While it may not feel like it, with freezing temperatures and snow still forecasted for this week, summer will be here before we know it. There’s no better time to take advantage of the gorgeous weather than by holding an event on one of the state’s best rooftops. Here, six ideas to consider as you plan for the coming months.

Five & Dime, Evanston

One of only a few rooftop bars in Evanston, Five & Dime is one of three restaurants that operate out of 1025 Davis Street. They can accommodate a cocktail reception or buffet dinner for up to 125 people on the rooftop, though events can’t be completely private as they don’t do full buyouts in the summer months. A bonus of planning here is that you have access to F&B from all three restaurants in the building, including Mexican fare from Taco Diablo and Asian-American cuisine from LuLu’s.

ROOF on theWit, Chicago

This spring, ROOF on theWit was crowned 2018 Hotel Bar of the Year by Nightclub Bar & Media Group. If your group likes to party, this is the place to hold an event. The head mixologist creates innovative cocktails (try The Daiquiri Formerly Known as Prince) served in unconventional vessels, such as Chinese take-out boxes. The 7,000-square-foot space for up to 350 guests also has a retractable roof that allows the venue to be climate-controlled, an attractive feature in Chicago’s unpredictable weather.

Z Bar, Chicago

Come June, the most coveted rooftop space in Chicago will be Z Bar atop The Peninsula Chicago, just off Michigan Avenue. While details on square footage and event rentals have yet to be revealed, we’re confident the rooftop terrace will match the modern elegance exuded by the luxury hotel. For F&B, count on global-inspired cocktails with luxe touches, like gold leaf and caviar, and worldly flavors on a curated menu of small plates and shareable platters

Topgolf, Naperville

Not just a spot for golf enthusiasts, Topgolf in Naperville boasts a variety of great meeting and event spaces, including a rooftop terrace with capacity for up to 178 guests. Located on the third level, this venue includes comfy lounge furniture and patio tables, fire features, mood lighting, Wi-Fi, HDTVs and a private bar. Now that’s what we call a hole in one.

Medici, Normal

The patio space at Medici is a hot commodity for events come summertime. The restaurant’s upstairs banquet room and rooftop patio come as a package deal, with F&B minimums of $1,500-$2,500 on weekdays and $4,000-$5,000 on weekends before tax and gratuity for full use of the patio (half patio rentals are also available). DJs and live music can also be held on the rooftop.

Standard on State, Rockford

With event space for up to 260 guests, Standard on State is Rockford’s only rooftop venue in town. Popular for weddings, it’s also a superlative venue for corporate events. The historic venue provides views of downtown Rockford and farm-to-table cuisine from Executive Chef Paul Sletten.

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New and recently renovated hotels are cleared for takeoff.

 

Have you ever wanted to tell an attendee to get lost? Well, now you can do so while maintaining your professional integrity. In conjunction with the Illinois Bicentennial celebrations happening this year, the Illinois Office of Tourism has partnered with 17 farms and orchards around the state to debut Bicentennial-themed corn and apple tree mazes for the public to enjoy.