20 Magnificent Chicago Event Venues
Hugging Lake Michigan is a sprawling city of 2.7 million people. One with 580 parks, more than 5,000 restaurants, 700 public art installations, and 39,000 hotel rooms. One that marries Midwestern hospitality with big-city access. One whose name is as iconic as its flavors and architecture: Chicago. Thanks to its central location, Chicago is one of the most sought-after convention towns in the country. Here are twenty-two venue-shaped reasons why.
Capacity: Inquire Location: 2412 S. Michigan Ave. Great For: Conferences, Fashion Shows At 30,000 square feet, Fulton Market is one of Chicago’s go-to venues for large and creative gatherings. In the heart of the meatpacking district, the trendy spot is a frequent destination for fashion shows and any other event in search of a space that can be transformed to match to a specific vision.
Location: 2412 S. Michigan Ave.
Great For: Conferences, Fashion Shows
At 30,000 square feet, Fulton Market is one of Chicago’s go-to venues for large and creative gatherings. In the heart of the meatpacking district, the trendy spot is a frequent destination for fashion shows and any other event in search of a space that can be transformed to match to a specific vision.
Location: 875 N MICHIGAN AVE
Great For: Company Dinners
For more than 25 years, the Signature Room has treated guests to unparalleled views (and a fabulous excuse to visit one of Chicago’s most iconic buildings.) The private event space, located atop the famous John Hancock Building, shares a food & beverage team with the sister restaurant one floor higher. A no-brainer destination for an impressive gathering following a day of board meetings.
Location: 1446 West Kinzie Street
Great For: Conferences, Meetings, Company Parties
Some event spaces are made to simply offer space to mingle. Moonlight Studios is not one of those spaces. Rather, their knockout team partners with visionaries and conference planners to execute on colorful, demanding ideas for high caliber conferences and parties. A fabulous destination for key presentations and product launches, LED lighting and poppy decor has never looked more at home.
Location: 330 North Wabash Avenue
Great For: Corporate Meetings, Receptions
One of Chicago’s most esteemed modern hotels, the Langham is where class and creativity intersect. The hotel’s professional event staff take pains to host corporate meetings without a hitch, and receptions guaranteed to impress. 15,000 square feet of event space is distributed among a dozen different spaces, offering a perfect fit for crowds from 5 to 340. Among the Langham’s best perks? Its lovely interiors leave little need for decor.
Location: 1601 North Clark Street
Great For: Meetings, Weddings
Outfitted with an outdoor plaza, indoor theatre, and multiple additional dedicated event spaces, the Chicago History Museum is a flexible and fascinating destination for meetings, parties, and receptions that forge memories. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, the museum features gorgeous architecture and inspiring exhibits. And yes, venue rental grants guests free access to most exhibits for the first 90 minutes of any event.
Location: 2400 S. Michigan Ave.
Great For: Cocktail Parties, Musical Events
This former home of the Illinois Automobile Club, built-in 1936 and designed by architect Philip Maher, has been transformed into an event-hosting metropolis, with more than 20 individual spaces covering 50,000 square feet. Its 4000 square-foot outdoor courtyard is the perfect backdrop for summer soirees and musical events alike. With capacity for up to 2600, Motor Row is a space with spunk.
Location: 1840 W Hubbard St
Great For: Wedding Receptions, Company Parties
60,000 square feet of former warehouse space has never looked warmer or more inviting. Salvage One features rich colors and textures of brick, wood, and glass, plus a collection of eclectic furniture available for use by event-goers. A number of different rooms offer capacity for up to 250 individually, or more if renting a combination of spaces. Just need a snapshot? Salvage One is a frequent photo op spot, too.
Location: 209 South LaSalle Street
Great For: Galas, Fundraisers
In the heart of Chicago’s financial district sits one of the city’s most historic buildings. The Rookery features a majestic lobby designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that–get this–can itself be rented for a gala your guests will never forget. Whether throwing a wedding fit for royals or a gala to thank your most generous benefactors, the Rookery is both timeless and unparalleled.
Location: 1400 S Lake Shore Dr
Great For: Galas, Corporate Celebrations
In the decor department, dinosaurs are hard to beat. In Chicago’s event venue scene, the Field Museum is, too. One of the country’s most esteemed museums, the Field’s atriums, theatres, and yes, dinosaur exhibits, offer spaces for events both massive and intimate. Plus, your rental fee helps promote the museum’s mission: “a journey of discovery across time to enable solutions for a brighter future rich in nature and culture.”
Location: 247 E Ontario St
Great For: Weddings
Both convenience and chic, Chez is a venue that focuses on one thing and does that thing to perfection: weddings. Chez describes itself as “a white canvas to hold your wedding dreams.” Far from minimalist, its opulent white curtains, glowing chandeliers, and clear chairs create a luxurious atmosphere that can be personalized with your own touches of color and whimsy. Plus, its location affords easy access to downtown hotels for out-of-town guests.
Location: 433 W Van Buren St
Great For: Creative Events, Company Parties
433 W. Buren was once a scene of stamps and envelopes. Today, it’s getting ready for its big debut as a prestigious address for corporate headquarters and hip events. While the details aren’t yet final, we do know this: the Old Post Office will soon play host to parties and meetings planned with creativity and style. Snag one of the first reservations, and you’ll have one the hottest tickets in town for guests: a peek at one of the most talked-about renovations of the last ten years.
Location: 111 South Michigan Avenue
Great For: Weddings, Receptions
If Ferris Bueller risked his diploma on a space, it must be worth an evening of your guests’ time. The Art Institute of Chicago features two distinct wings: a classic and formal collection of spaces in the Michigan Avenue Building, and a more modern collection of rooms in the aptly named Modern Wing. Each space features attention to design and detail you’d expect from an institution devoted to creativity, plus all the advantages of an in-house team dedicated to events.
Location: 5940 N Sheridan Road
Great For: Receptions, Formal Dinners
A mansion on Chicago’s Northside lakefront, Colvin House is a real home with real style. Another George Maher property, the opulent building was completed in 1909 before it underwent a high-dollar renovation in the roaring twenties. Stone pillars, plaster molding, and gorgeous ceilings surround, while period glassware and china are available to rent as well. A fitting home for a formal dinner.
Location: 401 North Armour Street
Great For: Meetings, Team Retreats
Throw a party at a working glass studio! Ignite Glass Studios has the infrastructure you’d expect from professional event space, but the heart and soul you’d wish for from a team of artisans. Colorful, contemporary, and celebratory Ignite features capacity for up to 220 guests and claims to possess the city’s only garden and rooftop.
Location: 700 East Grand Ave.
Great For: Corporate Events, Weddings
A botanical garden housed in a six-story glass atrium, the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier is anything but a blank canvas. Rather than taking the minimalist approach, consider immersing your guests in green and colorful plant life. The space’s 50-foot arched ceiling leaves plenty of room for its 80 palm trees (and your 500 lucky guests).
Capacity: 450 Standing / 300 Seated
Location: 2408 North Kedzie Blvd.
Great For: Formal Dinners, Weddings
Stan Mansion was once a Masonic Temple, which shows in its grandiose stonework and iconic architecture. An affordable wedding destination, wedding rental includes a bridal suite complete with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. In summer months, the front garden greets guests with rich colors.
Location: 2110 S WABASH AVENUE
Great For: Weddings
Equal parts indoor and outdoor space, Chicago Illuminating Company features an outdoor patio comprised of warmly colored brick and covered in a clean white-and-clear tent. Primely located on Wabash Avenue, Chicago Illuminating Company provides just enough design for a foundation, and just enough flexibility to house the Pinterest-gathered ideas of the most creative of brides.
Location: 140 EAST WALTON PLACE
Great For: Meetings
For decades, one Chicago hotel stood above all the rest. One hotel where celebrities stayed, where tourists snapped photos, and where the well-healed hosted parties. Today, the Drake has retained all of its histories while elevating it with contemporary touches required by modern events. Corporate meetings and conference breakout sessions can find rooms fit for any size, while weddings make perfect use out of the grand ballroom. The best part? The only address your guests will need is comprised of just two words: The Drake.
Location: 835 N Michigan Ave
Great For: Casual Parties
Sports fans know the 800-block of Michigan Avenue quite well. This is where Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch meets the Chicago Sports Museum–and where sports fans meet to party. The Chicago Sports Museum is ready to accommodate mingling crowds of fans up to 1200-strong, complete with access to exhibits, or seated crowds of up to 300.
Location: 311 South Wacker Drive
Great For: Rehearsal Dinners, Private Parties
Need a simple spot for a private dinner? Pazzo’s at 311 is a full-service restaurant that offers its space without rental fee for those interested in packing the house with diners for a private event. Meals can be served individually, family-style, or on a buffet. A simple, delicious, and reasonably priced destination for large private dinners.