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30th Birthday Party Ideas in Chicago That Rock

We can likely agree, most people would rather stay youthful in their twenties if they had the choice, fair enough? But turning thirty is not the end of the world, it’s actually just the beginning of new experiences and opportunities for adventurous souls. Your thirtieth birthday does not have to feel like an outing fit for the Golden Girls. Save the tears because you are officially an adult, and this is worth celebrating! Sure, you might feel more tired after sundown compared to your twenties, but you still have a ton of energy left and a long way before that mid-life crisis hits! What’s not to celebrate? Preparing for birthdays is always exciting but can prove to be a hassle if you’re just not sure what to do with your squad. There are many places to choose from here in Chicago! If you are looking to celebrate in the Windy City this birthday, there’s plenty more to do than taking selfies with a shiny bean in the middle of the city. Here are some incredible birthday ideas that will create memories that you may choose not to remember depending on the alcohol content! At least you will not get carded by security, so that is always a plus. 

a pizza in a on being cut next to a stack of white plates

Treat your tastebuds and take a tour with Sidewalk Food Tours

Book an Exciting Food Tour with Sidewalk Food Tours of Chicago

While your metabolism may have slowed down slightly, food is still the best part of living, am I right? As an older, more established adult at the tender age of thirty, you can now afford better quality food thanks to your hard-earned career, and never have to feast on a packet of noodles in your dorm room again. With a private food tour of Chicago, you can take your friends out and spoil their palettes with culinary delights that will put them in food comas instead of painful hangovers! The Sidewalk team will organize a custom tour just for your group, or chose one of the great tours available such as the River North Food Tour  where you can learn all about the food scene that will make Instagram food bloggers jealous. Let yourself go and eat to your heart’s content! There is more to Chicago than mouthwatering deep-dish pizzas and burgers that are the size of your head. So, why not mark this special milestone by sharing your passion for food to celebrate with loved ones, who will also be gifted with a warm and fuzzy feeling in their satisfied tummies. You will all reflect on the experience someday like Abe Simpson and brag saying, “Back in my day we had the best thirtieth birthday that kids these days will never understand!” 


a warehouse with a conveyer belt and several kegs of beer

Go behind the scenes and see how your ice cold brew is made with Dovetail

Go on A Brewery Tour at Dovetail or Lagunitas

Another great part about turning thirty is that you have more disposable income than back in your twenties (well, maybe!) and can drink quality booze instead of boxed wine and cheap beers. If you’re looking to chill in a top spot that is both social and relaxing, hop on a brewery tour. It’s different from the usual birthday parties which your friends will get excited about, and  Chicago has some incredible beer houses and tours, such as Dovetail and Lagunitas. Instead of hopping on a pool table or dartboard, challenge each other to take part in an hour-long beermaking lesson and see who creates the most delicious pint. There will be a lot of drunkenness and laughter that you can all enjoy as the (sort of) responsible adults you are now. 

a man sitting in a dark room

Sing your heart out to celebrate the new decade of life with Brando’s Speakeasy

Sing Loud and Proud Karaoke at Brando’s Speakeasy

Just because you are getting older does not mean that your generation’s music isn’t the best! Get up on stage and honor the most significant hits like Taylor Swift, The Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, Madonna, Nickelback, and Blink 182, whether you like them or not. Show off those beautiful vocals and sing duets with your friends like it is nobody’s business at Brando’s Speakeasy. If you’ve ever had a dream of forming a boy or girl band, this is the best way to find out if you will last long enough to be multimillionaires like One Direction or end up breaking up over a leather jacket as All Saints did. It does not matter if you are not the best singer because it is your thirtieth birthday, and people must hide their criticisms unless they want to get unfriended on Facebook. 


Party in An Arcade Bar at Emporium Wicker Park

I think we can all agree that going to an arcade is a lot of fun, no matter how old you get. Who doesn’t enjoy playing Pac Man and Street Fighter late into the evening while munching on pizzas, fries, and hotdogs? The Emporium Wicker Park in Chicago has everything you need to entertain both adults and children alike. This is also a great option if you’re looking to include some young-in’s in your celebrations. You can blow out your candles while playing over fifty arcade and pinball games, air hockey, pool tables, skee ball, and so much more. They have over twenty beers on draft and a wide variety of cocktails that will have you tipsy in no time. Challenge each other to a night full of games, and do not forget to keep score!

a cafe room with a high bar on the left and dining tables and chairs on the right

Max and relax on this special occasion with a stay at the Ace Hotel

Go on A Staycation at the  Ace Hotel

The hardest part about organizing birthday parties is assigning somebody to be the designated driver because no one wants to miss out on all the fun by staying sober. A thirtieth birthday is an extraordinary milestone because you are crossing into a unique decade where lots of incredible life moments are bound to happen. Many people get married, have children, get promoted at work, buy a house, and build so many memories at this age. That is why it is worth celebrating in style by loosening those purse strings for the special occasion. You can book a weekend staycation at many incredible hotels in Chicago to pamper yourself and enjoy room service and fun nights out. This is ideal if you want to celebrate your birthday in downtown Chicago without worrying about getting the train back home. To cut costs, your friends can all chip in and book multiple rooms. This will be more comfortable for everyone attending your birthday because they can relax without having a curfew to get home without worry of missing the last public transport, especially if they live far away. The Ace Hotel is a trendy hotel with many high-end dining options, and you can party at their rooftop bar. In the morning, you will never have to make your own bed and can go for a dip in their relaxing indoor pool to nurse any hangovers. 

a group of people walking and a baby carriage on the right

Exercise your body and refresh your mind to kick off this new year of life with a visit to Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve

Go on A Scenic Hike at Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve.

If you prefer a sober and adventurous birthday party for your thirtieth, why not go on a scenic hike to celebrate this epic milestone? Get in a car with all your friends and hit the road to any of Chicago’s incredible hiking trails. If you drive just over twenty miles from Chicago, you can head to Darien and visit the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve. This is a nine-mile hike, and you can enjoy over two-thousand acres of savannas, prairies, and oak-maple woodlands that surround the Argonne National Laboratory. Your group will enjoy expansive views across the Des Plaines River, which is near a gorgeous waterfall that is worth everybody posting on Instagram. Make sure to bring a packed lunch or picnic for all your friends so that you can kick back and relax after the hike while taking in the views with your delicious food. 

a bottle and a glass of wine

No Napa? No problem! Sip (or chug) until your heart’s content at the local City Winery

Go Wine Tasting at City Winery,

Most adults love wine, that is unless they are still going through a tequila phase from spring break in their early twenties. Even though Chicago is no Napa Valley, it still boasts a vibrant wine scene with tons of hip bars. Celebrate your thirtieth birthday at City Winery where you may do a more formal tasting as experts guide you through the experience, sprinkling fun facts and useful tips about wine. Otherwise, you can choose to do your own self-guided tour and visit places like Webster’s or Rootstock. Wine tasting is a great way to get together with loved ones who share a common interest, and red wine has a lot of health benefits. You might have a large house with a wine cellar, and this experience will teach you which bottles are worth stocking up. Expand your horizons with friends and learn all the different varieties, smells, colors, and tastes. Imagine marking your thirtieth by becoming a wine connoisseur! You could even start a blog about pairing dishes with wine or impress a Tinder date in the future by making the swirling glass motion like a true expert. 

A lot of people feel sad about turning thirty, but we all know that thirty is the new twenty, and the fun should never end! There are lots of exciting ways you can celebrate maturing as an adult, and these ideas are the best of the best. No matter which type of party you choose, your loved ones will enjoy any time spent with you, and that is the most important thing. You deserve all the love in the world, and your birthday should be the best day ever! Take lots of photos and enjoy every moment while making a wish as you blow out those candles.