Event Space in Lake Forest, Illinois

Lake Forest, Illinois, offers event spaces for formal and informal affairs. Whether you’re looking for a modest space for a casual business meeting or a sizable location for a lavish-wedding ceremony, you’re sure to find it in the area. Here are some places to start your search.

Armour House at Lake Forest Academy

Wedding reception table with pink and purple flowers
Image via Flickr by KrisCamealy 

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Armour House is located on the 162-acre campus of Lake Forest Academy, a college preparatory school. This Italian mansion offers a range of sites, both indoor and out, for all types of functions. Outdoor event spaces feature reflecting pools, gardens, and fountains. For an indoor event, choose from several rooms of varying sizes. The Great Hall” has a capacity of 190 and is perfect for cocktail parties or wedding ceremonies. On a smaller scale is the library, which has a capacity of 90 and a more relaxed atmosphere, making it ideal for less formal gatherings.

In the weeks and months prior to your event, an experienced chef and event management team will work with you to design a menu and plan for every aspect of your event. During Armour House’s primary season, which is May to October, a minimum guest count is required. Prices are per person and vary according to event type, guest count, date, and duration.

Gorton Community Center

The historic Gorton Community Center, located one block from Lake Forest Metro Station, was renovated in 2015 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. As a vibrant Lake Forest community hub, the center boasts two on-site kitchens and eight event spaces of varying sizes. If you’d like to host an outdoor event, the parking lot is available for rent as well.

For performances, such as presentations and film screenings, the community center’s John and Nancy Hughes Theater is a good option. It seats up to 309 people and is equipped with professional lighting, sound, and video equipment.

Parking is available, and in the event of inclement weather, a portico at the front entrance will protect your guests from the elements when they’re entering and leaving the building. Ionic-oxidation air purifiers were installed building-wide in 2020, helping to provide a crisp, clean environment for everyone who uses the center. Two event coordinators are available to help you plan your function, and prices vary according to event size, date, and type.

Lily Reid Holt Memorial Chapel

Situated on the grounds of Lake Forest College, the Lily Reid Holt Memorial Chapel provides a scenic backdrop for functions both big and small. While often reserved for weddings, the chapel’s remarkable acoustics make it an ideal setting for speaking events as well.

For weddings, the chapel provides a Steinway grand piano and a wedding assistant for both the wedding rehearsal and ceremony. A nearby classroom serves as the bridal suite, and the chapel seats 210 guests. Chapel reservations include four hours of use the day of the ceremony and an hour and a half the night before for the rehearsal. Contact the chapel staff to discuss availability and pricing.

The Glen Rowan House

Also on the campus of Lake Forest College, the Glen Rowan House, located across the street from the Lily Reid Chapel, features elegant spaces for all types of events. The main floor provides an ideal space for both small and large gatherings: from intimate dinner parties to formal business meetings to large-scale cocktail receptions. If you’d like to schedule an outdoor affair, the grounds can accommodate tented gatherings of up to 250.

Glen Rowan House allows you to reserve the necessary amount of space for your event. You can opt to reserve one room, one floor, or the entire indoor and outdoor area. Contact an event coordinator for planning assistance.

Deer Path Inn

Deer Path Inn, built in 1929, is a resort hotel modeled after a mid-15th century English-manor house. The inn features both grand spaces for big-wedding ceremonies and intimate settings for small-business gatherings. Event spaces range from cozy boardrooms of a few hundred square feet to a grand ballroom of close to 5,000. A variety of outdoor spaces, many located in formal English gardens, are available as well.

The inn’s event coordinators are available to help you plan your special occasion, and the inn provides both setup and cleanup as well as an in-house bar and catering services. Pricing varies depending on your needs, so contact them for more information.

Vernon Hills Golf Course

If you’d like to host your next event at an area golf course, Vernon Hills Golf Course is a fifteen-minute drive from Lake Forest and is an ideal location for retirement parties, business luncheons, and more. The clubhouse facilities can accommodate up to 80 people, and reservations are accepted one year in advance. By partnering with a local catering company, Vernon Hills allows you to choose from a wide variety of meal plans and beverage options. For more information, give them a call, and they’ll create a custom quote for you.

Loft 21

Located about 20 minutes from Lake Forest is Loft 21, which is an event space with an ultra-modern, industrial design. Offering both indoor and outdoor spaces, the facility encompasses 31,000 divisible square feet. It can accommodate up to 1,800 guests for cocktail receptions and as many as 600 for a seated affair. The facility also works well for more intimate events. Event coordinators are available to help with planning, and prices vary, so get in touch with the Loft 21 staff to start planning your special day.

We hope this list of event spaces in the Lake Forest area helps you plan your next important function. Did we forget to mention anything? If we did, please let us know so we can add it to our list or enhance our descriptions to better serve you. Here at Pasquesi Sheppard LLC, we are always looking for ways to help our clients and better serve our community.