Credit: kali fontecchio

See our 2011 New Year’s Eve Guide.

Plus: Dining | Music

Betty’s Blue Star Lounge An open bar (till 1 AM) and top 40, house, and hip-hop from DJ Jam Master C. VIP seating ($75) includes one bottle of champagne.  9 PM-4 AM, Betty’s Blue Star Lounge, 1600 W. Grand, 312-243-1699,, $50 in advance, $65 at the door.

Big Star Chicago No cover, no reservations needed, and a free bourbon toast at midnight.  4 PM-2 AM, Big Star Chicago, 1531 N. Damen, 773-235-4039.

Black Ensemble Theater A performance of “the best of the best” of Black Ensemble Theater follows a champagne and hors d’oeuvres reception. After the show there’s an open mike and dancing.  8 PM-1 AM, Black Ensemble Theater, 4520 N. Beacon, 773-769-5541,, $100.

Cabaret New Year’s Celebration Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre members perform songs from Man of La Mancha at 10 PM and their favorite pop and show tunes at 11 PM. The party also includes an open bar, snacks, and a champagne toast at midnight.  8:30 PM, No Exit Cafe, 6970 N. Glenwood, 773-347-1109,, $50.

Celtic Crown: “Celtic Countdown 2010” This party features an open bar till midnight, party favors, a balloon drop, and champagne toast.  8 PM-2 AM, Celtic Crown, 4301 N. Western, 773-248-3330,, $40.

Chemically Imbalanced Comedy The company will perform its original holiday show, It Came Upon a Midnight Queen; budding improv artists can hone their skills in interactive performances. Party favors, a midnight champagne toast, food (the actors will prepare their favorite dishes), drinks, dancing, and an after-party with the cast are included. 13+.  8 PM-2 AM, Chemically Imbalanced Theater, 1420 W. Irving Park, 773-865-7731,, $40.

ComedySportz Theatre Three shows: two family-friendly ones with an early countdown and cider toast (5 and 7 PM, $21) and a late one with party favors, drink specials, a champagne toast, and a dance party afterward (10 PM, $30).  ComedySportz Theatre, 929 W. Belmont, 773-549-8080 or 312-559-1212,

Crobar Includes an open bar (till midnight), champagne toast, party favors, and balloon drop.  12/31, 8 PM-4 AM, Crobar, 1543 N. Kingsbury, 312-226-9633, $50.

Debonair Social Club Party packages include a four-hour open bar, champagne toast, party favors, and two floors of music.  8 PM, Debonair Social Club, 1575 N. Milwaukee, 773-227-7990,, $65 and up.

Division Ale House Includes an open bar (till 1 AM), buffet (till 11 PM), midnight champagne toast, party favors, and DJs.  8 PM-2 AM, Division Ale House, 1942 W. Division, 773-384-6886,, $75.

The Drake Hosted by Chicago Scene, this event boasts four ballrooms of entertainment, an open bar (till 1 AM), hors d’oeuvres, DJs and a live band, a balloon drop, and coffee and dessert served after midnight. The VIP package includes a special bar and servers, private seating in the Gold Coast and Drake ballrooms, and access to the VIP lounge hosted by Genuine Entertainment.  9 PM-2 AM, Drake Hotel, 140 E. Walton, 312-787-2200, $135-$195, VIP $200-$275.

Elbo Room Live music by Dan Tedesco and the Long Haul and Model Stranger, a DJ spinning in the lounge, an open bar (till 1 AM), party favors, and champagne.  8 PM-2 AM, Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln, 773-549-5549,, $60 in advance, $75 at the door.

Empire Liquors Includes an open bar (till 1:30 AM) and champagne toast at midnight.  9 PM-2 AM, Empire Liquors, 1566 N. Milwaukee, 773-278-1600,, $75.

Excalibur: “Prices Rolled Back to 1999” Five dance floors, light shows, confetti, balloon drops, and a multimedia countdown. The $125 “penthouse” admission includes a premium open bar (8 PM-midnight), dinner buffet (8-11 PM), and access to the VIP penthouse; the $99 “platinum” admission offers the same minus penthouse access; the $59 “gold” admission includes an open bar (7-11 PM) and dinner buffet (7-9:30 PM). General admission is $40 and guarantees admission after 9 PM; general admission after 10 PM and reduced admission after 1 AM may be available.  7 PM-4 AM, Excalibur, 632 N. Dearborn, 312-266-1944.

Fall Into the Rabbit Hole at Enclave This Alice-in-Wonderland-themed bash includes an open bar (till 1:30 AM), champagne, appetizer buffet, gift bags, and a chance to win a free limo ride home if you find the white rabbit. VIP table reservations are available for $1200-$2750. Semiformal attire encouraged.  9 PM-2 AM, Enclave, 220 W. Chicago, 312-654-0234, $100.

Finn McCool’s: “New Year’s Free” Finn McCool’s offers free admission before 10 PM to its bash with party favors, multimedia countdown, champagne toast, and DJ.  6 PM-4 AM, Finn McCool’s Irish Pub, 15 W. Division, 312-337-4349,

Full Shilling: “Irish Eve” Includes an open bar (9 PM-midnight), appetizer buffet (9-11 PM), party favors, and a balloon drop.  7 PM-2 AM, Full Shilling Public House, 3724 N. Clark, 773-248-3330,, $45.

Hard Rock Cafe An open bar, passed appetizers (till 10 PM), dinner buffet, party favors, champagne toast at midnight, and musical performance by Maggie Speaks (10 PM-1 AM).  9 PM-1 AM, Hard Rock Cafe, 63 W. Ontario, 312-943-2252,, $125.

Heartland Cafe After the annual Athletes United for Peace 5K race (7 PM, $25), there’s a party at the cafe with a performance from reggae band Roots 101.  9 PM, Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood, 773-465-8005,

Hilton Chicago Outfit Events and Global Adrenaline host the official Playboy New Year’s celebration, where general admission gets you an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, a buffet, “casino” gambling (till midnight), a champagne toast and confetti at midnight, and performances by Pitbull and Jump Smokers. An extra $50 adds a premium open bar, extended casino access, and a chance to party with the Playmates in the VIP lounge. Table reservations and packages are available for $1,000-$3,000.  9 PM-2 AM, Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan,, $155.

Hub 51 and Sub 51 General admission gets you an open bar (till 1:30 AM), passed hors d’oeuvres, champagne toast at midnight, and a discount on New Year’s Day brunch tickets (11 AM-2 PM). For an extra $15 you can get access to Sub 51 nightclub. VIP tables are available for $1140.  9 PM-2 AM, Hub 51, 51 W. Hubbard, 312-828-0051,, $125.

Hyatt Regency Chicago An open bar, appetizer buffet (till 11 PM), prizes, DJs, and live music by 7th Heaven.  8:30 PM-1:30 AM, Hyatt Regency, 151 E. Wacker, 312-565-1234,, $99 at press time, “price will increase without notice as event approaches.”

Hyatt Regency O’Hare Includes an open bar, party favors, champagne toast, casino, and music from the Modern Day Romeos, C Factor, Jaktripper, DJ Spin, and Tony Ocean.  8 PM-1 AM, Hyatt Regency O’Hare, 9300 W. Bryn Mawr, Rosemont,, $39.

The Improvised, Interactive, Musical New Year’s Celebration The iO Musical Featuring the Deltones kicks off iO’s “New Year’s tradition for years to come.” Also playing are Bye Bye Liver (10 PM, $25), Cupid Has A Heart On! (10:30 PM, $25), and Dominizuelan Presents: People in the City (8 PM, $20). All shows include a champagne toast and admission to a post-show dance party.  8 PM, iO, 3541 N. Clark, 773-880-0199,, $25.

Irish American Heritage Center Includes hors d’oeuvres, party favors, dancing, a champagne toast at midnight, and entertainment by Joe McShane and Joe Cullen. Mass will be held prior to the party at 7 PM.  8 PM, Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox, 773-282-7035,, $25.

Joe’s on Weed Street Includes an open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, and music by the Rum Runners. Doors open at 7:45 PM with a cash bar until 9 PM. Group rates available.  9 PM-2 AM, Joe’s, 940 W. Weed, 312-337-3486 or 312-559-1212,, $110.

Jogo de Vida, the Play of Life The National Pastime Theater hosts this masquerade party featuring jazz by the Fred Barr Quintet and Kenyatta Gains, Delta blues by Kent Duchaine and Leadbessie, and performance art by the Living Canvas. The night includes a silent auction, a Brazilian-themed bar, and food.  8 PM, National Pastime Theater, 4139 N. Broadway, 773-327-7077,, $100 (couples $175).

Kirtan on New Year’s Eve Musician Dave Stringer leads traditional Indian call-and-response chanting known as kirtan until midnight, followed by a champagne toast and DJ set.  9 PM-midnight, East Bank Storage, 1200 W. 35th,, $35 in advance, $50 at the door.

Leg Room: “Bon Voyage 2009” The $60 open-bar package (9 PM-midnight) features party favors, a champagne toast, and an “explosive” countdown; tables can be reserved in advance. $20 general admission after 11 PM.  7 PM-4 AM, Leg Room, 7 W. Division, 312-337-2583.

Lion Head Pub & the Apartment: “Now That’s What I Call New Year’s!” Two parties on two levels, with a multimedia countdown and balloon drop. For $69, attendees get an open bar (8 PM-midnight) and dinner buffet (8-10 PM). $25 general admission after 11 PM.  7 PM-2 AM, Lion Head Pub & Apartment Lounge, 2251 N. Lincoln, 773-348-5100,

Lottie’s Pub Includes an open bar (till 1 AM), buffet, and champagne toast at midnight.  8 PM-2 AM, Lottie’s Pub, 1925 W. Cortland, 773-489-0738,, $65.

Lumen: “Roaring 20s New Year’s Eve Celebration” This “speakeasy” includes an open bar (till 1 AM), appetizer buffet, DJ Lil’ Mikey and a live brass band, era-themed gambling, and a champagne toast at midnight. Flapper and gangster attire is encouraged. Table reservations are available for an additional $500 and include two bottles of Belvedere Vodka and two bottles of Moet & Chandon White Star champagne.  8 PM-2 AM, Lumen, 839 W. Fulton, 312-733-2222, $55.

M Lounge Includes a champagne toast, hors d’oeuvres, party favors, and a DJ.  8 PM-2 AM, M Lounge, 1520 S. Wabash, 312-447-0201,, $20.

Manor Includes an open bar (till 1 AM), passed appetizers, champagne toast at midnight, and a performance by DJ Mad. Table reservations are available for $660-$1100.  9 PM-2 AM, Manor, 642 N. Clark, 312-475-1390,, tickets start at $85.

Mystic Blue New Year’s Eve Cruise This cruise around the harbor, in addition to views of the Navy Pier fireworks display, offers a dinner buffet, open bar, a DJ, and a photo of each couple.  Boarding starts at 8:30 PM; the cruise is from 9:30 PM-12:30 AM, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, 877-299-7854,, $149.90 (not including taxes, fees, service charges, or fuel surcharges).

Mystic Celt Includes an open bar, champagne toast at midnight, appetizer buffet, party favors, and a DJ.  8 PM-1 AM, Mystic Celt, 3443 N. Southport, 773-529-8550,, $95.

Navy Pier Crystal Gardens Alife Group’s party features a terrace view of the Navy Pier fireworks, DJ Jordan V, party favors, and an all-night open bar and buffet.  9 PM-2 AM, 700 E. Grand, 312-595-5436,, admission starts at $110.

Navy Pier Grand Ballroom This annual bash claims to be the world’s largest; DJ Vell hosts. There’s a balloon drop and views of the fireworks at midnight. VIP tables available for $350.  7 PM-2 AM, 600 E. Grand, 773-660-0300, $25.

Navy Pier Family New Year’s Eve Bash An all-ages concert with hip-hop dancers, live music by the Goblins, and double-dutch jumpers (6-7:45 PM) is followed by a family fireworks show at 8:15. DJ Madrid spins for a dance party in the Family Pavilion from 9 to 11:45 PM.  600 E. Grand, 312-595-7437,

Navy Pier New Year’s Eve Fireworks The lights on the Ferris wheel will count down to midnight, when the 18-minute display of fireworks set to music begins.  600 E. Grand, 312-595-7437,

New Year’s Eve at the Palace Open bar (till 1 AM), appetizer buffet (8:30-10 PM), champagne toast at midnight, belly dancers, DJs, and party favors. VIP tables available, $200-$350.  8:30 PM-2 AM, Alhambra Palace, 1240 W. Randolph, 312-666-9555,, $75 and up.

New Year’s Eve Cornstravaganza Corn Productions combines two-and-a-half hours of sketch, improv, and stand-up comedy with food and an open bar, plus dancing after midnight. The first set starts at 8:45 PM.  8 PM-2 AM, Cornservatory, 4210 N. Lincoln, 773-458-6151,, $45 per person, $80 per couple.

New Year’s Eve “New Orleans Style” Includes an open bar (till midnight), champagne toast, appetizer buffet, Mardi Gras beads, and a DJ.  9 PM-2 AM, Blue Bayou, 3734 N. Southport, 773-871-3300, $50.

New Year’s Eve Rock ‘n’ Roll Ball Includes an open bar (till 12:30 AM), party favors, and live music by the Gin Blossoms, Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra, Too White Crew, Breakfast Club, and DJ Roland.  8:30 PM, InterContintental Hotel Chicago O’Hare, 5300 N. River Rd., Rosemont, 800-745-3000,, $85.

Odyssey New Year’s Eve Cruise Includes an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, a four-course dinner, a chocolate fountain, a photo, live entertainment, and a view of the fireworks.  Boarding starts at 8:30 PM; the cruise runs 9:30 PM-12:30 AM, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, 888-957-2322,, $219.90 per person (not including taxes, fees, service charges, or fuel surcharges).

People Lounge The $60 package includes an open bar, party favors, and a DJ; for an additional $40 you also get a four-course dinner.  9 PM-1 AM, People Lounge, 1560 N. Milwaukee, 773-227-9339,

The Pony Includes an open bar (till 1 AM), appetizers, party favors, champagne toast, and a DJ.  8 PM-2 AM, the Pony, 1638 W. Belmont, 773-828-5055,, $65.

Pops for Champagne An open bar, unlimited champagne, party favors, dessert, and passed hors d’oeuvres. Reservations required.  9 PM-12:30 AM, Pops for Champagne, 601 N. State, 312-266-7677,, $130.

The Poseidon Adventure Camp Midnight’s interactive screening of the 1972 disaster flick, hosted by camp maven Dick O’Day and Hell in a Handbag Productions, will be timed so that midnight comes at the same time on-screen and in the theater; a champagne toast and party favors are included. 70s cruise wear is encouraged.  11 PM-2 AM, Music Box, 3733 N. Southport, 773-871-6604,, $20 advance, $28 at the door.

The Rail Bar & Grill Includes an open bar, champagne toast at midnight, and an appetizer buffet.  9 PM-2 AM, the Rail Bar & Grill, 4709 N. Damen, 773-878-9400,, $50.

Red Carpet New Year’s Eve Ball A black-tie ball featuring music by the Flat Cats. Tickets include a three-course meal and bottle of champagne.  9 PM-12:30 AM, Palm Court, Drake Hotel, 140 E. Walton, 312-787-2200,, $150.

Rio’s d’Sudamerica This family-friendly celebration features Peruvian fare, tropical mashups and dance music by Dino Latino and DJ Eddy, a champagne toast at midnight, and more.  8 PM-2 AM, Rio’s d’Sudamerica, 2010 W. Armitage, 312-671-3466,, $20-$40.

The Rockbox An open bar (7 PM-midnight), champagne toast, and party favors; VIP admission also includes a buffet (8-10 PM) and access to both the downstairs and upstairs clubs.  7 PM-2 AM, the Rockbox, 2624 N. Lincoln Ave., $35, $45 VIP.

Rockin’ New Year’s Eve An open bar (till 1:30 AM); champagne toast at midnight; appetizer, dinner, and dessert buffets; and live band karaoke with the Karaoke Dokies followed by a DJ dance party.  9 PM-2 AM, Rock Bottom Brewery, 1 W. Grand, 312-755-9339,, $90.

Salsa in the New Year In addition to salsa, mambo, cha-cha, bachata, cumbia, and merengue dancing, this family-friendly event includes an open bar, a Latin American food buffet, free party favors, and a midnight champagne toast. An RSVP is required.  7 PM, Latin Street Dancing Studios, 215 W. Ontario, 5th floor, 312-427-2572,, $65 (kids 10 and under free, $15 ages 11-15, $25 after midnight).

Sheffield’s Includes an open bar (till 1 AM), appetizer buffet (9 PM-12:30 AM), and a champagne toast at midnight.  8 PM-1 AM, Sheffield’s, 3258 N. Sheffield, 773-281-4989,, $75 in advance, $100 at the door.

The Shrine Includes appetizers, a midnight champagne toast, and DJs. VIP tickets also get you one bottle of champagne, special seating, and express entry.  8 PM-2 AM, the Shrine, 2109 S. Wabash, 312-753-5700,, $40, $120 VIP, ticket prices increase as event approaches.

Silvesterball This semiformal German party features dancing, fortune telling, appetizers, a buffet (till 9 PM), desserts, a champagne toast, party favors, and more. Tickets also include entry to the Polkaholics show in the Marunde Ballroom.  7 PM, DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western, 773-561-9181,, $55 before 12/21, $80 after.

Sparkling Silver and Gold NYE at Spin This party offers hors d’oeuvres and sweets (till 10 PM), a drag revue from the Spin Divas, DJs, VJs, go-go dancers, and a champagne toast and pizza buffet at midnight.  8 PM-2 AM, Spin, 800 W. Belmont, 773-327-7711,, $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

Spirit of Chicago New Year’s Eve Cruise This cruise package features a buffet, open bar, DJ, and views of the fireworks.  Boarding starts at 8:30 PM; the cruise runs 9:30 PM-12:30 AM, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, 866-273-2469,, $149.90 (not including taxes, fees, service charges, or fuel surcharges).

TangoChicago A beginner tango class from 8 to 9 PM is followed by appetizers, sweets, and dancing. At midnight there’s a champagne toast and a view of the Grant Park fireworks.  8 PM-2 AM, TangoChicago, 408 S. Michigan, 312-788-3408,, $75.

10Pin Bowling Lounge Bowling, hors d’oeuvres, an open bar (till 1 AM), party favors, a champagne toast, and prizes.  8 PM-1 AM, 10Pin Bowling Lounge, 330 N. State, 312-644-0300,, $125 in advance, $150 at the door, $75 after midnight.

Timothy O’Toole’s An appetizer buffet at midnight, open pool tables, and party favors, plus a 24-ounce Miller High Life or a champagne split.  9 PM-3 AM, Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks, 312-642-0700,, $15.

The Tin Lizzie Includes appetizers, an open bar (till 1:30 AM), champagne toast at midnight, party favors, and a DJ.  9 PM-2 AM, the Tin Lizzie, 2483 N. Clark, 773-549-1132,, $75.

Tommy Gun’s Garage 22nd Annual New Year’s Eve Bash The party at this roaring-20s-themed theater includes an interactive performance of the Musical Comical Holiday Revue, dinner, a champagne toast at midnight, and a DJ. An open bar (till 1:30 AM) is available for an additional $20-$30. Themed attire is encouraged and there’s a costume contest at 1 AM. Reservations required.  8:30 PM-2 AM, Tommy Gun’s Garage, 2114 S. Wabash, 773-728-2828,, $75.

The W Hotel: “A New Beginning” Three rooms of DJs spinning house, hip-hop, and mash-ups; a champagne toast at midnight; and gift bags (while supplies last). Hosted by Surreal and Another Level.  8 PM-2 AM, W Hotel Chicago City Center, 172 W. Adams, 312-332-1200,, $40 (“price subject to change without notice”).

The Westin Formal attire is required for this KISS FM bash, which offers a top-shelf open bar, champagne, hors d’oeuvres, chocolates, DJs and party favors. VIP tickets also include access to the Penthouse Ballroom.  9:30 PM-2 AM, Westin Michigan Avenue, 909 N. Michigan, 312-943-7200,, $135, VIP $155, prices will increase as event date nears.

The Wyn A top-shelf open bar, champagne, an appetizer buffet, and music by cover band Stache. Formal attire required.  9 PM, Wyndham Chicago, 633 N. Saint Clair, 312-573-0300,, limited $125, $150.

Zella Includes an open bar (till 1:30 AM), appetizers, champagne toast at midnight, party favors, and a DJ.  9 PM-2 AM, Zella, 1983 N. Clybourn, 773-549-2910,, $100.

Zoo Year’s Eve This New Year’s bash for kids has activities, games, crafts, music with Radio Disney, and an early countdown at 8 PM.  6 PM, Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st, Brookfield, included with admission ($11, $7 children 3-11 and seniors 65 and over, and free for kids under 3).