Chicago Traveler Blog

Chicago Traveler Blog

Happy Birthday Chicago! Where to Celebrate a Birthday in Chicago, Yours or Chi-Town's

3/4/13 | by

Yep, today Chicago turns 176 years old. Who would have guessed? There are birthday festivities going on throughout the town!

The Chicago History Museum is hosting a day full of activities to celebrate Chicago turning 176. Admission is free, and they're going on from noon - 5pm.
The Popcorn Factory is making celebratory Chicago-inspired flavors: savory Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Corn, salty Chicago Hot Dog Corrn and sweet Chicago Chocolate Cheesecake Corn. Yumm...? You can buy all 3 birthday flavors online through the end of the month. 

But why not celebrate Chicago's birthday the way you'd celebrate your own?

Best Birthday Bars in Chicago

  • Lincoln Karaoke - Perfect for a larger group celebrating your birthday. Get a private room that comes fully loaded with disco lights, plasma screens, comfortable seats and an updated song list. The booze is well priced, but you barely need any to have fun here! The light up tambourines are one of the greatest hits of all in this place.
  • Vertigo Sky Lounge - A great bar in the beautiful Dana Hotel with unbeatable views, a fire pit and a dance floor. This is a great place to dress up and go out with some friends to have a classy night out. But don’t get too classy, because you’ll definitely want to bust a move on the dance floor. Vertigo is a great place to go in the summer or winter - not even a snowstorm can stop the fun in this Chicago club.
  • B.L.U.E.S. - You guessed it, a fun jazz bar in Lincoln Park
  • Guthries Tavern - A fun pub in Lakeview with a great beer selection that gets packed and loaded almost every night
  • Velvet Lounge - A nice atmosphere and great music make this a perfect place to spend a few hours on your special day.
  • Violet Hour - This is one of the most upscale lounges in Chicago, with specialty cocktails like the Juliet and Romeo which has been featured in magazines and raved by critics at all levels.
  • Sidetrack - A Boystown gay bar with sing-a-long showtunes on Musical Mondays. It’s one of the cleanest bars in the city, and it never lets down people looking for a great time
  • Headquarters Beercade - The arcade games are free to play, and there are tons of craft beers and specialty cocktails that make this an unforgettable birthday spot.
  • Edelweiss Tavern - A fun sports bar with great service, good people, cheap drinks, bar games and plenty of selection on karaoke song list.

Best Birthday Dinner in Chicago

  • Girl & The Goat - This is currently one of Chicago’s most popular restaurants, so you’ll definitely want to get a reservation. The most popular dish is the wood-oven roasted pig face, and every diner raves about the roasted cauliflower and grilled baby octopus here as well. It’s hard to get anything on the menu and not enjoy it.
  • Tru - For an upscale and romantic meal, this is a great place for a special occasion. A lot of small courses gives you the variety everyone on vacation deserves. The cheese cart is practically irresistible, which you can get instead of dessert, or in addition to. It is your birthday after all.
  • Morton's The Steakhouse - There are a few around the Chicago area, but who doesn’t want a delicious steak dinner for their birthday? Treat yourself to the filet mignon with the creamed spinach, and if you can handle more than that, start the night with the bacon wrapped scallops and warm onion bread, but save room for the Morton’s Legendary hot chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream at the end. (Be sure to mention it’s your birthday for an extra special experience, including personalized “Happy Birthday” menus and a complimentary dessert!)
  • Roy's Restaurant - An upper-scale restaurant for Asian Fusion and Hawaiian cuisine. The food here is beautiful and fun, and it’s a perfect atmosphere for a classy meal before a night out with the girls or your loved one. Start with the Lobster dim sum with white truffle foam, then the butterfish and end with the Melting Hot Chocolate Souffle.
  • Capital Grille - This Chicago steakhouse has delicious lobster mac-n-cheese, porcini rubbed Delmonico and a flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake that is just to die for. Don’t want for your birthday for this place - because it might be pricey, but they now have a lunch menu that include gourmet burgers that you don’t even need a reservation for!
  • Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House (Real romantic name, huh?) Gibson’s steaks, some of the best crab cakes in Chicago and a fantastic key lime pie make this a great choice for celebrating a birthday in Chicago. What I really enjoy though is the Meaning of Life Cake, which is ¼ foot high, 15” in diameter and has allegedly never been finished by a single diner. Yet...
  • MK Restaurant - The whitefish/lobster is the meal of choice in this restaurant, and end with the cake and shake or the two bananas dessert. You will not go home disappointed, you won’t even miss all the money you’re spending on one meal.

And Birthday Desserts in Chicago...

  • Mindy's Hot Chocolate
  • Molly's Cupcakes
  • Hoosier Mama Pie Company
  • Vanille Patisserie
  • Roeser's Bakers
  • Sweet Mandy B's

Best Chicago-Style Birthday Gifts

1. Chicago Sports Tickets

2. A Chicago Food Tour - Some of our favorite include Tastebud Food Tours, Chicago Food Planet Tours, Chicago Pizza Tours and the Progressive Dining Tour 

3. An Eli's Cheesecake or Deep Dish Pizza

4. A 6-Pack of Local Brews

Chicago Travel Info

Stay somewhere special on your special day!

Hotel Info Nightly Rates*
Chicago Athletic Association Hotel
Located in The Loop
View 1 Promo for this hotel -
Bar/LoungeBusiness ServicesConciergeFitness CenterFree InternetLakesidePet-FriendlyBusiness Center

Rates Starting At

$365* Details
Trump International Hotel Chicago
Located in Near North
View 1 Promo for this hotel -
Bar/LoungeBusiness ServicesConciergeFitness CenterFree InternetLakesidePet-FriendlyBusiness Center

Rates Starting At

$426 you pay $383* Details
The Homestead
Located in Evanston
Bar/LoungeBusiness ServicesConciergeFitness CenterFree InternetLakesidePet-FriendlyBusiness Center

Rates Starting At

Check Availability Details
The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chicago
Located in Magnificent Mile
Bar/LoungeBusiness ServicesConciergeFitness CenterFree InternetLakesidePet-FriendlyBusiness Center

Rates Starting At

$335* Details
MileNorth Hotel Chicago
Located in Gold Coast
Bar/LoungeBusiness ServicesConciergeFitness CenterFree InternetLakesidePet-FriendlyBusiness Center

Rates Starting At

$235* Details