Free Tours by Foot is a group young (and young at heart), fun-loving Chicago tour guides who have come together for a common cause: To teach history and entertain guests with creative tours of Chicago. We offer free tours for one very important reason, so that everyone can enjoy a fun, creative and educational walking tour experience with any budget. Our tour guests determine what they think the tour was worth at no upfront cost. Our tour guides love what they do and will make sure they provide you with the best sightseeing experience possible.
Mel loves to be a tourist in her own city: Chicago! With a background in performing arts, tourism, and photography, giving tours and being a Chicago story-teller comes naturally to her. She loves traveling, food, and theatre. Her favorite Chicago movie to reference that no one ever knows is “While You Were Sleeping”. Ask her about her favorite “Chicago Date”.
Emir has lived in Chicago since the late ’90s with a brief five year vacation from Chicago winters spent in California. He is glad to be back cheering for the Bulls and getting to share his love for Chicago; specifically, the Tribune Tower where his dad used to be an art director. If you get Emir as a guide be sure to ask him what silly movie he was in that was filmed in Chicago.
Mike has been an enthusiastic Chicago resident since 1978. Most of his career was in college administration; he was a visitors’ representative in Chicago’s visitor center for over six years and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the city’s geography, history, politics, economy, public transit and culture. He is fluent in French and an avid francophile, and can kind of bumble his way in Spanish. He loves his view out of his eleventh-story window from where he can see Wrigley Field as well as Lake Michigan. Mike runs, bikes, does Pilates and plays the piano very badly, but nothing makes him happier than showing off his fantastic city to visitors.
Bruce is a native Chicagoan with a vast background in the performing arts! A die-hard Chicago White Sox fan, he recently spent 10 years wearing several hats for Navy Pier Entertainment: actor, stage manager, production assistant, and at the guest services info desk where he learned many of Chicago’s best bets for visitors! He now uses much of that knowledge as a tour guide! He loves being a story-teller, and his love of Chicago’s history shows in his energy and passion as a guide! His favorite movie filmed in Chicago was the Babe Ruth bio THE BABE, because he got to do background work playing a cop in historic Wrigley Field!
Aram is a native New Yorker but has been an enthusiastic Chicagoan since he moved here eight years ago. After getting his Masters in Acting from the Theatre School at DePaul, Aram has been teaching theatre at several universities in the city. He loves to share his favorite Chicago eats (deep dish at Pequod’s), buildings (The Rookery), and shows (TJ and Dave) with newcomers to our great city!
Michael moved to Chicago from his native Seattle in 2001 on a “three year plan”. He is still here. He is by training and trade an actor, director and writer which all boil down to storyteller. He loves nothing more than collecting and sharing stories. There are few better venues for a storyteller than a tour and having discovered this several years ago he is now a veteran Chicago Guide of roughly 4000 tours. Most of these were on the river boats and as he’ll likely mention if you get him as a guide, “The boat does not stop!” leaving little time for the best stories and no time for questions. He loves questions! Especially if you can stump him (not easy) because he then gets to research and learn a new story!
Andy hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! He moved to Chicago for the hotdogs and deep dish pizza, after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Performance from Seton Hill University in 2013. When he is not giving tours of the Windy City or getting intentionally lost in The Art Institute, Andy and is an avid theatregoer (ask him what’s in town!). He is also a travel blogger and comedy writer. Don’t ask him to tell you a joke, though, because he definitely will.
Hilary made her home Chicago three years ago with no plans of leaving any time soon. She’s a native New Yorker (Syracuse, not NYC, guys) with an obsession of being a tourist in her own city. This includes frequent visits to the bean. Her city standards include a killer skyline and convenient public transit. She is always up for adventure, spontaneity, and travel. She recently backpacked across Europe and Australia. When she’s not halfway across the world, you can find her at a local Chicago donut shop or pub (most likely watching the Seahawks, sorry Bears). Someday she hopes she has the opportunity to visit every National Park in America, but for now she’s excited to share with you her love for Chicago.
Alexander was thrilled to make the move to Chicago in 2016, after graduating from Niagara University with a BFA in Theatre Performance. Since then, he’s been working as an actor and playwright in this amazing city! He loves to learn new things about Chicago or anywhere else in the world – which means he’s full of fun facts. He’s always happy to share recommendations for theatre, books, music, podcasts, and museums. Ask him about what he’s reading now!