New Year's Eve in Chicago
[ Special Events & Festivals ]

Where to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Chicago

Can you believe the year is already coming to an end?

If you find yourself in the Midwest this holiday season, plan to spend New Year’s Eve in Chicago. Not to be outdone by metropolises such as New York City and Los Angeles, Chicago celebrates the new year in style.

From family-friendly events to lavish parties, there’s something for everyone in Chicago on New Year’s Eve. Take a look at some of the city’s biggest NYE events.

Friends pour champagne into stem glasses on New Year's Eve in Chicago

NYE Events and Parties in Chicago

Start planning your New Year’s Eve trip to Chicago by reserving your spot at the best parties and events.

Ring in the New Year at Navy Pier

Navy Pier is the epicenter of Chicago’s New Year’s Eve celebrates. In addition to an extravagant fireworks display to ring in the new year, the pier is home to several parties and events.

Returning for its eighth year, The Chicago Resolution Gala at the Aon Grand Ballroom is a luxurious celebration. Starting at 8:15 am, enjoy multiple DJs, a champagne toast at midnight, delicious buffets, and so much more. Plus, the party goes until 2:00 am so you can start the new year off on the right foot!

Tickets for the event start at $99 per person.

Also at Navy Pier on New Year’s Eve is the Crystal Gardens New Year’s Eve Party. This party has everything from a red carpet to party favors, premium drinks to endless entertainment, and more. Tickets start at $99 and will sell out far in advance. Get yours now!

New Year’s Eve Parties in Chicago

Those who want to party the night away will have no problem doing so on New Year’s Eve in Chicago! The city is home to hundreds of parties at top hotels, nightclubs, and venues across multiple neighborhoods. Get your tickets to Chicago’s top NYE parties such as:

Be sure to get your tickets in advance. These parties often have limited space or tickets available and will sell out well in advance.

Zoo Year’s Eve at Lincoln Park Zoo

Start the new year with a roar at Zoo Year’s Eve at Lincoln Park Zoo! Celebrate the holiday in combination with the zoo’s ZooLights displays for the ultimate experience. Plus, the party includes cash bars, carousel rides, live DJs, games, giveaways, animal experiences, and so much more.

The party starts at 9:00 pm and is only for guests ages 21 and up. Early bird ticket prices start at $10 and increase as the event date draws nearer.

Zoo Year’s Eve at the Brookfield Zoo

Spending New Year’s Eve in Chicago with the whole family? Take a trip to the Brookfield Zoo for their Zoo Year’s Eve celebration. This family-friendly event is perfect for all ages and includes an early countdown to the new year at 8:00 pm for those who can’t stay up past their bedtime!

Best of all, the event is free for zoo members or included with paid zoo admission. No extra ticket required.

Blue Man Group New Year’s Eve Celebration

You’re in for a world of surprise when you celebrate New Year’s Eve with the Blue Man Group. At their New Year’s Eve Celebration, the Blue Men perform their own wacky version of Auld Lang Syne, get the audience to participate in a midnight countdown and toast, and other surprises I won’t spoil.

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

The special New Year’s Eve show begins at 10:00 pm. Arrive early and reserve your seats as soon as possible. It’s already selling out fast!

Keep in mind, the Blue Man Group is also hosting shows at 1:00 pm, 4:00 pm, and 7:00 pm on December 31st. As a result, if you don’t want to stay up late, you still have an opportunity to celebrate with them!

New Years Eve in Chicago
A Spirit of Chicago dinner cruise is an excellent way to spend New Year’s Eve in Chicago

Sail Away on New Year’s Eve Cruises

Instead of fighting the crowds for a seat at Navy Pier for the fireworks, why not see them from the comfort of a cruise? (Sounds perfect, to me!)

Chicago offers a myriad of dinner and fireworks cruises such as the Spirit of Chicago dinner cruise. Sail off into the harbor in style and take in the magnificent city views under the night sky. And, you’ll have the best seat in the house for all of the city’s fireworks displays!

As with other events on New Year’s Eve in Chicago, you’ll want to reserve your spot on a cruise ASAP. Cruises especially have a limited capacity for safety reasons and tickets will be gone before you know it.

Noon Year’s Eve at the Chicago Children’s Museum

Families traveling with little ones likely won’t make it all the way until midnight. Fortunately, the Chicago Children’s Museum offers the Noon Year’s Eve event for young children and their parents.

The festivities include an arts and crafts station where kids can make their own crown, a dance party at 11:30 am, and a countdown and confetti drop at noon. The celebration begins at 10:30 am.

All activities are included with museum admission.

Brew Year’s Eve

Would you rather skip the champagne and head for the craft beer instead? (I don’t blame you.) If so, Brew Year’s Eve is where you should spend New Year’s Eve in Chicago.

A Brew Year’s Eve ticket grants you access to 25 varieties of craft beer from various local breweries. Plus, guests enjoy live music, appetizers, photo opportunities, and signature cocktail drinks and a bar.

Brewers at the event include Two Brothers, Half Acre, Solemn Oath Brewing, and more.

New Year’s Eve at Eataly Chicago: Mezzanotte

If craft beer isn’t your thing, perhaps stuffing your face with Italian cuisine is. Eataly Chicago presents Mezzanotte (Italian for midnight) on New Year’s Eve. This delicious event features unlimited pasta, risotto, pizza, mozzarella, and Italian wines included with admission. It’s in your best interest not to eat before the event!

New Years Eve in Chicago
The view from 360 Chicago

This event is for guests ages 21 and up only.

Attractions and Museums Open on New Year’s Eve

Since 99% of New Year’s Eve events are at night, you’ll need something to do during the day. Why not visit some of the city’s iconic museums and attractions? Many of these destinations are open and accepting visitors on New Year’s Eve.

Chicago attractions open on New Year’s Eve include:

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Chicago this Year

For an unforgettable New Year’s Eve, plan a trip to Chicago. Remember to also book your hotel room in advance. Just like party tickets, hotel rooms in Chicago book up rather quickly around the holidays.

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