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Ring in the New Year

Dec 24, 2020 Eat & Drink

A view down the chicago river towards fireworks over downtown for new years celebrations

It’s time to say goodbye to 2023 and ring in a new year!

Fireworks explode over cars at the chicago drive in for new years
Nighttime with Fireworks at The Chicago Drive-In


Chicago is known for some stellar NYE bashes, and you can now get a ticket to the premier party in town. Chicago Scene has hosted its annual party at The Drake for the past 23 years, and 2023 will be no different. This year’s event has been moved to Time Out Market and will feature 18 different eateries. 

If you want to dance the night away, TAO will be hosting its own New Year's Eve Celebration where guests can get grooving with some of Chicago's top DJs and spinners like Diox and Apollo XO. 

Or, if you want to get a good view of some fireworks, head over to Cindy's Rooftop New Year's Eve Bash. DJ Will Galvan will create a vibrant atmosphere with an open format from 9:45 pm to 12:45 am. As the countdown to midnight begins, enjoy a complimentary champagne toast while taking in the Navy Pier fireworks from the terrace. From 9 pm onwards, patrons will receive hats, tiaras, and noisemakers. The final seating is at 10 pm.

A group of friends celebrating and drinking at Cindy's rooftop bar
Cindy's Rooftop

Fancy tasting some of the finest food Chicago has to offer? Alinea is offering a wide variety of dining options to accompany your New Year's Eve celebrations. Reserve a five-course NYE tasting menu at The Aviary or book an NYE Midnight Seating at Next Restaurant.

Additionally, you can enjoy Geja’s Cafe's delicious fondue at three different NYE party packages. Or, if you want to dress up and have a sophisticated evening to usher in the new year, find your way to The Lobby's New Year's Gala at The Peninsula where you can enjoy a five-course prix-fixe dinner that includes caviar, lobster and a dessert buffet. There will also be a solo pianist and a seven-piece band to set the mood as you enjoy Champagne. An event not to be missed.

A light display of a trolley at Folepi's Winter Wonderland
The Get Lit" at Folepi's Winter Wonderland


If lacing up your walking/running shoes is your idea of getting ready to party, then hit up Peoria’s “Get Lit” New Year's Eve Celebration which tours Folepi’s Winter Wonderland. This dazzling holiday display is the Peoria Festival of Lights’ signature event and features the Parade of Lights' floats and many other brilliant displays. If you’d rather sit than hoof it, grab a lift on one of their lighted trolly rides instead.

Someone taking a photo of the first night fireworks in springfield
First Night, Springfield


Hosted by The Axe Bar, patrons can participate in a Champaign New Year's Eve Bar Crawl. Starting at 6 PM, visitors will enjoy one of the best nights of the year to party at only the best bars in Champaign! Bring your friends or significant other and live it up on NYE in Champaign.


The annual First Night Springfield will be returning to Downtown Springfield to once again celebrate New Year's with fireworks, entertainment, music and more for the whole family. There'll be an assortment of performances throughout the night, a silent auction and fireworks on full display at 8:15 PM. 

Looking to start the New Year in a zen state of mind? Sahaja Yoga will be offering an alternative way to ring in 2024 with an online New Year's Eve Meditation class where participants can unwind as a way of preparing for the year ahead. 

bottles of Whiskey from Blaum Bros. Distilling Co.
Whiskey from Blaum Bros. Distilling Co.


Toast to the New Year with some of Galena’s finest beverages from Illinois Makers Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. and Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery. Why not make it a date night and pair your beverage with some takeout from Fritz & Frites or Log Cabin Steakhouse?

If you're in the area and looking for a little socialization, the Grape Escape is hosting its annual Galena New Year's Eve Party. Along with a dinner and comedy show, you'll enjoy a curated dinner of Surf'n'Turf, salad, dessert and exclusive full-bar cocktails. 


Started by two women with a serious passion for wine, Mystic Kitchen and Tasting Room offers delightful beverage options for dine-in or carry-out. Despite their focus on wine, their signature craft cocktails are worth picking up for a New Year’s toast. 


As a globally influenced American Bistro, Bobby’s in Deerfield offers a wide selection of craft cocktail kits to help you kick off the new year in style. From Manhattans to their self-described “Ultimate” Margarita, you’ll enjoy tasty beverages all night. 

Holiday Lights at Six Flags merry go round
Holiday Lights at Six Flags


Christmas doesn’t end on December 25th at Six Flags Great America, where you can enjoy their Arctic Adventure event all the way up to December 31st! Be amazed by this immersive experience featuring more than one million colorful lights using state-of-the-art technology!

Liberty and Jen from Alton Audubon Center. A woman holding a bald eagle
Liberty and Jen from Alton Audubon Center


After all the celebrations are said and done, consider recovering from your partying with a jump start on the most important season of all: Eagle Watching Season. Join the Alton Audubon Center on January 6 for the 2024 Alton Ice Eagle Festival. Meet and greet with an American Bald Eagle, get some tips on how to watch for the majestic birds this winter, and even see some ice carving!

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