Normally, Labor Day Weekend is the weekend of the summer. It’s the perfect 72-hour, event-filled, swan song of the season but unfortunately, it looks like that will have a different look in 2020 as the world navigates a second holiday weekend amidst a global pandemic. But Chicago is putting on its best face and a spattering of spots around the city are preparing to offer safe and fun things to do on Labor Day weekend.
So if you’re not the person with a lake house, or have no friends with a boat or lake house (we’ve been there), then take a look at some of these options around the city as you gear up to make your #LDW2020 plans. Grab your friends and family and let’s get after it.
Kentucky Derby Watch Party: Saturday, September 5th at 3 pm
Cubs Watch Party: Sunday, September 6 and Monday, September 7th
HVAC Pub, the music-driven sports bar located steps from Wrigley Field, will be open throughout Labor Day weekend in Chicago for several “socially distanced watch parties”. The two-story building is equipped with a dog-friendly sidewalk patio at the corner of Clark and Eddy. HVAC features patio seating for 40 guests among a mixture of picnic and high top tables.
Kentucky Derby Watch Party:
Guests can catch all the Kentucky Derby action at HVAC Pub on Saturday, September 5th from 3 pm. to 6 pm. Packages will be available for 4 to 6 people ranging in price from $25 to $325 and include seating, reserved service for 3 hours, one welcome White Claw Hard Seltzer per person, house wells cocktails and domestic drafts, an appetizer and more.
If you’re searching for things to do in Chicago on Labor Day weekend, HVAC Pub is offering Cubs fans a safe way to watch and celebrate while not actually being at the stadium. The Pub is offering two “Cubs Watch Packages” on Sunday, September 6th (6:08 pm game) and Monday, September 7th (3:10 pm game). For 2 people ($100), 4 people ($200) or 6 people ($300), guests will enjoy preferred seating, one welcome White Claw Hard Seltzer per person, bottomless wells cocktails and domestic beers along with all-you-can-eat pizza throughout the game. The game will be broadcast with the sound on.
Tables will be limited to 6 people each per city and state social distancing guidelines. All safety precautions are being taken to ensure a safe and fun environment. Guests are asked to wear masks upon entry and when using the restroom. Staff will be equipped with masks, and hand sanitizer will be placed throughout the venue.
Kentucky Derby Watch Party: Saturday, September 5 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Guests will enjoy a Kentucky Derby watch party in Chicago on Labor Day weekend on Saturday, September 5 at 3 p.m. at Lincoln Park’s barbecue-centric sports bar. The local bar is equipped with plenty of indoor and outdoor space for safe viewing. Packages will be available for 4 to 6 people ranging in price from $25 to $325 and include seating, reserved service for 3 hours, one welcome White Claw Hard Seltzer per person, house wells cocktails and domestic drafts, an appetizer and more. Tickets are required and can be purchased via Green Curtain Events. The Derby action will be broadcast indoors and on the convertible patio that is equipped with a pool table, giant Connect Four, giant Jenga, and more.
Following the city and state’s social distancing guidelines and regulations, Old Ground Social will only seat a maximum of six people per table that will be socially distanced from other guests. Guests are asked to wear masks as they move through the establishment. Staff will be in masks and hand sanitizer will be available throughout the bar and restaurant.
Labor Day Weekend Kentucky Derby Viewing: Saturday, September 5th at 3 pm
Parlay at Joy District will host a Kentucky Derby watch party on Saturday, September 5th at 3 pm. Per social distancing guidelines, only eight tables of six people will be available for the race. Guests can watch the race on a 25-foot projector wall and 25 TVs with sound on. Patrons are asked to wear masks upon entry and when using the restroom. Staff will be equipped with masks, and hand sanitizer will be placed throughout the venue. For reservations and to inquire about race day packages, email email@example.com or call 312-651-3983.
Labor Day Weekend Picnic Baskets and Burger Kits To-Go: Friday, September 4th through Sunday, September 6th (CLOSED on Labor Day), $7 to $75
If you’re looking for things to do outside in Chicago on Labor Day weekend, we recommend traveling to Uvae in Andersonville to enjoy a Picnic Basket or Burger Kit To-Go. For $50, Uvae’s Picnic Basket includes assorted cheese and charcuterie, French bread, deviled eggs, chili coated chickpeas, chocolate chunk cookies, and a bottle of watermelon rosé sangria. Guests can add on a canned wine or sparkling split for $7 each.
Uvae’s $75 Burger Kit for 4 includes house ground short rib mash patties, red onion marmalade, lettuce, tomato, pickle, truffle aioli, and brioche buns. Sides include grilled potato salad with black garlic vinaigrette, heirloom tomato salad, and grilled peach snickers pie. A bottle of Pinot Noir, Cabernet, or Rosé is also included. To order, visit their website.
1825 W. Webster Ave. Chicago, IL 60614 | 3103 Odyssey Ct, Naperville, IL 60563
WhirlyBall “Last Fling” Labor Day Weekend Special:
Saturday, September 5th & Sunday, September 6th (Chicago)
Saturday, September 5th through Monday, September 7th (Naperville)
$20 per person
Ideal for small gatherings with friends or family staying local this Labor Day weekend, WhirlyBall’s Chicago and Naperville locations will say goodbye to summer with a “Last Fling” package. For $20 per person, guests will enjoy their choice of one hour of WhirlyBall, Bowling or LaserTag and unlimited pizza. WhirlyBall also offers an expansive rotating craft beer selection with a focus on local breweries along with refreshing cocktails.
Dedicated to playing it safe, WhirlyBall has taken extensive precautionary safety measures in line with CDC guidelines to protect guests and team members. Offering the highest standard of cleanliness, WhirlyBall, Bowling, LaserTag and common areas will be disinfected between each group, hand sanitizer will be readily available throughout the facility, and frequent hand washing protocols will be followed.
View Kentucky Derby Parties in Chicago
More interested in bettin’ the house on the ponies? View our list of Kentucky Derby Parties in the city.
Common areas have been equipped with six-foot social distancing markers, and groups will enjoy increased privacy from others during play. WhirlyBall and LaserTag are both fully enclosed allowing one group at a time, and lane dividers and every other lane will be used for Bowling. Team members will receive a daily health check upon arriving to work and will wear a face mask at all times.
Geja’s Café, located at 340 W Armitage Ave in Lincoln Park, is enjoying a dipping and grilling weekend during the last days of summer with a special Geja’s Labor Day Grill Kit, available between Thursday, September 3 through Sunday, September 6.
The Geja’s Café Labor Day Grill Kit serves four and includes eight kabobs, with choice of Beef Tenderloin, Chicken Breast, Gulf Shrimp or Veggie; along with a 2 lb. pan of Fingerling Potatoes; Cheese and Chocolate Fondue with dippers; a fruit salad; choice of three Geja’s Dipping Sauces; and Geja’s Grill Seasoning, for $80.
If a smaller portion may suffice, Geja’s is also offering a smaller Labor Day Grill Kit with two servings, which includes four kabobs; a one-pound pan of Fingerling Potatoes; Cheese and Chocolate Fondue with dippers; a half quart of fruit salad; choice of three Geja’s dipping sauces; and Geja’s grill seasoning, for $40.
Sauce options include Fresh Dill, Horseradish Chive, Thai Chili Garlic, Chimichurri, Teriyaki, Sriracha Aioli, Curry and their salad dressing Dijon Vinaigrette Salad Dressing. To complete the Labor Day meal, patrons may also add a Quart of Red or White Sangria with fruit, for an additional $25.
For anyone, grilling and Labor Day is a match made in heaven. It’s a great entry point in to the fall food sphere and Geja’s grill kits provide everything you need for a great grilling experience. So no matter what size your LDW2020 party is going to be, you can grab the proper amount of food, prepped for you, ready to hit the coals.
To order, follow the link to their website by Friday, September 4 (gejascafe.com) or by calling 773-281-9101 between Noon and 8pm. Enjoy!
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Brian Lendino has never met an individual he couldn't have a conversation with and you will see that abundantly in his writing style. He brings his decades-long experience as an editor and content strategist to UM after two years of running and publishing his own Chicago-focused digital media publication, Hub Chicago.
As a born and bred Chicagoan, Brian enjoys the simple things in life -- like Miller Lite, the 606 Trail, and playing corn hole. Or is it bags? It's bags. If you can't find him doing a combination of those three things you can find him in front of a TV cursing out the Chicago Bulls, unabashedly defending Jason Heyward, or trying to fix the Chicago Bears.