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Five Oddball Chicago Tours Worth Checking Out

Skip the overbaked gangster/haunted-tavern circuit. You’ll want to tag along with your cousins from Omaha on these off-the-beaten-path outings.

Historic Bars tour at the Billy Goat Tavern   Photo: Max Herman
If you’re a recovering ghost hunter

Grave Robbing 101

Folk historian Adam Selzer knows (somehow) the tricks of the tomb-robbing trade. He’ll give you a crash course in the techniques of the 19th-century “resurrection men” who dug up bodies (for med schools) from Lincoln Park, once the city’s main graveyard. mysteriouschicago.com
Price:$20
When:Various dates or by appointment
Where:Lincoln Park

If you’re afraid of boats

Pedway Tour

Chicago’s network of elevated, enclosed paths offers a new perspective on the city’s architecture. Second City alum Margaret Hicks leads groups along the labyrinth, everywhere from City Hall to Macy’s. chicagoelevated.com
Price:$20
When:Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays
Where:Loop

If you’re tired of Frank Lloyd Wright

Fossils in Skyscrapers

Move over, Sue: There’s a new fossil in town. In fact, there are hundreds—embedded in the stone that makes up some of the city’s tallest buildings. Paleontologist Asa Kaplan brings relics to life, such as Mesozoic sea lilies in Millennium Park. (Magnifying glasses are complimentary.) dabble.co
Price:$15
When:Monthly
Where:Loop

If you’re still mourning Playboy’s move to L.A.

Sexual History of Chicago

Dennis Rodkin wants to talk about sex. Purely for educational purposes, of course. His two-hour Loop walkabout covers erotic pioneers ranging from Hugh Hefner (natch) to Alfred Kinsey to Ella Flagg Young. sexualhistoryofchicago.com
Price:$20
When:Saturdays from April to October
Where:Loop

If you’re a Drunk History fan

Historic Bars

During stops at the Billy Goat Tavern and a speakeasy-turned-steakhouse, among other sites, you can peruse historical photographs while enjoying drinks and complimentary appetizers. (The leaders promise you won’t have to walk—or stumble—far.) chicagodetours.com
Price:$34
When:Thursdays through Saturdays from May to November
Where:River North

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