Preparing for a Big Onion Tour
Reservations and prepayment
The majority of our walking tours do not require reservations. Please feel free just to show up and join us. We do require reservations for two tours: the Multi-Ethnic Eating Tour and American’s Museum: Art & History of the Metropolitan. Reservations can be made via email or phone. Please leave your name, the number in party and a contact number. We do not require pre-payment for tours, except America’s Museum: The Art & History of the Metropolitan which requires prepayment.
- $25 Multi-Ethnic Eating Tour (included noshes)
- Seniors, Students, Military, and BHS
- $20 Multi-Ethnic Eating Tour (includes noshes)
Military means members of the active military. Students means full-time students. Seniors means 65+ years. BHS means members of the Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS).
America’s Museum: Art & History of the Metropolitan
- $40 for adults
- $34 for seniors
- $28 for students
America’s Museum includes a full admission fee for the Metropolitan Museum. Prepayment is required for America’s Museum: Art & History of the Metropolitan.
If a walker chooses to leave a tour in progress Big Onion will not provide refunds.
For most tours we collect cash as tours begin. On select tours we are able to accept credit card payment using The Square.
Meeting Sites & Directions
Meeting sites and subway directions for public “show up” tours can be found with the tour descriptions. All tours begin at or near subway stations. Most tours do not conclude where they began. Our guides will provide directions to subways, local sites, or back to the meeting point at the end of the tour.
Time & Distance
All tours last approximately two hours. We walk between one and two miles during these two hours. We maintain a moderate walking pace, stopping at various sites along the tour.
Our main number, (888) 606-WALK (9255), is a voicemail system. Big Onion does not maintain operator service on this number. Please leave your name & number – we cannot return a call if a message is not left! We will return your call.
Big Onion generally presents tours rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather please visit our home page or call our hotline [(888) 606-WALK (9255) ext. 1], on the morning of the tour, after 9:30 a.m., to confirm our schedule. Big Onion reserves the right to cancel tours in the event of potentially dangerous weather.
Who Are the Big Onion Guides?
Big Onion has the finest group of tour guides in the city. We are not your traditional tour guides. Most of us are full-time graduate students researching and writing doctoral dissertations in history. Big Onion guides have high school or college teaching experience and are quite often researching topics relevant to the tours they are leading.
All our guides work exclusively for Big Onion and have completed our rigorous in-house training program. Our guides are passionate about the history, architecture and people of New York. We have been called “brilliant”, “hilarious”, “outstanding”, and “irreverent”. Most of our guides, upon completion of studies, move on to successful teaching careers.
Big Onion alumni hold and have held professorships and post-doctoral fellowships at: Cal State Northridge, Dartmouth, Harvard, Holy Cross, Lewis & Clark College, the New School, Princeton, Union College, the University of London, the University of Massachusetts (both Amherst and Boston), UC Santa Barbara, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Yale. All our guides are licensed by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.
How Will I Recognize the Guide?
All guides carry an 8×11 sign that says “Big Onion Walking Tours”.
How the Schedule Works
Big Onion maintains an up-to-date schedule listing all public “show up” tours on our website and in our paper brochure. We offer public tours year-round, but adjust the number of tours seasonally so that every week we offer a variety of different tours that explore a variety of neighborhoods or communities.
All tours are available for private bookings. Private tours can be scheduled morning, afternoon or evening. We have lead tours for as few as a single person or as many as 600 people. There are fee minimums for private walks. For more information, or to schedule a private walk, please email us or call Seth Kamil at (718) 499-3001.
Gift Certificates and Frequent Walker Cards
All gift certificates and Frequent Walker Cards are non-refundable and expire one year from the date of issue. Big Onion cannot extend the expiration date. Frequent Walker Cards may be shared but must used by only one person at a time. Big Onion is not responsible for lost or stolen cards. Any attempt to alter cards may result in confiscation and loss of use/value.