Do you hear the bells ringing? Yes, Christmas is coming to town! The most magical time of the year, filled with joy, love, and gratitude is around the corner. Then why not celebrate and take your loved ones out for a fantastic feast in a restaurant! Chicago’s dining scene is like no other, and you will find an amazing range of options offering just what you need – delicious food and a truly cozy and warm atmosphere that reflects the Christmas spirit. And here on Tagvenue, you will find Chicago’s best Christmas party restaurants that live up to the hype. So don’t wait any longer, check out our curated list, and book your favorite space today!
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Although Christmas is a fantastic time that everyone is waiting for with excitement and anticipation, we know how all the preparations for a Christmas dinner can get overwhelming. Planning the menu, calculating how much food to prepare, going shopping, setting the table, and cleaning up after. There are a lot of things to do! And we know how everyone tends to be busy nowadays, so while some may even be terrified at the thought of hosting a holiday meal, there are plenty of restaurants waiting to come to the rescue.
Organizing a Christmas dinner in a restaurant lifts the weight of all the preparation off your shoulders and gives you the time to enjoy moments with your guests without missing out and going back and forth to the kitchen. Just imagine that you can spend some quality time with your family and friends relaxing, laughing, and simply enjoying delicious food prepared and served just for you! Isn’t that a fantastic vision?
Also, renting a Chicago restaurant for Christmas dinner is the perfect solution for any guest number. Whether you’re planning a great and big family feast or an intimate gathering for a family of four, be quite sure that you will find the ideal space in Chicago - the foodie city. So why not make yourself a present and organize a Christmas dinner in a restaurant? Here at Tagvenue, we’ve rounded up a list of the best Christmas restaurants for rent across the city that you can discover with the help of our smart filters. So hop on our platform because an ideal space that will cater to your needs, guest number, and budget is only a click away!
How to pick an ideal Christmas restaurant?
Decided to host a Christmas party in a restaurant? Then let’s dig into the process of finding the perfect space! We know that Chicago and its endless and fantastic dining options can make it a little bit difficult to find your number one venue (there are so many fantastic options!), so we’ve made a helpful list of tips to take into account when picking your perfect holiday restaurant for rent. It will smoothly guide you through the journey of finding the ideal restaurant space for your dinner party, making it short, sweet, and successful.
Determine your event type - What kind of event do you want to hold? It will have an immense impact on what type of restaurant you will go to. Would you like an upscale meal experience in a premier restaurant or one in less formal surroundings? Is it going to be a family-only gathering where you can easily kick back and relax over comfort food or a large feast with family and friends? Would you enjoy a traditional sit-down dinner or a buffet where everyone could mingle? Take some time to determine what type of event you would like to host, it will be worth it!
Decide on the guest number - Roughly calculate how many people you would like to invite. An estimated guest number will help you rule out restaurant spaces that won’t accommodate your crowd. Also, at this point, it’s worth figuring out which table layout will be the best fit, as some restaurants offer one type only. So keep it in mind while looking for a space that matches your expectations.
Set your budget - This is one of the most crucial factors that you will need to consider. Determine how much money you can afford to pay for the party organization and decide how much of that sum can go on the restaurant rental and other attractions you would like to incorporate. To find the best offer that will match your needs and price range, directly ask managers about the offer and discuss any late fees and unexpected costs. This will help you keep your budget within limits and avoid exceeding it.
Pick a date and book ASAP - We recommend picking a few dates and comparing which one has the best options available in your price range. Once you’ve picked your first-choice offer, don’t linger and secure it as soon as possible! The holiday season is the busiest time of all, and you’re not the only one thinking of having dinner in a restaurant. So to avoid losing out, book as early as you can!
Think of the menu - Honestly, there is no Christmas dinner without delicious food! Determining whether you would like to serve traditional Christmas dishes only or spice up the menu with less-obvious options will narrow down your restaurant search. Maybe a space offering a menu with a Mediterranean twist or in a fully Mexican style? You’re the boss! However, make sure that whatever food option you pick will be according to any dietary restrictions and respect your guests’ food allergies.
Photography Tips for Capturing the Memories
Incorporating photography into your Christmas party in Chicago can be a delightful way to relive the magic of the evening. Snap and savour the memories of your special holiday dining experience!
Bring the Right Gear
Make sure to bring a camera that meets your needs Most smartphones today have excellent cameras, so don't worry if you don't have professional equipment. The key is to have a camera that you feel comfortable using! If you're serious about photography, consider the lighting conditions of the venue and choose a lens that can capture the ambience and details of the dinner party.
Additionally, having a tripod or stabilizer can significantly enhance the quality of your photos by reducing camera shake. These tools are essential when shooting in low-light conditions where longer exposure times are necessary. Stable camera setups assist you in capturing clear images, even in challenging lighting situations.
Lastly, make sure your device is fully charged, or bring a portable charger. Also, bring extra memory cards or film if you're using a traditional camera. Remember, over-prepping is better than missing out on capturing important moments!
Set the Scene
After arriving at the restaurant, take a moment to capture the restaurant's ambience. Pay attention to the festive decorations, twinkling lights, and unique holiday displays. Try changing your camera settings to create a blurry background and make the holiday lights look more magical in your photos. You can also capture the chefs in action to add life to your photographs. Don't forget to ask them if they mind being photographed, as some people may prefer not to have their picture taken.
Food is often a star attraction during Christmas dinners. To capture the deliciousness of the dishes, try experimenting with different angles and perspectives. Get close-ups of intricate details like garnishes and sauces, or take a step back to include the entire spread for a mouthwatering shot. Additionally, playing with lighting can enhance your food photographs' overall appeal. Natural light is often the best option, but if you're shooting indoors, consider using diffused artificial lighting to avoid harsh shadows. You can also add props like festive decorations on the table, colourful napkins, or cutlery to add visual interest and depth to your food photographs.
The most precious memories often lie in candid shots of your companions enjoying the event. These genuine reactions and interactions can add a sense of authenticity and storytelling to your photographs. Try taking candid photos of your friends or family members while they're laughing, sharing bites of food, or toasting with drinks. Feel free to experiment with different angles and perspectives to capture those spontaneous moments that truly reflect the essence of the gathering.
Don't forget to take a group photo with your friends or family! This will serve as a great memento of the special occasion and allow everyone to be included in these mementoes of the occasion. Ask your server or a fellow diner to take the photo so that you can also be a part of the group shot. Additionally, self-timers or apps are very handy for capturing group photos without needing someone to take the picture for you.
If you want more professional-looking group photos, consider hiring a photographer based in Chicago. A skilled photographer can expertly frame and capture your group perfectly. If you prefer to have more control over the setting or background, you can also explore photo studios in Chicago. After your delightful meal, you can make a quick stop at a nearby studio from the event space to take high-quality photos with professional equipment.
During the gathering, take some breaks from taking photos. Put away your devices and truly engage with the people around you. While capturing the memories is important, you should also be present and enjoy the moment. Don't spend the entire evening behind your camera and miss out on the conversations and connections happening right in front of you!
Playing with Filters
After you capture the moments from your party, it's time to experiment with various filters to add a unique touch to your photos. Whether it's a vintage filter for a nostalgic feel or a vibrant filter to make the colours pop, playing around with different filters can enhance the overall aesthetic of the photos and make them even more memorable. Get creative and try out different options until you find the perfect filter that truly reflects the essence of the gathering!
Sharing your Memories
Posting your group photos on social media platforms is a great way to share memories with friends and family who couldn't be there. Add some catchy captions that tell a story, such as your reflections and funny moments. Remember that not everyone wants their photos shared online. Always ask for consent before posting pictures of your companions, especially if you plan to share them publicly.
Create a Digital or Physical Album
Consider creating a digital photo album or printing some of your favourite shots. If you use a Polaroid camera, you can print the photos instantly and create a mini album right there at the table. Or you can also hand out a candid picture of each person at the dining as a small gift for them to take home. You can also bring the physical album to gatherings next year to reminisce and share memories with your companions! Alternatively, you can create a digital album on your phone or computer and easily share it with your friends and family. This way, you can relive the memories anytime and cherish the moments spent together.
A gift exchange adds an extra layer of excitement and warmth to your gathering, allowing guests to share in the spirit of generosity. Whether you're hosting a family gathering, an office party, or a get-together with friends, there are numerous creative and meaningful gift exchange ideas to make your event unforgettable!
Secret Santa is a classic and beloved gift exchange game that has stood the test of time. Here's how it works: Participants draw names to determine who they'll be buying a gift for, and often, a spending limit is set to ensure fairness. On the day of the party, gifts are exchanged, and the secret is revealed as each recipient opens their present. Secret Santa adds an element of surprise and anticipation to your Christmas celebration. Consider adding a twist to the game to make your activity more memorable. For example, you could ask participants to write a clue or riddle along with their gift to add more excitement and challenge!
Don’t know what to buy for your Secret Santa gift? Get inspired to plan this activity with our exciting list of gift ideas!
White Elephant (Yankee Swap)
White Elephant, also known as Yankee Swap, is a light-hearted and slightly competitive gift exchange game that promises laughter and entertainment. Guests bring wrapped gifts, and participants take turns selecting a gift or "stealing" one from someone else. The catch? There's often a limit on the number of steals, and the gifts can range from quirky and humorous to practical and desirable. This adds an element of surprise and suspense as participants never know what they might end up with. To make it even more fun, you can add a twist by including clues or riddles with their gifts, making it challenging for others to figure out what's inside.
Themed Gift Exchange
Bring some creativity into your gift exchange by choosing a specific theme. For example, you can go for a "Chicago Souvenirs" theme, where guests exchange gifts representing the Windy City. Another option could be a "cozy winter" theme, where participants exchange gifts that are perfect for staying warm during the cold season, such as warm blankets, hot cocoa mixes, and fuzzy socks. These themes add an element of excitement and surprise to the gift exchange, as guests have to think outside the box and come up with unique and thoughtful presents. Additionally, themed gift exchanges can spark interesting conversations among guests as they share their reasons for choosing certain gifts and their connections to the theme.
Ornament exchanges are perfect for adding a touch of holiday charm to your party. Guests can bring ornaments that reflect their personal style or have sentimental value, creating a beautiful and meaningful Christmas tree. This activity lets guests learn more about each other's holiday traditions and memories as they share the stories behind each ornament. You can also give another ornament from the tree for everyone to take home as a special souvenir that will remind them of the wonderful time they had at the party. The possibility of decorating the tree depends on your chosen restaurant, but even if it's not possible to decorate a tree, guests can still enjoy the joy of exchanging ornaments.
If your group enjoys baking and indulging in sweet treats, a cookie swap is a wonderful choice. Each person bakes a batch of their favorite cookies and brings them to the party. Then, everyone can swap cookies, sharing their favorite cookie recipes or baking tips while enjoying the delicious assortment of treats. It's a fun and interactive way to bond over a shared love for baking, and guests can leave with a variety of homemade cookies to enjoy throughout the holiday season.
For groups of book lovers, how about hosting a book exchange? Each person can bring a book they've read and loved along with a brief note explaining which part of the book resonated with them. Or you can add a theme to this activity, like "Christmas" or "Winter," to make it more festive. Then, everyone can take turns presenting their chosen books and share their thoughts, insights, and recommendations with the group. It's a great opportunity to discover new authors and genres, and can generate lively discussions about literature among friends.
DIY Craft Exchange
Another fun idea is a DIY Craft Exchange. Guests are tasked with creating their own handmade gifts, such as ornaments, scented candles, or personalized mugs. This activity is a bit more challenging than other ones, but it's a great way to showcase everyone's creativity and talent, and it adds a personal touch to the gift exchange experience. Plus, it's a great opportunity for guests to learn new crafting techniques and inspire each other with their unique creations.
Gift Card Swap
Consider a gift card swap when you're unsure of your guests' preferences or want to provide them with more choices. This activity allows guests to discover new stores or restaurants or get to know the favorite places of their friends and family. Each guest brings a gift card from their favorite store, popular restaurant, or online retailer. Then, host a fun game or activity to exchange and trade the gift cards. For example, you could organize a "white elephant" style gift card exchange where guests can steal and trade gift cards until everyone is satisfied with their selection.
Now that you have a variety of gift exchange ideas to choose from, it's important to set clear rules and guidelines for your chosen game. Be sure to communicate the spending limits, any specific themes or rules, and how the game will be played in advance. With these guidelines in place, your gift exchange will surely become a memorable and enjoyable experience for all involved. Consider the preferences and personalities of your guests to ensure that the gift exchange activity aligns with the overall atmosphere of your Christmas party. Have fun and enjoy the excitement of watching everyone open their gifts!
To rent a restaurant in Chicago for a Christmas party, expect to pay from $35+ per person. However, the final costs may vary depending on the package option you choose. In many restaurants, it is also popular to charge per minimum spend. The prices range from $1000 up to $5000. (All data from Tagvenue.com.)
We won’t stop recommending the all-time foodie-neighborhood West Loop! It has fantastic restaurant options with most of them located on famous Restaurant Row aka Randolph Street. Everyone will find something to their liking there. But if you want a little bit more of an upscale feel to your Christmas celebrations, then head over to River North. Want something with a more eclectic and quirky soul? Then the areas of Logan Square and Bucktown will definitely cater to your needs.
All of Chicago is dotted with restaurants all food-lovers will enjoy, but here are some of our favs:
Rooftop Lounge at Workbox - River North - Take your guests for a getaway to this simple yet elegant space and enjoy truly amazing views under the stars on the rooftop. You'll find this venue in the heart of the city, close to the Chicago (Loop-bound) Station.
Nightshade at Moonflower - Planning a classy winter celebration? A cozy and candlelit private space where everyone will enjoy themselves over the fantastic food is the perfect answer to an intimate Christmas affair. The venue is located in Portage Park on the Northwest Side.
The Delta - This private dining room will be the perfect choice for your company holiday party in Wicker Park! Serving local specialties and boasting an authentic local atmosphere, the restaurant will provide you with a true Chicago Christmas experience.
For sure! Plenty of restaurants across Chicago are open on Christmas, both for dine-in and dine-out. And many of them offer fantastic and special menus to honor this truly special time! On our side, we can recommend the ones in River North, near the Grand subway station, and in Chicago Loop. Finding the perfect space for a bash on the 25th has never been easier! And if you can't find a fitting space, how about a Christmas Eve dinner with your loved ones?
Found an amazing venue within 10 minutes of looking! Really happy :)
I came across Tag Venue completely by accident and Sarah was unbelievably helpful in saving me valuable time and conducting the search on my behalf. I would not hesitate to use Tag Venue again.
It was really easy to find a wide range of potential locations, and I could contact many different venues with ease. Tagvenue allowed me to be very dynamic when organising my event. Would definitely use again!