For your next office party, take advantage of all the fun things to do in Chicago. Don't stay in the office -- get out and play games! See the city! Try new experiences! Here are 16 epic work party ideas in Chicago that your team will love!
1. The Social Table Cooking Class
For a different kind of work party idea, Chicago’s The Social Table offers private cooking classes. As the company name implies, the focus is equally on being social and preparing food for the table! Cooking classes are a fun way to make sure everyone feels included at the party since everyone will be cooking together and not bunching up in small circles chatting.
The Social Table’s private pop-up classes last three hours and accommodate 6-15 people. At a selected boutique venue, your group will prepare customized dishes. You are welcome to bring your own beverages, be it soda, juice, beer, wine, or even cocktails.
2. The Escape Game
For a unique work party idea, take your team to The Escape Game Chicago for fun, exciting entertainment they’ll be talking about for weeks. Your party attendees will be ‘locked’ in a themed room and the only means to escape is by solving perplexing riddles, cracking secret codes, and deciphering cryptic clues. With just 60 minutes to find the way out, your group will have a blast racing against the clock.
Every game has multiple rooms to search for the answers to escape. Pick your adventure and difficulty level. Repair your spaceship stuck on Mars before a deadly solar flare hits. Find a hidden stash of gold in a desolate cabin in the woods. Break out of an 1850’s style prison cell. Each of the five escape games can accommodate up to 8 players.
If you are a small group, play together, or if you are more than eight, book more than one room. Larger Groups can be catered to as well. Before or after your game, you can dine and drink along Michigan Avenue, just a few blocks away.
3. Chicago Comedy Clubs
Throw your work party at one of Chicago’s great comedy clubs! The goal of an office party is to have fun so let professional comedians help you out. This party idea is best for smaller groups since you will want to sit together and not all comedy clubs will let you book specific seats in advance. Some clubs sell tickets while others require a minimum drink/food purchase. Either way, it's not expensive to take the gang to a comedy club. Second City's 110th Mainstage Revue is one of the very best comedy clubs and it has shows every night of the week except Mondays. The iO Theater is also a fantastic choice. Some other options are Zanies, The Lincoln Lodge, and the Comedy Clubhouse.
4. Barrel Run Brewery Tour
Chicago’s breweries are well known for being some of the best in America. Instead of drinking at one for a work party, take a guided tour instead. Make the party even better with a tour on the Barrel Run Bus. Your group will ride from brewery to brewery in a specially constructed bus/trolley that resembles a brewing wooden barrel inside and out! Just being in a vehicle so funny will give your group a reason to laugh! The Barrel Bus takes your work party around Chicago and stops at three locations where you’’ all receive a variety of tastings of craft beer or spirits. At your next happy hour, take a vote and head back to the brewery that wins!
5. Chicago River Kayak Tour
Lots of companies hold corporate events on Chicago River cruises. Do something different for your work party by going kayaking! Wateriders offers two-hour private tours for up to 30 people. You can choose to do a group paddle where trained guides paddle with your group to assist with improving your paddling skills or take a narrated tour if your group is comfortable kayaking already.
Their Architecture and History tour covers the development of the Windy City as well as Chicago’s magnificent architecture. The Ghosts and Gangsters tour starts at sunset. Your guide will tell you fascinating tales of Chicago's notorious gangster history.
6. Punch Bowl Social Chicago
Punch Bowl Social is one of the best places in Chicago for work parties and corporate events. It’s got everything you need to ensure that everyone from the office has an awesome time! Punch Bowl Social is like a giant playground for adults with plenty of games. Rent bowling lanes, a Virtual Reality game lounge, play ping-pong, pool, and old-school arcade and video games.
There’s also a restaurant with comfort food and also shareable plates perfect for groups to snack on. Punch Bowl Social has great wine and craft beer lists and serves retro and innovative cocktails. This place has got it all for a fun group outing for adults in Chicago.
7. Chicago’s Sports Events
With so many excellent teams to see, Chicago’s ripe for great corporate events like going to a game. You can simply buy tickets for everyone or if you have a bigger budget consider renting a private suite or package. See the incredible Chicago Bulls play basketball at the United Center.
Since Chicago Bulls group tickets can still be a bit expensive, see the Chicago Blackhawks play ice hockey if you are on a budget. Group tickets are pretty affordable, especially if you are a group of over 10 people. You’ll save on the service fees and you'll get reserved seating for the whole group.
How about going to see the Chicago Cubs at historic Wrigley Field? The Cubs often run ticket specials, so again, if you have limited funds for your office outing, try to go when prices are discounted. For extra fun look into taking a private tour of Wrigley Field prior to the game!
8. WhirlyBall Chicago
If you want your party to include team building activities, go to WhirlyBall Chicago, a restaurant/entertainment center. Whirlyball is a team game that combines bumper cars, lacrosse, hockey, and basketball. It’s a game of skill with a touch of chance and is a great way to bring some healthy competition into your gathering. Players compete in Whirlybugs (fancy bumper cars) and have scoops and whiffle balls in hand. Whirlyball isn't as difficult as it sounds! You can also play Laser Tag, Ping Pong, Giant Jenga, and Cornhole. Snack on classic finger foods, like pizza and sliders, washed down with craft beer and signature cocktails.
9. iFly Indoor Skydiving
For a party they’ll never forget, try indoor skydiving! If your colleagues like adrenaline, this is an activity they will love! At iFly Chicago, everyone will have a chance to experience the thrill of free-falling without having to jump out of a plane. After receiving training, they’ll step into a manmade vertical wind tunnel and for a short tie feel what it's like to defy gravity! With locations in Lincoln Park, Naperville, and Rosemont, you can find an iFly convenient to your office. For a group of more than 6 flyers, contact them about booking a private event.
10. Sip And Paint
Have a party where your group can express their creativity while socializing! At Sip and Paint Chicago an instructor teaches some basics of painting to your group who will then be let loose to paint a canvas of your choosing. You can bring in your own food and drink (alcoholic or not) and pick the music of your choice! You can even decorate their studio with party decor if you want! When the party’s over, you’ll all have a souvenir of the fun time you had.
11. Chicago Sports Museum
A party venue for sports fans and interactive sports fans alike! The Chicago Sports Museum has an incredible collection of memorabilia from the 2016 World Series when the Chicago Cubs. But looking at exhibits won't make for a very good party. So take advantage of the interactive sports experiences for museum guests. A collection of custom virtual reality games let you try your hand at baseball, football, hockey, and basketball, plus play Chicago sports trivia. The virtual reality games include Defending the Goal against Patrick Kane, Shooting Hoops with Scottie Pippen, All-Star Home Run Contest with Frank Thomas, and Quarterback Challenge with Richard Dent. Big groups can rent a private room to play, eat and drink!
12. Headquarters Beercade
Play some retro arcade games at his huge entertainment complex at River North. Headquarters Beercade has more than 75 classic arcade games, with everyone's favorites like Tetris, Space Invaders, Pac-man, Mortal Kombat, and so many others. Add on another 30+ pinball machines and you and the crew can play all night long. In between games, stop and enjoy a rotating selection of draft and canned beer, hard seltzers, shots, and cocktails. Dine on pizzas, burgers, fries, and other fare. Headquarters Beercade is open 365 days of the year until 2 am, so whenever you are ready for a party that goes late into the night, head here!
13. Lake Michigan Cruise
Getting out in the water is a wonderful way to enjoy Chicago, so take your team on a cruise! There are several companies that offer cruises and boat tours of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Whether you are a small group or large, there’s a cruise that can accommodate your needs. Chicago Line Cruises' vessels can fit between 20 to 170 people on either a Chicago River or Lake Michigan cruise. They will provide a docent upon request to tell your team about the sights. You can bring along your own catered food and even hire a band! Similarly, Chicago’s First Lady has the same offerings, though they can provide the catering.
If you want a cruise for a night party, Mercury’s Evening River & Lake Cruise has a 90-minute tour departing at sunset. The tour has a guide who provides live commentary on Chicago’s history. For a unique corporate event in Chicago, have your party on the Tall Ship Windy, a traditional 148-foot-tall topsail schooner modeled after a Great Lakes trading ship. The cruise can include maritime storytelling about Lake Michigan’s pirates as well as catered food and a full bar. The Tall Ship Windy can accommodate up to 150 guests and departs from Navy Pier.
14. Lucky Strike Social
Another hot spot in Chicago for a work party is Lucky Strike. With two locations in Chicago, one in Downtown Chicago and the other in Wrigleyville, these huge entertainment centers are ideal for a party with great food and lots of games. The Lucky Strike Downtown Chicago location has 130 deluxe arcade games, 18 bowling lanes, ping pong tables, billiard tables, and a kitchen that’s open late serving gastropub fare, beer, wine, and craft cocktails. The two-story Lucky Strike Social at Wrigleyville has the same great games and fantastic views of Wrigley Field.
15. SPIN Chicago
SPIN Chicago is not just one of the hottest places to hang out in Chicago, it’s one of the top party venues! It’s an 18,000-square-foot ping pong social club in River North, with fabulous decor, a DJ spinning tunes, and a delicious menu of pizzas, salads, and starters. Not to mention a bar serving creative cocktails and mocktails as well as a long list of beers. You can reserve for groups of 2-10, or book in advance a package for 4 to 20 people.
16. BATL (Backyard Axe Throwing League)
How about a party where everyone can blow off some steam? BATL (Backyard Axe Throwing League) can host your private event at very reasonable prices with built in fun! Packages can be booked at a variety of levels. All packages come with Safety Coaching And How-To-Throw lessons and private lane time. For groups between 4 to 20 people, the Premium package gets you a dedicated coach, private lane time, and drinks included.