If the fam decided to brave winter temps just to visit you, show them Chicago from the warmth of a tour bus.
Hacky Sacking brah
Drag that lazy stoner away from Hulu for a more educational take on the screen: Hop on the Chicago Film Tour to visit filming sites from movies like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Blues Brothers (ahh yeah, adolescent-dude faves). Led by a family of film buffs, this tour takes you to obvious choices, including Wrigley Field and the Marina Towers, as well as smaller digs such as silent film-maker, historic Essanay Studios. Tours by reservation only; call for times. Meet next to Rock ’n Roll McDonald’s, 600 N Clark St (312-593-4455, chicagofilmtour.com). $30.
Thankfully, the Chicago History Museum hosts monthly educational bar crawls, which are perfect entertainment for you and the collar-popping d-bag in your life. The Eye of the Tiger History Pub Crawl trollies patrons to a handful of taverns that acknowledge animals in the Chinese zodiac. A historian guide fills you in on the history and meaning of the undisclosed drinking-locations’ mascots. Weird concept, yes, but has this guy ever needed an excuse to hit the booze? Meet at the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N Clark St (312-642-4600, chicagohistory.org). Feb 11 at 6:45pm. $25, members $20.
Your dad read Erik Larson’s Devil in the White City and is now a self-declared expert on the 1893 World’s Fair and notorious serial killer H.H. Holmes. Show Dad there might be a bit more to learn on Weird Chicago’s Devil & the White City tour. You’ll check out the remains of the exposition, including the site of Holmes’s South Side “Murder Castle,” where the killer butchered as many as 200 people. Reservations required. Meet at Hard Rock Café, 63 W Ontario St (888-446-7859, weirdchicago.com). Feb 19; Mar 5, 20; Apr 2, 24. $30, kids ages 10–12 $20.