What Are The Closest Suburbs to Downtown Chicago

Chicago is bordered by numerous suburbs. The closest ones vary based on where you are in Chicago, as the city is extensive. Here are some suburbs that are directly adjacent to the city:

  1. Evanston: Located directly north of Chicago, Evanston is home to Northwestern University.
  2. Skokie: This suburb is north of Chicago and adjacent to Evanston.
  3. Oak Park: Located to the west of Chicago, Oak Park is known for its architecture, including many homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
  4. Cicero: Cicero is directly west of Chicago.
  5. Berwyn: Berwyn is a suburb located to the south-west of Chicago.
  6. Oak Lawn: Located to the south-west of Chicago, Oak Lawn is one of many suburbs in this area.
  7. Calumet City: This suburb is located to the south of Chicago.

Understanding the Charm of Chicago's Suburbs

The charm of Chicago's suburbs lies in their blend of urban amenities and suburban tranquility. One might wonder: why choose to live in a suburb? The allure is often the promise of quieter neighborhoods, more living space, and perhaps better schools. However, this doesn't mean you need to give up the thrill of city living. Suburbs these days often offer a vibrant cultural scene, fantastic dining, and shopping options.

The Top Closest Suburbs to Chicago

When it comes to suburbs that are close to Chicago, here are the top ones:


Home to Northwestern University, Evanston offers a lively college-town atmosphere along with beautiful views of Lake Michigan. It's well known for its diverse dining scene, art galleries, and unique shops. Visit the Block Museum of Art for a variety of exhibits or take a stroll through the beautiful Northwestern University campus.


Skokie is home to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, which provides a powerful and moving educational experience. The North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie also hosts a variety of theater, music, and dance performances throughout the year.

Oak Park

Known for its Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, Oak Park offers a wealth of history and culture. Tour the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, explore the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace and Museum, or enjoy a leisurely walk in the beautiful parks.


While mainly a residential area, Cicero has historical significance as the town where Al Capone had his headquarters during the Prohibition era. The Hawthorne Race Course, a historic horse racing track, is also located here.


Berwyn is known for its vibrant arts scene and historic bungalows. The Berwyn Route 66 Museum is a small but interesting stop for history and car enthusiasts, and the town's Art and Sculpture Walk is a wonderful way to explore local art.

Oak Lawn

This community-centered suburb has several parks, making it a great place for outdoor activities. The Oak Lawn Children’s Museum is a wonderful place for families, and the town is known for its annual Fall on the Green Festival, featuring music, food, and entertainment.

Calumet City

Calumet City, also known as "Cal City," is home to the Sand Ridge Nature Center, which offers beautiful nature trails and interactive exhibits. River Oaks Center, a large shopping mall, is also a major attraction.

Exploring the Suburbs with Bus Connection

Exploring the suburbs can be a unique adventure, especially when you travel in a group using a private bus rental service. The key advantages are comfort, convenience, and the pleasure of shared exploration. Booking a private bus rental is easy - just provide your trip details and the number of passengers through the online form on our website. Why choose our private bus rental service? Our commitment to quality, reliability, and comfort ensures a memorable journey to your chosen suburban destination.

Making the Most of Your Suburban Visit

For those new to suburban exploration, it's essential to plan, check local event schedules, and be open to new experiences. So, what can you expect? A variety of experiences! Remember to take safety precautions during your trip, like keeping your belongings secure and staying aware of your surroundings.


Chicago's closest suburbs offer a wealth of experiences, whether you're looking for a new home or just a fun day out. With our private bus rental service, your suburban outing is sure to be enjoyable and unforgettable!


Why are Chicago's suburbs popular residence choices?

The suburbs offer a tranquil lifestyle, more living space, great schools, and often a vibrant local culture.

How can I book a private bus rental service for a suburban trip?

You can book our service by providing the details of your trip and the number of passengers using the easy-to-navigate form on our website.

What should I explore in Chicago's suburbs?

Check out local museums, parks, restaurants, shopping areas, and architectural landmarks.

What are some of the safety precautions for suburban exploration?

Keep your belongings secure, stay aware of your surroundings, and follow local rules and regulations.

Can I use a private bus rental service for any group size?

Yes, our service caters to a variety of group sizes. Just provide us with the details and we'll arrange the rest.

What is the Closest Casino to Chicago: Your Gateway to Excitement

The short answer: the closest casino to downtown Chicago is the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Illinois, which is about 17 to 20 miles away, depending on your starting point in the city. Rivers Casino is located just outside of the city limits and offers a variety of gaming options. Please note that entertainment availability and restrictions can change due to local laws and regulations, so it's always a good idea to check the latest information before planning a visit.

Address: 3000 S River Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60018

Yearning for the thrill of a dice roll or the flip of a card? This guide will point you toward the closest casino to Chicago, where you can let loose and maybe even strike it lucky.

The Allure of Casino Entertainment

Nothing beats the pulsating energy of a bustling casino. The flashing lights of the slot machines, the elegance of the roulette wheel, the tension around the poker tables – all these elements combine to create an atmosphere that's electric. For Chicago residents or visitors of the city who crave this type of entertainment, finding the closest casino is like unearthing a gem.

The Top Closest Casinos to Chicago

When it comes to casinos near Chicago, there are quite a few options to choose from. Here are the top ones:

Rivers Casino Des Plaines

Just a 20-minute drive from downtown Chicago, Rivers Casino offers a vast array of gaming options, from poker and slots to table games.

Horseshoe Hammond Casino

Located in Hammond, Indiana, this casino is famous for its poker room and hosts several prestigious tournaments yearly.

Ameristar East Chicago

Ameristar provides one of the largest selections of games in the Midwest, with over 1,700 slot and video poker machines.

Majestic Star Casino

This dual-barge casino located across the state in Gary, Indiana, offers gaming, dining, and entertainment experiences, making it a fantastic entertainment destination.

Harrah's Joliet Casino & Hotel

A short drive from Chicago, this casino offers an elegant setting and hosts an assortment of slot machines and table games.

Enhance Your Casino Trip with a Private Bus Rental

Of course, planning your trip to the casino should be as stress-free as possible, and that includes your journey there and back. That's where our private bus rental service comes into play. We offer comfortable, reliable, and affordable transportation to and from your chosen casino, allowing you and your group to enjoy your outing without the hassle of driving.

Our fleet includes a range of vehicles, from compact mini-busses, ideal for small groups, to spacious, luxury coaches for larger parties. We're proud to ensure your ride is as enjoyable as your time at the casino. Plus, you can start the fun as soon as you climb aboard, with amenities like onboard Wi-Fi, comfortable seating, and ample luggage space.

Book with us, and you can relax knowing that we've got the logistics handled. All you need to do is sit back, enjoy the ride, and look forward to your casino adventure.

Key Takeaways

In the pursuit of casino entertainment, Chicago residents are in luck with several excellent options within reach. Whether it's the close and convenient Horseshoe Hammond Casino or one of the other fantastic casinos in the vicinity, a night of excitement awaits. With our private bus rental service handling your transportation, your casino outing is sure to be a winning experience from start to finish. Game on!


What is the minimum legal gambling age in Illinois?

The minimum legal gambling age is 21 years old.

What are some of the games available in Chicago's casinos?

Chicago's casinos offer a wide variety of games, including poker, blackjack, roulette, and slot machines.

How can I book a private bus rental service for a casino trip?

You can book our service by providing the details of your trip and the number of passengers through the online form on our website.

What is the best time to visit a casino in Chicago?

The best time to visit depends on your preferences. Weekends are usually more vibrant, while weekdays are less crowded.

Are the casinos in Chicago smoke-free?

Yes, most Illinois casinos are lawfully required to be smoke-free, but specific designated smoking areas are provided.

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What Are The Best Wineries in Chicago and Illinois: A Wine Lover's Guide

The Allure of Illinois Wineries

The state of Illinois, with its fertile soil and varied climate, is a fantastic region for wine production. This, coupled with Chicago's vibrant food and beverage scene, has resulted in a selection of excellent wineries to explore in both the city and the wider state.

Top Wineries in Chicago

City Winery

Situated in the vibrant West Loop neighborhood, City Winery at 1200 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607, is a unique venue combining a fully functioning winery with intimate concerts, food and wine classes, and fine dining. The variety of experiences offered makes it a must-visit destination for wine and music lovers alike.

Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant

Located at 58 S. Main St, Burr Ridge, IL 60527, just outside of downtown Chicago, Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant boasts modern, casual dining with an impressive menu and an extensive list of wines. Each dish is created with a perfect wine pairing in mind, providing a truly immersive wine and dining experience.

Lynfred Winery

As the oldest continuously operating winery in Illinois, Lynfred Winery at 15 S Roselle Rd, Roselle, IL 60172, offers a rich history alongside its selection of quality wines. This winery has a welcoming atmosphere and hosts a variety of events and tastings that make for a memorable visit.

Top Wineries in Illinois

Illinois Sparkling Co.

Located at 106 Mill St, North Utica, IL 61373, this winery has made its mark by specializing in handcrafted, traditional-method sparkling wines. Every bottle from Illinois Sparkling Co. is crafted onsite, from pressing through fermentation, providing a local and artisanal touch.

Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery

Nestled in the historic town of Galena at 515 S Main St, Galena, IL 61036, this winery offers over 40 different wines, from dry to sweet, red to white, and everything in between. The stunning vineyard views offer a serene backdrop for wine tastings and events.

August Hill Winery

This family-owned winery at 106 Mill St, North Utica, IL 61373, shares a tasting room with the Illinois Sparkling Co. Known for its unique, Illinois-grown wines, August Hill offers a friendly and inviting atmosphere for tasting its extensive wine list.

Blue Sky Vineyard

Situated in the heart of the Shawnee National Forest at 3150 S Rocky Comfort Rd, Makanda, IL 62958, Blue Sky Vineyard provides not just award-winning wines but a taste of Southern Illinois’ hospitality. The picturesque vineyard and Tuscan-inspired architecture make this a beautiful and tranquil place to visit.

Massbach Ridge Winery

Established in 2003, this winery located at 8837 S Massbach Rd, Elizabeth, IL 61028, prides itself on its personalized service and a diverse selection of wines. The stunning views of the rolling vineyard offer a relaxing and inviting setting for wine enthusiasts to explore their wines.

Exploring Wineries with Private Bus Rentals

Exploring different wineries in Chicago and Illinois can be a much more comfortable and safer experience with a private bus rental service. Perfect for a wide range of group sizes and uniquely catering to your transportation and travel needs, with us, you’ll be well taken care of. 

To book a private bus rental, simply provide us with your trip details and the number of passengers. Our dedication to quality, reliability, and superior customer service ensures your next wine-tasting journey is a memorable one.

Making the Most of Your Winery Visit

When visiting wineries, some tips include booking ahead, pacing your tastings, and asking plenty of questions. What can you expect? A relaxing atmosphere, knowledgeable staff, and of course, excellent wines. Always remember to take safety precautions during your visit, like drinking responsibly and ensuring a safe ride home.


Whether you're a seasoned wine connoisseur or a casual enthusiast, Chicago and Illinois offer an array of wineries to suit your palate. And with our private bus rental service, you can enjoy these experiences in style and comfort!


What are some of the best wineries in Chicago and Illinois?

City Winery, Cooper's Hawk, Lynfred Winery, Illinois Sparkling Co., and Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery are some top choices.

How can I book a private bus rental service for a winery tour?

You can book our service by providing the details of your tour and the number of passengers.

What should I consider when visiting a winery?

Book ahead, pace your tastings, ask questions, and always drink responsibly.

Can I use a private bus rental service for any group size?

Yes, our service caters to a variety of group sizes. Just provide us with the details and we'll arrange the rest.

What types of wines are Illinois wineries known for?

Illinois wineries produce a range of wines, including Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and unique sparkling wines.

Museums, gardens, and more: the secret delights that Chicago has to offer in April

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Valentine’s Day in Chicago: Romantic Getaways

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Fine Rooftop Dining: Your Guide to the Best Igloos and Rooftop Bars in Chicago

While temperatures in Chicago continue to plummet, some things are really heating up in the city’s restaurant scene! They’ve been called pods, greenhouses, and igloos, to name just a few. And they’re pretty much the coolest thing about outdoor dining in Chicago. It doesn’t matter which suburb you find yourself in, there are igloos for the whole family to enjoy. Although some may require a prior reservation, this is the best option for privacy to be enjoyed with loved ones.

In this guide, we’ve put together a list of our favorites, both in and around Chicago, and hope you take full advantage of it! There’s something here for everyone! And the menu varieties are sure to impress and delight! Let’s dive right in…

14 of the best igloos in and around town


  1. London House Chicago Rooftop

Overlooking Chicago’s Magnificent Mile on the 22nd floor of the London House Chicago, you will experience lH rooftop, with breathtaking panoramic views of the city, in the comfort of cozy rooftop igloos, or dine indoors as well. Enjoy dining on the LH Rooftop, enjoying signature and classic cocktails, a large selection of craft beers and great wine, enjoy one of the best rooftop experiences in the city with great décor, cozy igloos with heaters and comfy blankets for a great night out.

  1. Winter Wonderland at the IO Godfrey

No matter how cold Chicago’s winter may be, you can enjoy a fun evening out in your cozy igloo atop the Godfrey, located at 127 West Huron.  Tucked inside your own igloo snow globe, enjoy a winter wonderland with great food and cocktails. Walk outside your igloo and roast s’mores over the outdoor fire pits, and stay warm and cozy wearing plush robes and blankets.

  1. Osteria Via Stato

Located on 620 N. State Street in downtown Chicago, Osteria Via Stato is a quaint Italian restaurant that was inspired by the Italian Alps for its outdoor dining experience. Your personal heated outdoor greenhouse can seat up to four people. And of course, Italian treats abound. The kids will absolutely love the classic cheese pizza topped off with a gelato dessert.

  1. Park & Field

Looking for something sporty? You’ve got it at Park & Field! This is a sports and club eatery located at 35909 W. Fullerton Avenue in Logan Square. Open throughout the year, it features fire pits, patio heaters, a heated yurt, and tents where you can enjoy the warmth. The kids’ menu features the classic mac and cheese bowl. While you can bring your own blankets (BYOB), you can also purchase them on-site. The four seasons rugby room will be enclosed during the winter and heated, making it the perfect opportunity to gather with friends and family.

  1. Pilsen Yards

Pilsen Yards’ entire east patio wall is open to the outdoors. Even though it doesn’t feature a kids’ menu, the tacos, nachos, or sweet corn tamales more than make up for this. This fun and festive dining experience is located at 1163 W. 18th Street.

North/northwest suburbs

  1. Buffalo Creek Brewing

For those looking for an authentic German Alpine Biergarten experience, Buffalo Creek Brewing could be the right place for you! Located on 360 Historical Lane in Long Grove, this brewery transforms into a winter oasis. Kids will love the outdoor games and homemade non-alcoholic sodas. But there’s something unique for the adults, too. Ranging from fire pits, table heat lamps, mood lighting, blankets, throws, and scarves for sale, the holiday decor is all set against the backdrop of a glorious pine forest.

  1. The Glen Club

The Glen Club offers dining or lounge igloos and the view from these is absolutely stunning. Overlooking the golf club in Glenview, this dining experience can be found at 2901 W. Lake Avenue. The dessert options are simply divine and feature the rich and decadent chocolate fondue and s’mores kit.

South suburbs

  1. The Forge

Couples or groups of four can spend up to 90 minutes enjoying a candle-lit meal in a stunning igloo while taking in the sights and sounds of the picturesque Forge Quarry with the Eight Towers Adventure ahead in the distance. This lovely location can be found at 1001 Main Street, Lemont.

  1. DIGS on Canal

Looking for a more spacious place to lounge? Try DIGS on Canal in Lemont. Near Lemont’s I&M and Ship and Sanitary Canals, you can enjoy sumptuous weekday or weekend meals. Its menu is filled with kid-friendly meals including burgers, pizza, and mac and cheese. The latter is available in a build-your-own format or as a flight. Adults, on the other hand, can order some tasty Pollyanna beer.

  1. Freedom Brothers Pizza

A pizza joint in Plainfield? Why not? Great for a whole-family experience, you can have lunch or dinner there with pizzas, sandwiches, and salads available to suit any taste bud. There are also many customizable choices for children. And of course, the dessert is absolutely divine and features dessert pizza, cotton candy, and s’mores dips.

Western Suburbs

  1. Bien Trucha

Situated on 410 W. State Street in the Geneva suburb, Bien Trucha is a suburban Mexican restaurant. Offering personal outdoor dining pods with lights, music, and heaters, it’s perfect for the entire family! Signature treats include traditional guacamole, pelote dip, various taco options, and churro bites.

  1. Gia Mia

The Geneva and St. Charles suburbs bring us Gia Mia! This restaurant features igloos and great Italian food. But that’s not all! The kids’ menu is absolutely divine and includes treats such as calzones and meatballs, mac and cheese, cheese pizza, and so much more.

  1. Stray Hen Cafe

Looking for somewhere to dine out in Elmhurst? Try the Stray Hen Cafe! It has an extensive menu and serves breakfast, brunch, and lunch. Kids can enjoy the waffle flights, Mickey Mouse pancakes, and more than two dozen different egg dishes - ranging from skillets to omelets to sandwiches. Adults, on the other hand, can choose from a dozen brunch cocktails in igloos on the sidewalk patio.

  1. Fiamme Pizza

Near downtown, Naperville features winter villas and greenhouses to keep guests warm. This is a classic Neapolitan pizzeria, offering villas that seat six. Meanwhile, greenhouses hold up to four guests. You and your loved ones can enjoy pasta entrees and wood-fired or Detroit-style pizzas. All this can be topped off with decadent desserts such as the Mount Vesuvio brownie sundae.

Final thoughts

Wrapping up our list of the 14 best igloo places in and around Chicago for you to enjoy on a cold, wintry day, it’s worth mentioning that you don’t have to worry about transportation. We all know that parking and even finding the venue can be a difficult and cumbersome task. But why spoil your day or evening?

At Bus Connection, we offer a variety of buses to get you to and from your chosen location safely and in good spirits so that you can enjoy your time out with your loved ones. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us and we’ll ensure you’re dropped off where and when you need it smoothly and seamlessly. We’re just a call or a click away so feel free to get in touch!

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