Double the dazzle of your next event with Chicago venues that offer both amazing views and outdoor spaces. From rooftops with sweeping skyline panoramas to a modern museum terrace overlooking a spectacular sculpture garden, you’re certain to find a memorable venue that will impress your guests. When considering Chicago event venues, be sure to check on the latest city health and capacity guidelines.
Located 22 stories above McCormick Place is VU Rooftop, a year-round rooftop restaurant and bar. The swanky, 13,000-square-foot penthouse space features outdoor terraces with fire pits, private bars, and epic city and lake views. Groups can be accommodated in several private event spaces, including the Karaoke Room, Club Lounge, and Solarium. Arrange a private dinner for up to 15 people in the Boardroom, with dishes like lobster sliders and Moroccan braised lamb.
As the world’s largest rooftop venue, all-seasons Offshore Rooftop & Bar at Navy Pier has plenty to offer. The glass-enclosed, 36,000-square-foot venue offers stunning views of Chicago and Lake Michigan, along with a chic bar and restaurant, terraces with cozy fire pits, and an entertainment and gaming area. Offshore also provides a front-row seat to Navy Pier’s summertime fireworks shows. Multiple gathering spaces, both indoors and out, are perfect for groups of 12 and up. Finger foods include sushi and the Nashville-style hot chicken sandwich.
Inspired by a Great Lakes beach house with its glowing string lights and picnic table seating, Cindy’s is the breathtaking rooftop restaurant perched atop the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. The vaulted glass-and-steel restaurant features jaw-dropping views of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan. Book the private Library — up to 30 seated for dinner or 45 for a cocktail reception — and you can reserve the south section of the adjacent outdoor terrace. Or host a semi-private reception on The Lakeview Couches for up to 20 guests. Choose from a menu of inspired seasonal American fare and craft cocktails.
The Museum of Contemporary Art’s Kern Terrace Garden provides stunning views of Lake Michigan and the museum’s sculpture garden. Tent the terrace, sculpture garden, or both for seated dinners of up to 500, or a reception for 900. As a bonus for your guests, book a private tour of the museum’s renowned galleries.
Take your event out on the water year-round with Odyssey Chicago River. The single-level, European-style dining boat departs from the Chicago River Esplanade, near NBC Tower. Soak in the stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding cityscape as the glass-enclosed vessel glides along the waters of the Chicago River. Odyssey Chicago River is available for full and partial charters, accommodating a maximum of 200 guests. For smaller groups, book a large table for one of the lunch, dinner, or cocktail cruises.
River Roast is known for its dramatic river and city views, as well as its contemporary American tavern fare. The restaurant sits on the Chicago River, serving up meat (including whole pig and leg of lamb), fish, and veggies that are roasted and carved tableside. Your group can soak in the panoramic river view outdoors on the huge, breezy patio. River Roast offers seven different spaces within its historic loft-style building, accommodating up to 750 seated or 1,000 for a reception.
The Lakefront Restaurant is part of the revamped Theater on the Lake in Lincoln Park. The 125-seat farm-centric restaurant can host private dinners, and features the seasonal 80-seat Skyline Patio with breathtaking Lake Michigan and skyline views. The year-round Theater on the Lake, which includes a 330-seat main theatre, can host groups of 25 up to 1,500.