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Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower (Sears Tower) Tours and Activities

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2,774 Reviews
Once the world’s tallest building when it opened in 1973 as Sears Tower, Willis Tower is still way up in the clouds. The 1,454-foot (443-meter) skyscraper reigns as the tallest building in the Midwest and the second-tallest building in all of North America with its spires just 325 feet (99 meters) shorter than Manhattan’s One World Trade Center. Though it functions as an office tower, the skyscraper’s 103rd-floor Skydeck Chicago draws 1.7 million annual visitors for a trip out onto The Ledge, an enclosed glass balcony extending four feet (1.2 meters) outside the 103rd floor, and for panoramic views that, on clear days, extend as far as Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

The Basics
Willis Tower can be seen from around the Windy City and is a highlight on most sightseeing tours and Chicago River cruises. Those looking to head to the top should book admission tickets in advance to avoid waiting in long ticket lines. The journey to Skydeck Chicago starts with interactive exhibits and the “Reaching for the Sky” film presentation, which covers the tower’s history and plays during the 70-second elevator ride up to the 103rd floor. At the Skydeck, you can admire the city from above and take a turn on the glass-bottomed Ledge, set 1,353 feet (412 meters) above the streets. For a unique Chicago dining experience, book lunch or dinner at Willis Tower, where you can eat Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza on either the 99th floor or at the Skydeck. Early risers can opt for an early-access breakfast experience at the Skydeck, 90 minutes before it opens to the public.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Allow at least an hour for a trip to the top.
  • It’s best to book tickets in advance to avoid waiting in admission lines.
  • The building offers free public WiFi.
  • Gift shops and a café—serving popular Chicago fare from Connie’s Pizza and Vienna Hot Dogs—are located at the Skydeck.

How to Get There
Willis Tower is located on the west side of the Loop, not far from the Chicago River and several popular Chicago attractions such as the Art Institute and Millennium Park. It’s serviced by several bus lines and is near the blue, brown, orange, pink, purple, and red lines on the L train. The Ogilvie Transportation Center and Union Station are both under a half-mile (0.8 kilometers) west of Willis Tower. The entrance to the Skydeck experience is off of Jackson Boulevard.

When to Get There
Willis Tower is open 365 days a year, with the Skydeck and The Ledge open October through February from 10am to 8pm and March through September from 9am to 10pm. Last entry to the Skydeck is 30 minutes prior to closing. Views are equally good on sunny days year-round, but Chicago winters are notoriously snowy. To beat the crowds, it’s best to visit just after the building opens. Sunset is a popular time to visit, while the midday sun can create shadows and glares on the viewing windows and Ledge platform.
Address: 233 S. Wacker Drive, The Loop, Chicago 60606, USA
Hours: Open daily. Mar-Sept: 9am-10pm, Oct-Feb: 10am-8pm. Last entry 30 minutes prior to close.
Admission: Adults: US$23, Children (3-11yrs): US$15
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30 Tours and Activities to Experience Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower (Sears Tower)

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Chicago Architecture River Cruise

Chicago Architecture River Cruise

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4778
Cruise down the Chicago River to see the city's famous architecture on this boat tour. With commentary from your onboard guide, watch the spectacular skyline glide by, including more than 40 notable buildings like Navy Pier, the Wrigley Building, and the John Hancock Building. Cover all three branches of the Chicago River, passing the East Bank Club, the old Post Office Building and the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower). From Memorial Day to Labor Day (May 29 - September 6,) each ticket includes a one-way water taxi ticket.
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  • 1 hour
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90-Minute Chicago River Architecture Tour

90-Minute Chicago River Architecture Tour

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Discover the architectural gems of the Windy City from an ideal vantage point on a cruise down the Chicago River. Offered several times throughout the day, it’s easy to fit the leisurely excursion into your itinerary. Covering more than 130 years of architectural history, the tour is the perfect opportunity to see a huge area of the city without the hassle of taxis and public transit.
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Chicago CityPASS

Chicago CityPASS

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303
Get the most out of your trip to Chicago as you enjoy discount access to five of the city’s top attractions with the CityPASS. This easy-to-use mobile ticket grants you free entry into top-tier sights including the Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago (Opening with reimagined experience in Spring 2021), and the Field Museum plus your choice of admission to 3 of the following attractions: Adler Planetarium, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, and the 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck. Also enjoy a wealth of useful Chicago tips and savings at a variety of other venues and retailers.
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  • 9 days
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Chicago Premier Dinner Cruise on Lake Michigan

Chicago Premier Dinner Cruise on Lake Michigan

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Take a gourmet dinner cruise on a high-end luxury yacht with the stunning skyline of Chicago serving as your backdrop. Climb aboard your recently renovated vessel, featuring a sumptuously-appointed rooftop lounge and stylish interior design, for your cruise along Lake Michigan. Then sit down for a 3-course dinner, informed by some of the world’s top celebrity chefs and composed of fresh ingredients cooked right on-board. After dinner, enjoy coffee and tea, captivating views of Chicago landmarks like the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower and Navy Pier, plus musical entertainment provided by the onboard DJ.
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  • 3 hours
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45-Minute Chicago River Architecture Tour from Magnificent Mile

45-Minute Chicago River Architecture Tour from Magnificent Mile

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Get a front row perspective on the exquisite buildings that line the Chicago River during a 45-minute architecture cruise. Hear live commentary about the history and architectural heritage of Chicago on this family-friendly tour, which highlights landmarks such as the Chicago Riverwalk, Michigan Avenue Bridge, Wrigley Building, and Willis Tower. Sit on the open-air top deck or the sheltered bottom deck for the ultimate view of Chicago.
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  • 45 minutes
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Go Chicago Explorer Pass with SkyDeck and 360 Chicago

Go Chicago Explorer Pass with SkyDeck and 360 Chicago

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The easiest and most affordable way to explore some of Chicago's top attractions at your own pace, the Go Chicago Explorer Pass saves you up to 45 percent on regular ticket prices. Create your own sightseeing itinerary by choosing 2, 3, 4, or 5 attractions, tours, and activities from among more than 30 top sites, including SkyDeck, 360 Chicago, the Field Museum, a shoreline sightseeing cruise, a hop-on hop-off Big Bus tour, Lincoln Park Zoo, Navy Pier, and LEGOLAND® Discovery Center. Please note: Enjoy the extra flexibility in case your travel plans need to change: All passes are valid for two year from purchase date and only become activated with your first attraction visit. After activation your pass will be valid for 60 days and/or the remaining number of attraction choices purchased.
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  • 60 days
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Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour

Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour

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Step aboard a boat for a comprehensive cruise that details the history of Chicago's architecture. Enjoy views of the Chicago skyline accompanied by architecture-focused commentary that points out each of the landmark buildings. As you cruise through Lake Michigan, snap photos of you and your party against the stretch of Chicago's 26-mile shoreline.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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Big Bus Chicago Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Big Bus Chicago Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

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Don’t spend time figuring out what to see in Chicago and how to get there—this hop-on hop-off tour provides a mapped-out itinerary of the city's top sights. With several strategically located stops, the tour allows you to explore the Windy City at your own pace. See the world-class Art Institute and landmark skyscrapers, while live commentary onboard gives you insight into the city's colorful history.
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  • 2 hours
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Chicago City Minibus Tour with Optional Architecture River Cruise

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Explore Chicago's iconic landmarks on this sightseeing tour led by an expert guide. Board a comfortable, large-windowed minibus and explore downtown and Northside neighborhoods. You have a chance to get out and visit several locations and hear about the historical and cultural factors that make Chicago unique. Upgrade your tour with a popular open-top boat tour on the Chicago River that focuses on the city's renowned architecture.
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  • 2 to 4 hours
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Lake Michigan Sightseeing Cruise

Lake Michigan Sightseeing Cruise

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Take in iconic views of the beautiful Chicago lakefront and its many landmarks during this 40-minute Lake Michigan sightseeing boat cruise. Climb aboard your vessel for a laid-back ride, enjoying panoramic views of the Windy City's skyline from a unique perspective. Along the way, you'll listen to informative commentary and take in views of the John Hancock Center and Willis Tower, along with many other landmarks. Plus feel free to bring your own lunch or grab a drink at the onboard bar, during your ride.
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  • 40 minutes
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Best of Chicago: History & Culture Tour with Chocolate and Popcorn

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The Windy City is known for its spectacular architecture and eclectic food scene. Experience both on this tour through the downtown that combines sights with nibbles. Take in famous landmarks like the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, and Cloud Gate on foot and with the scenic L train or water taxi along the Chicago River. Taste popcorn and chocolate from two beloved city eateries during the tour.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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Chicago Premier Lake Michigan Brunch Cruise

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Enjoy waterfront views of downtown Chicago on a 2-hour brunch cruise through the heart of the city. Board a luxurious yacht at Navy Pier then relax on deck with a complementary mimosa. Find a comfortable spot on the three climate-controlled observation decks, and enjoy a sumptuous buffet while the onboard DJ spins a leisurely afternoon playlist. Capture unforgettable images of downtown skyscrapers and architectural landmarks as you navigate along the historic shoreline, then loop back and finish your outing at the bustling Navy Pier.
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  • 2 hours
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Private Al Capone Gangster Tour in Chicago

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Chicago’s mob history has long been immortalized in popular media. Embark on this Chicago Gangster Tour to learn the true story. With an expert historian as your guide, you’ll visit notorious hangouts of John Dillinger, The Untouchables, and the legendary Al Capone. You’ll stop at former speakeasies, historic hotels, and epic crime sites like that of the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.
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  • 3 hours
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Go Chicago All-Inclusive Pass with Skip the Line Access

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Enjoy admission to more than 25 of Chicago's most popular attractions with the Go Chicago™ All-Inclusive Pass. Create your own itinerary and sightsee at your own pace.Take a hop-on hop-off bus tour of the Windy City, check out the fascinating exhibits at Shedd Aquarium, admire the stunning views from SkyDeck Chicago, and much more. Save your pass, available as your 'ticket' after purchase, on your mobile device; don't waste time redeeming vouchers. This pass offers something for all members of the family. The Go Chicago™ All-Inclusive Pass is available in 1-, 2-, 3-, or 5-day options. Please note: Enjoy the extra flexibility in case your travel plans need to change: All passes are valid for two year from purchase date and only become activated with your first attraction visit. After activation your pass will be valid for the number of remaining consecutive days purchased.
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  • 1 to 5 days
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Private Chicago Architecture Tour

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Ever since Chicago became the birthplace of the modern skyscraper, the city has been renowned for its architectural creativity and ingenuity. Led by an expert guide, explore some of the city’s most iconic buildings such as Sears Tower, The John Hancock Building, historic brownstones, and the homes of Oak Park designed by beloved architect Frank Lloyd Wright. You will be able to explore the insides of some locations on this completely customizable tour.
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  • 3 hours
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Chicago Sunset Cruise

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The Sunset Cruise departs from the DuSable (Michigan Avenue) Bridge on Wendella's world class tour boats. Enjoy the beautiful City architecture from the best vantage point in Chicago. The vessel will then navigate through the Chicago Lock and out onto Lake Michigan. Watch the sun slowly set behind the city from the tranquil waters of Lake Michigan on this serene and romantic cruise.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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Premier Chicago River Architectural Lunch Cruise

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Travel down the Chicago River on an architecture cruise aboard the "Odyssey." As you pass by some of Chicago's most notable buildings, you'll dine on a 3-course lunch with salad, a main course such as chicken, salmon, pasta, or short ribs, and a dessert such as cheesecake or sorbet. Listen to onboard narration about the city's architecture along the way.
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  • 2 hours
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We Love Chicago Walking Tour

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Downtown Chicago is filled with gems. Some famous, others known only by select locals. Many of these spots are best seen on foot as opposed to a moving vehicle. We'll take you inside several of these architectural masterpieces, to where much of Chicago's real beauty can be seen. We'll also give you time to check out famous public art by the likes of Picasso and Chagall and see the world's very first skyscrapers! All of our tours are led by experienced guide that have been giving quality tours of Chicago since 2005 and have accrued well over 500 five-star reviews. People mostly comment on how our tours are both informative and entertaining. The walk is a little under 2 miles and conducted at a comfortable pace.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours
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Private 2-Hour Chicago Sightseeing Tour by Luxury Stretch Limo

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Choose the number of hours and we can help you make the most out of your time! Book a VIP treatment to see the city in your private car. Our knowledgeable drivers will do the hard work so that you an enjoy the view. Limo service Hop on - hop off, call today to customize your tour. This particular tour is for 2 hours, any additional time will be charged separately. The time starts a the prearranged pick-up time and it ends when we drop you off at your final stop.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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Chicago Architecture Boat Tour

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Marvel at the magnificent architecture on the Chicago River with expert tour guides! All ages welcome. Each architecture river tour is narrated by a professional guide which leads passengers down the Chicago River to discover the city’s most renowned landmarks. In addition to historical insight on well known structures such as the Civic Opera House, Trump Tower & the Merchandise Mart, passengers will also get a chance to learn about current and upcoming developments. The Chicago River Cruise navigates the three primary branches of the river including the main branch to Navy Pier, the north branch to Goose Island and the south branch to Chinatown.
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Chicago Foodie Lovers Private Tour

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Our Chicago Foodie Lovers Tour will take you to the most iconic and delicious spots in Chicago all in one day. If you are looking for a little bit of culture, great photos, and a ton of delicious food then this is the tour for you. The day will start with meeting with your friendly local guide. From there your tour will begin as you start your day walking throughout Chicago and dining at the most famous and delicious food spots in Chicago. This half-day tour will be fully packed with famous landmarks, yummy food and much much more! ==== Full schedule 11:00 AM - Meet your guide at the Grand subway station 11:05 AM - Taste the famous Portillos hotdogs 11:45 AM - Enjoy an Al’s Italian Beef Sandwich 12:35 PM - Drool lover a Chicago favorite deep dish pizza 1:25 PM - Take some Garrett's Popcorn to go 1:35 PM - Check out Tribune Tower and Wrigley Building 2:05 PM - Try the delicious Do-rite Donuts 2:20 PM - Walk to Buckingham Fountain 3:00 - Get dropped off at the Millennium Subway Station
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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$308.27
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$308.27
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Chicago Private Instagram Tour with Transportation

Chicago Private Instagram Tour with Transportation

If you're looking for an exciting and stress-free day exploring the wonders of Chicago, then this is the tour for you. We can’t wait to show you around! The morning will start with a private pickup from your hotel by one of our friendly, local guides. From there your tour will begin as you start your drive in one of our comfortable and spacious vehicles. This full-day tour will be fully packed with famous landmarks, vintage architecture, secret spots and much much more! ==== Full schedule 10:00 AM – Pick up from Hotel 10:15 AM – Check out Buckingham Fountain 10:45 AM – Arrive at Michigan Avenue Bridge 11:15 AM – Awe at the Chicago Cultural Center 12:15 PM – See Cloud Gate and explore Millennium park 1:00 PM – Lunch time 2:00 PM – Go to Chicago Theater 2:30 PM – See Garfield Park Conservatory 3:00 PM – Check out the Greetings from Chicago mural 3:30 PM – Snap a cool pic outside of Wrigley Field 3:45 PM – Return to hotel 4:00 PM – Arrive at hotel
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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Taking safety measures

Chicago Walking Tour: Must-See Chicago

Chicago Walking Tour: Must-See Chicago

Must-See Chicago is a fast-paced, 90-minute introductory tour to Chicago featuring some of its most famous buildings, including the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago, Willis (Sears) Tower, the Chicago Theatre and more! Get a brief overview of more than a dozen buildings—as well as Chicago landmarks like Millennium Park, the Loop and the Chicago River—on this whirlwind tour. There are lots of photo opportunities along the way, so be sure to bring your camera!
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$30.00
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$30.00
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Best of Chicago Tour Including a Deep-Dish Pizza

Best of Chicago Tour Including a Deep-Dish Pizza

star-2.5
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Tour Chicago's sights aboard a luxury coach and enjoy some Chicago-style deep-dish pizza on this 5.5-hour guided tour. Visit sites like the Hancock Tower, the Lincoln Park Conservatory and the Loop. Pass through neighborhoods such as Wrigleyville, Lincoln Park and Gold Coast. Top off your tour with a visit to one of Chicago's most popular pizza restaurants to sample the famous Chicago-style deep dish pizza.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$74.95
From
$74.95
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Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower (Sears Tower) hours of operation?
A:
Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower (Sears Tower) hours of operation: Open daily. Mar-Sept: 9am-10pm, Oct-Feb: 10am-8pm. Last entry 30 minutes prior to close.. Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower (Sears Tower)?