Bucktown & Wicker Park Neighborhood Walking Tours
Explore forgotten history and surprising secrets. Walk in the footsteps of fascinating characters. Experience interactive mysteries. All expertly presented by a neighborhood local. You're sure to see and hear things you won't believe (and some you probably shouldn't).
Wicker Park and Bucktown are sister neighborhoods that share a lively and popular entertainment district. But each has its own distinct history, personalities, and bizarre stories. The two tours are completely different from each other, and both explore the streets and avenues where residents live, laugh, love, and die.
Known for its working class origins and artistic community, Bucktown is home to haunted pubs, storied churches, and hulking former factories. This 90-minute, 1.1-mile tour begins and ends at Walsh Park. Tickets are $25.
A special edition of Bizarre Bucktown with dark and disturbing stories that are told only on this flashlight tour. The 90 minute tour is just over a mile and features 13 stops. The tour concludes at Club Lucky, a neighborhood gem with a spirit of its own, and your first drink is included. (You'll need it.) Attendees must be 21 or older. Tickets are $35. Attendance is strictly limited to 12 people per tour, and last year all tours sold out, so please buy your tickets early to avoid disappointment. Begins Friday the Thirteenth of October.
Wicker Park, noted for its artists and hipsters, has a dark side. Learn about the snake oil tycoon, beer barons, and radicals who built and shaped this neighborhood. This 60-minute tour involves just under one mile of walking. It begins and ends inside the landmark Flat Iron Arts Building. Tickets are $20.
Hello, I'm Gordon Meyer. I created the tours and personally conduct each one. I've lived in Bucktown-Wicker Park for more than a dozen years, and I love showing people the unusual side of these great Chicago neighborhoods. During the day I'm a writer, and in the evenings I'm a performer. I'm a graduate of Chicago’s Second City Training Center, and I've been a magician for many years, so you can expect some surprises. Oh, and I'm also very tall.
“The tour was awesome! It was really engaging and I learned a lot. I really appreciated all the research…and the mysteries were an awesome bonus.” — Pat
Time Out Chicago recommends Bizarre Bucktown as one of “The Best Haunted Tours in Chicago”
“An engaging, thought-provoking and fun experience that is a welcome addition (and alternative) to Chicago's standard roster of historical tour offerings. Bizarre Bucktown packs a lot of uncanny lore and little-known factual information into a compact mile of walking.” — Meg
"One of Chicago's best walking tours! The Bizarre Bucktown walking tour combines history with a little bit of magic, with a tour guide who's easy to love, and a neighborhood local." — Choose Chicago
“I have lived in Bucktown 21 years and still learned more about my bizarre little community!" — Cheryl
“We were in Chicago on vacation and looking for things to do that weren't the typical tourist attraction. We stumbled upon Bizarre Bucktown online and it was one of the best parts of the whole trip! Gordon was a fantastic guide and put a lot of time and effort into making the tour fun. If you have the opportunity, take this tour!!” – Tina
“Awesome! Get to know the weird side of Bucktown on a one of a kind guided tour." — Time Out Chicago
“I thought it was great!!! I think you should charge more.” — Joy
“I loved hearing the ghost stories, but more than that I loved learning about the city and its history. Not a dull moment on the tour. Two thumbs up!!!!!!” — Todd
“We had a blast! The tour was truly wonderful, entertaining, and informative. Who would ever know the things that you pointed out? I’m still in shock over what you told us about St. Mary of the Angels.” – Nikki
“This is a really great tour. Bucktown has lots of colorful stories. Gordon has done the research and tells them in a very entertaining fashion.” — Ray
“Thank you for hosting a great walking tour - we all thoroughly enjoyed it!” — Andrea
“You are a remarkable storyteller!” — Chris
“” — Adam, Greg, and many others
Bizarre Bucktown: $25 per person
Bizarre Wicker Park: $20 per person
Tickets must be purchased in advance
No children under the age of 13 years
Use the calendar below to see available dates, click a date to buy tickets.
Tour days and times vary month-to-month. If the calendar above doesn't have a tour on the day you want, send an email to info @ bizarrebucktown.com or call 773/435-0097. Private tours are available for groups of two or more.
The total size of your group will be between two and twelve people. Group size is strictly limited out of respect for residents, and also to ensure that everyone can easily see and hear. Tours do sell out, so book early.
Tickets must be purchased in advance. If your plans are solid, buy your tickets now to avoid disappointment. Tours do sell out, and ticket sales stop approximately two hours before the tour starts. Walk-ups are not admitted.
Yes! Treat someone to either tour, which they can schedule on any available date up until Sept 30, 2017. Gift certificates are printed on nice paper and come in a velum envelope with a tour brochure. They can be sent to you, or directly to your recipient. Email info @ bizarrebucktown.com to enquire.
Once ticketed, tours happen rain or shine. Please check the Bucktown-Wicker Park weather.
Bizarre Bucktown lasts approximately 90 minutes. Bizarre Wicker Park lasts approximately 60 minutes. Please allow extra time in your schedule as the duration of the tour can vary by several minutes depending upon the walking speed of the group and other uncontrollable factors. Important: Please arrive a few minutes early. All tours begin on time and then leave the meeting place.
Bizarre Bucktown: Tours depart from Walsh Park, located at 1722 N. Ashland Ave. (View map) Walsh Park is the eastern terminus of The 606 and Bloomingdale Trail. Meet near the children's playground jungle gym. Look for me, Gordon, I'm hard to miss. (See my photo above.) Don’t worry, because you bought your ticket in advance, I will be looking for you too!
Bizarre Bucktown Special Edition: The Halloween tours begin at the corner of Wabansia Ave and Wolcott Ave. Meet in front of the closed Lincoln Tavern (1858 W Wabansia Ave).(View map)
Bizarre Wicker Park: Tours meet inside the historic Flat Iron Arts Building at 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave, steps away from the Damen station on the Blue Line (O'Hare) 'L' train. Meet at Studio #202 (Second Floor), headquarters for the walking tour. View map.
An outdoor walking tour is the best way to truly experience the neighborhood. We walk at a moderate pace, but make many stops. Most of the Bucktown tour happens on residential streets. The Wicker Park tour criss-crosses a lively commercial area.
Both tours are designed for adult audiences and attendees must be at least 13 years of age. I am happy to answer questions about the tours' mature content via email at info @ bizarrebucktown.com
I love dogs, but as a courtesy to other guests they are only welcome on private tours. Send a note to info @ bizarrebucktown.com to arrange a private tour.