You don’t need a huge budget to throw a memorable party in one of Chicago’s venues! Even though it’s the third largest city in the US, the venue rental prices aren’t that great and you’ll be able to host an unforgettable celebration in one of its thrilling spots without breaking the bank. Browse our curated list of affordable venues or jump straight to our search engine to find places tailored to your requirements. Whatever event you’re planning, you’ll find somewhere perfect for your party in Chicago!
How can I save money when throwing a party in Chicago?
- Budget. Before you do any booking, carefully think about your budget and what it should include. Plan how much you want to spend on the rental, food, drinks and decorations, also, think over whether you’ll be planning any additional activities for the event. We recommend doing research and calculating the most affordable options: will renting a space that offers catering be easier on your budget than hiring an outside caterer? We’ve got another tip for you: don’t be afraid to negotiate! Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to get a great deal once you’ve talked to the venue manager.
- Guest list. When throwing a party with a limited budget, you probably won’t be able to invite a circus. This is why we suggest you carefully think through who will go on your guest list.
- Venue. You already have established a guest list that will help you find the perfect-sized venue. Remember: the bigger the venue, the higher the cost, so don’t go over the top and book a place that will comfortably accommodate your guests but won’t leave too much empty space. So in short: when hosting a party for 30 guests, don’t hire a venue for 70 people.
- Location. You don’t have to follow in everyone else’s footsteps. Get off the beaten path and choose one of the less popular areas in the city. Explore them and, who knows, perhaps you’ll be able to find a hidden gem for a competitive price that’ll be ideal for your celebration.
- Food. In-house catering can be a huge part of the venue’s rental fee. So if you’re working with a limited budget, consider renting a space that will allow you to supply food for the party. Either look for affordable caterers or ask each of your guests to bring something with them. In case you’re worried that multiple people will bring the same things, we suggest you create a shared file where each attendee can put what they’re about to prepare. But before you make any decisions, check your chosen venue’s policy and make sure they allow extra catering without charging extra fees.
- Beverages. Alcohol is expensive. To avoid spending too much money, you can either choose your own trusted supplier or ask your guests to bring their own favorite beverages. Don’t forget about preparing non-alcoholic options for all of the non-drinkers. One last thing: when booking a venue, remember to rent one with a BYOB policy and ask in advance whether there are any corkage fees.
- Package deals. When searching for a party venue, a lot of the time you’ll see places charging “per person”. It usually means that the venue offers all-inclusive package deals that include the rental fee, as well as the cost of food, drinks and any other services. What it means for you is that you’ll only have to pay for each attendee and not worry about anything else. The final quota you’ll have to pay for your party will solely depend on how many guests you invite.
- The simpler, the better. A successful party doesn’t have to mean a huge budget. So you shouldn’t only focus on high-end venues when searching for the perfect one for your event. Have a look at local bars or affordable restaurants - some of them can be true hidden gems. Another thing that could help you cut the costs is music. Don’t hire a live band or a DJ. You can actually become a DJ yourself and prepare a long playlist that you’ll be able to play via Bluetooth speakers during the party. And finally: decorations! Stick to things that will make the biggest impression but at the same time, won’t be used just once. Go through the party things you already have at home and see if you have anything that could be reused. In case of not having too much luck, ask your guests if you could borrow some of their stuff, such as plates, platters or even a disco ball!
- Be flexible. Especially when it comes to the date of your party! Many venues can offer cheaper rates on weekdays compared to weekend ones. So if you decide on throwing your event sometime between Monday and Thursday, it could save you lots of money!
Cheap Party Venues in Chicago FAQ
What are some cheap party venue options in Chicago?
No matter what kind of party you’re planning, you can find somewhere fantastic and affordable in the Windy City. Dance studios, art studios, community halls, libraries other public spaces are usually blank canvas spaces which means you’ll be able to decorate them however you wish to. In case privacy is very important for you, check out the city’s private rooms. It is also possible to find great BYOB event spaces, so don’t hesitate to have a look at them as well.
How much does it cost to rent a cheap party venue in Chicago?
Prices for renting a party venue in Chicago range depending on the place’s location, type and size. A lot of places offer special packages in which prices range between $16 and $92 per person. It is also possible to rent the whole place and pay a rental fee - rates vary from $200 to $5000 per session. In case you need a venue for just a few hours, prices start at $30 and can get up to $150 per hour. (All data from Tagvenue.)
What services does the rental include?
Depending on the venue, rental services might include different types of amenities. Some places might offer in-house catering or staff service, while others will require you organize that on your own. If you’re unsure about the services your chosen venue provides, contact the venue manager to resolve your doubts.
Which Chicago neighborhoods have the best cheap party venues?
It doesn’t matter where you go, you can find affordable gems in each corner of the city. Find cheap versatile event spaces are Lakeview, South Shore or River North. We recommend you also have a look around West Loop for charming restaurants and vibrant bars that won’t break the bank.