Summer is right around the corner and it's time to ensure your next outdoor event is engaging, exciting and memorable for your clients and guests. Use this guide to check off the essentials of making an outdoor event shine.
OUTDOOR VENUE IDEAS:
Rooftop Bars allow guests to peer out over the cityscape and enjoy the weather. By renting out a rooftop event space, controlling the guest list is easy while event-goers appreciate the exclusivity and privacy for their event.
- Streeterville Social is the spacious rooftop at the Loews Hotel Chicago. There are two spaces: The Bistro, opened for lunch through evening, and The Terrace, a 9,000-square-foot third-floor deck.
- Cerise is the rooftop at Virgin Hotels Chicago and boasts two bars that open to a three-sided outdoor patio. Cerise specializes in small plate cuisine and a rotating cocktail menu. The playful vibe of Cerise stays true to the whimsical hotel in which it's housed.
- The Terrace at Trump seats 250 guests in its stunning urban paradise and offers unobstructed views high above Chicago on the 16th floor.
- 52Eighty Rooftop Lounge at Cambria Chicago Magnificent Mile, elevating 563 feet above sea level, is an intimate, chic indoor/outdoor experience. Available for private events, guests can drink in the soaring views of Chicago's skyline, Lake Michigan and The Magnificent Mile.
- Ignite Glass Studios has a serene Urban Garden, offering 2,500 square feet of outdoor space surrounded by an extensive collection of blown glass sculptures. You can also enjoy the 3,000 square foot Rooftop Deck with outstanding views of the skyline, perfect for photo shoots or intimate events.
- IO Urban Roofscape, named for its captivating indoor/outdoor ambiance, can be found on the fourth floor of The Godfrey Hotel Chicago. Encompassing approximately 15,000 square feet of space, with 10,000 square feet of lounge and event space, the IO Urban Roofscape feature a fire pit, shimmering water elements, a video wall, a retractable roof and stunning uninterrupted views of the southern Chicago skyline.
- Tanta Chicago features its own rooftop deck with an outdoor bar, giving guests spectacular downtown views. The rooftop deck is connected to the modern lounge by a floor-to-ceiling retractable window system, providing some added flexibility to the event space.
- Perched 12 stories above The Magnificent Mile, THE dec ROOFTOP LOUNGE + BAR is pure chic and sophistication, where sipping and savoring is taken to new heights. Set against amazing city views, THE dec serves refreshing cocktails, casual snacks and an ever-rotating craft beer list, with room for up to 125 people for private events.
- The Kensington Roof Garden & Lounge, which sits atop exclusive club Parliament, has an unforgettable, bold aesthetic among panoramic views of Chicago. Flexible enough to host parties, intimate evenings, or after-work cocktails and other functions, The Kensington combines Old English class with American swag for events not to be missed.
Patios are one of the most popular summer options for groups of any size, bringing everyone outside into the fresh air. Al fresco dining provides a relaxed atmosphere to your event, allowing guests to enjoy the weather while savoring the food and drink.
- Pinstripes, the popular bowling-bocce-bistro concept that now occupies the River East Art Center building, has a spectacular 80-seat waterfront patio perfect for any group. The gaming-inclined will be hard-pressed to find a more engaging venue than Pinstripes, with its seven bocce courts and 11 bowling lanes within 33,000 square feet of engaging space.
- The Duck Inn is a Bridgeport bar and restaurant that seats 45 people in a casual backyard setting, and adds 16 to 18 capacity on its porch that is an extension of the intimate dining room. Organize your private event and enjoy duck-fat hot dogs while socializing in a friendly neighborhood hangout.
- Elle on the River is a cafe and bar on the riverwalk outside Travelle, with whom the Langham Hotel has arranged the set up of 80 seats of table, bar and outdoor lounge furniture with clean views of the riverwalk and skyline.
- Summer House Santa Monica / Stella Barra Pizzeria serve up fine artisan-style pizzas and other California-inspired fare to guests, inspired by the seasons. Enjoy these in the uncovered back patio, with seating for approximately 50 people.
- West Town's The Dawson showcases a brick lined patio with large handcrafted Biergarten style picnic tables, outdoor sofas and bar, all surrounding a roaring fireplace.
Beat the heat and take to the water with Chicago's slew of Water Venues.
- Soak up the sun at Caffè Oliva, with its deck right on the sand of Ohio Street Beach! Party packages are available for 25 to 300 guests. Whether hosting a cocktail themed party or a buffet style luncheon, Caffè Oliva has flexible facilities and breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline.
- Castaways - North Avenue Beach Bar and Grill is a classic Chicago destination for any beachside event, available for private events of guests ranging from 50 to 500. Castaways is an ideal location for corporate events or special banquets looking to have some fun in the sun.
- Sleek yachts and charters will switch up the venue from landlocked to water bound and is an easy way to bring life to the party. Check out Anita Dee Yacht Charter, Chicago's First Lady or Chicago's Odyssey Cruises offering multiple boat venues with different options for event rentals.
LOCAL CHICAGO CATERING:
Incorporate the best of Chicago into the party! For a hot summer day, include Chicago's staple delicious treats. Choose the upscale gelato from Black Dog Gelato (don't miss the Mexican hot chocolate) or delicious tacos from de cero - HELLO TACOS. Garrett Popcorn is perfect for an edible memento (get the sweet and salty Chicago Mix) and Butcher & the Burger offers custom gift coolers (includes wine, cutting boards, sausages, branded baseball cap and wine).
Goose Island Brewpub is a classic Chicago option, catering craft beer and specializing in food/beer pairing parties, weddings and corporate events. Pastoral has Chicago's best assortments of artisan cheese, bread and wine, refined culinary creations to complement any meal.
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