In this city there are plenty of ways to bid 2014 adieu, from a haunted house to a Hawaiian feast to a night of improv. Traditionalists need not worry—you can also indulge in parties complete with countdowns, balloon drops, and party favors, not to mention there’s nary a square foot of Chicago without a champagne toast at midnight. Some of our top New Year’s Eve picks are below, with an ever updating list here.
American Football Tue 12/30, 8 PM; Wed 12/31, 9 PM, Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake, 312-666-6775, bottomlounge.com.
Shemekia Copeland Wed 12/31, 7:30 and 11 PM, City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph, 312-733-9463, citywinery.com.
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe Wed 12/31, Park West, 322 W. Armitage, 773-929-5959, parkwestchicago.com.
The Good Life Wed 12/31, 9 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, 773-463-5808, abbeypub.com.
Jeff the Brotherhood Wed 12/31, 9 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600, emptybottle.com.
Milk Carton Kids Wed 12/31, 6 and 10 PM, SPACE, 1245 Chicago, Evanston, 847-492-8860, evanstonspace.com.
Bob Mould, Margaret Cho Wed 12/31, 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203, metrochicago.com.
Orwells Tue 12/30, 8 PM; Wed 12/31, 10 PM, Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln, 773-525-2501, lh-st.com.
Pelican, the Life & Times Wed 12/31, 9 PM, Subterranean, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600, subt.net.
Sun Ra Arkestra Wed 12/31, 9:30 PM, Constellation, 3111 N. Western, constellation-chicago.com.
Andrew W.K. Wed 12/31, 9:30 PM, Thalia Hall, 1227 W. 18th, 312-526-3851, thaliahallchicago.com.
The Boundary Enjoy passed bites like coconut shrimp, breaded artichoke hearts, and stuffed mushrooms along with a premium open bar, party favors, and a champagne toast. Wed 12/31, 8 PM-1 AM, the Boundary, 1932 W. Division, 773-278-1919, boundarychicago.com, $85.
The Dawson A five-course tasting menu ($80) featuring Dungeness crab and braised beef brisket, with wine pairings for an additional $40. The party continues with music by DJ Genghis Won, a champagne toast, and party favors. Wed 12/31, 9 PM-2 AM, the Dawson, 730 W. Grand, 312-243-8955, the-dawson.com, $80-$120.
Maya del Sol Both a la carte and prix fixe options are available, along with an open bar, music from the Steve Edwards Orchestra, and a champagne toast. Wed 12/31, 10 PM, Maya del Sol, 144 S. Oak Park, Oak Park, 708-358-9800, mayadelsol.com, $50-$115.
Mercat a la Planxa Chef Cory Morris prepares a four-course, 12-dish menu inspired by the Spanish tradition of Nochevieja. The meal includes wine pairings and a midnight toast. Wed 12/31, 5 PM-midnight, Mercat a la Planxa, 638 S. Michigan, 312-765-0524, mercatchicago.com, $125.
Nellcôte A sampling of bites and drinks from Nellcôte’s menu, plus a set from DJ Lani Love. Wed 12/31, 9:30 PM, Nellcôte, 833 W. Randolph, 312-432-0500, nellcoterestaurant.com, $100.
New Year’s Eve Luau Two seatings are available for chef Edward Kim’s ten-course Hawaiian feast featuring beverage pairings, an open tiki bar, and live calypso music. Wed 12/31, 5:30-8 PM and 8:30 PM-1 AM, Mott St, 1401 N. Ashland, 773-687-9977, mottstreetchicago.com, $85-$175.
The Publican A four-course meal from chef
Brian Huston Cosmo Goss, with beer and wine pairings available for an additional $25-$55 per person. Reservations required. Wed 12/31, the Publican, 837 W. Fulton, 312-733-9555, thepublicanrestaurant.com, $65.
Ready to Dine There are three seatings for this 90s-hip-hop-inspired party with a dim sum menu including lobster dumplings, foie gras wontons, and champagne-mango pudding. Wed 12/31, 5:30, 7:30, and 9:30 PM, Fat Rice, 2957 W. Diversey, 773-661-9170, eatfatrice.com, $98 per person, sold in pairs.
Roots Handmade Pizza The pizza joint hosts a New Year’s Eve event from 6 to 8 PM that includes bites and drinks, as well as an adults-only event that starts at 9 PM and features an open bar, specialty dishes, party favors, and a midnight toast. Wed 12/31, Roots Handmade Pizza, 1924 W. Chicago, 773-645-4949, rootspizza.com, $20-$70.
Takashi Chef Takashi Yagihashi provides a seven-course meal (with wine pairings for an additional $55-$65) and a champagne toast. Wed 12/31, 5:30 and 7 PM, Takashi, 1952 N. Damen, 773-772-6170, takashichicago.com, $100-$185.
Travelle Two prix fixe menus from chef Tim Graham and pastry chef Scott Green, an early three-course meal and a later five-course meal, both with live music and a champagne cart. Wed 12/31, 5-7:30 PM and 8-10:30 PM, Travelle, 330 N. Wabash, 312-923-7705, travellechicago.com, $95-$175.
Tête Charcuterie Enjoy the restaurant’s signature charcuterie and crudo, plus an open bar, DJs, a champagne toast, and a late-night snack from the Salsa Truck. Wed 12/31, 7 PM, Tête Charcuterie, 1114 W. Randolph, 312-733-1178, tetechicago.com, $150.
Uncommon Ground Seatings for a four-course prix fixe menu are available from 5 to 10 PM, followed by a late-night buffet, open bar, and music from Uptown Shakedown. Wed 12/31, 5 PM-1 AM, Uncommon Ground, 3800 N. Clark, 773-929-3680, uncommonground.com, $55.
Vie A six-course meal from chef Paul Virant with an additional wine pairing available for $65 per person. Late-night diners are invited to stay for a midnight toast and celebration. Wed 12/31, reservations available from 5-10 PM, Vie, 4471 Lawn, Western Springs, 708-246-2082, vierestaurant.com, $140.
White & Gold New Year’s Eve A four-course Mediterranean menu featuring Chilean sea bass, foie gras, and a chocolate brownie, plus live DJs, party favors, and a champagne toast. Wed 12/31, 9 PM, Fig & Olive, 104 E. Oak, $150.
The Barrelhouse Flat A two-floor party with classic cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, live jazz, and a champagne toast at midnight. Wed 12/31, Barrelhouse Flat, 2624 N. Lincoln, 773-857-0421, barrelhouseflat.com, $100-$150.
Big Star’s Three Floyds Tap Takeover Specialty Three Floyds beers like Blot Out the Sun, Yum Yum, and Space Station Middle Finger will be available along with Big Star’s regular menu. The night also features live music and whiskey shots at midnight. Wed 12/31, Big Star, 1531 N. Damen, 773-235-4039, bigstarchicago.com.
Brew Year’s Eve A collection of craft beers and specialty cocktails will be featured to ring in the New Year, along with music from DJ Luis Aguilera. Wed 12/31, 8 PM-2 AM, Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar, 960 W. 31st, 773-890-0588, community-bar.com.
Castle A six-room celebration, each with a different theme including “penthouse,” “cabaret,” and “craft pub.” Premium packages include food and drink, but everyone gets to partake in the midnight balloon drop and confetti blast. Wed 12/31, 7 PM-4 AM, Castle, 632 N. Dearborn, 312-266-1944, castlenightclubchicago.com, $59, $89 for gold package, $159 for platinum package.
CH Distillery Count down to midnight with an array of signature cocktails and ring in the New Year at midnight with a champagne toast. Wed 12/31, 9 PM-1 AM, CH Distillery, 564 W. Randolph, 312-707-8780, chdistillery.com, $100.
The Drake The three-room party offers drinks, a buffet, hors d’oeuvres, and a balloon drop and champagne toast at midnight. Wed 12/31, 9 PM-2 AM, Drake Hotel, 140 E. Walton, 312-787-2200, thedrakehotel.com, $135.
East Room Music from the mashup maestros in Hood Internet and a champagne toast. Wed 12/31, 9 PM-2 AM, East Room, 2828 W. Medill, 773-276-9603, eastroomchicago.com, $25.
The Fifty/50 The sports bar hosts a five-hour open bar, buffet, and, of course, a champagne toast. Wed 12/31, 8 PM, the Fifty/50, 2047 W. Division, 773-489-5050, thefifty50.com, $80.
Headquarters Beercade OK Go headlines this night of video games, drinks, and a specialty menu. Wed 12/31, 8 PM-2 AM, Headquarters Beercade, 950 W. Wolfram, 773-665-5660, hqbeercade.com, $75.
Irish American Heritage Center Hors d’oeuvres, live music from Gerry Haughey and Kara Eadie, party favors, and a champagne toast. Wed 12/31, 7 PM-12:30 AM, Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox, 773-282-7035, irishamhc.com, $25.
New Year’s Eve Beach Party Combat the cold with tiki drinks, a performance by a surf-rock band, bites, and a midnight toast. Wed 12/31, 9:30 PM, Whistler, 2421 N. Milwaukee, 773-227-3530, whistlerchicago.com, $99.
Noon Year’s Eve Party A family-friendly celebration with music, crafts, and a countdown to noon with an apple juice toast. Wed 12/31, 11 AM-1 PM, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon, 773-755-5100, naturemuseum.org, $20, $10 for children.
A WBEZ New Year’s Party Live entertainment from the Doug Peck Trio and Moth StorySlam, plus specialty cocktails from mixologist Johnny Costello, hors d’oeuvres, and a dance party. Wed 12/31, 9 PM-2 AM, Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln, 773-871-3000, wbez.org, $80.
Co-Ed Prison Sluts A performance of the long-running musical revue, plus a buffet, drinks, and a champagne toast at midnight. Wed 12/31, 10 PM, Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 773-697-9693, annoyanceproductions.com, $40.
Funny Old Broads Ring in the New Year with comedians Caryn Bark, Pam Peterson, Jan Slavin, and Robin Riebman—a group of ladies who know how to put on the ole song and dance. Wed 12/31, 8 PM, Skokie Theatre, 7924 N. Lincoln, Skokie, 847-677-7761, skokietheatre.com, $36.
Improv New Year’s Eve The night includes performances of improv shows Process, Gigantic, and CIC Gameday along with an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, and a champagne toast. Wed 12/31, 8 PM, CIC Theater, 1422 W. Irving Park, 773-865-7731, cictheater.com, $40, $75 per couple.
iO Theater New Year’s Choose from performances of Whirled News Tonight, TJ & Dave, Improvised Shakespeare, and the Deltones along with an open bar, a buffet, a dance party, and a midnight toast. Wed 12/31, 7 PM-1 AM, iO Theater, 1501 N. Kingsbury, ioimprov.com/chicago, $100.
New Years Eve Cornstravaganza The night kicks off with an open bar and buffet, followed by sketch and improv performances, a dance party, and a midnight champagne toast. Wed 12/31, 8 PM-2 AM, Cornservatory, 4210 N. Lincoln, 773-650-1331, cornservatory.org, $55, $100 per couple.
New Year’s Eve Hullabaloo The venue’s grand opening includes a cocktail hour, a performance by Kiss Kiss Cabaret, a dance party, and a champagne toast at midnight. Wed 12/31, 9 PM-2 AM, Uptown Underground, 4707 N. Broadway, uptownunderground.net, $100.
New Year’s Eve Monster’s Ball Guests are encouraged to dress in horrifying attire for unlimited drinks, appetizers, a zombie band, a haunted house, and a “champain” toast at midnight. Wed 12/31, 9 PM-1 AM, Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252, stage773.com, $70, $120 per couple.
NYE Revolution The spectacle specialists Redmoon Theater host a carnival-inspired celebration with performances and installations relating to earth, air, water, and fire, plus wine bikes delivering drinks, a pastry carousel handing out desserts, and fountains spouting cocktails. Wed 12/31, 9 PM, Redmoon Theater, 2120 S. Jefferson, 312-850-8440, redmoon.org, $100.
New Year’s Eve Under the Gun A buffet and cocktail hour followed by performances of #trending and Comedy Against Humanity plus a dance party and midnight toast. Wed 12/31, 8 PM-2 AM, Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport, 773-270-3440, undertheguntheater.com, $50.
New Year’s Hangover Stand Up Marathon A stacked lineup of local comics including Ali Clayton, Kellye Howard, Mike Lebovitz, and more. Thu 1/1, 6 PM, ComedySportz Theatre, 929 W. Belmont, 773-549-8080 or 312-559-1212, comedysportzchicago.com, $15.
New Year’s Psychic Eve A performance by mentalist Sidney Friedman, with party favors and a midnight champagne toast. Wed 12/31, 10:30 PM, Davenport’s Piano Bar & Cabaret, 1383 N. Milwaukee, 773-278-1830, davenportspianobar.com, $30 plus two-drink minimum.
Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind: New Year’s Eve Beer, wine, and hors d’oeuvres before the Neo-Futurists’ signature show, plus a champagne or cider toast at midnight. Wed 12/31, 9:30 PM, Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland, 773-275-5255, neofuturists.org, $20.
With Love From the Black Ensemble Theater A performance by the stars of At Last: A Tribute to Etta James, along with food, dancing, and lots of champagne. Wed 12/31, 8 PM-1 AM, Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark, 773-769-4451, blackensembletheater.org, $125, $200 for couples.