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Conference Tours

Advance Tour Registration is now Closed. Tours can be purchased onsite at the ALA Tour Desk in the McCormick Place Convention Center South, Level 1, West Transporation Lobby.

To help our attendees have the best conference experience possible, ALA is working with In the Loop Chicago Tours (ITLC) to offer various tour and outing opportunities for attendees while in Chicago. Scroll down to view the many different tours available.

ITLC reserves the right to cancel any tour that does not meet the minimum number of guests. ITLC will refund all ticket costs, if ITLC cancels a tour. All attendee cancellations must be received in writing via fax (312) 870- 1188 prior to the Friday, June 3, 2005. There will be a $10 processing fee for all cancellations. Cancellations after the deadline will not be refunded.

Tickets for tours will be distributed at the Tour Desk in the McCormick Place Convention Center South, Level 1, West Transporation Lobby. Each guest should plan to arrive at the Tour Registration desk 20 minutes before the slated departure time. The tour will begin on time and will not be able to wait for late comers. All tours include a guide and any admission fees, taxes, gratuities and service charges. Some tours include lunch.

If you have registered for a tour and have no received confirmation, you can call ITLC at 866.877.8907.


Tours

Chicago City Highlights Tour
Friday, June 24, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Sample the strength and beauty of Chicago on a three (3) hour tour, led by an expert guide. Visit the museum campus, home to the Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, and Field Museum - one of the most beautiful portraits of the lakefront. Cruise down Michigan Avenue, “the Magnificent Mile,” home to countless renowned designers and shops. Glimpse the Merchandise Mart and other architectural marvels. See Harpo Studio, where Oprah Winfrey tapes her show! Visit the site where the Great Chicago Fire started and hear how this sparked a great urban growth spurt. Pass by the brilliant Buckingham Fountain. Along the way you’ll see some of the ethnic enclaves that make Chicago a “city of neighborhoods.” Your guide will narrate the history of the financial canyon of LaSalle Street, the economic engine of the Midwest! On your ride back, you will pass Millennium Park as well as the Symphony Center and The Art Institute of Chicago.
Tour cost: $37

Millennium Park: “An Unparalleled Destination”
Friday, June 24, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Discover how Chicago has jumped into the Millennium…Park! Located in downtown Chicago on Michigan Avenue, the 24.5-acre park is an unprecedented center for worldclass art, music, architecture and landscape design, where you can experience everything from interactive public art to free classical music presentations by the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus. Take the journey into the international destination with an expert guide who will highlight the significance and magnitude of Millennium Park to Chicago. Explore the park’s most prominent features: the dazzling Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in the United States, designed by Frank Gehry, one of the world’s greatest living architects; and Cloud Gate usually referred to as “The Bean”, one of the world’s largest outdoor sculptures.
Tour Cost: $57

River North Galleries: Chicago’s Art on Display
Friday, June 24, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
An enriching part of any trip to Chicago, discover the treasures that the city’s galleries have to offer! A guide will take you through several of River North’s finest galleries, each exhibiting a diverse range of objects and styles. Once an old manufacturing and warehouse district, this trendy area just west of the Gold Coast is now home to the largest concentration of art galleries outside of Manhattan! During your tour, learn about the innovative style seen in contemporary paintings, marvel at creative use of everyday objects as art medium, and gaze at the twists and turns of colorful glass that are artfully shaped into eye-catching designs. Hear about the fascinating lives of the featured artists, including Lino, a Venetian glass artist who blows his glass stateside in order to use American apprentices. Also learn about the intricacies of galleries and the culture of hospitality and “open doors” this district is striving to communicate to the public.

The day concludes with a final (optional) artistic journey: lunch. Located in the heart of the Gallery District, Allen’s is a chef-centric restaurant that spotlights Chef Allen Sternweiler’s vision of the complete dining experience. Allen’s- The New American Café offers an American contemporary menu with global influences featuring a broad range of intense, international flavors and textures. Known for his dedication to food and wine pairing, Chef Allen takes pride in selecting the very best harmony of flavors. Allen’s is a total reflection of Chef Allen, his culinary interpretations and his personal style. (Lunch included)
Tour Cost: $92

Cycling Along The Lakefront
Saturday, June 25, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Biking in Chicago is really easy, lots of fun, and very safe thanks to Chicago’s magnificent lakefront with 18 miles of designated bike paths! It is the perfect way to tour the city, exercise and get some fresh air. The group will have its own professional Bike Navigator to guide them on a trip from Navy Pier to Lincoln Park. This ride includes it all - nature, adventure, history, and beauty. Lincoln Park is Chicago’s green haven with 1,200 acres of wonderful parks, beaches, serene lagoons and glorious nature attractions such as Lincoln Park Zoo, The Conservatory and The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Chicago’s most popular ride! (Map, water bottle, bike, biking equipment included)
Tour cost: $57

Chicago City Highlights Tour
Saturday, June 25, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sample the strength and beauty of Chicago on a three (3) hour tour, led by an expert guide. Visit the museum campus, home to the Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, and Field Museum - one of the most beautiful portraits of the lakefront. Cruise down Michigan Avenue, “the Magnificent Mile,” home to countless renowned designers and shops. Glimpse the Merchandise Mart and other architectural marvels. See Harpo Studio, where Oprah Winfrey tapes her show! Visit the site where the Great Chicago Fire started and hear how this sparked a great urban growth spurt. Pass by the brilliant Buckingham Fountain. Along the way you’ll see some of the ethnic enclaves that make Chicago a “city of neighborhoods.” Your guide will narrate the history of the financial canyon of LaSalle Street, the economic engine of the Midwest! On your ride back, you will pass Millennium Park as well as the Symphony Center and The Art Institute of Chicago.
Tour cost $37

Chicago Neighborhoods
Saturday, June 25, 10:30 am – 3:30 pm
Kick off your day with a brief trip through Chicago’s Little Italy district, before moving on to the oriental themed boulevards of Chinatown. Stroll through the sculpture garden and shop in a wide array of specialty shops! In Greektown, you will indulge in a lunch of regional delicacies such as saganaki, fresh rotisserie-roasted lamb and baklava. After a satisfying meal, discover the heart of Chicago’s Mexican community in Pilsen, where the sight of brightly colored murals and the sounds of salsa music surround you! Take time to appreciate the works local Latino artists that are featured in the Mexican Fine Arts Center (admission included). Experience the customs that have shaped Chicago into the culturally rich city that it is today! (Lunch included)
Tour cost: $67

House of Blues Gospel Brunch
Sunday, June 26, 9:00 – 11:00 am
Praise the Lord and pass the biscuits! Head over to the House of Blues and experience the popular Sunday Gospel Brunch. Located on the river and in the unmistakable Marina City Complex, the House of Blues-Chicago is an extravagant 55,000 square feet multi-faceted entertainment mecca – a must-see for any out of town guest! The Music Hall, modeled after the elaborate “Estavovski” Opera House in Prague, houses this weekly event. Touted as one of the most exciting brunches in Chicago, the Gospel Brunch features a delicious southern- inspired feast coupled with the best gospel choirs this side of Heaven. Great food, sensational beats, and a world-class venue – it doesn’t get more Chicago than this! (Includes meal and performance)
Tour cost $82

Marshall Field’s Historic Tour and Lunch
Sunday, June 26, 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
Spanning an entire block and rising up nine levels, the historic State Street Marshall Field’s is a shopping lovers paradise! Participants will appreciate the architectural wonders and historical highlights of a building that has been a Chicago landmark since 1852. Convene with your tour group at the Archival exhibit, documenting the store’s past. For the next 45 minutes, marvel at architectural innovations, including the stained glass Tiffany dome - the largest mosaic of its kind! Don’t forget to visit the four-faced Great Clock at the corner of State & Washington Streets, a well-known symbol in the city that has been keeping time for over a century! Indulge in an elegant threecourse lunch at the famous Walnut Room Restaurant. Save room for the most important part of the meal, a box of Marshall Field’s celebrated Frango Mint Chocolates. Then, armed with a special discount shopping card, store map and listing of daily instore promotions, such as trunk shows and cosmetic makeovers, you will be free to shop to your heart’s content! (Lunch included)
Tour cost: $62

Chicago Architectural Cruise & Michigan Avenue: Rolling on the River
Sunday, June 26, 1:15 – 4:15 pm
Discover the beauty and rich architectural history of world-famous buildings with a cruise down the Chicago River! You will see it all, from the gothic greatness of the Tribune Tower to the Sears Tower, an awe-inspiring structure that is so tall it requires its own zip code! During your 90-minutes on board, sit back, relax and listen as your expert narrator guides you through the development of Chicago’s magnificent skyline. Admire the innovative IBM building, the last major Chicago design by the great Mies van der Rohe. Gaze at Marina City, the five-building complex that includes two sixty-story apartment towers, offices, restaurants, garages, hotels and a marina. The sleek vertical lines of the NBC Tower will draw your eyes up to the tip-top of this stunning structure that was modeled after New York’s RCA Building. Before you know it, you will have viewed a total of 40 breathtaking buildings and gained knowledge about the revolutionary styles of celebrated architects! Off the boat, your expert tour guide will highlight the attractions and shops in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. Following a brief tour, you will have time to explore the Magnificent Mile on your own.
Tour cost: $54

Greektown And Chicago By Night!
Sunday, June 26, 5:30 – 10:30 pm
Go west to Greektown for a delightful dinner at one of Chicago’s favorite eateries! Discover the unique cuisine of this wonderful ethnic neighborhood! In Chicago, the first Greeks arrived as ship captains in the 1840s. They started out as food peddlers and by natural progression, became restaurant owners. Around the turn of the century, the Greeks concentrated around the Harrison, Blue Island and Halsted area. From 1970 to 1990, most of the current restaurants and businesses opened and a flourishing shopping district has sprung up around the original storefronts. Greektown’s ethnic festivals celebrate the contributions made by the Greek culture to Chicago’s community.

After dinner…discover Chicago By Night! This city is full of surprises, from the glimmering lakefront to its outdoor museum of architecture. Sample the strength and beauty of this great city by deluxe motorcoach following dinner! Stop at the Sears Tower (admission included), Chicago’s tallest building, which boasts the city’s longest view: 80 miles in any direction on a clear day! You will visit the Observation Deck for a stunning nighttime view. Prior to returning to your hotel an expert guide will point out and provide commentary about the towering buildings and unique monuments of downtown that make up our city! (Includes dinner and 2 glasses of wine)
Tour Cost: $92

Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio and Unity Temple
Monday, June 27, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
You will journey to the nearby suburban neighborhood of Oak Park, where Frank Lloyd Wright’s legend began. During a 45-minute tour through his Home and Studio, an expert docent will recount the story of Wright’s work and life in Oak Park, the location where he and his family spent the first 20 years of his career, from 1889-1909. You will have the chance to learn more about Wright’s famous “Prairie style” architecture and the meaning behind it. After leaving the artist’s home and studio, your docent will take you on a relaxing stroll through the neighborhood’s Historic District. The district boasts 25 other Wright buildings – the world’s largest concentration of Wrightdesigned structures!

Before continuing your tour, enjoy lunch at Cucina Paradiso, located off Oak Park’s renowned Oak Park Avenue. Cucina Paradiso specializes in classical and modern regional Italian Cuisine. Begin your meal with a flavorful antipasto, followed by their famous thin pizzas, pastas, and tempting entrees.

After enjoying fine cuisine, visit Unity Temple, the first public space created by Wright in 1908. Frank Lloyd Wright said, “Unity Temple takes an entirely new architecture…and is the first expression of it.” The U.S. Department of the Interior gave Unity Temple its highest historical and architectural honor in 1971, designating it a National Historic Landmark. Unity Temple is the last remaining public building of Wright’s “golden period,” the era when he founded The Prairie School of Architecture and Design. (Lunch included)
Tour cost: $87

The Art Institute of Chicago: a Closer Look
Monday, June 27, 10:15 am – 2:15 pm
Behold the magnificant treasures of the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, home to 275,000 works of art, spanning 50 centuries. Discover the collection through experienced eyes of a museum expert with a host of fascinating little-known Art Institute stories to share. Hear about the generous Art Institute donor and Chicago sophisticate Bertha Honoré Palmer, who traveled the world with her favorite Renoir painting. Learn the history of the famous lions, “On the Prowl” and “In an Act of Defiance,” guarding the Michigan Avenue entrance. Discover how the Art Institute became the first museum to own a painting by Claude Monet.

You may think you’ve heard and seen it all….but there is more artistic greatness to come! At your leisure, take time to explore the galleries of your choice. Perhaps you will choose to admire prized European paintings, from El Greco’s famous Assumption of the Virgin to Seurat’s greatest work, the remarkable dotted painting A Sunday on La Grande Jatte. Compare Claude Monet’s impressionist scenes to those of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, painter of the glittering nightlife in Bohemian France. (Lunch on own)
Tour cost: $64

North Shore Gardens: Gardens Galore on the North Shore
Monday, June 27, 10:30 am – 4:30 pm
Spend a day surrounded by the glorious floral displays that make up Chicago’s North Shore Gardens! As you journey north from downtown along beautiful Lake Shore Drive and Sheridan Road, an expert guide will share the history and architecture of the area with you as you travel to your first stop - the Bahá’í House of Worship. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, this magnificent structure has attracted more than five million visitors since it’s opening in 1953. Smell the fresh scent of roses as you stroll through the serene garden. Admire the carefully ornamented walls and 135- foot dome that encompasses you with its strength and beauty.

The most striking aspect of the Chicago Botanic Gardens, your next stop on the tour, is its physical face. It features 23 beautifully designed gardens, from the romantic English Walled Garden to the wild Midwestern Prairie. Your visit begins with a 45-minute narrated tram tour around the perimeter of the Garden. Learn about herb gardens, perennial beds, rock gardens and rhododendron plantings. At the conclusion of the tram tour, enjoy a relaxing box lunch amidst the flora. Then exercise those calories away with a self-guided walking tour through one of the spectacular gardens. Choose from one of several options: the Rose Garden, Fruit and Vegetable Garden, or Japanese Garden. (Lunch included)
Tour cost: $67

Adobo Grill & Second City Comedy: Zesty Eats & Comedic Feats
Monday, June 27, 5:30 – 11:00 pm
Begin your evening with a little taste of Mexico! A feast for the eyes and palate, Old Town’s exciting Adobo Grill combines warm southwestern ambiance with eventive cuisine. Located right next door to The Second City, the Adobo Grill expertly serves up authentic, regional Mexican cuisine in a rustic, casual setting.

Following a satisfying dinner, you will be escorted to experience the ultimate comedic performance at The Second City! This comedy club is a famous North American institution for stand-up comedy. Legendary alumni who began their careers in Chicago at The Second City include Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, and Gilda Radner. The main stage is the perfect spot for you to be entertained by some of the most talented improvisational actors around! This is a great casual evening for you to enjoy a Chicago icon. Be on the look out, you may even see a performance from the next comedic legend to be! (Dinner and 2 cocktails included)
Tour cost: $122

 

 

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