New Year's Eve parties in Chicago
Leave the champagne toasts to all of the other parties happening on New Year's Eve—this annual bash is all about the craft brews. You'll find 25 different beers on tap at Brew Year's Eve, including selections from Three Floyds, Goose Island, Half Acre and Hopewell. Plus, you can nosh on tacos from Big Star and, when the clock strikes midnight, enjoy some late-night snacks form the Roaming Hog food truck.
Step into the Congress Plaza Hotel for an evening of all-inclusive drinks, DJs, cover bands, buffets and more at the Chicago New Year's Eve Party. The event takes place throughout the hotel's ornate ballrooms, where general admission ticket holders have access to a 4.5-hour open bar and snacks. The evening culminates with a midnight balloon drop—just make sure that you've already ordered some champagne.
Get a front row seat for the Navy Pier fireworks display at the attractions annual New Year's Eve party, which takes place in the attractions spacious Grand Ballroom. Each ticket to the Chicago Resolution Gala includes access to 30 bars, a bunch of drink tickets to use throughout the evening, food from a fully-stocked buffet (we're talkin' crudites, red pepper dip and flatbreads) and a complimentary midnight toast. Of course, you'll have to figure out how to get home from Navy Pier at the end of the night, but the celebration seems worth the trouble.
Ring in 2019 with Chicago Sport and Social Club at SPiN Chicago, the subterranean ping-pong lounge that boasts enough space to show off your serve and hit the dance floor. Partygoers are invited to enjoy a four-hour premium drink package, upscale appetizer stations, complimentary ping pong, a live DJ, interactive installations and a champagne toast at midnight. Guests can also upgrade to a VIP package, which includes a semi-private area with couches, bottle service and so much more. Have a ball at this spirited New Year's Eve celebration.
If you need a bit of variety on New Year's Eve, Hilton Chicago's annual celebration should provide some options, with seven different party areas to choose from. You'll find rooms with DJs where you can dance, a fantasy casino where you can "gamble" without spending a cent, buffets stocked with snacks and servers delivering cocktails (included in the ticket price) for hour hours. The evening culminate with a midnight confetti storm and you can score a discount on a room at the Hilton if you don't feel like trekking back home after the final toast of the night.
Bridgeport's Marz Community Brewing celebrates the arrival of the new year with a party inside its stylish taproom. Each ticket includes unlimited small pours of select draft beers, access to an all-you-can-eat slider bar, Marz goodies and a Chug Life toast at midnight. The evening will be soundtracked by Lumpen Radio DJs and there's a pretty good chance that Marz founder Ed Marszewski will show up in his King Kona costume.
If you're in the mood for an all-you-can-eat Italian feast on New Year's Eve, head to River North where Eataly is hosting a party with unlimited pasta, pizza napoletana, arancini and mozzarella. Guests will have access to the second floor of the market, where they'll be able to enjoy bars stocked with Italian wine, cocktails and housemade beer. And at mezzanotte (that's midnight, in case you don't speak Italian), everyone will greet 2019 with a festive prosecco toast. Salute!
Spend the last hours of 2018 on the 94th floor of one of Chicago's tallest buildings at 360 Chicago's New Year's Eve party, where you can gaze out over the city all night long. Admission include unlimited rides on the observatory's Tilt attraction, two glasses of sparkling wine and one of the most interesting views of the nearby Navy Pier fireworks display. As long as you're not afraid of heights, this bash should be a blast.
Don't worry about cover charges or expensive drink packages—Logan Arcade's annual year-end bash is free to attend and filled with free pinball. Spend an evening setting high scores on the arcade's selection of vintage machines, accompanied by live DJ sets and cheap PBR and Malort. Plus, the bar's robotic dog Misfits cover band the Biscuits will be performing throughout the evening, so learn the words to “Rat Fink” so that you can sing along with the repurpoed Chuck E. Cheese machine.
Spend an evening bouncing between multiple soundtracks at Moneygun and Saint Lou's silent disco New Year's Eve celebration. Three DJs will be spread between the two venues and attendees will be able to throw on a pair of wireless headphones to enjoy the music while they roam through the party. Tickets include three drink tickets, some snacks from the Saint Lou's kitchen, a midnight champagne toast and pancakes served just after midnight (there's nothing wrong with an early brunch).
Famed Avondale sausage emporium Hot Doug's closed in 2014, but Doug Sohn has found ways to keep his encased meat empire alive through pop-ups and a permanent stand inside Wrigley Field. Sohn's latest Hot Doug's venture is a New Year's Eve pop-up at Gold Coast restaurant Booth One, where attendees will be able to ring in 2019 while eating unlimited sausages and duck fat fries. Guests will also have access to a cash bar and enjoy a playlist of tunes assembled by Doug himself.
To celebrate New Year's Eve in a truly unique setting, head to Theater on the Lake, where floor-to-ceiling windows showcase panoramic views of Chicago skyline and the annual Navy Pier fireworks show. The upscale party features a five-hour premium drink package, appetizers, a champagne toast at midnight, classic party favors and music from DJ Flipside. Don your favorite sparkly dress or a suit and tie and start counting down the final moments of 2018.
As always, Big Star welcomes the new year with some hopped-up brews made by its friends in Munster, Indiana. Show up on December 31 for a Three Floyds tap takeover, accompanied by tacos, Mexican street food, late-night bites and eclectic DJ sets. Best of all, there's no cover charge, though you'll probably need to show up early if you want to get a few pints of Zombie Dust before the keg runs dry.
Find your New Year's groove as your dance your way into 2019 to a soundtrack of Northern Soul, Motown hit and regional cuts supplied by the Windy City Soul Club DJs. On New Year's Eve the monthly party takes over Logan Square Auditorium for the evening, filling the historic venue with rug-cutting tunes. Come for the all-vinyl playlist and dress to impress.
Spend the final evening of 2018 surrounded by animals, twinkling lights and revelers at Lincoln Park Zoo's adults-only New Year's Eve celebration. You'll be able to enjoy all of the ZooLights decorations, ice sculpting, carousel rides, games and cash bars serving beer, wine and champagne as you wait for the big moment to arrive. And you won't have to spend the entire evening outdoors—the animal houses will be open, so you can warm up with your favorite creatures.