Welcome to Cvent's Meeting and Event Planning Guide to Chicago Southland, written with meeting professionals in mind. Spanning 62 south and southwest suburbs within minutes of downtown Chicago, Chicago Southland is a convenient, affordable meeting destination bursting with major attractions, golf courses, outdoor recreation, fine dining, lodging and a variety of meeting and event spaces. Proudly housing the metropolitan area's largest concentration of recreational forest preserves and miles of trails, Chicago Southland is perfect for active group outings, while the area's plentiful commuter rail and interstate connections put groups within easy reach of Chicago Loop landmarks. Chicago Southland is also known for its festivals and sporting events, which are held at such larges venues as TOYOTA PARK, Standard Bank Stadium and First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre. (These also double as perfect places for group gatherings and rentals.)
Chicago Southland is easy accessible to both Chicago O'Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport. Ranked as the second-busiest airport in the U.S., O'Hare International sits within an hour's drive of Chicago Southland. As the nation's only dual-hub airport, O'Hare International serves as a major North American travel way. Midway International Airport serves as Chicago's second-largest airport, and offers several low-cost carrier options. Both airports offer direct access to several Chicago area public transportation options, including Metra, a suburban commuter rail service that offers Chicago Southland service.
The village of Tinley Park is the home to the Tinley Park Convention Center. Connected to the 202-room Holiday Inn and just off I-80, the newly expanded convention center sits minutes from Tinley Park's historic downtown area. The largest meeting venue in Chicago Southland, Tinley Park Convention Center offers 58,000 square feet of contiguous exhibition space and 30,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space, accommodating groups of 10 to 10,000 in such spaces as its 24 meeting rooms, 12,000-square-foot ballroom, 7,100-square-foot junior ballroom and 6,000-square-foot pre-function area.
Aside from the spacious Tinley Park Convention Center, Chicago Southland's several full-service hotels offer up to 20,000 square feet of meeting space. The area is home to a number of unique venues that serve as both attractions and fantastic sites for group gatherings. Situated in Olympia Fields, the 38-acre Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center offers a number of nature-based community and environmental education programs, as well as team building activities at its challenge course, high ropes course, climbing tower and power pole. The popular Brookfield Zoo houses approximately 450 species of animals amid its 215 acres of meticulous gardens, as well as a number of indoor and outdoor spaces for private events. Groups can sip cocktails alongside animals in a variety of exhibits, as well as hold banquets and large-scale meetings in such spaces as The Pavilions, which consists of four exotic venues for up to 2,000 guests.
Balmoral Park Race Track, the state's premier harness racing facility, also serves as a fantastic venue for group outings and events, thanks to its party packages and variety of rentable spaces. For a different type of gambling venue, groups can gather in Horseshoe Casino's 100,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as enjoy its fine and casual dining, entertainment options, slots and table games. Last but not least, TOYOTA PARK in Bridgeview serves as the home of the Chicago Fire soccer team and a host for world-class concerts and additional sporting events. Groups can take in the action from the park's event suites, as well as congregate at the Stadium Club, party deck and rooftop deck.