Looking for trendy restaurants, swank boutiques and rich cultural offerings? Planners will find these and more, mixed in among the numerous meeting venues of Lincoln Park.
Served by both Midway International Airport and O'Hare International Airport, this prime Chicago neighborhood spans Lake Michigan shoreline and the actual 120-acre Lincoln Park, for which it was named. It is minutes away from the Chicago's premier meeting venue, McCormick Place Convention Center. Made up of four state-of-the-art buildings, the center features 2.6 million square feet of exhibit halls, 600,000 square feet of meeting space throughout 173 meeting rooms, four ballrooms, assembly seating for 18,000 people, a 4,249-seat theater, three 300-person theaters and 5,000 parking spaces.
A notable feature of this area is the number of green oases and cultural centers that double as Lincoln Park event venues. Welcoming millions of visitors each year, the Lincoln Park Zoo not only houses 1,200 animals, but several meeting and special event venues for up to 10,000 guests. There, meeting participants may convene in the 900-person Cafe Brauber, complete with Tiffany-inspired glass chandeliers and turn-of-the-century mosaics; the 250-person, open-air Foreman Pavilion, surrounded by Chilean flamingos and native Illinois wildflowers; or the 350-person, state-of-the-art Regenstein Center for African Apes, where guests can come nose-to-nose with the zoo's resident primates.
Other Lincoln Park venues include the heralded Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, which features such exhibits as a 2,700-square-foot walk-through butterfly haven, interactive Chicago waterway display and a wilderness walk through prairie, savanna and dune habitats.
Groups may also gather at the Briar Street Theatre, home to the Chicago Blue Man Group and energizing corporate events, as well as the four-theater Greenhouse Theater Center, which features off-Loop theater productions and private event capabilities. Or there's the Chicago History Museum, which, along with more than 22 million pieces of Chicago and U.S. history, features private event capabilities in its 440-seat auditorium and two-level cafe, among other spaces.
Dining venues in Lincoln Park with private events space include Geja's Cafe, a romantic fondue eatery set to a soundtrack of classical guitar and live Flamenco, while the sumptuous Italian fare served at Riccardo Trattoria is music to the ears. The beautiful Perennial specializes in inventive contemporary American fare. Cafe Ba Ba Reeba serves delicious Spanish tapas, paella and sangria in a festive atmosphere, while the chic, stylish contemporary American BOKA Restaurant is the perfect pre- or post-theater dining spot.
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