Arts & Culture » Chicago Reader's Guide to New Year's Eve

The best New Year's Eve events of 2015

Say hello to 2016 with everything from a masquerade ball to a seafood feast to a night of improv.


Well, 2015 was a hell of a year, but now it's time to move on—why not do so in style? This year the city offers everything from a masquerade ball to a seafood feast to a night of improv, not to mention the traditional countdowns, balloon drops, and, of course, champagne toasts at midnight. Some of our top New Year's Eve picks are below, with an ever-updating list here.


Brandi Carlile 10 PM, Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport,, $77.

Diarrhea Planet, Jeff the Brotherhood 9 PM, Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln,, $35.

El Ten Eleven 10 PM, Subterranean, 2011 W. North,, $25.

Eternals 9 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia,, $20.

Gories, Oblivians 9 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western,, $40, $35 in advance.

Har Mar Superstar 8 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee,, $22.

Todd Hembrook & the Hemispheres 9 PM, Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake,, $20.

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings 10 PM, House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn,, $75.

Lettuce 8:30 PM, Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine,, $49.

Mac Sabbath 8 PM, Reggie's Rock Club, 2105 S. State,, $20.

Ministry 8 PM, Concord Music Hall, 2047 N. Milwaukee,, $52.50.

Nobunny 9 PM, Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont,, $20.

Possessed by Paul James 8 PM, Reggie's Music Joint, 2105 S. State,, $25.

Promise Ring 10 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark,, $45.

Reaction NYE: Skrillex, Chance the Rapper, Get Real, Purity Ring 5:30 PM, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River, Rosemont,, $99.

Robert Randolph & the Family Band 7:30 and 11 PM, City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph,, $75.

Tink 9:30 PM, the Shrine, 2109 S. Wabash,, $50.


Cherry Circle Room Chef Pete Coenen presents a nine-course meal featuring oysters, scallop crudo, roasted duck, and rib eye, with wine pairings available. Reservations required. 6-10 PM, Cherry Circle Room, 12 S. Michigan, 312-792-3515,, $125-$150.

Family NYE Dinner A family of four can enjoy mozzarella sticks for the table, one glass of juice per child, one glass of sparkling wine per adult, one cake ball per person, and party favors. 6-8 PM, Roots Handmade Pizza, 1924 W. Chicago, 773-645-4949,, $30.

Fiesta Forever A four-course meal featuring shrimp skewers, chicken empanadas, pig cubano, and more, plus a champagne toast. 5 PM-2 AM, Nacional 27, 325 W. Huron, 312-664-2727,, $99.

Longman & Eagle Chef Matt Kerney offers a five-course menu for the first two seatings and at the final seating an eight-course meal featuring crab salad, duck cassoulet, strip steak, and pork belly. Optional beer and wine pairings available for $30-$50. 5:30, 8, and 10 PM, Longman & Eagle, 2657 N. Kedzie, 773-276-7110,, $95-$125.

Moulin Rouge Nellcôte and RM Champagne Salon join forces for a French-themed celebration with prix fixe meals at 5 PM ($65) and 8 PM ($125), followed by a party featuring cabaret performers, an open bar, and passed snacks ($100). 5 PM-2 AM, Nellcôte, 833 W. Randolph, 312-432-0500,, $65-$125.

Osteria Via Stato A prix fixe menu ($75 before 7 PM, $95 after) with a glass of prosecco and live music by guitarist Hans Luchs. 5 PM-midnight, Osteria Via Stato, 620 N. State, 312-642-8450,, $75-$95.

The Promontory Chef Jared Wentworth presents a five-course tasting menu featuring chilled Maine lobster, pan-roasted cod, duo of duck, grilled Wagyu strip loin, and bittersweet-chocolate cream pie. Beverage pairings available for $35. 6 and 9 PM, the Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave West, 312-801-2100,, $75.

Réveillon de Saint-Sylvestre Chef Dominique Tougne offers a special a la carte menu that includes foie gras terrine, duck a l'orange, and creme brulee. Guests can also enjoy party hats and favors with a champagne toast at midnight. 5 PM-midnight, Chez Moi, 2100 N. Halsted, 773-871-2100,

Southern Style Fried Chicken & Champagne A family-style meal that features fried chicken, oysters Rockefeller, and an assortment of "home-spun" pies. Wine pairings available for $50. Reservations required. Mindy's Hot Chocolate, 1747 N. Damen, 773-489-1747,, $75.

2-Fat: All Eyez Prawn Mee A five-course seafood-centric meal that includes Malacca oyster sambal, curry-king crab dumplings, and prawn mee, with a bottle of champagne included for every two people. 5:30, 8, and 10:30 PM, Fat Rice, 2957 W. Diversey, 773-661-9170,, $125.

Uncommon Ground The four-course prix fixe meal includes salmon tartare, braised short ribs, gingerbread pudding, and more. Reservations required. 5-10 PM, Uncommon Ground, 3800 N. Clark, 773-929-3680,, $55.


Brasstax NYE The DJs of Brasstax host a dance party complete with appetizers, the Whistler staff's favorite cocktails of the year, and a champagne toast at midnight. 9 PM-2 AM, Whistler, 2421 N. Milwaukee, 773-227-3530,, $100.

Champagne Splash Phi Life and Premo host this party featuring a three-hour open bar, a champagne toast, live entertainment, balloon drop, and a confetti cannon. 8 PM, the Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave West, 312-801-2100,, $75.

Chicago Amplified Admission to WBEZ's NYE party includes five drink tickets, hors d'oeuvres, stories from the Moth, live music by Diana and the Dishes, and a dance party with tunes from DJ Ayana Contreras. 8 PM-2 AM, Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse, 773-381-4554,, $135.

Glitz and Glam Gala The lounge will be open all night, with a performance by Diva Kinley Preston. Guests can enjoy a four-course prix fixe dinner in the supper club at 7 PM ($65) or 10 PM ($85) that includes two martinis and a champagne toast. 5:30 PM-2 AM, Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club, 3700 N. Halsted, 773-525-1111,

Goat New Year's Eve Bash The diner turns into a dance club for NYE with unlimited food and drink, DJs, and, of course, a dance party. 8:30 PM-1 AM, Little Goat Diner, 820 W. Randolph, 312-888-3455,, $125.

La Bal Masque A New Year's Eve masquerade ball that includes a five-hour open bar, appetizers, live music by Verzatile, more than 40 performances (including aerialists, burlesque dancers, and contortionists), and party favors. BYOM (bring your own mask). 8:30 PM, Untitled, 111 W. Kinzie, 312-880-1511,, $150.

Momotaro NYE The night includes an open bar, passed hors d'oeuvres, party favors, and a champagne toast at midnight. 9 PM-1 AM, Momotaro, 820 W. Lake, 312-733-4818,, $110.

New Year's Eve at Lost Lake! The night includes a special cocktail served in a coconut, open bar for tiki cocktails and highballs (sipping spirits available at additional cost), passed dim sum and appetizers from Thank You, dancing in the Cave, and a champagne toast at midnight. 9 PM-2 AM, Lost Lake, 3154 W. Diversey, 773-293-6048,, $120-$150.

New Year's Eve Soiree Bowl your way into 2016 with a buffet, open bar, dance party, party favors, and open bowling and billiards all night. 9:30 PM-2 AM, Lucky Strike Lanes, 322 E. Illinois, 312-245-8331,, $95.

NYE With Windy City Soul Club The Northern soul DJs host a dance party to ring in the new year. 9 PM-2 AM, Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie, 773-252-6179 or 866-468-3401,, $20.

Old Town Social Grab your party favors and enjoy an open bar, hors d'oeuvres, and a midnight champagne toast. 9 PM-1 AM, Old Town Social, 455 W. North, 312-266-2277,, $95.

Prismatic with Justin Long Enjoy a night of dance music plus a gift bag, poster, and four drink tickets. 9 PM, Smart Bar, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-4140,, $80.

Rock Around the Clock New Year's Eve Soiree This party features a pasta buffet, appetizers, dessert, open bar until 1:30 AM, DJs, party favors, and a midnight toast. 9 PM-4 AM, Hard Rock Cafe, 63 W. Ontario, 312-943-2252,, $105.

Silver and Gold Dress to impress for this party complete with an open bar, hors d'oeuvres, champagne toast, and music by DJ Kareem. 9 PM-2 AM, the J. Parker, 1816 N. Clark, 312-254-4747,, $150.

Slo'Motel Slo'Mo takes over the eighth floor of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel with an open bar, snack buffet, champagne toast, midnight snack, and performances by Po' Chop and Friends, plus music from DJs Tess & Audio Jack. 9 PM-2 AM, Chicago Athletic Association, 21 S. Michigan, 312-236-7500,, $100.

Smokin' New Year's Eve Enjoy passed hors d'oeuvres, an open bar, and live music from Shawn Lacy. 9 PM-2 AM, Bub City, 435 N. Clark, 312-610-4200,, $90.

Three Dots and a Dash Forget it's the middle of winter at this luau NYE celebration; admission includes passed Polynesian appetizers and seven tiki drinks. 9 PM-2 AM, Three Dots and a Dash, 435 N. Clark, 312-610-4220,, $115.

Uptown Shakedown Everyone can enjoy a live dance band, champagne toast, and late night snack buffet for $35, or upgrade to all that plus an open bar for $55. 10 PM-1 AM, Uncommon Ground, 3800 N. Clark, 773-929-3680,, $35-$55.


Black Ensemble's New Year's Eve The night includes excerpts from the theater's shows Men of Soul and Dynamite Divas, an open-mike hour, music by DJ Ervin "Magic" Gardner, appetizers, and champagne. 8 PM-1 AM, Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark, 773-769-4451,, $125, $200 per couple.

Blue Man Group The Blue Man Group presents two family-friendly shows (1 and 4 PM) for New Year's Eve followed by two regular performances; after the 10 PM show is a countdown party with noisemakers, a midnight champagne toast, confetti drop, and performance of "Auld Lang Syne" by the Blue Men. 1, 4, 7, and 10 PM, Briar Street Theatre, 3133 N. Halsted, 773-348-4000,, $49-$99.

Bye Bye Liver: Hello 2016 Dress to the nines for a performance of Bye Bye Liver, the comedy show/drinking game, along with a glass of champagne, a shot of Malort, hors d'oeuvres, and a dance party. 8 PM, Public House Theatre, 3914 N. Clark, 800-650-6449,, $40.

CiC Theater's Presents New Year's Eve! The night includes an open bar, hors d'oeuvres, two improv performances, and a midnight champagne toast. 8 PM, CIC Theater, 1422 W. Irving Park, 773-865-7731,, $40.

Funny Old Broads Ring in the New Year with a group of ladies who know how to put on the ole song and dance with a variety show from Caryn Bark. 8:30 PM, Skokie Theatre, 7924 N. Lincoln, Skokie, 847-677-7761,, $45.

New Year's Eve Party With Under the Gun Theater The night includes a buffet dinner, performances of Under the Gun Improv and Porn Minus Porn, two drink tickets (with the option to buy as many more drinks as you like), party favors, and a champagne toast at midnight. 8 PM-2 AM, Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport, 773-270-3440,, $50.

New Year's Eve at Second City All three of Second City's theaters are open, with performances at 7 and 10 PM followed by a party and countdown with the Second City cast. General admission ($60) includes a Souvenir Second City Glass with complimentary soda and coffee plus discounts on drinks and snacks, with a champagne toast at midnight; the Laugh and Libations package ($90) includes a three-hour open bar, table snacks, party favors, and a midnight champagne toast. 7 PM, Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 312-337-3992,, $60-$90.

New Year's Eve Cornstravaganza The night kicks off with an open bar and buffet, throws some improv and sketch shows in the middle, and ends with a dance party and champagne toast at midnight. 8 PM-2 AM, Cornservatory, 4210 N. Lincoln, 773-650-1331,, $55, $100 per couple.

New Year's Eve Hullabaloo Performances by the Kiss Kiss Cabaret, Chicago Magic Lounge, Muffy Fishbasket, SpeakUNeasy!, and Flapper Girl Sings, plus a one-hour open bar at 9 PM, a dessert buffet, and a champagne toast at midnight. 9 PM-2 AM, Uptown Underground, 4707 N. Broadway, 773-867-1946,, $75.

New Year's Psychic Eve Mentalist Sidney Friedman offers premonitions of what's to come in 2016 along with party favors and a champagne toast. 10:30 PM, Davenport's Piano Bar & Cabaret, 1383 N. Milwaukee, 773-278-1830,, $45 plus two-drink minimum.

NYE 2016: Comedy Countdown The Puterbaugh Sisters host a night of comedy that includes stand-up from Martin Morrow, Kevin Williams, Natalie Jose, and Drew Frees. Tickets include an open bar until midnight, party favors, passed appetizers, raffles, and a champagne toast. 9 PM-1 AM, the Comedy Bar, 500 N. LaSalle, 312-836-0499,, $125.

Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind: New Year's Eve A special performance of the Neo-Futurists's favorite plays of 2015 with a preshow reception featuring wine, beer, and hors d'oeuvres, plus a champagne toast at midnight. 9:30 PM, Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland, 773-275-5255,, $50.

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