From extravagant parties to fireworks on the water, there are plenty of things to do in Chicago for New Year's Eve. Here's our list of some of the best places to get 2017 moving in the right direction.
NAVY PIER FIREWORKS & PARTIES, PLUS CHI-TOWN RISING
No New Year's celebration in Chicago would be complete without a trip to Navy Pier
. Enjoy all the entertainment, rides and attractions at this family friendly destination, and at midnight, watch a kaleidoscope of colorful fireworks
perfectly synchronized to inspiring music over Lake Michigan.
Also at Navy Pier is the annual Chicago Resolution Gala, the ultimate destination for kicking off 2017. With more than 30 bars, delectable buffet stations and access to the Grand Ballroom and the Lakeview Terrace, there are plenty of places to mingle and dance the night away.
To see and be seen, hit up Crystal Gardens New Years Eve, celebrating its 11th anniversary with special guest DJs and more than 20 premium liquor bars. Nosh on hors d'oeuvres and signature dishes at the food stations, and step out on the private terrace to watch the fireworks.
Last year headliner Chicago got a new tradition started at Chi-Town Rising. This year, another as-yet-unnamed big-name act will rock the crowd, while a stunning countdown culminates with a grand fireworks display over the Chicago River.
CHICAGO'S TOP HOTEL PARTIES
If you really want to party like a rock star there's no place better than one of Chicago's extravagant hotels.
Voted "Best Chicago New Year's Eve Party" by a number of media outlets, the annual Chicago Scene New Year's Eve Party at The Drake Hotel is over the top. With more than 2,500 guests dancing to Chicago's hottest DJs, four ballrooms, premium top-shelf liquor served at more than 40 fully staffed bars, a breathtaking balloon drop and a champagne toast at midnight, it is sure to please party goers. For the bespoke crowd, the hotel's New Years Eve Black Tie Party at Palm Court will have you indulging in Chef's small plates, food station delicacies and drinks.
At Big Night Chicago New Year's Eve Gala dance the night away with more than 3,000 fellow partiers with celebrity DJ ArkiTek and live bands such as The Breakfast Club providing the soundtrack for the evening throughout multiple ballrooms. While you're there, try your luck at the mock casino.
For an elegant affair beneath twinkling chandeliers, head to the luxurious NYE Soiree at Hilton Chicago where well-heeled partiers will be enjoying hors d'oeuvres, specialty martinis, live casino gaming, celebrity DJs and swirls of confetti at the midnight hour.
The NYE Soiree at JW Marriot Chicago rings in the New Year in the landmark luxury hotel designed by Daniel Burnham, where partiers will be dancing to live DJs and cover bands and toasting champagne to welcome 2017.
Wish you could party like a rock star? NYE at Hard Rock Hotel has just the thing. Enjoy everything from crowd-pleasing DJs to top-shelf amenities at this all-night party.
MUSIC & PERFORMANCE VENUES
Any night in the city is better with good, live music and New Year's Eve is no exception. Fortunately there are plenty of places to catch entertaining concerts throughout Chicago.
Listen to some blues with Joanna Connor Blues Band at Kingston Mines
or head over to Logan Square Auditorium for The Empty Bottle Presents: NYE party. Doors open at 7 p.m.
If pop-rock and folksy Americana is more your style, there's always something good going down at Thalia Hall
. Or head to Howl at the Moon Chicago for the Champagne Supernova
, a gourmet buffet dinner, champagne toast and party favors. Andy's Jazz Club
is also offering dinner and a show with LDB and Billa Camp.
If you're looking for something out of this world, check out Voyager, A Journey to the New Year 2017. The location hasn't been released yet, but tickets will be on sale soon.
Chicago has some of the best restaurants in the country, so spending New Year's Eve having a festive dinner is a no brainer. Chicago's biggest New Year's Eve Party returns for its eleventh year at Crystal Gardens on Navy Pier
. The show gets rolling at 9 p.m. Or grab a bite along the pier at Harry Caray's Tavern
before catching the sky show just outside.
Frontier hosts a special New Year's Eve event with a whole animal (pig, goat, lamb and boar) meal package and a champagne toast at midnight.
BARS, LOUNGES & NIGHTCLUBS
A big part of most New Year's Eve Parties is having a few drinks with friends. What better place to imbibe than one of Chicago's premier bars, lounges or nightclubs?
For a party with spectacular views, make a reservation at New Year's Eve at ROOF on theWit
where guests can enjoy a special party with extravagant food, dessert displays, a premium open bar and a midnight toast - 27 stories above it all. At the Godfrey Hotel Chicago, guests can enjoy bottle service, a late night snack, live music and more in the IO Godfrey Lounge
, an urban roofscape high above River North.
If lowbrow is more your thing, reserve a table AND a bowling lane at Lucky Strike
where the New Year's Eve Soiree includes a buffet, desserts, premium drink package and, of course, great bowling.
DINNER CRUISES: FULL FIREWORKS VIEWS
The best view of the fireworks over Lake Michigan is from on the water. Book a dinner and fireworks cruise, which includes delicious dining, music, a champagne toast and, of course, unbeatable views of the midnight fireworks. These special cruises are offered through Entertainment Cruises
on their Odyssey, Mystic Blue and Spirit of Chicago vessels.
Not every New Year's Eve event involves a champagne toast in a classy bar. Kids like parties too! Join Chicago Children's Museum
for its annual Noon Year's Eve. The festivities start at 11:15 a.m. with personalized crown making and celebrating with noise makers, confetti and a special countdown.
If museums or the crowd at Navy Pier aren't your thing, rock in the New Year at Brookfield Zoo's family-friendly Zoo Year's Eve 2017
celebration, featuring a live DJ in the Holly Jolly Theater. There are fun games, party favors, prizes and an early countdown at 8 p.m. At Hamill Family Play Zoo, guests can make noisemakers and also enjoy an early, kid-friendly countdown at 8 p.m.