New Year’s Eve is almost here, and that means it’s time to figure out last minute plans so you can make sure to ring in 2016 with style. While New York City might have a monopoly on the iconic experience of Times Square, Chicago is a great place to be on Dec. 31.
With an enormous number of bars, clubs and music venues, there’s bound to be an event happening that suits your interests. Whether you’re interested in music, delicious food or just want to spend the whole night partying, here are some of the best ways to spend the New Year in Chicago.
Chi-Town Rising: If you’re looking for a big, citywide event to replicate some of the chaos associated with New York’s Times Square, this is for you. New event to Chicago this year, the evening will include sets by Chicago (the band) and American Authors leading up to midnight. Instead of a disco ball dropping, a star will ascend the west tower of the Hyatt Regency hotel as 2016 approaches. Attendees can pay $150 for a spot in the “Broadcast Boulevard” area, pay $99 for a dinner buffet or you can watch the event for free from Pioneer Court. Find out more details here.
Reaction New Year’s Eve: Chicago promoter React Presents is hosting a “warehouse-style” party, featuring sets from Deadmau5 and Skrillex, as well as Chvrches, Run the Jewels, Chance the Rapper, Purity Ring and Thundercat. Tickets cost between $89 and $140 and can be purchased here.
Brandi Carlile: The country singer is performing at Thalia Hill, with singer-songwriter Brynn Elliott opening the show. Tickets cost $52 to $107 and can be bought here.
Sharond Jones and the Dap-Kings: Jones and her band are bringing in the new year at Chicago’s House of Blues. They will ring in 2016 with their signature soulful tunes. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased on the House of Blues website.
JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound: If you’re looking for a more low key evening, this local retro-soul act is playing at Emporium Arcade Bar. Tickets, which cost $30, include access to the bar’s games as well as a champagne toast at midnight. You can find more details and buy tickets here.
New Year’s Eve at Compass Bar: This bar package includes draft beers, bottles, wines and cocktails. There will be wood-fired pizza, appetizers, salads and desserts throughout the evening. Plus, a champagne toast at midnight and the bar runs until 1 a.m. Tickets to the party are $80.
Crystal Gardens New Year’s Eve: This New Year’s party is serious business. It includes more than 20 liquor bars, has catered food and access to a private terrace where you can watch fireworks over Navy Pier. There will be noisemakers, and of course, champagne at midnight. Regular tickets are $90 and VIP tickets cost $150.
Bar Louie New Year’s Eve 2016: Tickets to this bash include a dinner buffet, liquor, champagne at midnight, a live DJ, dancing and party favors. Lots of tickets to this party are already gone, but you can still snag a general admission ticket and get access to all the fun! Tickets are $150 and can be purchased here.
The Drake Hotel New Year’s Party 2016: The event’s website says it’s been named one of the best New Year’s Eve parties in the U.S. and it has a lot to offer. Tickets include hors d’oeuvres, liquor, champagne, a lineup of Chicago DJs and desserts after midnight. You can snag a last minute ticket for $155 or $175 for VIP access.