My tours are unlike any other. They are factual, but far from boring. The focus is on unusual, forgotten, and sometimes dark history. You’ll learn perspectives that reflect my experience as a resident, details from countless hours of research, and whispered tales from neighborhood old timers.
I’ve lived in Bucktown-Wicker Park for thirteen years. I’m a graduate of the Second City Training Center, and I’ve been a magician for decades so you can expect some surprises along the way. Oh, and I’m also very tall.
“...combines history with a little bit of magic, with a tour guide who’s easy to love” — Choose Chicago
Now in its fourth year, Bizarre Bucktown tells the stories of the neighborhood’s iconic factories, churches, and taverns. Hear about the hauntings, scandals, murders, and activism that belie the residential streets. We’ll walk for just over a mile, in about 90 minutes. We begin and end at Walsh Park. Tickets are $30.
“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
Now in its second year, Bizarre Wicker Park begins inside my Victorian parlor at the landmark (and haunted) Flat Iron Arts Building. You’ll learn about the snake oil tycoon, the beer baron, and the artists, radicals, and mobsters that built and shaped this popular neighborhood. We’ll walk for just under a mile, in about 60 minutes. Tickets are $25.
“We’ve done several of Gordon’s tours and they are always entertaining, informative, and fun! We took my parents once and it’s a great activity for visiting family.” — Lindsay
Chicago’s most unique park is an elevated trail made from a former railway. Bizarre 606 is a self-guided tour of the strange and obscure along the trail as it slices across Bucktown and Wicker Park. Sign up for my mailing list to receive a free copy of the tour that you can take along when you visit the park.
A Bucktown and Wicker Park scavenger hunt that you play using your cell phone. It’s a free, fun way to explore the neighborhood while sampling its strange and forgotten history. Sign up for my mailing list to be notified when the game debuts in June.
Time Out Chicago recommends Bizarre Bucktown as one of “The Best Haunted Tours in Chicago”
“We booked a private tour with Gordon for my husband’s birthday. We had an awesome evening and learned new things we never knew about the neighborhood or Chicago for that matter. I highly recommend this tour for tourists and locals. We already can’t wait to take his other tour. Thank you again, Gordon! I’d give 10 stars if I could!” — Dani
“My boyfriend and I played tourists in our own city this weekend and Gordon”s Wicker Park tour exceeded all of our expectations! A fun way to spend an afternoon!” — Maggie
“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
“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
“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
“I have lived in Bucktown 21 years and still learned more about my bizarre little community!” — Cheryl
“Awesome! Get to know the weird side of Bucktown on a one of a kind guided tour.” — Time Out Chicago
“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
“Thank you for hosting a great walking tour - we all thoroughly enjoyed it!” — Andrea
“I took my 16 year old granddaughter on the Bucktown tour. Not an eye roll or snapchat for the entire 90 minutes! I highly recommend this experience for residents and visitors. I have been on this tour 3 times. Love it.” — Joy
“You are a remarkable storyteller!” — Chris
“” — Adam, Greg, Carol, and many others
Bizarre Bucktown: $30 per person
Bizarre Wicker Park: $25 per person
Tickets must be purchased in advance
No children under the age of 13 years
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.
Tickets must be purchased in advance, walk-ups are not admitted. 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.
Yes! Treat someone to a tour, which they can schedule on any available date up until Sept 30, 2018. Ticket vouchers are printed on nice paper and come in a velum envelope with a 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.
Full details, directions, and transportation recommendations are provided via email with your tickets. Bucktown and Wicker Park are about two miles from downtown Chicago and are accessible by subway (Blue Line/O’Hare ‘L’ train), Metra (commuter rail), CTA (bus), and of course taxi or ride share.
We walk at a moderate pace, but make many stops. Most of the Bucktown tour is on residential streets. The Wicker Park tour criss-crosses a lively commercial area. The Bizarre Wicker Park tour begins on the second floor of the Flat Iron Arts building, which requires navigating two flights of stairs. The building has an elevator, but it was the first elevator installed in the city of Chicago, so it sometimes isn't working.
Both tours are for adult audiences and attendees must be at least 13 years of age. I am happy to answer questions about 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.