Whether you're looking to spend your New Year's Eve ice-skating with your kids, at a brewery, laughing at a famed comedian, dancing at a concert, or gorging on "junk food" towers, we've got you covered with this epic roundup of New Year's offerings for all persuasions.
American Football/Photo by Jessica Mlinaric
Through December 30: A Q Brothers Christmas Carol
The Q Brothers have been bringing hip hop to theater long before it was on Broadway, and this production is their annual classic rendition of a show that everyone does—but you've never seen it like this. Dynamic choreography, a wide range of musical genres, and a live DJ transform what some might think is stale into one of the must-see holiday events, right on the edge of Chicago's Navy Pier. Don't miss it! Details: At Chicago Shakespeare Theatre—Tanuja Jagernauth, TheaterDecember 30 and 31: American Football Concert
For those who want to feel the feels, don’t miss American Football’s three-night residency at Schubas. The kings of Midwest emo are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their self-titled debut album. The intimate setting is perfect for the post-rock playlist, including their third album, released this past spring. Details: 10 p.m. at Schubas Tavern; $50—Jessica Mlinaric, MusicDecember 30 and 31: Chris D’Elia at the Chicago Theatre
D’Elia is considered a “bro comic,” wherein his material often appeals to a certain type of demographic—frequently college age and infrequently college educated. But individual tastes and sensibilities aside, he is a hugely successful comedian-actor. The December 30 show is a makeup show stemming from the canceling of his Chicago Theatre performance back in July, and the venue is honoring the original tickets for the reschedule. Details: Showtimes vary; $20–$50—Matty Ryan, Comedy
Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Courtesy of Blue Man Group
December 31: See Blue Man Group
The last day of 2019 brings four chances to see Blue Man Group, and no matter what time you see the show, there's an opportunity to ring in the New Year. The early shows (1 and 4 p.m.) are perfect for young families. These will feature early midnight celebrations with noisemakers and a Blue Man–style “Auld Lang Syne.” There will also be preshow face painting. Later shows will offer champagne for the adults, and the latest show will also have a confetti drop. Details: Multiple showtimes; $49–$104—Samantha Lande, Family FunDecember 31: New Year’s Eve at Half Acre
Go to where it all began for Half Acre more than 10 years ago, the intimate Lincoln Avenue brewery and expanded taproom, to celebrate the coming of a New Year and the end of a decade that brought tremendous success for this business. Ticket includes 10-ounce pours of its core beers, a custom buffet, special midnight toast, and a DJ (i.e., dancing). Details: 8 p.m.–1 a.m.; $75—Jim Morris, Beer
Photo courtesy of Half Acre
December 31: New Year’s Eve Dinner at Girl & the Goat
Inspired by sparkling wine traditions from across the globe, this West Loop fave is hosting the New Year’s Eve party to end all New Year’s Eve parties, starting with an intimate family-style dinner in the wine cellar, paired with bubbles sourced from around the world. Altogether, the decadent affair features 10 courses and five wines. Safe to say it’s a fittingly epic way to cap off 2019. Details: 7–10 p.m.; $250—Matt Kirouac, Food/BeverageDecember 31: Patrick Sweany in Concert
Nashville rock-and-roller Sweany cut his teeth in Ohio, and you can hear the Rust Belt in his bluesy growl. His latest album, Ancient Noise, was recorded at the legendary Sam Phillips Recording Studio in Memphis. Sweany’s gritty riffs and emotionally honest lyrics bring a contemporary blues spin to the stage. Details: 8 p.m. at Reggie’s; $20—Jessica Mlinaric, Music
Photo courtesy of the Village of Rosemont
December 31: Ice-Skating and Fireworks at Rosemont’s Parkway Bank Park
Skate your way into 2020 all day long on New Year's Eve and again on New Year’s Day. Skating is free, and skate rentals are $8. If you can stay up until midnight, fireworks will ignite the night sky. Details: December 31, 11 a.m.–1 a.m. and January 1, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.—Samantha Lande, Family FunDecember 31: Big Star 3 Floyds Tap Takeover
Now you really don’t have to leave the city proper to imbibe fresh pours of 3 Floyds, thanks to both the Wrigleyville and Wicker Park Big Star locations swapping out their taps for Munster's finest craft brewery. Big Star is also swapping out its menu—tacos and chips will make way for sliders and fries, and instead of the ubiquitous champagne toast, it's a comped shot of Buffalo Trace. Details: 6 p.m.–2 a.m.—Jim Morris, BeerDecember 31: House Party at Game Room
Every night is a party at Game Room inside the Chicago Athletic Association, what with its people-pleasing cocktails, American comfort-food snacks, and group-friendly games like bocce and shuffleboard. But it’s especially true on New Year’s Eve, when the bar brings back its annual House Party, which includes “junk food” towers, large-format Jungle Juice cocktails, mini champagne bottles, and buckets of beer, along with music by DJ Fess Grandiose and cookies for dessert. Details: Reservations starting at 9 p.m.; $120—Matt Kirouac, Food/Beverage
Photo by Morgan Scofes/Courtesy of Santa’s Bodega
Through New Year’s Eve: Santa’s Bodega Pop-Up at La Bodega
It's last call for those holiday pop-up bars everyone seems to love so much. Through New Year’s, La Bodega is outfitted with lively and colorful holiday decor, including a “leg lamp,” stockings, holly, twinkly lights, and candy canes. Plus, look for cocktail specials with names like Christmas Vacation and Bad Santa.
—Matt Kirouac, Food/BeverageJanuary 3: Gallery Talk at Richard H. Driehaus Museum
Learn about the museum's current exhibition on Louis Comfort Tiffany at this discussion, during which the curator will provide insider details on how it all came together. Spread throughout the historic building, the display takes a close look at the designer's ecclesiastical window commissions.
—Claire Voon, ArtThrough January 5: Virtually Every Site One Can Visit: Gaza Strip at Roman Susan
Don't miss this outdoor looping video projection by Rami George, which turns on after sunset. The Philadelphia-based artist brightens the facade of the gallery with scenes documenting life in Gaza in 2016. Shot with a 360-degree camera, the panoramic views are slow and a little wobbly, but they are absorbing.
—Claire Voon, Art