Chicago is a fantastic city with a vibrant and diverse culture. From its iconic skyline to its deep but storied history to the world-class universities, theaters, art galleries, and museums located within it, Chicago is a place that has something for everyone.
However, its outdoor dinner party scene makes Chicago stand out from other cities. Chicagoans love to spend time in the city's many parks and outdoor spaces during the warm summer months, gathering around picnic tables to enjoy delicious meals—often with friends and family—while taking in the sights of the city.
Of course, you can't forget about the drinks when planning an outdoor dinner party in Chicago! There are plenty of craft beer bars in the area serving up some of America's best brews and excellent locally-made wines and cocktails that can be enjoyed during your evening meal under the stars, making any extra evening memorable!
Outdoor Dinner Party Options in Chicago
- Personal Chef
For a truly unique experience, hiring a personal chef can make your outdoor dinner party one to remember. Personal chefs can customize the menu to suit any occasion and budget, whether you’re looking for an intimate meal or something more extensive and elaborate. They’ll prepare the food onsite, ensuring that everything is fresh and delicious.
- Party Supplies
Whether it’s plates, cutlery, or decorations for your outdoor dinner party venue in Chicago, party supplies are essential for creating the perfect atmosphere. Chicago stores offer various collections to ensure your event looks fantastic from start to finish. From colorful napkins to festive centerpieces, you can find all the products you need to give your dinner party the ultimate finishing touches.
Add an extra special touch to your outdoor dinner party with a selection of colorful flowers. Whether you’re looking for simple arrangements or something more elaborate, plenty of florists in Chicago can provide gorgeous blooms for any occasion. You can also find a variety of natural elements, such as branches and leaves to help set the scene. With these gorgeous floral displays, your outdoor dinner party venue will be sure to impress!
Outdoor Dinner Party Vendors in Chicago
- Flowers For Dreams
Flowers have the power to brighten anyone's day, which is why Flowers for Dreams is such a unique company. Their bouquets are stunning, and each purchase benefits a local charity. Based in Chicago, they deliver all over Illinois, and their organic, fresh-cut flowers are guaranteed to make anyone smile. If you need same-day delivery, they've got you covered! They are the perfect choice for weddings or just a simple arrangement.
- Whatever Lola Wants
Looking for fantastic chef services and boutique catering in the Chicagoland area? Look no further than Whatever Lola Wants. Their talented team of chefs is dedicated to creating delicious, one-of-a-kind meals that will make your event unforgettable. They specialize in everything from small private parties to significant corporate events, and they're always ready to go above and beyond to exceed your expectations.
Anyone who has planned a party knows that the difference between an ordinary event and an extraordinary one lies in the details. Guest list? Check. Menu? Coordinated. Decorations? Nowhere to be found! That's where Paris312 comes in, trusted by years of Chicagoans for their impeccable designs and customer service. They have everything you need to make your party pop, from custom balloon bouquets to floor-to-ceiling draping.
Pros and Cons of Outdoor Dinner Parties in Chicago
Outdoor dinner parties in Chicago are wonderful opportunities to celebrate life’s special moments with friends and family. Chicago provides a beautiful backdrop to create lasting memories that will be cherished for years to come. However, there are some potential challenges, so you need to consider the pros and cons:
- Being surrounded by some of the most iconic landmarks in the city and taking in breathtaking views makes outdoor dinner parties in Chicago a memorable affair.
- With its mild climate, there’s almost always a chance to enjoy your outdoor meal without worrying about heavy rains or other inclement weather.
- You can save money on food costs by utilizing local restaurants and caterers specializing in outdoor dining options.
- An open-air atmosphere provides more freedom to customize your event with decorations, music, entertainment, and activities that may have been impossible indoors due to space constraints.
- Depending on the time of year, mosquitoes and other bugs can create an unpleasant dining experience if not properly managed. Adding precautionary measures such as citronella candles can work wonders to alleviate discomfort.
- If you don’t have access to private property or a parking permit, you may run into issues with noise complaints from neighbors or police officers depending on how late into the night your party goes.
- With its pedestrian-friendly streets and ample sidewalks, parking can be difficult around downtown areas of Chicago, leading to frustration for attendees driving far distances to attend your event.
- Even though Chicago experiences mild temperatures throughout the year, temperatures during peak summer tend to get quite hot, making it uncomfortable for hosts and attendees without proper air conditioning or fans set up outdoors.
Tips on How to Organize Outdoor Dinner Parties in Chicago
Planning an outdoor dinner party in Chicago is both an exciting and fun experience. It starts with picking the best event location, from the beaches along the coast to the skyline of downtown. With a bit of planning, a successful and organized evening can be made to remember. Here are some tips on how to organize outdoor dinner parties in Chicago:
- Choose an appropriate venue: Consider a park or beach for gorgeous views, or rent out one of the many rooftop bars in the city for a night out with friends. Doing research ahead of time is key to finding the best fit for your celebration!
- Take into account what kind of food you want to be served: Will you need something catered? Or could you set up an array of tables with delicious snacks? Consider doing both if possible, so guests have choices throughout the night.
- Bring seating: Make sure that everyone has somewhere comfortable to sit and enjoy their meal by bringing enough chairs, but not too many so that people won’t have enough room to move around! Also, try renting furniture pieces like sofas if available for a chic touch.
- Have lots of entertainment: Outdoor events offer plenty of opportunities for activities like lawn games and live music. Find something unique that will get guests up and moving—this can often create better conversations, too!
- Make sure there is adequate lighting: Depending on when your event is and how dark it gets outside, bring some portable lights or torches to ensure everyone can see each other while they eat. Candles also work well as centerpieces during dinners outdoors.
- Try having blankets available: Even if it’s summertime in Chicago, evenings tend to get chilly after sundown. Bring some warm blankets nearby if anyone needs them while they mingle and chat at your outdoor gathering.
Famous Locations in Chicago
- Museum Campus
Museum Campus is a jewel of the city of Chicago. It is home to some of the world’s most famous museums and beautiful gardens and sculptures. The campus is also great for taking a stroll, relaxing in the sun, or having a picnic. Visitors can explore the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium, all of which offer stunning views of Lake Michigan. The campus is also home to the Soldier Field football stadium and the McCormick Place Convention Center.
- Museum of Illusions Chicago
The Museum of Illusions Chicago is a world-renowned attraction that showcases some of the most famous optical illusions in history. Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, the museum features over 100 exhibits that will amaze and delight visitors of all ages. Some of the most popular exhibits include the Ames Room, which appears distorted when viewed from different angles, and the Rotating Snakes illusion, which creates the optical illusion of snakes moving in a spiral pattern.
- 31st Street Beach
31st Street Beach is one of the busiest beaches in Chicago. On a hot summer day, the beach is packed with people of all ages enjoying the sun and the waves. The city skyline provides a beautiful backdrop for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. There is also a playground and a basketball court for children to enjoy. The sand is clean and well-maintained, and the water is clear and refreshing. 31st Street Beach is an awesome place to spend a summer day with family and friends!