Booze + More: 11 Awesome BYOB Activities in Chicago
“Bring your own beverage” may be one of our favorite phrases in existence—next to “open bar”, that is. When you get to BYOB, there’s no need to buy expensive drinks or worry about whether a venue carries your favorite, local brew. There’s no need for inhibitions about anything, really. From cooking and art classes to comedy and robot workshops (seriously), here are some of the most awesome BYOB activities in Chicago

A battle of laughs at the Comedy Club.


The funniest performers in Chicago hit the stage for a battle of gut-busting laughs every Wednesday at The Playground Theater. Each comedian is given five minutes to prove that they’re the funniest comic on stage, so you can be sure that each set is packed with their best material. In this friendly, intimate environment, you and your friends will drink your favorite beer/wine/whatever else you bring before picking the winner—with a little help from your flask.

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R2D2 and BYOB? OMG!


Nervous about taking things to the next level with your partner? Not sure whether you should move in together or get a dog? Start with something a little smaller scale and build your own mechanical companion at Robot Building Date Night! There’s nothing artificial about the love you and your date will put into making a robot of your own. Choose from over 12 kits to create the perfect little guy/girl for you. Bring some booze, watch your favorite robot romance movies (yes, they exist), enjoy some trivia and go home with a new member of the family.

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Italian cooking in 15 minutes (or less).

Chicken Francese
Pork Roulade
and Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia
Italian food

Nobody wants to wait around 30 minutes for a pizza. We’re hungry now! If you’re looking for quick and easy recipes to satisfy your carby cravings, then take this course in which you’ll learn how to cook Italian food in 15 minutes or less. You’ll love working with fine Italian cheeses, rosemary, herbs, tomatoes and your favorite BYOB wines to create delicious dishes in no time. Once you know how to make meals like Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia and Chicken Francese, you’ll never resort to takeout again.

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Salsa for the soul, spirits for the spirit.

latin dance

Get your mind out of the kitchen and onto the dance floor! This isn’t a salsa and chips kind of a class, but rather a beginner’s dance class that can teach you basic salsa steps, turns and leading and following skills. No partner? No problem! You’ll be rotating partners throughout the night in this intimate class setting. Loosen up with your favorite beer and wine to make sure those hips don’t lie!

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Drink wine and design your favorite jewelry.

wire wrapping
custom jewelry

Sorry, Marilyn, diamonds are not a girl’s best friend. You’ve already got one of those! If you’re in the mood to make some jewelry for your best friend or simply want to treat yourself, you should zip over to One Strange Bird after a busy week for a basic jewelry design class. Learning simple beading, wire and metal techniques, you’ll be able to design custom pieces for that special someone in your life.

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Draw, drink, repeat—now you’re an artist!

wire wrapping
custom jewelry

They say write drunk, edit sober—does that apply to paint drunk, too? If your artistry skills only extend to drawing stick figures, expand your creativity by taking this easy, breezy BYOB drawing class. Here, you’ll learn simple drawing techniques such as the basics of contour lines, composition and proportion to take your stick figures to the next level.

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In a bind? Relax with a beer and some bookbinding.

artistic classes

As much as you may love your e-reader, you probably love holding a book in your hands even more. The smell of the pages, the crack of the spine, the embossing on the cover—a beautiful book is truly is a thing to behold. So is a bottle of scotch. In this bookbinding class for the crafty, you’ll learn the old-school skill of sewing and organizing your own books from start to finish. Dust off that script you wrote in college, grab your favorite beverage and head to this one-of-a-kind class.

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Make time for some Thai cooking.

Thai cuisine
southeast asian cuisine

Skip the Thai takeout and instead take this class that teaches you how to make the fiery and flavorful food of Southeast Asia. Beer and wine-friendly, this session lets you sip on your favorite spirits while discussing the finer points of Thai food and culture. With a menu that includes traditional dishes like Crab, Cheese & Spring Onion Purses, Pad Thai Noodles, Thai Shrimp Spring Rolls and Chiang Mai Sliders, it will feel like a mini-vacation to Thailand itself.

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Collages and cocktails and creativity, oh my!

learn to paint
image transfer

One Strange Bird offers a number of fun and exciting classes that will have you thinking back to your childhood days. Cut, paste and create in this upscale collage workshop. Get creative with a cocktail in hand and take your mixed media art projects to the next level. The class covers a lot of surprisingly advanced techniques you can carry forward into future art projects.

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Alcohol and art history 101.


We’ve all stood in an art museum, looked a piece of art up and down and said, “I can do that.” Well, now’s the time to put that boasting to the test! In this art class, you’ll study the stylings of a different international art movement every week. From Pollock’s paint drips to Picasso’s blue period, you’ll learn mad art skills from the magnificent artists who mastered them.

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Veg out at this veggie potluck.

social evening

It’s hard to meet new people outside of your friend group sometimes, especially in Chicago. At this potluck/drumming party, you can bring your favorite veggie dishes, your tastiest alcohol and your best icebreakers to meet-and-greet some new best friends. Enjoy some delicious food, learn about drumming and percussion and leave with a new appreciation for music and friendship.

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