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Unforgettable Chicago Birthday Ideas for Adults

Searching for an exhilarating way to celebrate your birthday with your friends and family this year? There are unlimited and fun birthday ideas in Chicago for virtually any interest. Enjoy your special day indulging in luxurious spa treatments or, playing arcade games, sipping vintages at a wine tasting—whatever you desire. This detailed list of Chicago birthday ideas will make your day extra special.

Chicago Birthday Ideas by Category

Day & Evening Experiences 

Pamper Yourself with a Spa Day Retreat

A spa day retreat in Chicago is not just a gift to yourself; it's an experience that refreshes and renews, setting a serene tone for the year ahead. Pamper yourself in a high-end spa that provides a quiet escape from the urban hustle. Choose from various treatments designed to soothe your mind and body. Opt for a deep tissue massage to ease muscle tension, a rejuvenating facial to brighten your complexion or a detoxifying body wrap. Check out these two spa options — Milk & Honey Spa in the Gold Coast Neighborhood, or Spa Space Chicago in the West Loop. 

Private Art Viewing at The Art Institute of Chicago

Are you a lover of art? Elevate your birthday celebration with an exclusive and intimate private viewing at The Art Institute of Chicago. This unique experience allows you and your guests to explore the museum's vast collection of artwork in a more personal setting. From ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, you can appreciate the intricate details of each piece. This distinctive experience enriches your cultural knowledge and adds a touch of sophistication to your birthday in Chicago.

Play Games for Your Chicago Birthday 

Treat yourself to a night at an adult arcade

Dive into a world of nostalgic fun and modern excitement by spending your birthday at an adult arcade in Chicago. These vibrant game rooms blend the classic arcade games of your childhood with a grown-up twist, offering a vast array of video games, pinball machines, and interactive experiences. Challenge your friends to beat your high score, or engage in friendly competition. To complement your birthday fun, most adult arcades in the city also serve craft beers, cocktails, and gourmet bites to complete your Chicago Birthday. 

Check out locations such as Replay in Lincoln Park, which offers a huge selection of classic arcade games and craft beers. Or, head over to Logan Arcade for classic games and their unique menu of vegan hot dogs, burgers, and snacks from their Fry Like An Eagle food joint. 

Make it a Game Night (or Game Day) 

Now this is an exciting birthday idea in Chicago for adults. Indulge in an evening of classic games with a fully hosted game night experience for an afternoon or evening. Enjoy the coziness of spacious, private living rooms that will transport you to the comforting atmosphere of a friend's home. Since it's not an everyday activity, consider making it an extra special celebration for your birthday. Game Night Out can even provide drinks and arrange for delectable food options. Book ahead to get your birthday cake delivered. 

A Chicago Birthday of Exciting Rides 

Ride the Bumper Cars 

Are you searching for some more active games for your birthday in Chicago? Head over to Bucktown neighborhood to Whirlyball. This exciting venue with the same name as the game, combines lacrosse, hockey, basketball, and bumper cars all in one, and it's a complete blast! Partygoers can also play bowling, billiards, multi-level laser tag, or video games. Contact the folks at Whirlyball to plan your Chicago Birthday with food, drink, and a combination of different games. 

The birthday thrill ride in the sky

It's not every day you get a chance to see the best views of the city, so why not enjoy it on your birthday? TILT—one of the highest thrill rides in the world, is located on the 94th floor of the former John Hancock Building. You and your birthday guests can lean outwards on a glass window that tilts forward to a 30-degree angle, offering an exciting perspective of the Windy City. It's a thrilling ride you don’t want to miss and ideal for a rainy day. With your ticket, you can enjoy the panoramic views of the city, visit CloudBar, and stay as long as you like. Book your tickets on TILT today!

Start Your Next Year with Laughs & Magic 

Comedy Show Birthday Fun

Start another trip around the sun with laughter and joy and a good belly laugh in the best place to do it—a comedy club. Chicago is probably the best city on the planet for iconic comedy clubs and improv theaters, which are the birthplace of America's greatest comedians. 

Plan a birthday night at The Second City, where legendary comedians, from John Belushi to Tina Fey and Steve Carell, have practiced their comedic skills. 

Zanies Comedy Club is known for special appearances from iconic comedians such as Joan Rivers, Jerry Seinfeld, and Ellen DeGeneres. Better yet, if you dream of becoming a comedian, make your birthday extra special by signing up for the Ultimate Bucket List Experience to live like a comedian for a night. 

Lincoln Lodge is another popular venue that features some of the best stand-up comedy in Chicago. 

All of these venues offer food and drink to complement your night out with friends to celebrate your big day. 

Make Your Chicago Birthday Magical—literally

It's an unconventional way to mark the occasion, perfect for those looking to step away from the typical birthday festivities and into a realm where anything seems possible. Book a table at the Chicago Magic Lounge for a night of wonder and awe. This place is a retro speakeasy, combining storytelling and a touch of comedy with countless 'wow' moments. Make it a proper night out by ordering from the classic or signature and sharable plates like the sausage board or beef tenderloin sliders. It's an exciting night to engage in interactive tricks and performances that will leave you and your guests spellbound. 

Play Indoor Golf

Looking for a birthday activity that blends competition and relaxation? Indoor golf is another birthday idea in Chicago, and it is a perfect active yet leisurely activity. The city's cutting-edge facilities offer simulated experiences that transport you to some of the most prestigious golf courses around the globe without ever leaving the city. Play a round of simulator golf at  Play18, centrally located in the East Loop. With the help of advanced tracking technology, even beginners can receive instant feedback on their performance, making it a fun learning experience for all skill levels. Here, you can pair your game with a visit to their full bar and lounge with your pals. 

Alternatively, tee off another year with a game of mini golf without worrying about the weather. Hit the links any time of year at Big Mini Putt Club in the Lakeview or Wicker Park neighborhoods. This all-weather, controlled environment combines the thrill of the sport with the convenience of urban entertainment. This location has a full bar and restaurant with party packages for easy birthday planning. 

Food and Drink Experiences

Wine Tasting

Exploring the rich flavors of fine wines is one of the best things to do for a birthday in Chicago. A wine-tasting session is the perfect touch of elegance and sophistication to your celebration. The city has several intimate wine bars and cozy cellars specializing in curated wine tastings. These venues often feature selections from local and international vineyards, allowing you to travel the world through your taste buds. Book a knowledgeable sommelier who can guide your birthday crew through each tasting, helping you understand each sip's nuances.

Some local favorites include City Winery on Randolph Street. Pair your wine with a wine tasting, a tour, a themed dinner, or take in a show while you visit. There are endless ways to customize your birthday experience here. 

Book a table at Webster’s Wine Bar with friends for an exciting wine & food pairing evening. 

Another great choice is The Fromagerie and Tasting Room for Somm. Pick Saturdays or book a private group tasting just for your gang.

Indulge in a Birthday Dinner Experience

Sure, a dinner out is one of those typical Chicago birthday ideas, but make it a culinary adventure in a non-typical establishment for you. Choose from a vast list of Chicago's upscale restaurants offering everything from gourmet local flavors to exotic international cuisines. Many establishments also provide private dining options for a more personalized and intimate celebration or treat yourself and your guests with bespoke menus and exquisite wine pairings. Whatever flavor you crave, indulging in a birthday dinner in Chicago promises to satisfy your palate and elevate your special day.

Some popular favorite spots include:

Cabra—A vibrant rooftop dining experience with a Peruvian-inspired menu, with a vast menu of Ceviches and Empanadas. 

Maple & Ash—This award-winning restaurant by 2-star Michelin Chef Danny Grant prepares a menu of exceptional standards in taste and presentation. Pair your meal with a bottle from the cellar known as one of the most outstanding wine selections in the world. This will be the white tablecloth birthday meal to remember!  

Somerset—Located in the Gold Coast neighborhood and part of the Viceroy Chicago hotel, Somerset presents a vibrant neighborhood dining experience that uniquely embraces the local Midwest charm. The restaurant significantly emphasizes local ingredients, showcasing Midwest farms with a menu that features light, approachable, and modern cuisine. Celebrate your birthday with a refreshingly delicious farm-to-table experience, and book a private room for a more intimate affair. 

Deep Dish Pizza Party 

Visiting Chicago for your birthday? Go big, or go home and celebrate with Chicago's beloved pie! Bring your pals out for a night of devouring thick, gooey pizzas at The Art of Pizza voted the number one deep dish pizza (by the Chicago Tribune), or rent the party space over at Paradise Park for delicious pizza that also serves as an eclectic cocktail lounge.  

Rent a private event space in a stunning location 

Perhaps this birthday calls for a personalized dinner gathering with your favorite people? Consider 360 CHICAGO— an incredible setting with the best skyline and lakefront views and pair it with a custom prepared menu, cocktail list, and entertainment just the way you want. Visit 360ChicagoEvents.com for five different event space options, each with incredible views, and contact their team to start planning your custom birthday party. 

A Good 'ole Brunch Birthday 

Although a birthday brunch is hardly a new Chicago birthday idea, it's still a wonderful one because it's delicious and satisfying, and everyone loves it! Take the morning up a notch with a booking at one of the many excellent restaurants that serve bottomless Mimosas so you can really celebrate the occasion. 

Tanta- This Peruvian food gem in the River North neighborhood offers exceptional Brunch specials and bottomless Mimosas. 

Hub 51 offers a Mexican-American, Chinese, and everything-in-between menu to satisfy every craving. It also offers bottomless Mimosas to top off the afternoon! 

Planta Queen - Asian-inspired flavors and a plant-based menu are not only delicious but also serve brunch with bottomless Sake, Sangria, and Mimosas. 

Enjoy a Night of Cocktails

Dive into Chicago's eclectic cocktail scene for a birthday celebration that's both spirited and sophisticated. The city's mixologists are masters of their craft, creating innovative and delicious drinks that can cater to every palate. From cozy speakeasies hidden behind unmarked doors to glamorous lounges that sparkle under city lights, Chicago offers many environments to enjoy your special night. The Violet Hour is the place for pre-prohibition style cocktails in Wicker Park or Arbella in River North that features an exciting lineup of DJs. The Pearl Club is a gorgeous club brimming with old-world elegance. Choose one or visit them all! 

Sing Your Heart Out In Style

This birthday in Chicago might be that year to let all your inhibitions out. How better to do that than a night of Karaoke with your besties? Chicagoland's popular Sakura boasts individual touch-screen panels and LED lighting, with over twenty house-crafted martinis ready for a great birthday party.  Murasaki Sake Lounge is a relaxing spot to unwind, let loose singing from its vast selection of songs, and enjoy the largest selection of Sake, Japanese Whisky, and spirits in the Midwest. 

Rooftop Bar

Celebrate your birthday amidst the breathtaking skyline of Chicago at one of the city's chic rooftop bars. These elevated venues offer a unique perspective of the urban landscape, pairing stunning views with inventive cocktails and sophisticated vibes. Visit CloudBar in 360 CHICAGO, the new highest bar in the city, for outstanding views and elevated cocktails. Take your drink to explore the panoramic views, and stay as long as you like with your ticket. Want to visit more exciting bars during your evening? Discover more in the best rooftop bars in Chicago, and make your birthday a rooftop bar crawl!  

Head Outdoors for Birthday Fun

Embrace Chicago's natural beauty and vibrant energy by taking your birthday celebration outdoors (if your birthday is in the summer). Your special day outdoors allows you to enjoy the city's natural and architectural beauty and offers an array of activities to suit any preference. The possibilities are endless. 

Plan a beach day at Oak Street Beach or North Avenue Beach.

Splurge and charter a boat down the Chicago River or Lake Michigan.

You can also take advantage of one of the many outdoor concerts at Millenium Park, movies in the park, or the many trails to walk, run, or bike in the Chicago area. 

Your Chicago birthday ideas are endless! Now that you've got a huge list of ideas, which options will you choose? Looking for tips, information, and things to do in Chicago at any time of year, follow the 360 CHICAGO blog for more details. 

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