twice-daily hot-air balloon launches, nationally known music acts, a craft fair, food
court, carnival and nightly fireworks. A highlight of the three-day July festival, says Lisle
CVB’s Homolka, is the evening balloon glow,
when tethered balloons are illuminated.
In August this year in Berwyn is the historic Route 66 Car Show, which, according
to Visit Oak Park’s Barnett, features over 500
vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles along
Route 66, as well as live entertainment and
If attendees would prefer operating vehi-
cles vs. simply admiring them, they can test
drive one of the muscle cars from the Baltria
Vintage Auto Gallery in St. Charles.
Visit Lake County’s Riedy recommends
groups take a shuttle boat tour of Chain
O’Lakes, which she says is rich in gangster
history and folklore.
“Leave from Port of Blarney in Antioch
and dock at the famous Blarney Island,
only accessible by boat, for a casual lunch,”
And at Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills
Resort & Conference Center, groups will be
delighted by a summertime tour of the resort’s Audubon-certified grounds, including
beehives, a butterfly sanctuary and garden.
Afterward, according to the DuPage CVB’s
Traetow, Executive Chef and Beekeeper
Sean Patrick Curry will create an exclusive
Chef’s Table meal for groups featuring dishes
prepared with locally sourced ingredients,
including the resort’s homegrown vegetables
Chicagoland is home to Northwestern University, which provides a unique opportunity for visiting groups who are into Big Ten
“Local hotels provide great tailgating
experiences, and watching a football game in
Ryan Field is a fall highlight,” says Chicago’s
North Shore CVB’s Speckman, who also
notes that special group seating and dining
packages are available.
If the group likes leaf-peeping, some
opportunities are available in the area to
view fall foliage, including a tour of historic
Riverside, Ill., with the Frederick Law Olm-
sted Society, a group walk at the Lisle-based
Morton Arboretum, an outing on the Fox
River in St. Charles via paddlewheel boats,
canoes or kayaks, and a biking excursion.
“Enjoy the beautiful fall colors and wildlife
while biking down the I&M Canal,” says the
Heritage Corridor CVB’s Meehan.
Downtown Arlington Heights, home of
the vintage Metra train station, is worth
exploring during autumn, according to Meet
Chicago Northwest’s Parulo.
“Meeting and convention attendees can
stroll historic downtown enjoying dining,
outdoor taverns and an Irish pub directly
imported from Ireland,” he says. “End your
evening at a performance at Metropolis
Performing Arts Centre.”
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Baltria, St. Charles