Fireworks at Navy Pier
Some people like to spend New Year’s Eve drunkenly making out with a stranger in a crowded bar while holding a glass of overpriced Champagne. And some people like watching fireworks instead. To coincide with Winter WonderFest, there’ll be two shows this year: one for families at 7pm, another for the grown and sexy at midnight. Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave (312-595-7437). 7pm, midnight; free.
New Year’s Eve of Destruction (?)
Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar says it’s taking a stand against the possible fiscal-cliff crisis with this financially responsible party. Read: no cover charge. Free Champagne at midnight, party favors and music from DJ B-Side. Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar, 960 W 31st St (773-890-0588). 9pm–2am; free.
Nü Years Eve 2013!!
For one of the cheaper party options this New Year’s Eve, Wicker Park’s Subterranean features electronic music acts Trancid, Eddie Riot and Alinka. Subterranean, 2011 W North Ave (773-278-6600). 9pm; $15.
The Shrine New Year’s Eve Party
R&B songstress Teedra Moses helps close out 2012 at this Near South Side club. Munch on gratis hors d’oeuvres and sip complimentary Champagne. DJ B Man brings the tunes. The Shrine, 2109 S Wabash Ave (312-753-5681). 8pm; $100–$600.
Though it closes at 9pm, Lincoln Park Zoo will dole out free hats and noisemakers. So you can get a requisite awe-and-wonder show before heading out to the bars to welcome the New Year right. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N Clark St (312-742-2000). 5–9pm; free.