As one of the country’s largest cities, Chicago has always welcomed immigrants from around the world, making it one of the most diverse cities in the nation. This ethnic and cultural diversity has fostered a world-renowned food scene, featuring everything from creative fusion cuisine to old-world Italian and Polish favorites.
Chicago has a wide variety of activities for every visitor, including many historical sites, world-class shopping, museums, and cultural attractions, frequent city-wide events, and more. Take a stroll along the historic Navy Pier, cruise the Chicago River, or spend a day basking on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. Sports fans can go to a game no matter what season it is – the city is home to professional baseball, basketball, football, and hockey.
Not only does Chicago have something for everyone to enjoy, but it’s also centrally located and home to a major international airport, making the city a go-to destination for a social event. You’ll find hundreds of local businesses available to provide high-quality products and services for your event, making planning stress-free.
Social Location Options in Chicago
Whether you want to host an extravagant wedding reception or an intimate birthday gathering, Chicago has the perfect venue for your needs, as well as numerous local businesses to support your event. Planning a Chicago social location should be easy with all of the choices you can pick from.
With influences from many different cultures, Chicago’s food is diverse – you can likely find anything you’re looking for, from pierogis to deep-dish pizza and upscale haute cuisine. Chicago’s many restaurants and catering services are available to provide any type of meal for your event, including box lunches, plated dinners, appetizers, desserts, and more. Many also offer beverage services, including professional bar staff, and most dietary considerations can be accommodated.
- Party Rentals
Before you and your guests sit down to a tasty dinner to celebrate an anniversary, graduation, or another social occasion, you’ll likely need to enlist a local rental agency to provide essentials such as tables, chairs, or dinnerware. Many rental agencies can also provide extras such as décor items, audiovisual equipment, staging, lighting setups, and even patio heaters. If you’ll be hosting younger guests, companies also rent bounce houses and other inflatables to keep them engaged.
- Cleaning Service
After hosting a beautiful gathering for family, friends, or colleagues, the last thing on anyone’s mind is cleaning up the morning after. Enlisting a local cleaning service to return your social location to perfect order can save a lot of time and stress after the event, especially if you’re returning to work or leaving town.
Social Location Companies in Chicago
Hiring a professional event planner for your social location in Chicago can help you ensure everything is taken care of smoothly and efficiently, especially if there’s not much room on your plate for more tasks. Event planners can handle as much or as little as you like, making the planning process comfortable and positive.
- Marquette Avenue Events
With two decades of experience in the event planning industry, the team at Marquette Avenue Events specializes in the flawless execution of events large and small. Planners will ensure your event meets your every desire, relying on an experienced network of preferred vendors to provide high-quality products and services, including rentals, catering, design, and more. The firm offers a variety of wedding planning packages and creates customized services based on your needs and budgets for other gatherings.
- Clover Events and Productions
Born and raised in Chicago, founder Katherine Brown has many years of experience and a host of great working relationships with wedding and event vendors throughout the city. Clover Events offers full-service wedding planning, including venue selection, vendor coordination, and event management. Planners work with clients to determine needs and budget and then create a custom package for an event that checks all boxes.
- Urban Allure Events
The planning team at Urban Allure Events comes from diverse backgrounds and cities across the country and brings a wealth of different experiences to the table. Urban Allure Events has been featured in many wedding publications, including The Knot, Modern Luxury Weddings, WeddingWire, Voyage Chicago, and more. The firm offers several wedding packages, from day-of wedding management to full-service planning and design.
Pros and Cons of a Social Location in Chicago
A great mix of old and new, you should have no problem finding the perfect Chicago social location for your special event. You should know about the pros and cons, however, to consider before making a final decision.
- Great food
Chicago has signature deep-dish pizza, a great variety of culturally diverse offerings, and 24 Michelin-starred restaurants.
There’s something for every visitor to enjoy, from world-class shopping to baseball games, art museums, and outdoor activities at Lake Michigan.
The aptly named Magnificent Mile is one of the most dazzling shopping districts in the country.
Chicago winters can be brutally cold and are usually snowy, thanks to the lake effect from Lake Michigan.
The cost of living is considerably higher in Chicago, so you’ll pay about 20% more for food, lodging, and other amenities.
Some areas in Chicago are considered unsafe, especially at night, but they can be avoided in most cases.
Famous Locations in Chicago
- Magnificent Mile
Also known as the Mag Mile, this is a stretch of about 13 blocks (1.25 miles) along the banks of the Chicago River. It starts in the upscale neighborhood of Michigan Avenue and takes you to the North Side’s Oak Street. You will find many of the top name brand retailers here like Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdale’s with more than 450 stores. There are also 275 restaurants and many other attractions along the way.
- Millennium Park
You can explore all 319 acres of Millennium Park if you have time during your stay. The park has some of the most famous features including the Bean (Cloud Gate). The famous stainless-steel sculpture looks like a giant bean and is about 66 feet long and 33 feet tall. This is the perfect spot for selfies. The park also boasts several gardens and fountains as well as a theater, ice rink, pavilions, and galleries.
- Navy Pier
Since 1916, the 3,300-foot-long Navy Pier has been designed and redesigned to be a lakefront destination for the people of Chicago to relax in the great outdoors. It’s been used as a training ground for troops, a makeshift jail, a classroom, and more over the decades. It’s one of the most-visited attractions in the Midwest, drawing more than two million visitors annually to its shops, restaurants, and activities. Navy Pier features a giant Ferris wheel, carnival rides, and more than two dozen dining establishments. It’s also the starting point for many Lake Michigan cruises and activities.