Ideas for Chicago Themed Birthday Party

I am planning a surprise 50th for my mom in April. She is a Chicago native, born and raised. All of her family and friends still live in Chicago. We are secretly bringing in all her siblings, goddaughter, and best friend. The theme is "Chicago". We are ordering all the food from Portillo's, popcorn from Garrett's, cheesecake form Eli's.


I am looking for any more ideas to add to the Chicago theme. We are planning on decorating with a city theme, and Cubs/Bears. We are making a hot dog stand as one prop. I am also looking for birthday mementos, gifts ideas, etc.

I am having everyone write a little letter to her and compiling it into a book. We will be making a "50 Reasons We Love Her" list, and a dvd with photos and video footage throughout the years. Any other suggestions to make it memorable would be appreciated. Thank you!

By Kate from Cincinnati, OH

March 10, 20110 found this helpful

How about a book of photos of famous Chicago monuments, or of guests' favorite places in the city to visit? Or a "Windy City" photo of each guest (simple background + powerful fan to create the wind)? Maybe make your food a "Taste of Chicago" buffet?

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March 11, 20110 found this helpful

How about having the guests who will be attending the party go to your mom's favorite places in Chicago (Navy Pier, Field Museum, etc.) and have their pics taken with people from the facilities holding a "Happy 50th Birthday" sign? (If Oprah's in town, maybe she would be willing to do so as well, hah!)

Sounds as if you're planning a very fun party, how sweet!

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March 11, 20110 found this helpful

I would do a Chicago skyline on one wall in silhouette. Get photos of famous Chicago landmarks but make them from weird angles etc. Then have a contest to see who can identify the landmarks. The one who guesses right the most wins a small prize perhaps. Or do a poster-size picture of, say the house your mom grew up in, cut it up into enough pieces for all guests to have one. Then have each person get one when they come to the party. Have a table with a copy of the picture on top of it and see how fast they can assemble the "jigsaw".

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Anonymous Flag
March 11, 20110 found this helpful

For the food you simply must serve Chicago style pizza and hot dogs and, since Chicago is famous for Hershey's chocolate, you of course have to have some of that available too. ;-) How about also incorporate gangsters such as Al Capone and the man who took him down, Eliot Ness, into the theme?

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March 11, 20110 found this helpful

Can you get any pictures of the old riverview and it's farris whells and other rides, she may remember these things in chicago while growing up. also the beach especiall 12th street beach.

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March 11, 20110 found this helpful

"Chicago" (musical) DVD and music by the band "Chicago" as well as Frank Sinatra singin' about that toddlin' town!

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