By Julianna Fazio
The communities that make up Chicago Northwest—Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village, Itasca, Rolling Meadows, Roselle, Schaumburg, Streamwood, and Wood Dale—each provide something a little different for guests. Each community offers various hotels, restaurants and meeting spaces with their own individual flair.
The location and size of the Chicago Northwest region make it an easy destination from all over the country. The area is located within a 10-minute drive of O’Hare International Airport, with direct access from West I-90, and size paired with the variety of public transportation methods make getting around easy. Groups have the option to take shuttle buses to and from the airport and hotels or hop on the Woodfield Trolley to travel like a local once in town. In the summer months, many of the attractions are within walking distance. Here are a few of our favorite attractions to visit all year round.
This powerhouse meeting facility of the Midwest offers 100,000 square feet of pillar-free convention space with 30-foot ceilings, Wi-Fi access, and free parking. For additional space, the connected Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel offers 48,000 square feet of meetings space including a 27,500-square-foot ballroom and the properties are located directly off of I-90. The best part? If your trade show or convention is new to Illinois, you may qualify for a grant to bring your event to Schaumburg.
From private events to corporate meetings, Level 257 can hold groups of any size. Private events can be held for up to 800 people with a chef-driven catering menu that is prepared onsite. Meetings can be conducted using new audio-visual technology including built-in whiteboards, high-end projectors and 84-inch touchscreen displays. The space can accommodate anywhere from 10 individuals in a boardroom-style setup, to 400 individuals in a more flexible space. For fun, guests can enjoy bowling, ping pong and arcade games in their downtime.
Get out of the cold and liven up your night in true medieval fashion. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a show filled with knights, horses and dueling while enjoying cocktails or non-alcoholic beverages from the bar. With every performance comes a four-course meal including garlic bread, soup, roasted chicken and potatoes. Vegetarian options are available and groups can pick from three different corporate packages.
With more than two million square feet of retail shops and multiple dining options, Woodfield Mall is one of the largest shopping destinations in the United States. Visitors can take a break from work and enjoy a little retail therapy in one of the mall’s nearly 300 stores. Other amenities include coat and package check, signature meet and greet services and trolley transportation.
With so much to do in the 3,558-acre Ned Brown Preserve, visiting can be a full-day excursion. Bike rentals are available offsite to explore over 100 miles of paved trials or 200 miles of multi-use trails in the forest. For a shorter excursion, the Busse Forest Paved Trail is eight paved miles and is a great hike or trail for rollerblading. Visitors will be able to see a lot of the preserve from the shade of the trees to the sunny lakeshore. Get out on the water at the Busse Reservoir, one of the largest fishing and boating waters in Cook County or at Busse Lake, a great body of water to explore in rowboats, sailboats, canoes or kayaks. If your group is feeling extra adventurous, cross-country skiing is available throughout the preserve during the winter months.
6. Hoosier Grove Barn
For a little character and history, consider hosting a meeting or event at Hoosier Grove Banquet Facility. Located within the 19-acre Hoosier Grove Park, this notable barn has been transformed into a banquet and meet room facility offering the original structure with updated features. Besides the 2,000-square-foot barn, Hoosier Grove additionally includes a farmhouse, horse barn, turn-of-the-century, one-room schoolhouse, Park Place meeting rooms and a gazebo. The staff at Hoosier Grove Barn will help with the room set up, table chairs, and linens (available to rent) while planners can bring in their own food, drinks and décor.
7. Schweikher House
While the Schweikher House is not open to the public, booking a tour there is absolutely worth it. This hidden architectural gem is architect Paul Schweikher’s 1938 house and studio that sits on seven acres of land in Schaumburg, Illinois. The house is only available to groups by appointment, with private tours running one hour and costing $35 per person. Tours showcase the house’s cantilevered construction, passive solar room, iconic brick fireplace, Japanese soaking tub, exposed wood beams, gravel courtyard and gardens.
8. Arlington International Racecourse
Declare yourself a winner and plan an event at the Arlington International Racecourse. This past year brought new menu choices and pricing structures to make planning even more easy and personal. The venue has a variety of rooms to rent for meetings and smaller events, each with their own customizable menu and also has the capability to hold large conferences in over 100,000 square feet of indoor space. With space for over 300 booths, parking spots for over 7,000 cars, onsite AV, free Wi-Fi, catering and a location just 20 miles outside Chicago, Arlington International has everything you might need all under one roof.
Nothing spurs team-building and communication like a couple glasses of wine. The Chicago Northwest region can facilitate that with multiple wineries. Coopers Hawk, located in Arlington Heights, has three distinct rooms to host private events including the Barrel Room, The Loft, and the Cellar. Planners can choose from lunch, dinner, appetizer or wine packages all consisting of three-hour time slots. At Lynfred Winery in Roselle, your group can enjoy a private party any day of the week from January through September. Four different rooms can hold groups varying in size from 12-60 guests and can range from classic wine and cheese nights to formal gatherings highlighted by fine Italian china.
10. Downtown Arlington Heights Entertainment District
To find everything you might want to experience all in one location, travel to the downtown district of Arlington Heights and explore all that this city offers. Just hop on the Metra train for an easy ride to Downtown Arlington Heights, Arlington Park, or to travel between the two. Between the Arlington International Racecourse, golf courses, Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, parks and recreational facilities, and the Mitsuwa Japanese Marketplace, there really is something for everyone. A variety of restaurants – most with live entertainment – provide fun and enjoyable places to dine, and a diverse selection of shops, specialty stores and galleries make Arlington Heights “one of the most desired downtowns.”
Reposted from Minnesota Meetings & Events and Michigan Meetings & Events.