Brace yourself for the holiday season because it’s right around the corner! Get ready to organize the best holiday bash ever, no matter if you’re planning an intimate family gathering or a corporate holiday event. Chicago’s world-class event spaces have a plethora of options you can choose from, and here on Tagvenue, we’ve compiled a list of the best holiday party venues to suit both your needs and wallet. From Chicago's suburbs to The Loop, there are options for everyone. So hurry up, hop on our platform and you’ll be booking your dream space in the blink of an eye!
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As the most wonderful time of the year approaches, why not elevate the atmosphere a little bit more by throwing a holiday party for your nearest and dearest! It’s a fantastic way to gather everyone you care about together, or thank your employees for a productive year, and spend some quality time by chatting, singing holiday hits over delicious food and drinks. And by delicious we don’t mean ordering the fantastic but so casual Chicago-classic hot dogs, or deep-dish pizza (they’re yummy, but come on). Show that you care and organize a memorable party crowned with the amazing food the city is known for! To help you plan the best holiday event everyone will be reminiscing about long after it’s over, check our curated list of key elements to consider when planning a holiday party. Trust us, your preparations will go without any hassle, while you’re guests will be all smiley and beaming with excitement at the party!
Set your budget - Setting your budget is one of the most important elements of planning any successful event as it determines how much you can spend on venue rental, decorations, catering, entertainment, vendors, etc. Costs like to add up fast, so track all your expenses. Either write them down on a sheet of paper or put them in a spreadsheet to keep yourself reminded not to exceed your estimated budget.
Set a date - Holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year, so to have as many fantastic venue options to choose from as possible, act fast! But be flexible, and have a few possible dates up your sleeve. This will help you to compare prices on different days, hence increasing your chances of securing the best party venue at your price target. Already spotted your dream party space? So don’t linger and let someone to snatch it from you! Secure it ASAP! And proceed with other points of your planning list.
Pick a convenient location - Want to cross the city and surprise everyone with a fantastic holiday party at one of the venues in West Side’s West Loop - a foodie heaven? Or maybe you want to take a trip to Downtown, the central core of entertainment? Whether you would like to stay within your living area or use the party as an excuse to discover a new area, keep in mind that the convenient location plays a huge part in the event’s success. So make sure that your first-choice venue is near the Chicago L stations, bus stops, or if at least has a parking lot at your disposal.
Make a guest list - Write down your desired list of people whom you would like to party with. A guest list will help you rule out too-small spaces that won’t fit your crowd during the search for your ideal party venue rental, as well as pick the most comfortable one. At this point, it’s worth considering what table layout you prefer, as it also has an impact on the venue size you will go for. Would you like everyone to be seated at one long table or several round ones? Take some time to think which option will work best for your party and increase everyone’s enjoyment.
Find your ideal venue - To find a venue that matches your expectations, determine what party you would like to host. Is it a big bash to smash for your coworkers, or an intimate family gathering? Maybe a cocktail party with a fantastic drink bar and loud music resonating from the speakers? A sit-down dinner with traditional holiday dishes, or a modern approach to a holiday feast with fancy dishes having origins in distant corners of the earth? On Tagvenue you will discover a fantastic list of holiday party venues available for rent in Chicago. From upscale restaurants, with prime interiors and luscious cuisine, to more laid-back and affordable spaces that live up to the hype. So make sure to check them out.
Pick a theme - Nothing elevates the party more than picking a great theme! Your guests will simply can’t wait for the party to begin! Spend some time picking the perfect one that will get everyone in the festive mood. Maybe something unusual and quirky instead of a classic Christmas Sweater party? A holiday retro party with classic holiday tunes playing on the record player, or a Hawaiian holiday theme? Push your creativity to the limit and come up with a theme everyone won’t soon forget!
Plan the menu - Think carefully what type of food and drinks you would like to serve at your party. With Chicago’s varied and mouth-watering dining scene, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from, and each one is pretty great. A full-course menu topped with simply delish desserts, a buffet, or finger foods to snatch from the table? Determine which type of foods will match the party theme and the ones your guests will enjoy the most. Overall, holiday parties are fantastic occasions for trying new flavors, so why not enhance the occasion by serving dishes of different cuisines? Or you can always ask your guests to bring signature holiday dishes you can savor together, which is also a perfect way to cut down on costs.
Think of Christmas gifts - the Holiday season is all about gratitude and celebrating people. So why not give out small gifts to your guests as thanks for their attendance, and also to show how grateful you are to have them in your life? Trust us, everyone will love such a gesture! Some chocolate treats packed in fancy paper, or a goodie bag filled to the brim with homemade gingerbreads or muffins are both great ideas. You can also think of some DIY gifts, such as homemade Christmas cards, or ornaments they can use to decorate their homes.
Send out invitations - Once you have everything planned out, it is time to inform everyone about the party! You can either make the invitations on your own, buy them in store, or pick the environmentally-friendly version and send digital ones via email or social media platforms. But make sure to send them at least 4 weeks before the event takes place. This will give everyone time to save the date in their calendars.
How can I elevate my holiday party?
Although picking a fun theme, venue and menu are great ways to add some special ambiance to your holiday celebrations, there are some other elements you can incorporate to amp up the atmosphere and get everyone even more excited. Curious? Then check out our ideas on how to elevate the holiday party and make it one to remember.
Decorations - Adding some fantastic decorations that match the party theme will make the experience truly special, especially if you’re going for the blank canvas venue, such as a penthouse, or a studio that will need some of your creativity to add some personal touch and a festive feel. But you don’t have to go over the top if it’s not your kind of thing. Keeping it simple and hanging some stream lights, garlands and mistletoe will already give a Christmassy feel. Decorating the table with some candles, napkins and a runner over a crisp white tablecloth will also do the trick.
Entertainment - Take the party to another level and hire a professional entertainer that will keep you all jolly and excited throughout the party. Or think of sweeping away your guests by hiring a live band! Chicago is a major center of music, so why not use it to your advantage and sway in the rhythms of Christmas music playing live! And to capture all the magical moments between you and your crowd, then why not hire a professional photographer? The duty of taking photos, and missing out on all the important moments, will be lifted off your shoulders and you may completely focus on spending some quality time with your nearest and dearest.
Activities - Why not break the ice with some fun holiday activities at the beginning of your party? A Christmas movie trivia contest or holiday-themed charades for sure will bring lots of laughter and increase everyone’s enjoyment. And later, after a drink or two, you can spice up the atmosphere and organize a karaoke contest with the all-time Christmas hits. Trust us, everyone will be singing their lungs out when Last Christmas comes on!
Drinks - Eggnog and mulled wine are some of the holiday classics that are present on every table during the holiday dinner. We know that not everyone is a fan of those two, so think of asking the venue manager for other drink options, as well as hiring a mixologist that will serve you the cocktails of your dreams. But keeping it simple and serving wine, whiskey or non-alcoholic punch for those who drive will also do the work.
What to do before a holiday party in Chicago
Each year Chicago turns into a winter wonderland, getting the residents all excited for the holiday season with fantastic attractions. So why not use that to your advantage! Engage your crowd in some of the activities and get them in the holiday spirit before the party. Don’t have any specific idea in mind? Then scan through our list of holiday activities you can jump in across Chicago.
Visit a Christmas Market - Visiting Christkindlmarket is probably one of the most popular Christmas traditions, and we’re not surprised as it’s fantastic! You will immediately feel the holiday spirit wafting in the air mixed with the smell of delicious roasted nuts, pretzels once you step into the market. It’s also a great chance to buy some beautiful ornaments and try out traditional German snacks and dishes.
Go ice skating - Go ahead to the Millennium Park and take everyone for a spin on the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. It’s a fantastic holiday activity for bringing some joy and laughter while enjoying the Chicago Christmas tree shining brightly with thousands of lights. Not a fan of ice skating? Try out sledding! Head over to Cricket Hill, Palmisano Park, or to Soldier Field and have a time of fun with your family and friends sledding down the hills covered in snow.
Watch digital art - Booked a venue near Chicago Riverwalk? So don’t forget to swing by the Mart building on your way there to watch a contemporary show! Art on the MART projection has many fans who are spoiled during the holiday season with a special winter program, so don’t miss the chance to watch it with your nearest and dearest before your Christmas dinner!
Ride the holiday train and bus - Each year Chicagoans are spoiled with a unique ride on the Allstate CTA holiday train and bus. Ornamented with holiday decorations they bring joy and holiday spirits to all the commuters during the holiday season. Plan a special ride, either on a bus or a train to your party and everyone will be beaming with the holiday mood by the time you arrive at the venue!
A walk around the city - Even a simple walk can feel special during the holiday season. So get your warm clothes on and take a stroll to admire tree lights blinking in every hue of the rainbow at The Morton Arboretum and find yourself surrounded by the true and special holiday atmosphere. Or to Lincoln Park Zoo which transforms into a true winter wonderland. And if you have the time, then head over to Chicago Botanic Garden which after-dark turns into an ocean of twinkling lights.
Generally, expect the prices to range between $32 up to $92 per person. If you opt for a restaurant rental, many of them charge per minimum spend from $1100 to around $5000. But always directly ask the venue managers for individual pricing offers, as well as discounts. (All data from Tagvenue.com.)
Private Room A at Bar Sol - This space will leave your guests in awe, while the luscious food will spoil everyone’s palates. The venue is located on the Navy Pier, providing stunning views of Lake Michigan. It's ideal for small Christmas parties for up to 75 guests.
Caroline Event Room at Biagio Events and Catering - A chic and urban loft is the perfect choice for those who would like to come up with fantastic, festive decor on their own. Both private celebrations, as well as office holiday parties, will go well here! You'll find it in the Portage Park area.
The Bar at Lakeview Taproom - This bar with a local feel is a perfect space to host your holiday cocktail party! Everyone will feel at home while sipping carefully crafted Christmas drinks and enjoying various snacks.
The holiday season is one of the busiest times of all, so don’t hesitate to start your search even 3 months before the party. This will give you plenty of time to compare the offers, reach managers and pick the best options that match your need and budget.
Sure! For the best options, head over to West Town. The area is packed with fantastic venues that have their own unique and gorgeous interiors. We recommend starting your search along West Grand Avenue. River North also offers great company holiday party venues, from exclusive rental bars and stunning ballrooms to private tasting lounges! If you're interested in a corporate holiday dinner, there are also many Christmas restaurants all around the town, ready to provide you with a festive feast.
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!