The best celebrations make mingling fun. The right set-up can encourage party-goers, co-workers or potential donors to collaborate, connect and maybe event compete — all while having a great time. Our guide to interactive events offers hosts the opportunity to create a lively environment that will get guests talking (to each other). From glam evening soirées to straight-up team building activities, these ideas will make for memorable events.
Anywhere Activities (you choose the spot!)
From the team that outfitted the casino sets for FOX’s hit show, “Empire,” comes the opportunity to host a fabulously fun and interactive party. A party with casino games isn’t limited to a casino theme (though Monte Carlo and Casino Royale motifs are always reliably fun). In fact, in addition to gaming tables, Chicago Casino Suppliers offers ten different luxe themed decor options like Havana Nights, Roaring 20’s/Gatsby, Mardi Gras, Heist, Al Capone’s Speakeasy, and more. They offer custom bars and backdrops to make each event a unique experience. Or go full-on vintage Vegas complete with Elvis impersonators.
Guests connect around authentic tables from actual casino floors run by experienced staff outfitted by Chicago Casino Supplier’s full-blown costume department. Dealers for events are selectively hired for their ability to be social and teach games that get guests interacting with each other. An event with gaming is perfect for corporate celebrations or fundraisers — in fact, charitable events tend to raise more funds at interactive casino events!
Escape Room Races are a twist on the escape room trend. It’s portable, meaning you can host a fun, competitive race between teams at your office, home or other spot — from a ballroom to a bar. This activity’s versatility and flexibility make it easy to use with capacities from 15 to 2,000 (typical sizes are 50-150). It is a tech-disconnected experience where groups of 4-8 people (client can choose teams) work together to solve puzzles, decipher clues and collect information using tools like UV lights, keys and combination locks. Teams race to “finish” by finding the final key and the activity generally takes 45-60 minutes. Room Races offers customized trophies and custom signs for teams to take photos with.
Generally, post-event, guests enjoy cocktails or dinner in another space. For Chicago-based parties the company also offers an option to partner with HQ Beercade for a two-hour experience that includes food and beverages or to host an event in Grant Park for an outdoor “escape room meets Amazing Race” type of experience. It’s a great choice for corporate team building or for a fun social event like a milestone birthday celebration.
Venues with Built-in Activities
Pinstripes is a household name when it comes to bowling. With each lane accommodating a team of 8 people and a space big enough for 200, the spot gives your guests a sophisticated but entertaining experience. Whether you use bumpers or not (we don’t judge), this classic American pastime creates a festive backdrop for celebrations and team building events. Plus the shoes!
But, Pinstripes isn’t just for bowling. Snack on the bistro-style food, grab a court-side cocktail and play the game that everyone finds fun: Bocce. The sophisticated open courts allow for myriads of conversation and competition. With room for 600 people in the cozy lounge areas around the courts, guests can enjoy from the sidelines or channel their competitive side as they strive to get their bocce ball closer to the pallino than their competitors. With locations in Chicago, Northbrook, Oak Brook, and South Barrington, there are convenient spots for all of your party needs.
This playfully gritty atmosphere is a watering hole for people with a competitive side. With over 20 ping pong tables, lounges and room for 600 guests, this is a space that will trigger your competitive personality and spark your interest. Pick a paddle, pick an opponent, and pick a cocktail to get your memorable company party or milestone celebration going.
With seasonal frozen cocktails, twists on classic drinks, and street food favorites, the Chicago Athletic Association game room is a restored historic space that modernizes the classic billiard room feel. The cozy atmosphere and full bocce ball court create opportunities galore for interacting and having memorable fun.
Whirlyball has it all: laser tag, whirlyball and bowling. Stay true to how you grew up and bowl in this authentic eight lane alley. While bowling is always a hit, Whirlyball is best-known for the game it’s named after. A combination of lacrosse, basketball, hockey and bumper cars, Whirlyball offers the perfect endorphin rush after you leave the relative relaxation of the bowling alley. Drink your favorite cocktails, hang out on the comfortable lounges or elevate your night by participating in your choice of Whirlyball’s exhilarating games.
Curling at The Gwen is an inspiring experience. Perfectly situated on their stunning terrace, this space allows you to either curl (as in the game) or simply curl up — on the beautiful lounge seating cozied next to the fireplace while taking in the gorgeous view of city surrounding you at this Michigan Avenue spot. Curl and cocktail all night while reveling in friendly competition with your guests.
Your inner child will flourish in this expansive arcade. With over 130 games ranging from your carnival favorites to new attractions, there’s a game for everyone. Buy your tokens, pick your poison and rack up your tickets to win the biggest prize they have on the wall. This fun-loving, nostalgic arcade atmosphere is sure to bring a smile to your face, and the craft cocktails, bar food and steampunk themed design bring childhood and adult life together perfectly. FTW is a perfect spot for milestone birthday celebrations.
PUNCH BOWL SOCIAL
Punch Bowl Social is centered on their “Come and be yourself” ideology. Get out of the 9-to-5 world and step into their “Dirty Modern” atmosphere, where business casual is never the dress code. Whether you bowl in one the 6 bowling lanes or the exclusive VIP lanes, treat yourself to their craft cocktails and delectable elevated bar food. This is a place where individuals come together, so grab a PBR and enjoy passing the time playing bocci, backyard games, giant Jenga or singing karaoke with your guests or coworkers.
WINDY CITY FIELDHOUSE
With more than 16 team building options to choose from, the Windy City Fieldhouse has event options galore. In a relaxing and fun atmosphere, WCF will customize events to match the mission and objectives for your interactive event. From a cooking challenge to an olympic challenge to an escape room, you can create create an experiential activity that will either pit teams against each other or have them work together. The options are endless.
THE MOTO GUILD CHICAGO BIKE-OFF
This funky twist on team building is sure to give your guests an experience they’ll never forget. 24 people in up to 6 teams will compete against each other in an adrenaline-fueled, mechanically-driven effort to build a motorcycle. Yes, a motorcycle. Make team building interesting with this unique way of bringing people together.
THE GAME SHOW GAME SHOW
Your dreams of wanting to be on Family Feud, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune come true in this unparalleled experience filled with knowledge, strategy — and sequins. Step into the colorful extroverted world of game shows. Twelve participants compete to win the classic game shows that have been in the TV line-up for decades.
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