With April showers bringing May flowers, now’s the perfect time to plan the perfect picturesque outdoor meeting in the Chicago Southland!
Located in the south and southwest suburbs of Chicago (with FREE parking), the 62 municipalities in the Chicago Southland are easily accessible via interstates 55, 57, 80, 94, 294, and 355 and are a mere five-hour drive from eight different states, making the commute quick and easy. Despite only being 25 minutes from the city, did we mention that parking is FREE in the Chicago Southland?
Chicago Southland Nature Centers
With over 40,000 acres of forestry, there is no shortage of incredible nature centers that are ready to welcome your guests. These nature centers have a variety of fun outdoor activities for attendees to participate in, like kayaking, canoeing, fishing, biking, hiking, and more. Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens in Palos Heights, Monee Reservoir in Monee, and Sand Ridge Nature Center in South Holland are just a few of the wonderful options to explore in the Chicago Southland.
Other Chicago Southland Outdoor Options
Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center in Olympia Fields is another exceptional outdoor option. Irons Oaks is a 38-acre nature preserve that is the perfect spot to incorporate team building into your meeting. Activities such as high ropes, a climbing wall, and crate stacking are among the exercises available, in addition to the 1,300 square foot indoor conference center. Irons Oaks provides you and your attendees a secluded, relaxing, and unique environment for your meetings and events.
On the campus of Governors State University in University Park is the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park. Home to 30 permanent, world-renowned sculptures, this park is the perfect place to take a picturesque stroll in between meetings or sessions with or without a tour guide. Your attendees’ jaws will drop in awe of these larger-than-life sculptures! If you’d prefer to stay indoors and enjoy the scenery from afar, Governors State University offers 29,000 square feet of indoor meeting space.
There are several full-service hotels throughout the area with both outdoor and indoor meeting space as well, including the DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago-Alsip. With a beautiful outdoor courtyard that your attendees can utilize, this location recently completed a three-year renovation project with updates in the guest rooms, lobby, and ballrooms, which can accommodate up to 600 guests.
In Orland Park, Georgios Banquets, Quality Inn & Suites Conference Center can accommodate up to 200 people outdoors in theater-style seating or 60 people classroom-style. If you decide to bring it indoors, there’s a 22,000 square foot banquet and meeting space, which can accommodate up to 1,200 guests. Georgios also recently completed a renovation, modernizing 150 guest rooms.
The Homewood Suites by Hilton/Elements by the Odyssey, also in Orland Park, has a cozy outdoor courtyard that can be used as meeting space with an additional 6,400 square feet of unobstructed meeting space indoors.
If you’d prefer a non-traditional space, check out Thornton Distilling Co. in Thornton, which has multiple event spaces both indoors and outdoors with an industrial-chic, hometown rustic aesthetic that can accommodate 150-300 guests.
The Chicago Southland has several other venues that can add a unique sports flavor to your next regional meeting or event, including the Windy City ThunderBolts home at Ozinga Field in Crestwood. If hitting the links is your way of closing business, the Chicago Southland has over 30 public and semi-private golf courses to choose from.
The Chicago Southland can help plan community service projects that can easily be incorporated into your meetings. We can coordinate donation drop-offs or suggest service projects that your attendees can participate in.
Not only does the Chicago Southland help plan events, but we also offer a wide variety of complimentary event services, including:
- Pre-event services such as brochure distribution, event listings and supplies, itinerary planning, and marketing assistance.
- On-site services such as name badges, registration assistance, executive gift baskets, and promotional signs are available.
Contact our meetings expert Mary Patchin, for the VIP Treatment at 888-895-3211 or Mary@VisitChicagoSouthland.com. Mary has over 20 years of experience and would love to help customize your next regional meeting or event, provide resources, assist in securing facilities, and coordinate site inspections. You can also visit MeetChicagoSouthland.com for additional information. And don’t forget to ask about our current meeting incentives! When you’re ready to begin planning, we’re here to help!