New Year's Eve in Chicago?

Okay, if we were to go out and really celebrate New Year’s in Chicago, where would we go? What would we do?

How do you ring in the New Year Chicago style?

We would go somewhere nice and have a good time.

Lots and lots of options. What area and how much would you like to spend?

Unfortunately, the event at the Everleigh Social Club is sold out.

Most people I know just get together with friends and hunker down for the night. But there are lots of bars and clubs that throw NYE parties for a fixed price. You can spend as much or as little as you want. Rush Street is rife with joints doing this, as are many neighborhood bars. You can go crazy and do one of the boat cruises if you like, or one of the fancy downtown hotels with views of the lake and the park. Grab a Chicago Reader and you’ll see lots of ads offering NYE parties.

If you want to know where is *the *one place to be, like Times Square in New York, there really isn’t one. Closest thing would probably be Navy Pier.

I imagine getting a cab will be a pain in the ass that night, and the temperatures are expected to be around 10-15 degrees. I’m not planning on doing anything major, maybe hit up a local bar that’s in walking distance.

The CTA is offering penny rides that night as well on the trains, not sure about buses.

Well, just have to put a couple of cents in here (but in no way to derail anyone’s pursuit of a good time on New Year’s Eve). When I was a teenager I was under the impression that NYE was the Holy of all Holies when it came to having a party. Unfortunately, I never knew anyone stupid enough to invite anyone of our ilk into their house on said night (smart folks). Every New Year’s Eve found me and a few others in a hapless and futile search for the ultimate good time. Never happened. We usually ended up sitting on a frozen pier by the lake or huddled in an alley somewhere trying to keep slush from forming inside of cans of Old Milwaukee Beer. One NYE (1975?) I found myself sitting with a friend in his dad’s parked car inside of their frigid garage sharing a bottle of whiskey. I staggered home to find my brother and one or two of his friends playing Scrabble in the dining room and eating pizza. I joined them and had a good time. Every year since then, I’ve arranged a small Scrabble tournament with two or three friends or family members (usually the same ones) for New Year’s Eve. Warm house, Chicago pizza, drinking out of glassware, sleeping in my bed, knowledge of idiots running around outside in the cold in search of who-knows-what? – priceless. It’s become one of my favorite evenings of the year.

Yes, buses too.

My favorite thing for NYE when I used to go all-out, was a hotel party. Drink to excess, eat to excess, wear ridiculous heels and be able to take them off without having to put them back on to get home. Have a nice room to toddle off to afterwards with a mimosa brunch in late morning. Perfect. Last time I did that was at Hotel Sofitel, very nice night!

Weather and time travel assisted reservations permitting, the Odyssey cruises are nice.