Looking for a unique meeting scene that offers big city amenities yet boasts affordability and convenience throughout? Chicago Southland is a unique, eclectic locale, housing diverse options for meetings and events. From state-of-the-art expo centers to trendy restaurants to revitalized warehouse buildings teeming with character, Chicago Southland offers a unique option for events of all types.
Located a mere 25 minutes from Chicago with 63 diverse communities, Chicago Southland boasts ample event space—from sports facilities to outdoor venues brimming with nature aplenty. Classic meeting spaces include six full and several select service hotels, colleges and universities, and expo centers. Chicago Southland is also home to the Tinley Park Convention Center, offering 120,000 square feet, 21 versatile meeting rooms and can accommodate up to 6,000 people with an attached 202-room full-service hotel.
The region also features a wealth of updated hotel options. Recently, the DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago-Alsip completed a three-year renovation that updated its 193 guest rooms and suites. The lobby, public areas and meeting space were also renovated. On-site amenities include three ballrooms, which can accommodate up to 600 guests, award-winning dining at Allgauer’s and the Spotlight Lounge, known for delicious drinks.
Georgios Banquets, Quality Inn & Suites Conference Centre, which was voted the No. 1 Banquet Venue by the Chicago Tribune, recently underwent an entire venue renova- tion and features new banquet interiors and renovated rooms. Georgios can host anywhere from 100 to 1,200 guests in its 25,000-square-foot facility. The banquet and meeting space encompass 22,000 square feet and feature grand chandeliers, 18-foot ceilings, skylights, a private staircase and a beckoning dance floor. Located 4 miles from Midway International Airport, the Hilton Chicago/Oak Lawn & Conference Center boasts an $8.5 million renovation to its 192 guest rooms, banquet halls and meeting spaces. More than 17,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space is available.
And for those looking to work some and play a lot, the newly opened Accelerate Indoor Speedway & Events in Mokena offers high-speed go-karts that participants of all ages can enjoy. Teams can take full advantage of the speedway’s Blindfold Challenge, Pit Crew Challenge and Grand Prix or embrace their inner warrior with the newly added ax throwing activities.
The historic Brookfield Zoo and White Water Canyon Water Park also offer a plethora of entertainment options. If staying on-site is preferred, Chicago Southland offers a wealth of mobile entertainment options including comedians, escape rooms, game shows, casino games and team-building activities.
Of course, the Chicago area is a haven for sports aficionados, so no visit to Chicago Southland would be complete without taking in a game at one of the area’s many sports venues. These stadiums can add a sports flavor to the event with a wide variety of in- house meeting venues. For golf enthusiasts, the area’s 35 public and semiprivate golf courses are sure to please golfers of all skill levels. And horse lovers can enjoy visiting HITS Chicago Balmoral Park, a world-class international hunter/jumper equestrian center offering a VIP clubhouse overlooking competition rings and a 4,467-seat, mint-condition grandstand.
And while a visit to greater Chicagoland may not conjure idyllic images of nature, think again. Chicago Southland boasts some of the best outdoor meeting spaces in the region. Outdoor gems range from 40,000 acres of scenic forest preserves to the Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center, which offers a 1,300-square-foot conference room and 38 acres of team-building space, including a high ropes course, climbing wall and crate stacking. Other nature centers in Chicago Southland, including The Center, Monee Reservoir, Sand Ridge Nature Center, Lake Katherine Nature Center and Plum Creek Nature, Wolfe Wildlife Refuge & Bike Path offer opportunities for attendees to kayak, canoe, fish, bike or hike.
And no meeting or event would be complete without memorable dining experiences. When it comes to eateries, “the Southland” offers a wealth of options for groups of all sizes. From classic “mom and pop” pizza joints to trendy craft brewers to upscale venues that offer memorable cuisine that will keep you coming back for more. Aurelio’s, which has consistently been voted Chicago Southland’s best pizza, has been a south side tradition for over 40 years. And Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant is a unique fine dining experience, featuring award-winning wines, tasting rooms and an eclectic menu designed to perfectly pair with their extensive wine list. For those looking for a French flair to dining experiences, La Voute Bistro and Bar, features French-inspired cuisine and is located inside a renovated bank. For those looking for a true adventure, Chicago Southland features a renowned brewery trail, called the Dixie Highway Brewery Trail, which links together eight local breweries.