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Chicago Greeter Opens to Locals for Two Months Only

Celebrate “Staycation Months” in Chicago this June and July

This summer, the Chicago Greeter program invites locals to explore a new neighborhood or Chicago tradition with a Chicago Greeter. From June 1 – July 31, Chicagoans can celebrate “staycation months” by registering for a free, customized Greeter visit. Normally available only to out-of-town visitors, the Greeter service will be offered to Chicago residents exclusively during the months of June and July.

Chicago River, Chicago, Illinois

Chicago River, Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Greeter program is a free, informal tour service in which locals introduce guests to more than 40 special interest topics and 30 neighborhoods throughout Chicago. As volunteers, Chicago Greeters give two-to-four hour “insider orientations” to their favorite parts of Chicago—topics can range from hidden gem restaurants in Andersonville to public murals in Pilsen.

Visitors are matched with Greeters based on the individual’s interests, availability and language. Greeters personalize visits with their own experiences and specialties, taking guests across the city, demonstrating its walkability and the user-friendliness of its public transportation system. Visits are available to parties of six or fewer. Registration for June and July visits is open now at; reservation requests must be made 7-10 days in advance.

“Exploring a new neighborhood with a Greeter is a great way for Chicagoans to jumpstart their summer,” said Dorothy Coyle, Director, Chicago Office of Tourism. “You might live in Rogers Park and have never visited Pullman—now is your chance! The Staycation Months give locals an opportunity to discover new treasures in their own backyard.”

In addition to the traditional Chicago Greeter service, residents can rediscover their city through one-hour walkabouts at the new Old Town InstaGreeter Outpost, opening May 29 at the Second City (1616 N. Wells Street), the Hyde Park InstaGreeter Outpost, located at the Hyde Park Art Center (5020 S. Cornell Avenue), and Millennium Park Greeter, based out of the Millennium Park Welcome Center (201 E. Randolph Street). All outposts operate Memorial Day through Columbus Day; hours vary by location.

“Staycation Months” and the neighborhood InstaGreeter Outposts are part of the Chicago Office of Tourism’s 2010 summer tourism campaign, Explore Chicago: Eat, Play, Love our Neighborhoods. From June through September, campaign highlights include Family Day Camps, Neighborhood Scavenger Hunts, outdoor festivals and other free or budget-friendly events throughout the city.

Since April 2002, Chicago Greeter has been a resource for both visitors and locals entertaining visiting family and friends. In September 2003, Chicago Greeter launched its InstaGreeter program, an “on-the-spot” greeter service offering visitors the opportunity to see downtown Chicago in an hour with a Greeter leading free walking visits of the Chicago Loop. Additional InstaGreeter locations are now offered in Old Town, Hyde Park, and Millennium Park.

There have been over 8,000 Greeter visits and 2,500 InstaGreeter visits to date, servicing visitors from more than 80 different countries. Chicago Greeter and InstaGreeter visits originate at the Chicago Cultural Center Visitor Information Center, 77 E. Randolph Street. More information about the Chicago Greeter program and InstaGreeter services can be found at

The Chicago Office of Tourism (@explorechicago) provides a seven-day-a-week Twitter Concierge Service offering advice and suggestions about the city. Visitor service representatives answer questions and provide information with a focus on free and discounted events and activities in neighborhoods throughout Chicago.

Visitors and Chicagoans planning to entertain out-of-town guests can receive Chicago brochures, reserve hotel accommodations and receive trip-planning assistance by calling toll-free 1.877.CHICAGO (1.877.244.2246), or visiting Brochures and information on Chicago’s events and activities are also available at the Visitor Information Centers. The centers are located at Chicago Water Works, 163 East Pearson Street at Michigan Avenue and the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 East Randolph Street. The TTY toll-free number for the hearing impaired is 1.866.710.0294.

Photo by K2D2vaca

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