Category Archives: Uncategorized

NFL Draft is Back in Chicago!

Grant Park hosted the NFL Draft in 2015, and for the first time in its history, the event became a family festival rivaling Lollapalooza and Taste of Chicago. With over 200,000 in attendance, the NFL saw the kind of organizational skills that Chicago brings unrivaled by any city in the country.

 

It was no surprise to us at Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours because we utilize Chicago’s gorgeous lakefront all year round. We’ve seen millions gather to celebrate Barak Obama’s election and the Chicago Blackhawk’s trophy. We’ve seen waves of crowds form to watch Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson don their Championship rings, and Pope John Paul II speak. This city and its front lawn are no strangers to this kind of attention.

 

This year, we expect to double the attendance. Weather permitting, there could be half a million people attending the four-day event. Most will be outside in Draft Town which is what the NFL is calling the outdoor festivities. Once again, this will include 32 team tents, a hall of fame museum, and gobs of games, competitions, and races. And inside, the ticket holding attendees and television audiences will be treated to the magnificence of the Auditorium Theatre—a building that defined modern architecture.

 

Absolutely Chicago Segway will be running tours during the whole weekend enjoying the sights and sounds of this wonderful event!

Easter Egg Hunt?

We’re big kids here at Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours, and we love to have a great time playing in great park. If you’ve been on tour with us, you probably have the same feeling. However, I have some bad news for you. The Easter Egg Hunt in Maggie Daley Park is for kids under 6 years old.

Don’t worry, we’ll have Segway tours all weekend long. We’ll be unearthing hidden Easter eggs of wonder all over the Grant Park, Museum Campus, Burnham Park, and beyond! We’ve been having lovely spring weather, and of course, we offer the ultimate outdoor adventure in Grant Park.

So come embrace your inner child, and celebrate this Easter weekend on a Segway.

Chicago native, Merrick Garland, is nominated to the US Supreme Court

President Obama just nominated the Skokie, IL-born D.C. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland to the highest position in the judicial branch of the US Government. If confirmed, the acclaimed judge will give Chicago representation in all three co-equal branches of US Government. He would join President Obama who famously paid homage to the Windy City by giving his 2008 acceptance speech in Grant Park and among others, Puerto Rican-American congressman Luis Gutierrez—one of the United States most prominent Latino lawmakers.

The grandson of Jewish immigrants who escaped persecution and antisemitism to find a better life in America, Garland is like many Chicagoans. The city of big shoulders was built by immigrants from around the world and Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours features many on our tours especially the River Parks and Architecture Tour that begins again in May. From the city’s founder, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, to German expat, Mies Van Der Rohe, obviously, a city established in 1837 will have many contributors from outside the U.S., and even more obviously, we love to show them off!

Garland follows Justice John Paul Stevens, whose family built the Conrad Hilton Hotel featured on our Lakefront/Museum Campus tour, as the most recent nominee for the Supreme Court from Chicago. So come join us at Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours as we celebrate our city’s contribution to American democracy.

Celebrate the One you Love – on a Segway

In the US, we celebrate holidays a little bigger than other countries. For Halloween, we eat candy; for Christmas, we eat cookies; for Easter, we eat candy. We eat a lot of sugar! More importantly, we don’t sweat the details. Nobody spends time looking up the reasoning behind the color green on St. Patrick’s Day. We dye rivers first and ask questions later!

St. Valentine, the patron saint of courtly love, may or may not have given his life to marry four couples around 270 BCE. Claudius II may or may not have beheaded the Bishop for this reason in the 3rd century, but one thing is for certain, the great martyr would have loved to see you on a Segway with the one you love. It’s an expression of true devotion.

Whether you want to honor a Catholic Saint or spite a tyrannical Caesar, at least celebrate the one you love. Segways are perfect for this. They’re quiet because of their efficient electric motor, they’re sleek like a well-fitting tuxedo, and heck, I’ll say it, they’re sexy! Chalky hearts and stuffed bears are passing fancies. Memories can last 1800 years!

Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours is open through Presidents Day weekend honoring courtly love on Sunday and George Washington on Monday!

Kick off Your Summer at Grant Park

Segway season has started, and at Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours, we are buzzing around Grant Park  on our orange Segways like busy bees. The upcoming Memorial Day weekend is when we really kick into high gear for the summer season. It’s when we launch our full slate of tours including our popular Navy Pier Fireworks Tour and Chicago Gangster Tour.

Along with beautiful blooming gardens and our bright orange Segways, Grant Park is a hot spot for summer fun! Some of the most exciting new activities are at the new Maggie Daley Park. One of our favorites is the new rock climbing sculpture, which opened last Tuesday. It’s the first and only Climbing Park in the city of Chicago!

Already thrilling park-goers with its ice skating ribbon this winter and epic slides this spring, Maggie Daley Park’s newest addition, the Malkin-Sacks Rock Climbing Walls, adds a whole new dimension. Boasting 19,000 square feet of space with walls up to 40 feet high, the custom-designed rocks and boulders offer a fun and unique outdoor recreational activity.

The varying skill levels and low fees make the climbing walls a family friendly activity that everyone can enjoy. Children as young as 4 years old can climb as long as they can fit in the safety harness. It’s only $15 to rent equipment including a bright orange helmet.  After taking a certification class, there is a low fee of $7 a day to climb. A monthly membership is also offered for $55 a month.

After you’re done with your climbing, stop by and see us at 238 E Monroe. We’ll provide another orange helmet so you can enjoy the only tour of Chicago on orange Segways. This Saturday night May 23, we will be launching with our first Fireworks Tour of the year. Don’t miss this annual display of Lake Michigan firepower from our special lakefront spot. It’s a tour guide favorite!

Whether gliding, sliding, or climbing, there are so many ways to get around Grant Park this summer. We hope to see you there!

NFL Draft Comes to Chicago

The only NFL event more heavily scrutinized than Absolutely Chicago Segway Tour’s annual fantasy  draft is the actual NFL Draft, and it’s finally back in Chicago. Fifty-one years after it was last held in the windy city, this years draft will be unlike any before and will set the tone for all future NFL ceremonies. The league is raffling 3000 tickets for the indoor event at the Auditorium Theatre and hosting 16 football fields worth of outdoor activities!

Started in 1936 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia, the draft was nothing more than a backroom meeting, but when Chet Simmons, president of ESPN, asked NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle if he could televise the draft in 1980, football’s fanatic following began. It gave the fans a way to connect to the total process of their football squad. It created a sense of personal association where players became stars, coaches became kings, and even General Managers became household names.

Just ask a Bears fan what they think of recently fired GM Phil Emery, you’ll hear an opinionated diatribe impossible in before ESPN (celebrating it’s 25th year) started filming the draft. The NFL would like to see that excitement translate into opportunity, and that’s where Chicago came in. Boasting a record of $48 million in tourism revenue last year, Mayor Emanuel flew to New York to convince current NFL commissioner Roger Goddell that Chicago is “the capitol of America’s heartland.” Using the kind of gusto that earned us the ‘windy city’ moniker in the run up to the 1893 World’s Fair, in his own words, the mayor, “made him an offer that he couldn’t refuse.” And we got it!

Starting April 30 at 4pm at Congress Plaza, from Buckingham Fountain to the Auditorium theatre, Draft Town will celebrate everything NFL. Draft Town includes an indoor sky diving simulator called the Sweetness Simulator, an outdoor sports bar called Draft Tavern, a 40-yard LED screen where fans can watch themselves get blown away in a 40-yard foot race with NFL players, and much more. Buckingham Fountain will get in on the act surrounded by NFC and AFC row with Team House’s for each NFL squad, and here’s the kicker—the fountain will light up in the color of the team that is on the clock!

Of course Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours will be joining in on the excitement of the NFL Draft experience with tours gliding through Grant Park and around Draft Town’s epic weekend.

Haunted Halloween in Chicago

Death and Destruction! Chaos and Carnage!

Warped by the disasters that shaped its form, Chicago is one of the most haunted cities in America. Its moniker, the Second City, is because it’s built on the bones of its old body. The 1871 fire left nothing but a scorched carcass, and the while the bell on top of City Hall rang out to warn the citizens about the unstoppable force of flame moving north, it also sang a different kind of sinister tune—one of ghosts, ghouls, and hellish fiends! Unearthed on that fateful day, these phantoms tormented Chicago for the next 150 years. From the most murderous building fire to the worst maritime disaster in US history, we’ve seen the gravest of catastrophes. With one great cataclysm after another, it’s amazing that our city has survived and thrived.

Enter the Segway—a machine designed by Dean Kamen who made a living creating medical devices. We admit it’s a weird union: Haunted/Segway Tour. All I can say is, it works. It’s a clean efficient machine that is the best chariot through the dirty history of Chicago’s storied past. We glide comfortably through the beautifully landscaped modern day loop while imagining it’s spooky past.

And this is the best time to go! While we do this tour every Thursday night, in the Halloween season we run the haunted experience Wednesday through Sunday at 6:15pm and 9pm. Join us if you dare.

What to do with a Teen on Vacation

When I meet parents with teenagers I am always hearing the following:
“Teenagers are impossible!”
“What can I do that’s fun and safe with my kids while on vacation?”
“How can my teen be bored when there is so much beauty all around?”

Let’s face it, teenagers are easily bored. So here’s my advice: Get that kid on a Segway! Freedom! Adventure! Segways!

I’m not claiming to be an expert on child psychology. All I can do is speak from experience. If you’re interested in breaking down the barriers that separate your teenager from his or her surroundings, get them on a Segway. It’s a safe way to peel away the layers of boredom that surround a teen.

I recommend the Haunted Segway Tour or the Fireworks Tour.  Both are at night, a challenging time to schedule safe activities for kids, and both are a blast.

The Haunted tour glides through the well-lit Grant Park area where you can see the city’s Noir mystique. The architecture warps into a more adventurous glow as we roll into the city. The haunted stories are fun and never overly informational.

The Fireworks tour is lovely for all the same reasons, but there are fireworks! The city lights glow bright on the left. The Fireworks blast off ahead, and below, the water sparkles reflections of the colorful cinders. Romantic explosions with smooth Segway gliding are two opposing kings who compliment each other putting everyone just out of their comfort zone and open for fun!

No matter which tour you choose to take with Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours, you’re going to have a good time. It’s going to be an adventure with memories that  will last for years to come and become a highlight of your vacation.

Double the Fun with the Taste of Chicago and a Segway Tour

Yes! The rumors are true: You can have your cake and eat it too! Literally. What better time to explore the sights, smells, and tastes that this beautiful city has to offer, than during the Taste of Chicago? Not only can you consume more types of food than you ever thought possible, but you can also fuel up while discovering what makes Chicago one of the most wonderful cities in the world. After you’ve devoured your turkey leg and marveled in the glory of ice cream, sausages, and Chicago-style pizza, segue into the tourist aspect of the city. Here in Chicago, however, walking just won’t cut it. Sure, the city is set on a grid, so navigation shouldn’t be much of an issue. Why walk, though, when you can Segway! There’s nothing better than wheeling around the city on a piece of machinery made just for locals and tourists (and mall cops of course). Trust me. The best part? You don’t have to travel far. After spending your morning on Columbus Drive scarfing down plates upon plates of food, simply exit the gates on Monroe. You are now standing at the doorstep of Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours.

Perhaps you’ve seen them. They’re the tours with the gliders grinning from ear to ear donning the latest line of brilliant orange helmets. They’re the tours with the gliders raving about how much fun they had and how wonderful the guides are. Segways, especially by Absolutely Chicago, are a must-do in the city. Now that you’ve eaten to your heart’s content and glided in style around this dazzling city, you can officially said you’ve conquered the city. And that is something worth celebrating. What better way to celebrate than with an Absolutely Chicago Segway tour?

Chicago is Our Kind of Town in September!

Summer is winding down. That doesn’t slow down the city of Chicago, though – it’s still buzzing with all kinds of festivals and activities.  Here are some great ways to enjoy Chicago during the month of September!

  • Sample from over 345 wines from around the world at The Windy City Wine Festival on Sept 8 and 9 at Buckingham Fountain.  This festival is all about wine, food, music, and friends. Learn about new varieties of wine while enjoying live music, cooking demonstrations and great food from some of Chicago’s best restaurants.
  • Fall is always a great time to celebrate Oktoberfest, whether you’re in Germany or right here in Chicago! The 28th Annual Berghoff’s Oktoberfest is Sept 11-13 and has something for everyone. With free daily admission from 11 AM to 9 PM, you can enjoy live German musical performances and great German food and beer.  A VIP Experience, complete with an all-you-can-eat-and-drink buffet and bar, is also available for a fee and offers a fun experience for group gatherings and office outings.
  • The FREE World Festival Chicago 2013 takes place Sept 12-22 and features several musical artists at different locations throughout the city.  Presented by the City of Chicago and produced by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, this city-wide, multi-venue, eleven-day festival has attracted over 600,000 concertgoers and has presented more than 600 artists and ensembles from over 80 countries since it began in 1999.
  • Riotfest is held Sept 13-15 and provides an affordable outdoor punk, rock and alternative music at Humboldt Park featuring bands such as Fall Out Boy, Blink-182, and The Replacements. You can even create your own personal lineup!
  • The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art offers museum-quality curated art and design by 120 exhibitors and is held Sept 19-22 at Navy Pier. Also known as Expo Chicago, this event  has established itself as a preeminent art fair and cultural destination with art from over 125 leading international galleries representing 17 countries in 36 cities.
  • And finally, Chicago Gourmet will be held Sept 27-29 in Millennium Park. This premium food and wine event features over 100 of Chicago’s finest chefs, along with hundreds of renowned vintners, spirit makers, and premium breweries from around the world.  Attendees can enjoy live cooking demonstrations, expert seminars, beer and food pavilions, and wine tastings.

Take advantage of all of these great festivals and many others in Chicago during the month of September!   Hope to see you around town!