The Absolute Best Ways to Celebrate New Year's Eve in Chicago
Toast to the end of 2020.
One good thing about 2020? You finally have a good excuse not to go out on New Year’s Eve. Homebodies will find plenty to like with Chicago’s tamped-down edition of New Year’s Eve, with everything from virtual galas to live-streamed comedy. If you’re still itching to leave the not-so-friendly confines of your seemingly shrinking domicile, you can still celebrate safely with drive-in concerts and movies, romantic outdoor dinners, immersive light displays, and boozy cocktails experiences. Here’s everything fun you can do in Chicago this New Year’s Eve. Cheers to a better tomorrow.
House Party at the Drive-In New Year’s Eve Bash for a full lineup of live house music performances with food/drink and a fireworks show to bid farewell to this shitshow of a year. Masks and social distancing required, obviously.
"Batman Returns" at a drive-in movie theater isn’t exactly our idea of a crazy fun NYE. But in 2020, we’ll most certainly take it. Park your ride at Chitown Movies for a family-friendly special afternoon screening with mulled wine and other food/beverage available for purchase.
Stream a live concertNew Year’s Eve is typically a big day for concerts in Chicago, but obviously that ain’t happening this year. Instead, stream a virtual concert from The Avett Brothers or get ready to dance at #DanceAway2020. And while there won’t be any raging festivals to hit for NYE, Tomorrowland is curating a fairly impressive NYE lineup featuring EDM heavy hitters Major Lazer, David Guetta, Diplo, and more. Looking for something more local? Explore virtual options from local venues like The Hideout, Empty Bottle, Lincoln Hall/Schubas, Experimental Sound Studio, and more.
Ring in the new year with a holiday light displayFrom Lincoln Park’s iconic ZooLights and the Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic to the Morton Arboretum’s Illumination and Chicago Botanic Garden’s Lightscape, there’s no shortage of brilliant holiday light displays across the city and suburbs extending into the new year. You can also check out Let It Shine in Northbrook for some bonus NYE fun.
Say good riddance to 2020 at the New Year’s Eve Virtual 5KChicago Sport & Social’s annual New Year’s Eve 5K takes to the interwebs for 2020 with a weeklong virtual 5K to benefit Direct Relief from December 26 through January 3. Check out details here.
Order a cocktail kit and get boozy at homeIt’s no secret that it’s been a rough year for Chicago bars. Help them out—while spicing up your NYE—with a cocktail kit order from upscale offerings by folks like The Aviary and Violet Hour to more down-to-Earth booze creations such as Big Star margaritas and Twisted Spoke Bloody Marys. You can also go tiki with tropical creations from 3 Dots and a Dash, which certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Grab some weed for a 420-friendly NYEIs there some sort of law stating that you can’t just chill at home with some fine legal green from Chicago’s top weed dispensaries and watch drunk Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon do their thing on the TV? No, there most certainly is not.
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