Chicago may lack Vegas’s bachelor party reputation, and it certainly doesn’t have the sexy vibes Miami is known for. However, don’t be so quick to write off the Windy City as a bachelor party destination.
The City by the Lake is full of happening bars, top-rated restaurants, and insane clubs. What’s more, it offers plenty of opportunities for boating, golfing, or just lounging at the beach. If you’re looking for an unpretentious destination for an upcoming bachelor party, consider Chicago.
To further convince you, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to Chicago bachelor party ideas. Keep reading to discover the best parts of the city, learn about all the activities the Windy City has to offer, and see our top restaurant and hotel recommendations.
Pack your bags and get ready to visit Chicago, for a bachelor party experience you won’t soon forget!
With a population of close to 3 million, Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States and features 77 neighborhoods covering over 234 square miles. That means there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained during a bachelor party, but it also means you have to be strategic about where you spend your time. These are the top spots to check out.
Located near Chicago’s North Side neighborhood, Navy Pier features arcade games, amusement park rides, and plenty of spots to grab a bite. Make sure to ride the Centennial Wheel, a nearly 200-foot-tall Ferris wheel offering unobstructed views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan.
Speaking of Lake Michigan, you can’t leave Chicago without spending time on the world’s fifth-largest lake. Rent a cycle boat from the Chicago Electric Boat Company or take a ride with the Chicago Seadog Lakefront Speedboat Tour. The Chicago River also offers boating options thanks to businesses like Urban Kayaks, a rental company easily accessible from the Chicago Riverwalk.
Chicago’s nightlife varies a lot from neighborhood to neighborhood. Here are some recommendations to help you find the type of party you’re after.
Still not sure a Chicago bachelor party is right for your crew? Here are a few bachelor party ideas, based on interests.
Chicago may not have a reputation as a beach town, but the Windy City boasts 24 white sand beaches spanning 28 miles, including favorites such as:
Chicago is home to seven professional sports teams, so you’ll have no trouble catching a game, no matter when you visit.
In the summertime, watch the Cubs at Wrigley Field or the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field (locals call it “Sox Park” or by it’s first name, “Comiskey Park”). During basketball season, head to the United Center to watch the Bulls. The United Center is also home to the Blackhawks, Chicago’s hockey team. Meanwhile, football fans can watch the Bears play at Soldier Field.
If the groom-to-be is more of a player than a spectator, there are plenty of golf courses in and around the city. We recommend the Sydney Marovitz Golf Course for its stunning lakefront views. Harborside International is another excellent option and isn’t far from downtown Chicago.
Chicago’s comedy scene launched the careers of famed comedians like Tina Fey, Steve Carell, and Stephen Colbert. Be sure to catch a show at one of their old haunts, such as The Second City or The Laugh Factory.
For something more hands-on, challenge the bachelor to a ping pong match at AceBounce or SPIN Chicago. Or, head over to Whirlyball, a sports bar famous for its bumper-car-lacrosse-basketball game of the same name.
From craft brewery tours and bar hopping to clubs and bottle service, there’s no end to the party in Chicago.
No matter your itinerary, you gotta eat. In addition to its many attractions, Chi-town is home to some incredible restaurants, including 23 Michelin-starred restaurants. Here are some top joints to check out.
Wondering where to stay? We recommend…
Traditionally, the groom doesn’t have to open his wallet for the bachelor party. The cost is usually covered by the attendees, except in special cases where the groom specifically requests a high-cost activity or destination.
Absolutely. The trend of hosting a “Jack and Jill” party that celebrates both the bride and the groom is gaining traction. Make it clear in your invites if this is the path you’re taking, so there are no surprises.
The guest list usually comprises close friends, family members, and crucially, everyone in the groom’s party.
Expect around 5-8 attendees at an average Chicago bachelor party. However, the actual number may vary based on the size of the wedding party and who can afford to attend.
Always best to stay on the right side of the law. Note that public drinking and open containers are generally prohibited in Chicago. Make sure to research any specific local ordinances that might affect your plans.
While we believe a bachelor party in Chicago is ideal for just about any groom-to-be, we understand it might not be for everyone. Check out all of our bachelor party articles for more, best bachelor party ideas, destination guides, planning tips, and budgeting advice — plus more advice for the wedding, whether your groom is eloping or still setting the budget.