ULTIMATE 2017 CHICAGO BACHELORETTE PARTY PLANNING GUIDE
Ultimate Chicago Bachelorette Party Planning Guide: Top 14 Ideas for Bachelorette Parties in Chicago in 2017
The call often comes out of the blue. “Can you talk?” asks one of your best friends, whether current, college, or hometown. A flash of worry crosses your mind, and you call immediately. “Will you be my maid of honor?” The worry turns to excitement, and you congratulate your friend. A cause for celebration! But with great power, comes great responsibility. Planning a bachelorette party is often one of them.
If you are planning a bachelorette party in Chicago, you’re in luck. We’ve toured with numerous bachelorette parties on our beer tours (which we’ve included as a great option below) over the past six years and have gleaned insight into the best Chicago has to offer. Here are our favorite 14 ideas for bachelorette parties in Chicago in 2017.
Eggs benedict, french toast, bacon, donuts; delicious comfort food is a great way to start the festivities. Mix in a little booze…and it’s perfect. We’ve picked out the best brunch spots in the city for you to start the day.
We’ve indicated the location of each establishment by neighborhood. Some of them are BYO (“Bring Your Own”) – meaning you can and should bring your own alcohol – and we’ve indicated them below. Others are bottomless – meaning you can add on an all-you-can-drink package, and we’ve listed those at the end. But be forewarned – as CBE friend Katie B. says, it’s a good idea to pace yourselves if you want to make it through the night ahead!
These brunches are top-rated in Chicago. Some, but not all, can get a little fancy and pricey, so make sure they fit within your budget.
Bad Hunter – West Loop
Balena – Lincoln Park
Baptiste & Bottle – River North
Big Jones – Andersonville
Blue Door Kitchen & Garden – River North
Bohemian House – River North
Bottlefork – River North
Dove’s Luncheonette – Wicker Park
Dos Urban Cantina – Logan Square
GT Fish & Oyster – River North
Hash – Wicker Park (BYO)
Hot Chocolate – Bucktown
Jam – Logan Square
Lula Café – Logan Square
m.henry – Andersonville
Nana – Bridgeport
North Pond – Lincoln Park Zoo
Southport Grocery and Cafe – Lakeview
Takito-Kitchen – Ukrainian Village
The Allis @ SoHo House – West Loop
The Bristol – Bucktown
The Publican – West Loop
Most of these places are more in line with what you think of a traditional brunch place. Maybe they aren’t as fancy or trendy as the ones above, but they can be a bit less expensive, and often are just as tasty. There are also more BYO options.
Batters & Berries – Lincoln Park (BYO)
Beatrix – River North & Streeterville
Flo – Noble Square
Motar & Pestle – Lakeview
Nookies – Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Edgewater (BYO except Edgewater)
The Bongo Room – Wicker Park, South Loop, Andersonville
Toast – Bucktown & Lincoln Park
WHISK – Ukrainian Village (BYO)
Wildberry Pancakes and Café – Loop
Yolk – River North, Streeterville, West Loop, Lakeview (BYO)
The food is probably good, but you’re also coming to these places for the bottomless drinks package, which are typically added on top of your entrees.
25 Degrees – River North
Angelina Ristorante – Lakeview
Bistronomic – Near North Side
Broadway Cellars Bar & Grill – Edgewater
CRIO Bar and Restaurant – Lincoln Park
Dolce Italian – River North
El Mariachi Tequila Bar & Grill – Lakeview
Fremont – River North
Lokal – Wicker Park
Southport & Irving – Lakeview
Troquet River North – River North
Zella – Lincoln Park
Tips: It can get crowded, so reservations are recommended if possible, especially for larger groups. Bunches tend to end early-to-mid afternoon, so watch the clock. Some of the packages also time out, so you may want to make sure you arrive at a certain time to take full advantage of the food and, if applicable, booze.
Why not work off some off those brunch calories off shopping? Michigan Avenue isn’t called the “Magnificent Mile” for nothing, and there are plenty of shops to explore and maybe buy items along the way to celebrate fun and friendship before the big day.
3. Beer Tours
Did you know women, not men, brewed beer for the first approximately 9,000 years of its existence? It’s no surprise that more and more women are enjoying and becoming a part of the craft beer movement that has taken off in the United States. Locally here in Chicago, women are continuing to make big impacts in our brewing industry, and adding to it in a big way.
For the bachelorette or other women whom enjoy beer, or want to learn more about it and Chicago, Chicago Beer Experience Beer Tours offer educational walking beer tours in the afternoons and evenings in different parts of Chicago. Not only are they perfect ways to learn about beer, but you’ll also discover the city and all of its history. It is also the perfect way to slowly prep for the night ahead. We have toured with several bachelorette parties over the years, and always have a lot of fun. You can join a public tour, or book a private tour with just your group. We’d love to have you!
4. BYO Manicure/Pedicure
Relax and prep for the night ahead with a mani-pedi. You can look for great places and deals online via Yelp or Groupon, but there is a place in Chicago called Polish & Pour that is BYO and encourages you to bring some booze in while you get done up! What an awesome idea. They have two locations in Streeterville and Old Town.
Looking to work off some of that great food and beer? You can join plenty of fun workout classes that can be booked for private parties. We’ve heard that these are awesome bachelorette ideas. Popular options include:
Studio L’amour (Lakeview)
Aloft (Logan Square)
Trapeze School of New York (Edgewater, Belmont Harbor (seasonal)
Pole Dancing Class
Chicago Academy of Pole & Dance (West Loop)
Flirty Girl Fitness (Lincoln Park)
Pole Velocity Dance And Fitness (Lincoln Square)
Stiletto Dance Studios (Ukrainian Village)
The Brass Ring (Humboldt Park, West Town)
6. Spa Day
As you can probably already tell, Chicago is jam packed with fun activities to do. But what if you just want to relax? No worries, we’ve got spas, too! Sign up and get pampered with massages, facials, body treatments, manicures and pedicures at one of the numerous spas in Chicago. Many hotels will have them, and you can always do a Yelp or Google search to see ratings and find one in your budget.
7. Food Tours
You know what is better than sitting and eating? Eating while you’re walking and learning about the wonderful windy city! Like beer tours, we love food tours because they use all of your senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch.
The “best in class” food tour in Chicago is Chicago Food Planet Food Tours. They are Chicago’s oldest food tour, and always provide an incredible, professional, fun experience in several of Chicago’s great neighborhoods. Check them out!
8. Cooking Class
As you can tell, we love eating in addition to drinking. Cooking it ourselves makes us feel more accomplished and the food taste even better. Check out these spots for fun cooking classes with your squad. Several them are BYO, too.
Chopping Block (River North & Lincoln Square)
Cook Au Vin (Bucktown)
Cooking Fools (Wicker Park)
Give Me Some Sugar (Roscoe Village)
Naveen’s Cuisine (Wicker Park)
Read It & Eat It (Lincoln Park)
The Wooden Spoon (Andersonville)
Social Table (Lincoln Park)
9. Painting & Wine
Channel your inner creative side and learn how to paint. The best part? At most of these places, you can drink while you paint, so you’ll have fun…even it doesn’t turn out exactly like a Frida Kahlo.
Arts n Spirits (Bucktown)
Bottle & Bodega (Lakeview, South Loop, many suburbs)
Chicago Sip & Paint (Portage Park)
Pinot’s Palette (Logan Square & West Loop)
Surreal Rabbit (Heart of Chicago)
VIP Paints (Pilsen)
10. Cocktail Class
Just like learning about beer and food, we love learning about the harder stuff. Our buddy Devin from Hollow Leg will hook up your crew with a fun mixology class; they even have an awesome venue space pretty close to downtown. Check them out here.
You know what’s better than drinking? Drinking in a moving vehicle! There are several trolley options in Chicago that you can rent where you can BYO and really fire it up as you move throughout the city. The barhopping can become even more geographically epic with one, too. Some well-reviewed companies include LimoTainment, Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co., and Premier Trolley and Limo.
Tips: You’ll want to book this in advance. Plan ahead so you can BYO, and make sure to double-check with the company on the current rules for boozin’ and cruisin’.
12. Lincoln Park Zoo
Looking to take a break from the boozing and eating? Take a stroll through the Lincoln Park Zoo. It’s right at the east side of the Lincoln Park neighborhood, which is super close to downtown. You’ll get to see all of the animals including alpacas, flamingos, crocodiles, and Siku, the new polar bear. The best part? It’s free. Get your cuteness in! Check it out here.
13. Rooftop Bars
Chicago’s stunning skyline makes a beautiful, impressive backdrop to celebrate with the girls. Check out some of the city’s best:
High (over 8 stories):
Drumbar @ the Raffaello Hotel (Gold Coast)
Aire @ Hyatt Central Loop (Loop)
LH Rooftop @ LondonHouse (Loop)
Raised @ the Renaissance Hotel (Loop)
Cerise @ Virgin Hotels Chicago (Loop)
ROOF on theWit (Loop)
52Eighty Rooftop Lounge @ the Cambria Chicago (Loop)
The J Parker @ the Hotel Lincoln (Lincoln Park)
Vertigo Sky Lounge @ the Dana Hotel
Low (under 8 stories)
Bernie’s Lunch & Supper (River North)
Joy District (River North)
Streeterville Social @ the Loews Hotel (Streeterville)
Upstairs @ The Gwen (Near North Side)
Rock Bottom (River North)
Zed451 (River North)
The Kensignton Roof Garden & Lounge (Near North Side)
NoMI Lounge @ Park Hyatt (Streeterville)
ESTATE Ultra Bar (Noble Square)
Tips: Rooftops can be seasonal, so check to confirm they are open. Also, they can vary in terms of scene, size, and busyness, so you may want to do a little research to confirm it is what you’re looking for.
If you want to really fire it up, let loose, and dance, Chicago has some awesome places to club it up. Below are some of the city’s best dance clubs.
Sound Bar (River North)
Spy Bar (River North)
Studio Paris (River North)
The Underground (River North)
Classic or Bar w/DJ
Beauty Bar (West Town)
East Room (Logan Square)
National 27 (River North) (More salsa-focused, but fun)
Primary (Near North Side)
PRYSM Nightclub (Lincoln Park)
Smart Bar (Wrigleyville)
The Mid (West Loop)
Evil Olive (River North)
Hangge Uppe (Rush & Division)
Debonair Social Club (Wicker Park)
Berlin Nightclub (Lakeview)
Tips: You probably know the deal with clubs, but it’s probably a good idea to RSVP in advance to the fancier ones. Drinks can be expensive. The usual.
We hope this helps! Regardless, be safe and have a blast on your bachelor party. We’re sure you’ll plan a great one.
Bruce, Founder of Chicago Beer Experience Beer Tours