If you’re looking for a fun and unique way to spend time outdoors with your tweens and teens this summer, consider a Segway tour. Despite my initial reservations about being seen on one, in my own city no less, they are great fun and provide the opportunity to see a different side of the city of Chicago. Children as young as 10 can participate in Steve’s Segway tours. There are many other Segway operators in Chicago including Chicago Segway Tours and City Segway Tours, but many of them don’t take 10 yr olds so just make sure to ask when booking with a specific company. The tours are typically 8-10 people and 3 hours in length. You can sign up for the route you’re interested in doing. The lakefront/museum tour is a good option to start with, especially for kids. The session starts out with a safety brief and 30-40 minutes of practice to get used to riding the Segway.
I recently brought Big and his best friend on one of Steve’s tours and we had a blast. Not surprisingly, the boys mastered the segway within the first few minutes. I however, had two instructors working patiently with me to teach me the correct form to start and stop. Freddie and April were so patient and never made me feel like I was holding up the group. Once everyone in the group gets the hang of it, you set out for a 2-hour ride and tour with your guide.
We cruised along the Chicago River (where we learned cool facts such as why they had to reverse the river in 1900), down the lakefront path (did you know that 8.1 million people visited Navy Pier last year?) and on Museum campus (where we heard a fascinating story about how they got the salt water into the Shedd aquarium many years ago).
As we had a number of tweens on our tour, our guide correctly assumed that the kids might like to stop at 12th street beach for hot dogs. We all had a great time chowing down, chatting about the sites that we’d seen and gearing up for the cruise home along South Michigan Avenue.
A Segway tour can be a truly great afternoon of bonding with the kids while enjoying some time outdoors learning about your city. Trust me, your kids will get the hang of it far far faster than you will. Don’t worry about them; worry about your ability to catch up!