Get us in your inbox

Photograph: Max Herman

A New Year's Eve drinking game for Chicago

Written by
Chris Bourg

The year 2015 is coming to a close, and Chicagoans will ring in the new year at events all over the city. As we make the final preparations to celebrate and head out tonight, let's take time to reflect on the most important part of this holiday: drinking. And for that, we've created a game for you to play at whatever event you attend. Enjoy! 

Pre-game (Optional)

If you had to work today, immediately shotgun a beer when you arrive at home. You've no doubt been waiting for a drink since the second you set foot in the office today.

If you paid for a ticket to a fancy event tonight, drink until you can convince yourself that it will be worth the ridiculous amount of money you spent on it.

Have a drink each time you hear someone complain about how the College Football Playoff games are played on New Year's Eve. (Allow me to get the ball rolling on that. It's absurd that they scheduled these marquee football games on NYE when they have a completely open day on Saturday, January 2—when people would actually be free to watch them.)

The celebration

Have a drink every time somebody points out that it's 2016 in a different time zone at the top of each hour. Reward yourself with another drink if you restrain yourself from punching that person in the face.

Have a drink every time you hear someone mention their New Year's resolution. Drink again and scoff at the idea that someone would use this time to try to improve themselves while you plan on continuing the same bad habits. Finish your drink when you realize what a dirtbag you are.

Have a drink for each person you see wearing a pair of "2016" glasses. Have two drinks for each person you see wearing a top hat. Run away and hide with your drink if a professional photographer wants to take a photo of you wearing either of those things.

Have one drink for each techno or EDM song the DJ plays that you don't recognize. Finish your drink when you realize he doesn't take requests, so this is what you'll be listening to all night.

Have a drink if you see a couple getting into an argument with each other. If you and your date end up fighting with each other, drink until you can't remember what you were fighting about.


Locate the nearest appetizer dish and eat everything on it. If necessary, find a second one and eat everything from that as well. If you've been playing the game honestly up until this point, you will need all the sustenance you can get to power through the last part of the night. 

Midnight and beyond

Instead of drinking a dinky glass of champagne at midnight like everyone else, chug a beer or mixed drink to show everyone that you came to party. You'll probably end up getting kicked out of the bar later, but at least you'll have looked cool.

If you share a midnight kiss with someone, chug your drink for as many seconds as your kiss lasted. Whether this is done in celebration or regret is entirely up to you.

Have a drink for each person who throws up at the event as a sign of solidarity to show that you'll be joining them later.

Have one drink for each person you see passed out at a table. Don't be surprised if you find yourself among that group later at the rate you've been drinking, though. Hopefully the people around you are nice enough not to draw on your face.


Happy new year, everyone! Let's start 2016 the same way we ended 2015: really, really drunk.

Latest news


    The best things in life are free.

    Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

    Loading animation
    Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

    🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

    Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!