Ever since fans were first introduced to the Bridgerton family in late 2020, the Regency era has made its way into the 21st century. From Bridgerton-themed tea parties to a Bridgerton ball experience that’s happening in Los Angeles, Montreal, Washington, D.C., and now Chicago, fully immersing yourself in the world of Bridgerton has never been easier — and, according to all the viral TikToks of the ball, so ‘Gram-worthy. So, when my presence was requested at the social event of the season, I went to the Bridgerton ball experience dressed in my best Regencycore gown, ready for an unforgettable evening transported to the ton.
Hosted by Netflix, Shondaland, and Fever, The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience officially opened in Chicago on Wednesday, April 20, at the XS Tennis and Education Foundation, which was transformed into a beautiful Regency-era ballroom for the night. Walking through a tunnel lined with twinkling lights and trailing purple wisteria flowers (a nod to the flowers on the Bridgerton home in the show), I found myself leaving modern-day Chicago behind for Regency-era London. After checking out the gift shop (you can purchase tiaras and gloves there), a live orchestra ushered in guests, who were invited to curtsy before the Queen to try to win her favor and the coveted title of that evening’s Diamond.
There were so many Bridgerton easter eggs throughout referencing both Season 1 and Season 2, and because the experience was timed (it was only 90 minutes), it would be easy for anyone to miss some of them between meeting the Queen, taking dancing lessons with Will Mondrich, and striking a pose at a Regency-era painting studio Benedict Bridgerton would dream of. If you’re planning your first visit to the Bridgerton ball or you’re hoping to go again, here are some of the details from the show you should keep an eye out for as Lady Whistledown leads you through the experience:
The String Quartet’s Set List
As you go to meet the Queen, you’ll notice the string quartet is playing classical covers of modern-day songs you might know. However, at times, you’ll notice that they also slip in some songs from the Bridgerton soundtrack from Season 1 and Season 2 if you’re paying attention.
The Gowns At Madame Delacroix’s Modiste
If you visit Madame Delacroix’s Modiste, you’ll see plenty of Bridgerton easter eggs. Not only does the facade look like it’s straight from the show, but if you look closely, you’ll also see displays of gowns for Daphne, Penelope, Marina, and more that were designed for the series.
The Bridgerton Scavenger Hunt
Eagle-eyed visitors who want to measure their wits against Lady Whistledown will want to search for clues to a secret Bridgerton scavenger hunt in the entry room. Hint: the Modiste is a good place to start.
The Bumble Bee Performance
Bees are symbolically used throughout Bridgerton Season 1, but they take center stage in multiple plotlines for Season 2. In the main ballroom, an actor dressed as a bumble bee has a special performance and also ushers people to the dance floor.
The Gazebo With Crystals
One of the most ‘Gram-worthy photo opps is also a not-so-subtle nod to Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma’s romance in Season 2. There’s a gazebo with strings of crystals, a reference to the rain when the couple finally hooks up. Plus, there’s a sign that reads “Yours Truly,” a reference to Lady Whistledown’s customary style of signing off on her letters.
While there are plenty of Regency era-inspired “portraits” of guests playing throughout the experience, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the portraits of Daphne and Simon in the ballroom.
Before the Queen chooses her Diamond, two performers captivate the audience with a steamy dance routine that could be inspired by Daphne and Simon or Anthony and Kate. In between all the gazing and flirtations, the performers show off some pretty impressive aerial acrobatic skills with silk curtains and a chandelier.
To experience the Bridgerton ball for yourself, you can purchase tickets starting at $45 for general admission (they can go up to $68 for more popular nights), or you can purchase VIP tickets which include entry to the ball, a glass of champagne, and dedicated seating to watch performances. VIP tickets start at $85 but can go up to $116 depending on the day. Keep in mind that you’ll also be able to buy Bridgerton-themed cocktails during the experience including one called the “Diamond of the Season” if you want to manifest the Queen’s favor.