The best birthday party ideas for adults
Brewery tours offer a bit more interaction that just going to a bar. Plus, it’s the perfect excuse to soak up Chicago’s rich craft beer scene. Local brewery tours range from a booze-fueled, hours-long lesson on beermaking to quick and dirty 20-minute overviews. Why just go to a bar when you can drink the freshest brews in town? It’s your birthday, after all. Do it up.
If you're feeling the stress of getting older, you need just three things: a beer, a microphone and Mariah Carey. Luckily, Chicago is chock full of excellent karaoke spots, ranging from gritty dive bars to gay bars to can’t-miss spots down in Chinatown. So get your vocal chords ready—or, at the very least, knock back a couple drinks—and hit up the best Chicago bars for karaoke.
If you’re #blessed enough to have a summertime birthday, what better way to celebrate than at a rooftop bar? Chicago has no shortage of spots to drink while admiring stunning views of the city. From bougie cocktail bars to laid-back beer bars, get elevated on your special day.
Why deal with reservations and marking territory at bars when you can just hang outside? Avoid the fuss and plan a relaxing day at the beach, where your friends can come and go as they please.
Or, perhaps, lack thereof. There's a reason why this totally made-up sport is such a popular party activity. WhirlyBall is played by two teams driving bumper cars and combines elements of lacrosse, hockey and basketball. Needless to say, it's a ton of fun after you've had a few drinks. The Webster Avenue location also offers laser tag and bowling, just in case you didn't get your fill.
Your special day calls for a feast at one of Chicago's very best restaurants. Whether you're looking to go all out (may we suggest Alinea?) or get down with some awesomely messy grub (there's nothing wrong with Pequod's), book a table at one of our all-time favorite eateries and dine your way through your birthday.
Instead of going broke paying for nosebleed seats at Wrigley, take a trip to the South Side for a White Sox game. With less expensive tickets, it's much easier to bring a big group to Guaranteed Rate Field. Plus, Sox Park has really upped its food and drink game lately. Who wouldn't be up for a can of local craft beer and a 16-inch grilled cheese sandwich?
Chicago continues to be home—or at least a second home—to some of the biggest names in comedy. Laugh it up on your birthday at some of the city's best comedy clubs to see stand-ups, sketch acts, improv and more comedians. Second City, the Annoyance and iO all have excellent bars in their venues, so you can stick around for a few drinks with your pals after the show.
Don’t want to make your birthday a “thing,” but still trying to celebrate? Have your party at a casual, no-fuss dive bar. Chicago's got a ton of 'em, and the best of the bunch offer cheap drinks, great jukeboxes and, most importantly, no finicky dress codes.
Invite your nearest and dearest to one of Chicago's most stunning parks for a B.Y.O. picnic. Ask friends and family to bring appetizers and sides to share, and sprawl out on the lush greenery. With more than 600 city parks to choose from, there's something for every birthday boy and girl.
Yes, we know it's in Schaumburg. Yes, we know it's for children. But think about it: giant chicken legs, drinks, crowns and jousting? Sounds like a birthday party you'll never forget. Schlep out to the 'burbs for an incredibly goofy birthday party—complete with questionable English accents—at Medieval Times.
Want to do something extra special for a milestone birthday? Check in at one of Chicago's top hotels for a relaxing staycation with your closest friends and loved ones. These tried-and-true accommodations offer top-notch restaurants, luxe amenities and awesome views. Pack your bags and get ready to celebrate!
Again, summer babies, you've got it made. After months spent huddling around fireplaces and shivering from inevitable bar-room drafts, you deserve a drink. Outside. And so do all your friends. With the sun beaming down, margarita in hand. These outdoor bars all make for perfect birthday party spots in the summer, the best season in Chicago.
AceBounce is a great spot for a birthday party, complete with a full bar, wood-fired pizzas, craft cocktails and a whole lot of ping pong tables. And because it's located in the Loop, it's a great post-work party location. Clock out early and start celebrating with a paddle in your hand.
Taking a group of adults to Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate a birthday is a little weird, but you can replicate the thrill of pumping quarters into arcade games (sans the chintzy prizes) at an arcade bar. Relive the glory days of your youth at a pinball table, behind the joystick of a Pac-Man cabinet or by blowing up zombies with your friends. Treat your guests to the first round of quarters (the drinks will be on them, after all).
If you've hosted your party at the same bar for the last three years, it's time to switch things up. Perfect for an intimate group of friends, Chicago's hidden speakeasies are mysterious and fun. From cocktail hangs and Japanese izakayas to Irish pubs and college bars, read up on how to access these top-secret bars before you go.