Description & History
The Chicago Greeter Service pairs visitors to the City of Chicago with enthusiastic Chicagoans, who volunteer to share their Chicago expertise with visitors, newly relocated residents, and locals and their visiting friends and family, to points of interests and their favorite spots. These volunteers or greeters form Chicago Greeter, a FREE service presented by the Chicago Office of Tourism, a division of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs.
Chicago Greeter has more than 180 volunteers who speak more than 18 different languages. In addition to language, visitors can choose from more than 25 neighborhoods and 40 special interests to explore. When matching visitors with a greeter, these choices are considered along with the day/time requested and the greeter's availability.
Pre-registered travel parties of six or less are matched with a greeter for a free two- to four-hour customized Chicago visit combining walking and public transportation.
Founded in April 2002, Chicago Greeter's inspirations were New York's Big Apple Greeter program, and Chicago's knowledgeable, friendly and dedicated volunteer corps. Today, Chicago Greeter offers its original service as well as the innovative InstaGreeter service launched in September 2003 and the seasonal Millennium Park Greeter service launched in 2005.