Downtown Chicago Holiday Walking Detour - PUBLIC TOUR

From USD $50.00
  • Duration: 120 Minutes (approx.)
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Product code: HOLIDAYTOUR

On this special holiday tour, we’ll see some classic Chicago holiday traditions and hear the off-the-beaten path stories that you expect from Chicago Detours. Instead of whizzing by Christmas lights from a bus, we’ll walk downtown Chicago to fully enjoy the spirit of the holidays. While we can’t predict the weather, you won’t get too cold! We’ll venture into a few warm locales and stay inside more than half the time. Executive Director Amanda will be leading these limited dates for public tours. 

You'll see the top holiday highlights, and hear some inside stories on this holiday lights tour! Learn about Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’s birth in Chicago, or about how Mayor Richard J. Daley saved the Christmas Parade. We’ll even have an overview of the development of consumerism for Christmas. This walking tour is not your typical holiday lights tour of Chicago!

The holiday tour has some classic experiences, too. We’ll go into the former Marshall Field’s Department Store, where Chicago holiday traditions have a rich and long history. You'll get the opportunity to gaze at the giant holiday tree of the historic Walnut Room and hear the forgotten history of magical window displays. 

Holiday Tour Highlights

  • Drink a “Tom and Jerry” holiday cocktail at the historic Miller’s Pub
  • Understand the artistry of department store window displays
  • See the Great Tree of the historic Walnut Room at Macy's
  • Hear the story of the “Christmas Tree Tragedy”
  • Discover the Chicago roots of little white holiday lights
  • Conclude at the Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza

Holiday Tour Sites

  • Historic Miller’s Pub
  • Palmer House Hotel
  • Holiday lights on State Street
  • Macy’s Department Store
  • The Chicago Christmas Tree in Millennium Park
  • Chicago Theatre and its Famous Marquee
  • The Chicago Pedway System

Ticket Price
$50 covers tour design, professional tour guide commentary, printed Pedway map gift, postcard souvenir and intimate group size of 14 maximum guests.  

If you would like to get a Tom and Jerry cocktail, bring $14 cash per person (includes tip). Non-drinkers don't need to bring cash. 

Must show proof of vaccination to participate. Masks must be worn indoors at all times, unless drinking. Masks are optional outside. 


Tour starts inside Sugar Bliss Cakes, 122 S. Wabash. 

Ends across the street of the Christkindlmarket.

Total walking distance approx. 0.6 mile. 

Public Tours 5pm-7pm 

Fri, Nov 26 SOLD OUT

Sat, Nov 27 SOLD OUT

Fri, Dec 17

Sat, Dec 18

Thu, Dec 23

Are You Curious About Us?

Since 2010. Chicago Detours has been bringing curious people to tour Chicago architecture, history and culture. Learn more here

Private Groups

If you want an experience exclusive to your group, or have 8 or more guests, then you'll need a private tour

Call us at 312.350.1131.