• Crain's Custom Media
  • 2019 Summer Party Planning Guide

    Summertime, and the Office Party Planning is Easy.

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    79彩票注册网址

    Whether you've been bravely battling the cold all winter—and spring—or remained cocooned indoors since the first hint of polar vortex, it's time to venture out.

    You're not alone, of course. If you've been thinking about a warm-weather office outing, networking, teambuilding, celebration or similar, Chicago event professionals advise you to book now for the best deals and widest selection.

    Here are a few options, representing the city's growing assortment of hospitality venues.

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    Catalyst Ranch

    79彩票注册网址Work groups looking to add some fun to their offsite meetings can wrangle on over to in the West Loop. Described as the city's "most creative meeting and event space," it's composed of six purposefully designed private rooms totaling more than 10,000 square feet and accommodating up to 200 guests.

    79彩票注册网址"We were the first venue in Chicago to realize that the results of any offsite meeting or event can be enhanced if attendees are placed in the right environment," says Jody Solomon-Devins, director of client services and marketing.

    While taking care of business—creatively—is its forte, the Ranch leverages partnerships throughout the city to connect guests with hotels, restaurants, theaters and other activities—Bollywood dance lessons, anyone?—all to enhance the getaway-in-the-city experience. Food and beverage menus with a local focus change seasonally, as do activity offerings and discounts.

    "Having all this built into the Ranch makes it unique," says Solomon-Devins.

    Chicago's First Lady Cruises

    For locals and visitors alike, summer is the perfect time to view the city's changing skyline, as well as sights closer to the ground, and even lower. Groups booking excursions on can experience it all, along with Windy City-focused food and beverage offerings, plus optional Chicago Architecture Foundation docent-led tours.

    79彩票注册网址"If you haven't seen the expanded Riverwalk, now is the time, and cruising is a great way to do it," says Holly Agra, president of Chicago's First Lady Cruises. Amateur photographers and selfie enthusiasts alike appreciate the plethora of backdrops and photo ops along the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.

    Chicago's First Lady operates five vessels, including a private yacht that holds six; all have climate-controlled interiors below deck. "The only limit is the maximum size of your group – we can handle up to 250," says Agra.

    Discounted parking across the street from the dock further enhances the offerings this season, which continues through mid-November.

    LondonHouse Chicago

    79彩票注册网址Sweeping views of the Chicago River, Lake Michigan and The Magnificent Mile are among the attractions that draw partiers to . Opened in 2016, the "luxury lifestyle" hotel on the southwest corner of Wacker Drive and Michigan Avenue combines the classical architecture of the original 360 N. Michigan Ave. building with a modernist 22-story glass tower addition.

    "Companies do partial or full buyouts all summer of the top three floors, which offer 360-degree views, a private meeting room, rooftop bar and an outdoor terrace," says Don Barnett, director of sales and marketing.

    Maximum capacity is 200 and Barnett describes the view as one-of-a-kind, an "urban Grand Canyon." For partiers looking to extend their visits, bed and breakfast packages will be introduced for summer. Valet parking and a full menu of reimagined American food, jazz-inspired drinks and custom meals—up to 20 courses—designed by the executive chef further sweeten the deal.

    16" on Center

    79彩票注册网址With 11 venues—nine of which have private event spaces—hospitality collective offers literally something for every group size and culinary taste, including some of the most popular spots in the hottest neighborhoods.

    "There's everything from a casual lunch to award-winning fine dining," says Jenna Phillips, assistant director of special events.

    Examples: Revival Food Hall in the Loop, with a private patio and fast-casual food representing Chicago's diverse culinary scene; Saint Lou's Assembly in the West Loop, also with a private patio and a Midwestern approach to "meats 'n three"; Tack Room, a Western-style piano bar in a restored architectural treasure in Pilsen with Michelin-starred food and a seasonal cocktail menu; and The Ruin Daily, a Loop neighborhood sandwich spot and cocktail bar.

    79彩票注册网址While there's much to choose from, 16" on Center makes party-planning easy for groups. "Our robust team of event professionals can help clients select the venue that works best for them, then design a menu and coordinate all the details involved with executing a successful event," Phillips says.