If you’re like us and couldn’t be more excited to kiss 2016 goodbye, it’s time to get crackin’ on your NYE plans. Chicago has absolutely no shortage of big blowout New Years Eve parties. Cozy up at the Chicago’s best cocktail lounges, or head down to a grand ballroom in the Loop in your finest black tie apparel. You just might get that New Year’s smooch in to brag about (or perhaps lament) at brunch the next day. Here are the best, biggest, most extravagant parties to hit up this New Years Eve.
RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to New Year's Eve in Chicago
New Year's Eve parties in Chicago
Step into the historic Palmer House Hilton for an evening of drinks, DJs, cover bands and more at the Big Night Chicago New Year's Eve Gala. The party takes place all over the hotel, featuring multiple dance floors and rooms where you can mingle with sharply-dressed attendees leading up to the customary midnight celebration.
Forget about champagne, cocktails and wine—New Year's Eve deserves to be celebrated in the company of fellow beer geeks and a selection of 20 local craft brews. Attendees will be able to sip on suds from the likes of Goose Island and Half Acre while enjoying paired hors d’oeuvres and a selection of five cocktails. When the clock strikes midnight, attendees can attempt to prevent a New Year's Day hangover with the help of a pizza buffet.
Looking for a front row seat for the Navy Pier New Year's Eve fireworks? Attendees at the annual Chicago Resolution Gala will have prime spots when the sky lights up at midnight and 2017 starts with a bang. Taking place in Navy Pier's Grand Ballroom, the party features more than 30 bars where guests can enjoy unlimited drinks, a fully-stocked buffet and DJs spinning tunes in the main hall.
This annual New Year's Eve bash takes over the Drake Hotel, bringing 3000 people together for an evening of celebration inside the historic building. Once you're inside, you'll be treated to five hours of drinks, food and dancing—all leading up to the midnight balloon drop in one of five ballrooms.
Chicago Sport and Social Club throws some of the best parties in the city—their New Year’s Eve party is no exception. Ring in 2017 at their party at SPiN Chicago, complete with a premium open bar, special guest DJs, tasty appetizers and more. Whether you feel like dancing or just a casual game of ping-pong, SPiN’s multi-floored facility makes for the perfect party space.
Chicago's largest outdoor celebration returns for a second year, still sporting its rather unfortunate name (we refuse to call our city Chi-Town). This year's event includes performances by Saint Motel, Sir the Baptist, and DJ Sye Young. At midnight, a gigantic star will ascend the Hyatt Regency until it reaches the top and a fireworks display will light up the riverfront. Tickets to the event are free, with viewing areas on each bank of the Chicago River, but you'll need to register to secure your spot. If you want to watch from the comfort of your couch, the whole event will be broadcast live on NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago.
Celebrate New Year's Eve at Little Goat Diner, which will be reconfigured to accommodate a dance floor and several bars serving drinks from local breweries. This year's theme is a ’70s disco dance party, complete with food stations and hors d'oeuvres (if they're serving period-accurate cuisine, expect some fondue).
Spend an evening partying in the Hilton Chicago's ballrooms while enjoying a four-hour cocktail reception, hors d'oeuvres, a pasta buffet and more. VIP attendees will be able to "gamble" in a fantasy casino, while everyone else can hit the dance floor and take part in the requisite midnight champagne toast.
Smart Bar residents Garrett David, DJ Heather, Jeff Derringer, Justin Long, Olin, Sassmouth, Savile and Sevron get behind the turntables to ring in 2017 on the dance floor. Artist Nate Love will be creating an installation to accompany the interstellar festivities, while hosts Nico and Imp Queen lead the countdown until midnight.
Spend New Year's Eve inside one of Chicago's most popular restaurants at the Girl & the Goat's party. Guests will enjoy food from Chef Stephanie Izard, music, cocktails, performers and some special surprises throughout the night. Plus, you probably have a better chance to snagging a ticket to this party than getting a decent reservation at this notoriously hard-to-book spot.
What's more romantic than a French party on a roof top? You may not be able to see the Eiffel Tower from Roof on theWit, but you'll be able to enjoy classic French bistro fare, Parisian party favors and a midnight champagne toast at the hotel's New Year's Eve party. Want to make the night a little fancier? Caviar service will be available for $40 an ounce—don't go too crazy.
One of Chicago's newest rooftops, LondonHouse, throws a Masquerade Ball to ring in 2017. Guests can compete in a best mask contest while enjoying a photo booth, burlesque performances, party favors and a live DJ. A one-hour open bar and passed hors d’oeuvres are included. If you're really feeling flush, you can spend $20,000 to rent the Etoile Room, a private event space that accommodates 50 of your closest (and most gracious) friends.
This year, the theme of the Whistler's New Year's Eve party is love, compassion and unity—proceeds from the event will benefit the Roger Baldwin Foundation of ACLU and the Center on Halsted. WLPN host King Hippo and Rogers Park Music Swap founder Quinn Cunningham will DJ funk, soul, latin, afro, boogie and disco all night long, while attendees take advantage of an open bar consisting of some of the Whistler's greatest hits.
Party Noire curates this end of the year bash at Promontory, which invites guests to step back in time to the Black Metropolis, inspired by Bronzeville during the 1930s and a vision of the city's future. DJs Rae Chardonnay and Lisa Decibel will provide the music, while attendees sample an open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres and celebrate with a midnight champagne toast.
React Presents' gigantic, two-day New Year's Eve party is dominating the New Year's Eve concert scene again this year, bringing Flume (Dec 30) and Zeds Dead (Dec 31) to the Donald E. Stephen Convention Center in Rosemont. The rest of the lineup includes Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals, Danny Brown, Gucci Mane, Noname and more. Why hang out at a hotel downtown when you can rage at a convention center in the 'burbs?
Virgin Hotels Chicago hosts a New Year's Eve party in its Cerise Rooftop lounge, offering aerial views of the city celebrating the arrival of 2017. DJ Matt Roan and DJ E-Six will provide the music while guests enjoy a a bar package and passed appetizers throughout the night.
For one night each year, the Hard Rock Cafe isn't filled with tourists wolfing down nachos and burgers. Instead, party people from all over town gather in the River North restaurant on New Year's Eve for an evening of drinks, apps, 'derves and dancing. The event runs until 4am and serves as the official afterparty for several other NYE celebrations, so prepare for an influx of revelers after the ball drops.
Once again, Big Star welcomes the new year with the help of some friends from Munster, Indiana. Three Floyds will take over the taps at the popular Wicker Park taco joint, offering drafts like Gumballhead, Zombie Dust, Crack the Skye, Blood of the Sunsets and more. Those who stick around until midnight will be treated to whiskey shots. Dont't worry about paying a cover or buying a package—this party is first come, first served.
This New Year's Eve party imagines what might happen if an alien race explored the music and culture contained on the gold disc affixed to the NASA's Voyager space probes. Combining art installations with live music in the expansive Baderbräu Brewery, guest will be able experience projection mapped landscapes and enjoy and open bar while taking in sets from R&B singer JMSN, hip-hop artist Masego, the Slo 'Mo Party DJs and electronic producer Edamame.
Send off 2016 while cutting a rug to tune spun by the Windy City Soul Club DJs, one of many rare groove DJ ensembles in the city. Just like their monthly party at the Empty Bottle, you can expect the hosts to dig into their bins of dusty 45s and spin just the right tunes to soundtrack the final moments of the outgoing year.