Weather – Chicago gets rain and Chicago gets snow. Chicago is calm and Chicago can blow. Guess what? It’s April and people are emerging from their winter hibernation in the great north and looking to enjoy the outdoors. For 2021, the outdoors offer the safest and most relevant path to normalcy and weather predictions are an incredibly important aspect. As opposed to past years (say 2019?) you may not simply have a “rain location” if it’s indoors with a gathering of folks, it may simply not be safe enough depending on your outlook or your guests’ outlook. Planning for an event is stressful enough but this year, the weather will heavily dictate what will and won’t happen.
Alcohol – Make sure you have it, make sure it’s abundant and make sure it’s cold. These are very simply things that people always miss on. You don’t need to be too cute and get canned, flavored vodka soda or canned margarita drink – just standard beer, wine, booze and maybe a bit of Rosé?
Food – This is where you can get cute. People always like to try new and interesting things. Do you like little tiny Chicago-style pizzas? Do you like big Chicago-style pizzas? Try those and everything in between. Some things you can focus on: hamburgers and hot dogs cooked by a guy on the grill with some New Balance 608’s, charcuterie boards and buffalo chicken dip.
Entertainment – Unless you can find some mini-Ditka’s then you’ll probably need another few ideas to keep the folks entertained. Needless to say, we usually suggest things such as cornhole (bags to some), connect four, Giant Tumbling Towers and their ilk. Children’s parties are usually required to have a bounce house but they always do well with some games thrown in. Clowns in Chicago take on a different, even more sinister meaning (thanks John Wayne Gacy) so make sure to avoid those. Live bands are fun, DJs are usually a must have and photo booths with props have been en vogue for a few years now.
Dog Friendly – Of course, who else is going to keep the children entertained during the party? Hopefully not you, you get a break from child-stuff for a least 10-15 minutes a month.