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Swissotel NYE
Photograph: Courtesy Swissotel

New Year’s Eve parties and events in Chicago

Kiss 2021 goodbye with the help of these big hotel bashes, all-inclusive cruises and more.

Emma Krupp
Written by
Emma Krupp
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After taking the year off in 2020, the massive slate of soirees at Chicago hotels and bars returns in full force to close out 2021 with open bars, DJs and balloon drops galore. Whether you want to raise a toast among thousands, sit down with a bottle of champagne at a VIP table or watch a fireworks show aboard a luxurious yacht, these parties offer bountiful opportunities for greeting the new year in style (though you'll also find a few slightly more low-key options on your list, if that's more your speed). Ready to say goodbye to 2021? Check out our guide to New Year's Eve parties and events in Chicago. 

RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to New Year's Eve in Chicago

New Year’s Eve events in Chicago

  • Things to do
  • Loop

Get dressed up and head to the Hilton Chicago for a seven-room bash complete with martinis, champagne, hors d'oeuvres, music from Kiss FM DJs, a buffet and thousands of revelers ready to ring in the new year with a midnight confetti storm. Upgrade to VIP for even more drinks and access to "gambling" at a Vegas-style casino—and if you don’t feel like going home, you can book a room upstairs.

  • Time Out Market
  • West Loop

There’s no need to dwell on the past on New Year’s Eve at Time Out Market Chicago—we’re throwing a Future Disco that celebrates the promise of tomorrow. DJ Metro (B96, Chicago Bulls, Chicago White Sox) will provide a soundtrack that balances the past and the present, while attendees bust a move on a giant light-up dance floor set up in the middle of the Market. You’ll be able to dine at Time Out Market kitchens, order drinks from the Time Out Market Bar and snag a glass of bubbly from a dedicated champagne bar, leading up to a midnight confetti storm to ring in the new year.

General admission includes $45 of food and drink (plus a glass of bubbly) from Time Out Market vendors and VIP table reservations inlcude $80 of food and drink, plus a bottle of Veuve Du Vernay for every two guests on the reservation.

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  • Nightlife
  • Nightlife
  • Loop

Celebrate the end of 2021 at this riverside hotel party where you'll find a pasta buffet, custom martinis, a live cover band and tons of other fun attractions to help ring in the new year, including a confetti storm at midnight. Spring for VIP tickets for premium drinks and access to a seating area (general admission is standing room only) or book discounted hotel rooms for a convenient place to crash when the party's over.  

  • Nightlife
  • Nightlife
  • Loop

Drink and dance among eight 2,500 guests spread throughout eight rooms at the Congress Plaza Hotel's New Year's Eve Party, featuring DJ Dolo & Strategy Show, Dj ChiBass Mafia, DJ Lambo and a host of other entertainers, plus a buffet and multiple bars (VIP ticketholders are granted additional perks, like access to balconies and champagne). Make sure you have a drink in your hand for the balloon drop at midnight.  

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  • Things to do
  • Streeterville

Organized by Chicago Scene, this annual event at The Drake Hotel features open bars, appetizers and music spread across five grand ballrooms (some of which are only accessible with VIP tickets). Head to the Gold Coast Room at midnight for a balloon drop, and recover in the early hours of the morning with coffee and desserts. 

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  • Things to do
  • River West/West Town

Party like Gatsby at this Roaring '20s-themed party held at Morgan MFG in the West Loop, a two-floor, industrial-chic venue that'll be packed with champagne, photo booths, cocktails and more fun fit for celebrating this century's version of the '20s. You'll also get access to a pre-New Year's Eve party on December 30; VIP ticketholders are treated to upgraded drink options and a party area on the second floor mezzanine.

  • Things to do
  • Lincoln Park

Can’t get enough of the ZooLights display in Lincoln Park? Spend the final hours of 2021 surrounded by the twinkling bulbs at this adults-only party that brings a DJ, games and plenty of cash bars to the animal sanctuary. Hit the dance floor, warm up in the animal builds, enjoy Lincoln Park Zoo exhibits and greet the new year with champagne and chimpanzees.

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  • Nightlife
  • Nightlife
  • Old Town

Dress in your best costumes for this '20s-themed bash at the Old Town Pour House downtown location featuring a video DJ, passed hors d'oeuvres a midnight champagne toast and more. Guests can also nab their own bottles of champagne for $20.22 a piece in a nod to the new year. 

  • Things to do
  • Lincoln Park

The J. Parker's scenic rooftop hosts this celestial-themed party, where guests can get gussied up and admire the views from atop the 13th floor of Hotel Lincoln (maybe you'll even catch a glimpse of a few stars amid the city's light pollution). Tickets include a four-hour open bar, passed appetizers, access to a dessert bar and a champagne toast at midnight, and music will be provided by DJ Spin VXN.

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  • Nightlife
  • River North

Looking to party until the wee hours of the morning? This late-night New Year's soiree at the Hard Rock Cafe goes until 4am and includes 4.5 hours of all-inclusive drinks and an appetizer bar (it'll switch to a cash bar at 1:30am) along with music from local DJs. Group discounts are available, and you can also opt for VIP table service.

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