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Famous for its iconic buildings and skyscrapers, Chicago is one of the largest and most populous cities in the United States. It’s known for its diverse change in climate - with hot summers and cold and snowy winters - and its many iconic attractions, including the famous sculpture, "The Bean," and other famous buildings like the Tribune Tower and the Willis Tower.
Chicago is also well-known for its local food offerings. The “Chicago-style” pizza is one of the must-try dishes in the city, as is its "Chicago-style" hotdogs. And, if that's not enough, you’ll find hundreds of bars, clubs, and plenty of attractive outdoor space to choose from, many of which offer fantastic live music.
A Chicago-style hot dog, or "Chicago Red Hot," as it's traditionally called, is an all-beef frankfurter on a poppy seed bun, often topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices, pickled sport peppers and a dash of celery salt.
While you may not expect a city to be the best choice for an outdoor event, you’ll be blown away by the selection of venues and spaces the Windy City, has to offer. In fact, visitors head to Chicago to enjoy Lake Michigan and the mild weather, open spaces, and active community of things to see and do, all year-round.
There are plenty of beer gardens and rooftop bars with skyline views or conference centers big enough to hold your holiday party or wedding reception.
For something different, try holding your private party near the Navy Pier or Lincoln Park Zoo or maybe have a private dining party in Streeterville or in the Bridgeport area with its historic aesthetic making a perfect backdrop for your next event.
Chicago offers everything you could need to host a spectacular outdoor event from a simple birthday party to full-blown wedding receptions, with plenty of local vendors and services to help to ensure your next event goes off without a hitch.
There are plenty of outdoor party venues and spaces for an outdoor event in downtown Chicago like Irving Park, The Bridgeport Art Center, and The Navy Pier that can accommodate groups with enough space for a seated dinner or an outdoor party. They all have stunning views and are the perfect location for your next event.
Your guests will have no issues arriving at your event location, even if it’s located away from the Chicago River. Taxi companies and Lyft are easy to find throughout the city, so you won’t have to worry about your guests arriving late to your outdoor event venue.
Chicago has some of the best catering options for outdoor events in the country. Whether you opt for a buffet spread or an a la carte dinner party, you’ll find some unique offerings to add to any menu. For a more casual affair with outdoor seating, consider adding Chicago-style hot dogs or Chicago Italian beef sandwiches to the menu.
If you’ve made an effort to create a unique outdoor venue space in Chicago, you’ll want to capture the event with a local photographer. Consider adding an arrival photo stop as your guests arrive at your outdoor parties entrance, or just opt for candid shots as the evening progresses.
When hosting an outdoor event, you’ll often need to provide chairs and tables. Equipment rental companies are abundant in Chicago, so you won’t struggle to find somewhere to accommodate your party size. If you are having live music or entertainment at your outdoor event venue, you’ll also find plenty of options for audio and video and sound system equipment rental for your next party.
Just because you are hosting an outdoor event with a spectacular view, it doesn’t mean you should scrimp on decorations. Chicago has some fantastic party and event stores, that can decorate your event space with balloons, banners, and table settings and create the perfect backdrop to your next event.
Once you've secured an amazing venue for your next outdoor event in Chicago, consider hiring one of the city's top event planners to make sure your party goes off without a hitch.
Based in Chicago since 1969, On The Scene offers award-winning events throughout the city. As a full-service event management company that prides itself of excellence, their team of professionals will work with you to understand and create your company’s perfect space. Hire them to transform you Chicago venue into a space that will wow your guests.
This fabulous Chicago-based event planning team will take care of everything before you arrive at your outdoor event in Chicago. Whether you are planning an intimate cocktail reception or a large gathering, they’ll tailor their services to fit your requirements, and offer packages with your budget in mind.
With over twenty-five years’ experience hosting events in the city, you’ll be in good hands with Star Events Chicago. If you are planning a large event with music, food, and a huge guest list, they are among your best option when it comes to planning a large Chicago event.
The catering in Chicago will elevate your outdoor event and offer something new and exciting that your guests will remember for years to come.
Live Music Offerings
If you are hosting an outdoor event, consider hiring one of Chicago’s talented musicians to entertain your guests.
The city’s transportation links are excellent, and it’s easy to fly into Chicago from most major cities in the country.
Outdoor Venue Options
You’ll be impressed with the outdoor event venue options in Chicago. In comparison to other cities you may be considering, you’ll find this city offers unique spaces for any size of event. Whether you want to host your next outdoor event at a rooftop beer garden with exposed brick walls and views of the Chicago skyline or at one of the luxurious Grand Ave locations with onsite catering and an event manager to take care of you, you'll find the perfect place to hold your next party.
Inclement Weather Venues
Some outdoor venues in Chicago have a retractable roof that can be opened or closed to suit the weather or floor-to-ceiling windows for your baby shower or bachelorette parties making these private event spaces work no matter the weather.
Hotels for All Budgets
Your guests will easily find a hotel or apartment in the city to fit their needs and budget and many offer on-site catering.
Cold Winter Months
The weather in Chicago during the winter months will make it nearly impossible to host an outdoor event during this time.
If you are hosting an event during a game day or when another big event is happening in the city, you may find Chicago to be noisy and crowded during this time.
The traffic can be horrendous in the city during events and rush hours, so ensure your guests leave plenty of time to arrive at the venue.
Chicago is known for its high cost of living, and this is reflected in the cost of vendors in the city.
Costly Venue Rental
Outdoor event venue locations can be extremely costly in Chicago. When you add on all the additional vendors you will require, the cost of your event can mount up.
Check out these famous Chicago locations to take some great pre-event photos, or to mingle with your guests after the event.
Millennium Park is the ideal spot for your guests to base themselves near, with plenty of accommodation options in the area. During the summer months, visitors love the outdoor concerts here. Of course, no visit to the city is complete without seeing the Bean, which is better known as Cloud Gate. This huge sculpture is the ideal backdrop for family or corporate photos.
This is one of the most inspiring museums in the city and is great for kids and teens. It was the first museum to use hands-on features in the US, and it offers an ever-changing rotation of exciting exhibits.
View this absolutely gorgeous city from up above by heading to the Skydeck in the Willis Tower. If you are lucky enough to visit on a clear day, you’ll enjoy seeing views that stretch over four states. The SkyDeck is located on the 103rd floor, and its best-known feature is the Ledge, with its glass floor overlooking the city down below. Perfect for birthday parties and views of the city center.