Chicago New Years: Things to Do and Where to Celebrate

December 1, 2022

It’s hard to believe the year is already coming to an end. Get ready to end it with a bang in the Windy City!

Not to be outdone by metropolises such as New York City and Los Angeles, Chicago New Year's Eve 2022 celebrates the new year in style.

If you find yourself in the Midwest this holiday season, look no further than Chicago for New Year’s Eve. There’s nothing average about this cultured city located in the middle of the country. From family-friendly events to lavish parties, there’s something for everyone in Chicago on New Year’s Eve.

You won’t find a better place to feel the winds of change that come with a new year than the Windy City. Follow along as we take a look at some of the biggest and best Chicago New Year’s Eve 2022 celebrations.

Wide shot of the Son Grand Ballroom blanketed in pink light for Year on the Pier at Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois, USA

photo credit: Navy Pier via Facebook

The Best New Year’s Eve Events in Chicago 

Navy Pier New Year’s Eve Events

The famous Navy Pier is the epicenter of New Year's Eve events in Chicago. An extravagant fireworks display over Lake Michigan lights up the night at this iconic location. Snag a spot on the lakefront to watch the magic happen.

Better yet, attend one of the parties happening on the pier this year for an exclusive view of the fireworks show!

Related Post: Current Events and Festivals in Chicago

Additionally, New Year on the Pier in the stunning Aon Grand Ballroom is an event that will exceed your expectations for New Year's in Chicago. Dance the night away to a live DJ and band while you fill up on gourmet appetizers and drinks galore.

It all culminates in Navy Pier’s massive fireworks display at midnight. Take in the flying sparks and dazzling skyline from your front-row view! Opt for a VIP package to get rooftop access.

Photo Alert: Arrive in your best party ensemble to snap some pictures at one of the multiple photo ops sprinkled throughout the night. Make this New Year's Eve Chicago one you will never forget!

Graphic for Zoo Years Eve at Lincoln Park Zoo with a crowd of people and trees covered in lights in Chicago, Illinois, USA

photo credit: Lincoln Park Zoo via Facebook

Zoo Year’s Eve at Lincoln Park Zoo 

Start the new year with a roar at Zoo Year’s Eve at Lincoln Park Zoo! The zoo’s ZooLights displays will light up the night for a New Year’s Eve experience like no other. A DJ, games, giveaways, and the chance to see any animals that decide to make an appearance are all part of the fun.

This Chicago New Year's Eve 2023 event is only for guests ages 21 and up, so leave the kiddos at home for this one. Super early bird tickets start at $15 and increase as the event date approaches, so get yours today!

Zoo Year’s Eve at the Brookfield Zoo

Spending New Year’s Eve in Chicago with the whole family? The Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic event runs through New Year's Eve. Every family member -- young and old alike -- will enjoy this sparkling spectacle.

The evening includes a DJ, games, and party favors. Miles of millions of lights make this unparalleled night as bright as can be. Best of all, the event is free for zoo members!

close up of three Blue Man Group performers on stage with lights in Chicago, Illinois, USABlue Man Group New Year’s Eve Celebration

You’re in for a world of surprises when you celebrate New Year’s Eve with the Blue Man Group! This should make it to the top of your list of Chicago New Year's events.

The celebration includes the Blue Men’s own wacky version of “Auld Lang Syne,” a midnight confetti display, and other surprises we won’t spoil. 

Just remember, if you sit in the first five rows, put that poncho on and thank us later! 

The special New Year’s Eve Chicago show begins at 10 p.m.

Pro Tip: The Blue Man Group also hosts shows at 1 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve for kids and those who prefer to celebrate with a good night’s rest.

Family with tree young boys blooming bubbles at DuPage Children’s Museum Annual Bubble Bash in Chicago, Illinois, USA

photo credit: DuPage Children's Museum via Facebook

DuPage Children’s Museum Annual Bubble Bash

This event is back for its 21st year at the DuPage Children’s Museum located in Naperville, just outside Chicago. Kids can get creative on New Year's Eve in Chicago with various craft projects to choose from, such as firework paintings, confetti poppers, and DIY party rockets. 

There are four different countdown options at noon. Count down with confetti, bubbles, live music, or even no noise! The choice is yours at this family-friendly event.

Pro Tip: Looking for more things to do in Chicago on New Year's Eve? Check out the River North neighborhood for a happening scene!

Close up view of the pink neon sign that says "The Drake" in black letter font on top of The Drake Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, USA

photo credit: The Drake Hotel (140 E Walton Pl, Chicago) via Facebook

Where to Stay (and Party) on New Year’s Eve in Chicago

Chicago New Year's Eve parties are possibly the best settings to celebrate. From dancing to open bars, and appetizers to champagne toasts -- these lively affairs have everything you'll need for your New Year in Chicago!

Chicago hotels are some of the best places to visit New Year's Eve.

New Year’s Eve Party 2022 at The Drake Hotel

This year, head to The Drake Hotel for Chicago’s longest-running NYE party. All the glitz and glamour will span three ballrooms, so you’ll have plenty of room to celebrate.

Related Post: 3 Days in Chicago: How to Make the Most of 72 Hours

Several DJs, Hors d'oeuvres, a balloon drop, and desserts and coffee after midnight will keep the party going all night long. 

JW Marriott Chicago New Year’s Eve

Party tickets and room packages at the JW Marriott Hotel are a great way to celebrate and save at the same time for New Year's Chicago. The party takes place in multiple rooms and includes three top DJs to get the party started.

There are three events included with your general admission ticket! Additionally, there are VIP tables available. It's time to hit the dance floor!

The Hilton Chicago New Year’s Eve Gala 2023

Put on your best semi-formal attire and head over to one of the most unforgettable Chicago New Year's Eve events at the Hilton Chicago. A buffet, desserts, and Hors d'oeuvres are all ready to satisfy your appetite at this smashing party.

There will be no shortage of entertainment with 12 party acts. Don’t be a party crasher -- get your tickets to this New Year's party Chicago today! 

Chicago New Year’s Eve Party at the Swissotel Chicago Hotel

Grab an all-inclusive ticket to the New Year’s Eve Party at the Swissotel Chicago Hotel to turn the page on 2022 in style. Food, drinks, and entertainment are all on the itinerary for this glamorous night. 

New Years Eve Family Cruise graphic with white lettering and boot with the city of Chicago in the background in Chicago, Illinois, USA

photo credit: The Chicago Daily Event List via Facebook

Sail Away on Chicago New Year’s Eve Cruises

If you’d prefer to head to the open sea instead of spending your New Year’s Eve landlocked and fighting the crowds to catch a view of the fireworks over Lake Michigan, a cruise may be more your style. This is one of the best things to do in Chicago for New Year's 2022!

Chicago offers a myriad of dinner and fireworks cruises. Take in the magnificent skyline view under the starry sky as you sail into the night. Reserve your spot on one of these cruises today:

Psst… don’t brag to your landlubber friends, but you’ll have the best seat in the house for all the New Year’s Eve fireworks displays!

Chicago Attractions and Museums Open on New Year’s Eve

Since most New Year’s Eve events take place at night (understandably), you’ll need something to fill your time during the day. Why not visit some of the city’s iconic attractions?

Check out these destinations on New Year’s Eve:

Pro Tip: After you've had some time to crash and recover from a long night of celebrating, you'll need some ways to fill the next day in Chicago! The list above also features some of the best things to do in Chicago on New Year's Day.

Looking down at several different plates of food from Alla Vita in Chicago, Illinois, USA

photo credit: Alla Vita via Facebook

The Best Chicago Eats on New Year’s Eve 

Chicago has dining options galore on New Year’s Eve. The trouble will be narrowing it down! We’re here to help.

Related Post: What to Bring to Chicago: The Ultimate Guide for Every Trip

Be sure to call ahead to ensure your restaurant of choice has regular hours on the holiday. These spots are usually buzzing on New Year's in Chicago, so check to see if you need reservations, too!

Here’s where to go if you’re craving… 

A Four-Course Italian Dinner

Grab a table at Alla Vita, which typically hosts special dinners for New Year's Eve.

A Michelin Star Restaurant

Check out Next Restaurant for a world-class meal you'll be talking about for years to come.

The Freshest Pan Asian Food

Place an order at Noodles Etc. for all the noodles, veggies, and rice you'll possibly want.

Classic Deep Dish Pizza

Make your way to Giordano’s and grab a heaping slice of the classic pie.

Authentic Middle Eastern Food

Visit Al Bawadi Grill for a tasty cultural experience.

Celebrate Chicago New Year’s Eve 2022 in the Windy City! 

A trip to the Windy City is one of the best ways to kick off the new year. Whether it’s the breathtaking lakeside, the exciting downtown happenings, or the deep dish pizza that draws you in, you’re sure to find a spectacular spot to shake off the old year and get a fresh start!

Visit Tripster to bundle hotels and attractions so you can get the biggest bang for your buck while you’re there!

How Will You Ring in the New Year in Chicago?

Tell us your plans in the comments!

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Written By Michaela

Michaela is a journalist who views every story she writes as an adventure, leading her to explore new places and meet new people. She is based in the Midwest ...

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