22 Great Holiday Party Venues & Ideas in Chicago, IL

Home » Corporate Event Venues » Holiday Parties in Chicago ILUpdated: September 01, 2022

Here is our list of the best holiday party venues & ideas in Chicago, Illinois.

Holiday party venues in Chicago are spaces you can use to entertain your team during the holiday seasons in the Chicago region. Examples include Offshore Rooftop, Moonlight Studios, and Emporium Arcade Bar. Choosing suitable holiday party venues and ideas will recharge your team for work after the holidays and strengthen relationships.

These spaces are locations and ideas for holiday team building and company Christmas parties and are similar to event venues in Chicago and corporate events in Chicago.

This list includes:

  • small party venues in Chicago
  • company holiday party venues in Chicago
  • holiday party ideas in Chicago for adults
  • holiday party entertainment ideas in Chicago

Let’s get started!

List of holiday party venues in Chicago

Chicago is renowned for its beautiful architecture, culinary delights, and bustling music scene. However, the city also offers event planners a vast pool of spaces ideal for different holiday party setups. From The Underground to Morgan’s on Fulton and Ovation Chicago, here is our list of the best venues where you can hold your holiday parties in the Chicago region.

1. Thalia Hall

Thalia Hall is a historic landmark building that dates back to 1892. The building, which now features a mix of modern elements and historical details, is an excellent venue for hosting corporate parties. Your guests will love the solid wood floors and state-of-the-art light and sound equipment. The venue also features three full bars, which offer a great selection of cocktails, beer, and non-alcoholic drinks. Thalia Hall accommodates up to 240 attendees for a seated dinner and 800 guests for a standing event. In addition, you can check out the variety of eateries where your team can grab bites during your corporate party.

Learn more about Thalia Hall.

2. The Underground

As one of the most popular company holiday party venues in Chicago, The Underground is a fantastic pick for event planners who want guests to experience the Chicago nightlife. You can hold your party at The Main Room, a modern and sleek space with a 40-foot video wall, two bars, and a classic DJ booth. The 300-capacity venue also has a removable stage where you can host live music events and a photo booth. The Underground’s in-house catering team is also set to customize your meals and drinks.

Learn more about The Underground.

3. Zhou B Art Center

Right in the historic Bridgeport neighborhood is Zhou B Art Center, a site that showcases local and global art. The art center provides studio spaces, galleries, and an environment that nurtures the creativity and growth of over 50 resident artists. The center also offers free public art exhibitions where locals can explore the creative pieces in the main gallery. Zhou B Art Center is also a great corporate party event space where you can entertain your guests. The 28,000-square-foot space offers a unique atmosphere where your guests will explore famous art from the renowned Zhou Brothers. You can also enchant your party attendees with a catering package from LM Catering.

Learn more about Zhou B Art Center.

4. Morgan’s on Fulton

Set up in the historic Fulton Market is Morgan’s on Fulton, a premier company party venue in Chicago. The four-story event space features an industrial and classy aesthetic which includes stylish furniture, mobile bars, and high-end sound systems. The 160 to 260-capacity Penthouse is the largest space where you can host your corporate party. This area features a 6,000-square-foot roof deck with floor-to-ceiling windows and a 1,500-square-foot penthouse. Your guests will also have access to the cabana areas, the perimeter gardens, the interior, and the exterior bars. If you are looking for small party venues in Chicago, then you must check out the Loft. The 3,460-square-foot space features mango wood floors and exposed brick and accommodates up to 165 guests. In addition, you can ease your company party process with the Morgan’s on Fulton premium in-house catering packages.

Learn more about Morgan’s on Fulton.

5. Offshore Rooftop

Offshore Rooftop is one of the best outdoor party venues where you can host your team. The venue, set up in Chicago’s Navy Pier, offers guests panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the city’s skyline. You can host 15 to 200 guests for a semi-private event or 250 to 450 attendees for a partial venue buyout event. If you want your team to have exclusive use of the Offshore Rooftop, then you can buy out the entire 36,000-square-foot venue and host up to 750 guests. The space also has a world-class kitchen with an expansive menu and a full-service bar.

Learn more about Offshore Rooftop.

6. Ovation Chicago

Ovation is a former foundry that is now one of the most sought party venues in Chicago. The modern and versatile loft space features DJ amenities, a vintage photo booth, an in-house bar, a grand piano, and lounge furniture. You can host your corporate party at the 3,600-square-foot Greenhouse Loft, a venue that has 16′ ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. The space accommodates up to 175 guests for a seated event with a DJ or a cocktail reception. You can hire outside caterers and also BYOB.

Learn more about Ovation Chicago.

7. Moonlight Studios

Located in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, Moonlight Studios features versatile company party spaces where you can host small and large groups. The 15,000-square-foot venue has an open studio, two galleries, a green room, a production office, and a chic industrial vibe. You can hold your company party at the Moonlight Studio and accommodate 240 to 450 guests. Event party planners who are on the search for small party venues in Chicago will love the Gallery 01, Gallery 02, or the Foyer spaces. If you want to host a larger group, then you can rent out the entire venue and entertain up to 700 guests.

Learn more about Moonlight Studios.

8. The Geraghty

Featuring infinite luxury details, the Geraghty is a sophisticated venue in Chicago where you can hold your next corporate party. The venue has versatile spaces which are perfect for different kinds of celebrations and event setups. The Geraghty offers event planners 25,000-square-foot space with overhead LED wall-to-wall hangings, high-end lounge furniture, custom chandeliers, and 22′ ceilings. You will also have access to the VIP Green Room with a catering area and luxury residential restrooms. You can also browse the list of the venue’s caterer and vendor recommendations and ease your party planning process.

Learn more about The Geraghty.

9. 190 South LaSalle

190 South LaSalle offers unique event spaces perfect for a corporate party. You can hold your gathering at The Library, a warm and stately space with an elegance that your guests will remember. The Library accommodates 200 to 300 attendees, depending on your event setup. You can also hold your party at The Starks and entertain up to 200 guests for a cocktail reception. If you are hosting your meetings at the Conference Suites, then you can use the Starks for a team celebration.

Learn more about 190 South LaSalle.

10. Museum of Science and Industry

As one of the largest science museums globally, the Museum of Science and Industry is a wonderful option for hosting large company holiday parties. The museum features famous exhibits such as the German Submarine U-505, the Apollo 8 command module, and a 3,500-square-foot model railroad. The museum also offers some of the best company holiday party venues in Chicago, which your guests will love. You can use the museum’s exhibits, such as the historic aircrafts and submarines, to enhance your party. Depending on your company party setup, you can also check out the Little Theater, the Auditorium, and the Giant Dome Theater. Be sure to let your guests experience the museum’s cuisine and the hand-crafted cocktails.

Learn more about The Museum of Science and Industry.

11. 150 North Riverside

150 North Riverside tops the list of picturesque holiday party venues in Chicago. The space, set up right at the Confluence, offers many outdoor and indoor spaces. The one-and-a-half-acre park is one of the best party venues where your guests will enjoy a unique setting and river views. You can host up to 160 guests for a banquet event and 500 attendees for a reception setup. Another excellent party space at 150 North Riverside is the 4,950-square-foot Lobby, the tallest glass-only wall that does not have structural support globally. The Lobby can accommodate 216 to 425 guests. You can also host your party at the 1,036-Mezzanine and offer 48 to 150 guests views of the Riverside Garden.

Learn more about 150 North Riverside.

List of holiday party ideas in Chicago

The holiday season is one of the best times to visit Chicago and enjoy the outdoors. With tons of fun activities and new experiences in the city, you will create memories and help your team get into the holiday spirit. From Christkindlmarket to Lightscape and McFetridge Sports Center, here is a list of the best holiday party ideas your group will enjoy in Chicago.

12. Chicago Athletic Association

If you are on the search for holiday party entertainment ideas in Chicago for your team, then you must check out Chicago Athletic Association. The Venetian Gothic landmark, which dates back to 1893, carries Chicago’s rich history and provides tons of holiday activities for visitors. You can check in with your team at the game room, where participants can play various games such as billiards, bocce, shuffleboard, and foosball. Your team can also grab bites and drinks as they have a friendly competition and bond. Another great idea you should check out for your next holiday celebration is Topgolf Swing Suite. The space has two advanced and interactive gaming simulators that offer virtual football, dodgeball, golf, and hockey. The 40-capacity suite also offers movie screenings, karaoke, and viewing parties.

Learn more about Chicago Athletic Association.

13. Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light is a tradition since 1942. The exhibition now features a four-story Grand Tree, which offers a spectacle of lights, music, and different themes each year. The Grand Tree is one of over 50 trees and decorations representing diverse cultures from across the globe. Attendees are free to search for their family’s stories and make discoveries about their cultures from the traditions on display. Your team can visit the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago for Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light.

Learn more about Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light.

14. Elf’d Up

Based in Wrigleyville, Elf’d Up is a great holiday party idea in Chicago. The venue is a high-energy pop-up bar where your team can let loose and get into the holiday celebration mood. You will enjoy the floor-to-ceiling Christmas decorations, such as a 10-foot Christmas tree, wreath chandeliers, 1,000 elves, and snowflakes. The venue also serves each table with condiment carriers, candy canes, syrup, and corn. Your team will enjoy creative Christmas-themed menu items and cocktails. You can give your guests an exclusive holiday experience at Elf’d Up by renting out the entire bar.

Learn more about Elf’d Up.

15. Christkindlmarket

Christkindlmarket is one of the best holiday party ideas in Chicago for adults who want to experience different cultures. Attendees will have a free outdoor shopping experience in a German Christmas market featuring local and international vendors. In addition, the market offers tons of Christmas ornaments and products from around the globe, such as fresh pretzels and hot spiced wine. Your team will also get a chance to experience intercultural events, cheerful live entertainment, and even shop souvenirs for memorabilia. Since Christkindlmarket often has different locations each year, confirm the event’s locations near you and the days when the venue is open to the public.

Learn more about Christkindlmarket.

16. Lightscape

Lightscape is an after-dark holiday event your team can attend at the Chicago Botanical Garden. The venue, a few minutes from downtown, provides the perfect escape from Chicago’s hustle and bustle. Your team will stroll through a trail with stunning light installations and enjoy nature through light, music, color, and fire. Lightscape also features artistic works such as a fire garden and a luminous Winter Cathedral. Be sure to check out timelines for ticket sales and get your team tickets to the memorable experience.

Learn more about Lightscape.

17. CTA Holiday Train and Bus

If you have never experienced the CTA Holiday Train and Bus ride, then you are missing out on an important tradition in Chicago. Santa will welcome your team into the train or bus as you share holiday cheer with your guests. Attendees can take pictures beside the LED lights and the shimmering lights for memorabilia. For ease of planning and execution, the CTA Holiday Train and Bus is a great holiday party idea for small groups. Be sure to enjoy the holiday music aboard and look for the candy cane icon that marks the train’s arrival.

Learn more about CTA Holiday Train and Bus.

18. McFetridge Sports Center

If you are looking for holiday party entertainment ideas in Chicago, then ice skating at McFetridge Sports Center is a great option. The venue houses Chicago Park District’s only indoor tennis courts and two indoor skating rinks. You can let participants who are pros at ice skating hold friendly competitions as beginners take in skating lessons. Participants who are not thrilled about ice skating can partake in fun games such as hockey and tennis. You can also rent out the McFetridge Sports Center ice rink and hold a party for up to 250 guests.

Learn more about McFetridge Sports Center.

19. Light Up the Lake Navy Pier

Light Up the Lake Navy Pier is a unique holiday experience with the biggest temperature-controlled indoor light garden. Your team will usher in the holiday season with the large light sculptures on display, a holiday beer garden experience, and an Alpine ice rink. The venue also has a gift market and a Santa visit in Festival Hall. Each ticket to the Light Up the Lake experience also includes a ride on the Centennial Wheel, where your guests will catch the city’s best views. You are also free to experience all the free indoor and outdoor attractions and amenities at Navy Pier. Be sure also to let your guests have sit-down holiday-themed meals and drinks.

Learn more about Light Up the Lake Navy Pier.

20. Emporium Arcade Bar

Emporium Arcade Bar tops the list of holiday party ideas in Chicago for adults to kickstart the celebration. The innovative entertainment destination offers pinball and classic arcade games such as air hockey and avatar. The venue also has professional sound and light equipment, perfect for a party. You will also get a large selection of beer, wine, and creative cocktails. If you have a large group, then you can rent out the entire Emporium Arcade Bar and throw a memorable party for your guests.

Learn more about Emporium Arcade Bar.

21. Punch Bowl Social Chicago

Set up in Fulton Market District, Punch Bowl Social Chicago is the perfect holiday party idea for your team. The 30,000-square-foot space features tons of fun activities that your guests will enjoy. Attendees who want to show off their bowling prowess can head to the eight-bowling lanes as other participants play ping pong or bocce. The venue also offers virtual reality games, shuffleboard, and karaoke rooms. Your guests can also usher in the holiday season with craft cocktails and Chicago’s culinary selections.

Learn more about Punch Bowl Social Chicago.

22. Axeclusive Throwing & VR Lounge

If you are looking for competitive holiday party venues and ideas in Chicago, then you may want to try Axeclusive Throwing & VR Lounge. The venue offers different axe throwing packages where axeperts will guide your team in perfecting their axe throwing skills. The company also offers a wide variety of highly interactive virtual reality games that immerse participants in a different world. You can let guests choose their ideal party ideas and finish with a friendly axe throwing or VR competition.

Learn more about Axeclusive Throwing & VR Lounge.

Conclusion

Chicago is full of seasonal celebrations and bustling excitement during the holiday period. Whether you want your team to experience the city’s nightlife scene, the holiday culinary options, or the historical experiences, you have a wide variety of ideas that you can select. You can let your guests enjoy popular experiences such as the CTA Holiday Train Ride and Bus or unique activities such as Lightscape. While holiday parties are an added cost to a company, the fun activities are a worthwhile spend.

Next, check out Christmas icebreakers and holiday party favor ideas.

FAQ: Holiday party ideas in Chicago, Illinois

Here are answers to common questions about holiday party ideas in Chicago.

What are some good venues for holiday parties in Chicago?

Whether you are looking for venues to host large or small holiday parties, you will love the variety that Chicago offers. Some good venues for holiday parties in Chicago include Zhou B Art Center, the Geraghty, and 190 South LaSalle.

What are some good things to do for holiday parties in Chicago?

The holiday season presents a myriad of opportunities for Chicago visitors and residents. Some good things to do for holiday parties in Chicago include a visit to the Light Up the Lake Navy Pier, Punch Bowl Social Chicago, and the CTA Holiday Train and Bus experience.

How do you plan a fun holiday party in Chicago?

Holiday parties have immense benefits for workers and companies at large. However, the planning process is not always easy, especially when a company does not have the funds to hire an event planner.

Here are some tips which will help you to plan a fun holiday party in Chicago:

  • Start by establishing the type of party that you want to host.
  • Come up with a budget and factor in elements such as the venue, entertainment, transport, food, and drinks.
  • Visit the venue before the event and source for the vendors.
  • Hire a professional entertainer. Some factors you can use to choose a professional entertainer include your guests’ demographics and your budget.

You can also add other activities such as trivia games, board games, and scavenger hunts to enhance your party.

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Author: Grace He

Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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