Menu

ENTERTAINMENT: NON-STOP EXCITEMENT

From blues clubs to bike hikes, century-old ballparks to stylish bistros, Chicago has a never-ending list of things for attendees and exhibitors to do before and after conference sessions.

Breakfast of (Top Chef) Champions

Exhibitors can grab a morning meal with clients at Beatrix. The River North neighborhood restaurant and coffeehouse in the Aloft Hotel on Clark Street features freshly-squeezed juices alongside quinoa cakes and poached eggs (among other gourmet eats).

Authentic Hong Kong-style A.M. Dim Sum awaits at Phoenix while brunch at ZED451 features a daily menu that has been known to include maple Cajun bacon and citrus-dusted Atlantic salmon.

And, of course, die-hard foodies flock to the retro-cool booths at Little Goat in West Loop for shrimp and grits and peanut butter Fat Elvis waffles by famed "Top Chef" and "Iron Chef Gauntlet" winner Stephanie Izard.

Take a Break Outdoors

Take in Chicago's breathtaking skyline and gorgeous 18-mile lakefront while getting in some exercise. Meeting organizers entertaining active attendees can rent a two-wheeler from Bobby's Bike Hike or Bike and Roll. Attendees can also take advantage of the city's bike sharing program and pick up an iconic baby-blue Divvy bike from one of hundreds of stations around the city for a minimal rental fee. 

Plan an Legendary, Only-In-Chicago, Special Event

For a memorable post-meeting event, put together a private gathering at one of the city's iconic attractions. Wrigley Field, the historic home of the Chicago Cubs, features private suites, customized catering, and team-building activities.

The pinnacle of Gold Coast dining for over 23 years, Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse, hosts events from hors-d'oeuvres receptions to sit-down dinners. 

Broadway in Chicago is the go-to for tickets to the most exciting Downtown Theater District shows, while the Shedd Aquarium brims with sharks and beluga whales and even hosts private events!

Meet in Millennium Park any time of the year. Located downtown, Millennium Park is a prime location for an eye-popping stroll and the casual get-together. After taking a group picture in front of Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate, the silvery "Bean," attendees can catch a concert at Pritzker Pavilion in the spring and summer or gather at the hidden Lurie Garden

Viewing the Chicago skyline via boat is a can't-miss activity. Host an intimate and entertaining outing and book a 90-minute architecture tour. Vessels depart from the river docks beneath Michigan Avenue and from Navy Pier.

Plan gatherings around a festival (in summer) or brewery (in winter). In June, a half million fans flock to the Chicago Blues Festival to hear guitar notes and bass lines. In July, grilled meats spice the air for Taste of ChicagoLincoln Park's ZooLights draws winter crowds for a free display of more than a million lights. Any time of year is perfect for visiting Lagunitas Brewing Company, the city's biggest beer maker. Guides give free tours daily that roam by shiny tanks bubbling with Lagunitas' hoppy suds. Many events offer VIP experiences that groups can book in advance.

Organize Unforgettable Culinary and Entertainment Experiences

Recently voted as America's Best Culinary City, Chicago has something for everyone. Step into the past at one of Chicago's century-old restaurants, The Berghoff. Spoil attendees at trendy, chef-driven spots like Michelin-starred Grace. Host refined-meets-rustic evening at Sepia or enjoy an old-school steakhouse meal at places like Rosebud Prime. Rick Bayless' Frontera Grill is never a miss, while Acanto remains one of the city's most buzzed-about downtown restaurants. Looking for something different? Ethnic eats abound in Greektown, Indian-infused Devon Avenue, and Mexican enclave Pilsen.

After dinner, enjoy a show at one of Chicago's many acclaimed theaters. Homegrown Goodman TheatreLookingglass Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre Company are known for powerhouse productions. If laughter is what you seek, visit The Second City, the birthplace of improv comedy.

Chicago's glamorous rooftops also provide ample opportunity for unforgettable evenings. Soak up the skyline and creative cocktails at ROOF on theWit or gaze across the lakefront at J. Parker.

Of course, no Chicago experience is complete without incorporating the iconic music scene. Catch the nation's best blues players at Buddy Guy's Legends or classic Chicago sounds at Andy's Jazz Clubor City Winery.

For the sports fans, Chicago teams span all seasons. Book a suite and bring attendees together for a game. The Cubs play at ivy-clad Wrigley Field, a 100-year-old shrine for baseball fans, while the White Sox swing at mod Guaranteed Rate Field. The Bears (football), Blackhawks (hockey) and Bulls(basketball) are hot tickets when the weather cools. The Chicago Fire play soccer in suburban Ridgeview.