Wow your guests with outdoor Chicago venues that range from rooftops with sweeping city view to lovely secret gardens. With so many outdoor Chicago spaces to choose from, we’ve put together a selection of options that include everything from leafy sculpture gardens to terraces with scenic skyline views and rooftop bars perfect for mingling.
Offshore Rooftop & Bar at Navy Pier
Best: Lake Michigan views
Details: Offshore Rooftop & Bar, the largest rooftop bar in the world, offers stunning views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. The huge 36,000-sq.-ft. space includes a 8,500-sq.-ft. indoor space and a 20,000-sq.-ft terrace with two private lawns for group gaming, social and corporate events, weddings, and more. It’s the perfect venue to enjoy Navy Pier’s spectacular summertime fireworks.
Best: Millennium Park views
Roof on theWit
Best: Year-round rooftop
Details: This lively rooftop lounge on the 27th floor of theWit hotel keeps the party going all year round, thanks to its retractable roof. With its modern design, glittering city views, and nightclub vibe, it’s no wonder Travel + Leisure named it one of the Top Three Rooftop Bars in the world. The entire ROOF can accommodate 300 reception-style.
Kovler Atrium and Kern Terrace at Museum of Contemporary Art
Best: Museum terrace
Details: The Kovler Atrium and Kern Terrace provide stunning views of Lake Michigan and the Museum of Contemporary Art’s sculpture garden. Tent the terrace, sculpture garden or both for seated dinners (up to 500) or a reception for 900. As a bonus for your guests, book a private tour of the museum’s renowned galleries.
Best: Seasonal space
Details: One of the most stunning outdoor rooftop terrace is located atop the Loews Chicago Hotel. Its Event Terrace features 7,500 sq. ft. of elevated outdoor space that gives spectacular views among the heart of the city. This outdoor space can host events up to 600 guests.
Best: Rooftop dining
Details: Dine on the rooftop with panoramic River North views while indulging in Joy District’s imaginative American cuisine that includes a Lollipop Menu with small bites like fried Amish chicken and phyllo-wrapped shrimp. Colorful murals on the brick walls, funky furniture, and a DJ booth add to the electric atmosphere. Plan a buffet-style dinner or cocktail reception.
Details: Located in the trendy West Loop, this gastropub features loads of brews (including hard-to-find craft beers), gourmet sausage, and unique bacon dishes. In the outdoor Beer Garden, guests can play bocce ball and bags during warm weather months and curling during the winter. The Beer Garden accommodates 200 seated/300 cocktail.
Café Brauer at Lincoln Park Zoo
Best: Park venue
Details: Located in the midst of Lincoln Park Zoo, the historic Café Brauer was built in 1908 in the beautiful Prairie School style of architecture. The dramatic second-floor Great Hall features a soaring skylit roof, gorgeous stained glass windows and outdoor stone balconies overlooking a pond and the surrounding park. The Great Hall can accommodate up to 300 for a seated dinner; 400 reception-style.
Details: Once your guests have marveled at the amazing collection of architectural pieces (including ornate chandeliers and vintage furniture) at this two-floor venue, take the party outside to the lush garden Courtyard surrounded by ivy-covered brick walls. The Courtyard accommodates 200 – 250 guests.
Bridgeport Art Center
Best: Indoor/outdoor space
Details: The Sculpture Garden at this loft venue offers 6,000 square feet of covered outdoor space. Dramatic French doors lead from a gallery out to the Sculpture Garden that features brick archways and works by local artists. The Sculpture Garden sits 650 guests or 900 for a cocktail party. As an added bonus, the Bridgeport Art Center offers large, free parking lots.