Such tours have picked up in popularity for people seeking outdoor social activity while maintaining health safety precautions and staying in small groups. The Cincinnati walking tour, for example, was among several offered in recent months by the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum. The goal: to offset a pandemic-abbreviated baseball season that didn’t allow fans in the ballpark.
Normally, Bob Doherty, 61, said, his family would have been inside the stadium that Sunday afternoon, rooting for the Reds in their playoff-race game against the Chicago White Sox. The tour, which combined the roots of professional baseball and the city’s abolitionist history, “is the next best thing,” he said. Others concurred.
“It’s refreshing to get outside and be with family,” said Mack Doherty, 28. They were in a group of five including his father, his sister and her boyfriend. His girlfriend, Avery Helwig, 28, concurred: “So nice to get out.”
Manski’s New York group, like many tour companies, halted in-person tours as the pandemic took hold in March. She said the jarring sound of ambulance sirens as new COVID-19 victims were rushed to hospitals added to the obstacles of education-focused tours. Hers shifted quickly to virtual offerings, and other groups have been offering small, private group tours or self-guided tours with audio and GPS information provided.