guide Recs

I haven’t done a solid Get Up On in quite awhile, but man, I’ve met some neat people and I want to share with you the cool things people are doing:


I met Dan Black at an On The Table event in May. On The Table should get they’re own Get Up On, because it’s such a cool event. My mind shifts every time I go to one, which is…um…twice, but still. I met Dan and he told me about Slow Roll. Slow Roll plans bike rides on Wednesdays from April to October. All ages, all skill levels are invited to ride, and they go through different neighborhoods focusing on low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. It’s bike riding for everyone, bike riding for social change, bike riding to show that all neighborhoods are accessible. It’s just so cool. Get Up On It.


Monkeying around, I found this interview with Tristan Hummel.  I loved the interview and thought it was a great looking website. I saw the call for creatives and entrepreneurs,  I reached out and I’m glad I did. Saturate Chicago has a great site with these great interviews, but what it’s going to be eventually is events to bring people together. Olivia believes that creative people are all inspired by each other – writers by photographers, chefs by writers, painters by tour guides. She brings these people together in a really inclusive way. It’s in the beginning stages, but the events she’s done already were huge successes. We’re hoping to do something together soon. Stay tuned.


We tour guides are pretty friendly with each other. We’re all so different but all in love with the same thing – it’s fun to get to know other guides. This Get Up On is about my friend Marlin, owner of Chicago Running Tours. Marlin is the absolute best. You might think that running tours are too much pressure, but once you meet Marlin you’ll understand that he is so easy going, so friendly, so careful and care-full about his information, he’s a total joy. His saying is “the slower you go, the more we’ll show,” so you need not worry. I went on one of Marlin’s tours there were lots of breaks, plenty of chances to catch your breath. The best part? Tours are in the morning, so you did a 5K, learned something, and it’s 8:30 in the morning so you feel like a badass because you are one.

This is Marlin at one of our Tour Guide Association meetings.

This is Marlin at one of our Tour Guide Association meetings.

Burnham V Sullivan – The Tour of the Century!


They’re back! Wendy from WendyCity and Margaret from Chicago Elevated (that’s me!) are back.

You may remember we joined forces to do a Richard Nickel tour, a loving and respectful tribute to one of Chicago’s greatest and most misunderstood heroes.

But this time?


Our next tour is a special, one-time-only tour, but this time, it’s a race to finish, the debate of the century, a fight for the heart of the city. Two tour guides enter and only one architect wins.

Mark your calendars, book the sitters, get your tour clothes washed and pressed, because on July 17, at 1PM we will ask and answer the question on everyone’s lips:


Oh, we know you can’t compare them (but we’re gonna), we know it’s like apples and oranges (doesn’t matter, we’re gonna), we know you can’t really call one man better than another (but we’re gonna).

Margaret will represent Burnham, Wendy will represent Sullivan and we will THROWDOWN. By comparing buildings, styles, employees, behavior, wins and losses, these two tour guides will try to convince you which one is BETTER.

Guests will have the chance to vote and of course we know gambling is totally illegal, but if you wanted to get in the game, we can always turn the other way – this is Chicago of course!

Deets: July 17, 2016 at 1:00PM

Cost: 25$

Time: 2 hours-ish

For tickets and more information, click here.



Chicago Flag Tour

The Chicago Flag Tour

Why a Chicago Flag Tour?

Because, I love this city.

I love it for so many reasons, but what I love most are Chicagoans. I love our pride and our casual way and our kindness and our strength and our ability to walk quickly down sidewalks and up escalators. I love the way we talk about the weather even when it’s really nice outside. I love the way we love our sports teams. I love the way we treat our tourists, I love that we will rarely stand in line for anything and if we do, it’s because it’s worth it. I love that we love Marshall Fields and the Sears Tower and whatever the Hancock will become.

And one of my favorite things about Chicagoans is how much we love the Chicago flag.

We LOVE OUR FLAG! We love it so much. We wear it on our hats and tshirts and our SKIN. Once I show the flag to tour guests, they love it too, then look up their own city flag and it’s this cool way to show pride.

So! In honor of America and Chicago and the summer and a holiday weekend – I’m doing the first and only CHICAGO FLAG TOUR! BOOM. I’m so excited.
We will walk the Loop from the Riverwalk to the Lake, from the official center of the city to the to the point where it splits. We’ll learn about each stripe, each star and each space in between, how the flag came to be and exactly why we love it so very much.

The tour will be July 3rd, 10:30, it’ll be 90 minutes – 2 hours-ish and tickets will be 19.17, the year the flag was chosen. Tickets can be purchased right here.

Write me, call me with any questions!

Chicago Corruption Tour!

A Tour Guide Takes Tours – The Chicago Corruption Tour

Chicago is a tour town, no doubt about it. I would like someone to do a study of cities and their tours and I believe you would find that there are more tours in this city then almost any other. There are tours for everything in this town, Pedway (heh!), cupcakes, Capone…fossils.

But finally, we’ve all waited too long for this, we have the Chicago Corruption Tour!

When I read about the Corruption Tour, I knew that now was the exact right time for it and Paul was the exact right guy to give it.

After reaching out, Paul and I decided to do a tour swap – well I messed up his version of coming to see mine – but I got out to see his yesterday and it was great.

We start the Corruption Tour at the Metropolitan Correctional Center – that seems appropriate. There were maybe 15 of us, so a nice intimate group. Paul was fun and welcoming when I got there and so were the other people – a nice mix of ages and interests and we were all really excited to be there.

Paul is a great guide, fun and funny, but never dropping the seriousness of what we’re talking about. He gently chides us for the classic “that’s the Chicago Way” which he reminded me later was a line from the Untouchables about guns and revenge – not about corruption.

He breaks down the differences between “corrupt” and “just not doing your job very well” which was a great way to get to the meat of the matter when talking about our four governors that have gone to jail, or the bizarre machinations of City Hall.

The tour covers histories I was waiting for (it was fun to guess which corruption story was coming next!) like George Ryan and Blago, but I learned so many new things too.

The Corruption Tour is broken down into a shorter tour at 90 minutes and then you can keep going for a full 3-hour tour as well. In a testament to the tour, there were people on Sunday who paid originally for the short one and then paid extra to keep going. I had to leave for my own tour, but I must admit, I was jealous and curious about what was going to happen next.

I believe The Corruption Tour is sold out for the next forever months, but if you’re interested in reading more about it, you can do that here.

1 2 3 65