Suburbs ready for all ages to ring in the New Year
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media December 21, 2011 5:22PM
Bret Michaels gets the New Year’s weekend rolling with a concert on Dec. 30 in Sandwich. | AP
Updated: December 22, 2011 6:10PM
From Bret Michaels to the New Philharmonic, there are plenty of choices around the Chicago area for New Year’s Eve celebrations. And it’s not just for grown-ups. Fortunately, if you have kids — or just can’t stay up past 9:30 — there are lots of things to do during the day.
Here’s a sampling of New Year’s Eve events in the greater Chicago suburban area:
Bret Michaels Band: New Year’s comes early to Sandwich, when the rocker roars into town for a pre-New Year’s Eve all-ages bash. The band performs at 8 p.m. Dec. 30 at the Best Western Plus Timber Creek Inn and Suites Convention Center. Tickets, $49 to $199. 3300 Drew Ave., Sandwich. (866) 992-7335; timbercreekconcerts.com.
DEC. 31 (morning)
Bubble Bash: DuPage Children’s Museum hosts its annual family-friendly countdown and celebration from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 31. Guests will find train-themed activities on all three floors. Refreshments and musical performances by The Boogers are included. Reservations are required. Tickets, $20 to $25. 301 N. Washington St., Naperville. (630) 637-8000; Dupagechildresnmuseum.org.
Legoland New Year’s Eve: Ring in the New Year at Legoland Discovery Center’s annual celebration, at 10 a.m. Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Enjoy confetti and balloon-drop countdowns, sparkling grape juice, party music and games, Lego challenges and photo opportunities. $19; $15 kids 3-12, free kids 2 and under. 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg. (847) 592-9700; Legolanddiscoverycenter.com.
Children’s Noon New Year’s Eve Party: Bring in 2012 at the Joliet Park District with games, tumbling, crafts, treats, singing and dancing. The party is for kids ages 4 to 12 and runs from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 31 at the Multi-Purpose Center. $10 to $12. 3000 W. Jefferson St., Joliet (815) 741-7275; Jolietpark.org.
New Year’s Eve Bash: Toddlers through elementary-age kids will enjoy a craft, games, pizza for lunch and ringing in the “new year” at a free family celebration from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 31. Kidz Kingdom, Wheaton Community Center, 1777 S. Blanchard, Wheaton. (630) 871-6713; Wheatonparkdistrict.com.
Tivoli Bowl New Year’s Eve Family Bowl: Groups can reserve lanes for up to two hours at 11 a.m., 1:30 or 4 p.m. Dec. 31 for $74.95. That includes rental shoes, pizza, soft drinks, party favors, music, cosmic lights and more. 938 Warren Ave., Downers Grove. (630) 969-0660; Tivolibowl.com.
DEC. 31 (afternoon)
Noon Year’s Eve Celebration: Pump It Up in Lisle offers a kid-friendly celebration with giveaways and a “toast.” No reservations required; first come, first served. Noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 31. $10 per child; parents free. 4995 Varsity Dr., Lisle. (630) 310-5700; Pumpitupparty.com.
Wonder Works New Year’s Eve Party: Bid adios to 2011 with songs, games and fun for all at Wonder Works. There will be snacks, juice, games and a singing of “Auld Lang Syne” with countries around the world from noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 31. 6445 W. North Ave., Oak Park. (708) 383-4815. Wonder-works.org.
Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve: Celebrate New Year’s Eve as a family from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 31 with a science show, activities, DJ, dancing, sing-along and popcorn at Aurora’s SciTech Hands-On Museum. There will be a mock countdown at 2 p.m. and noisemakers. Admission, $4 to $8. 18 W. Benton St., Aurora. (630) 859-3434; Scitechmuseum.org.
Viennese Pops New Year’s Eve with an International Twist: Champagne corks will pop on Dec. 31 at the College of DuPage, when the New Philharmonic rings in 2012 with two performances featuring guest baritone Mischa Bouvier. The 4 p.m. performance includes a celebratory glass of champagne, and the 9 p.m. show features a pre-show nosh, and concludes with celebratory Champagne and countdown. Tickets, $45 to $65. McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. (630) 942-4000; AtTheMAC.org.
New Year’s Eve Celebration at Agio: Dec. 31 at Agio Italian Bistro, 64 S. Northwest Highway, Palatine, featuring a five-course menu, live entertainment, party favors and champagne toast. Seatings from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and 7 to 8:30 p.m., $55. Seating from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., $75. (847) 991-2150.
Party Through the Decades at Haunted Trails: Guests receive soft drinks and dessert, as well as $5 in game tokens, a four-hour unlimited rides and laser tag pass, party favors, a sparkling juice toast, games and prizes, karaoke entertainment and a countdown celebration and balloon drop. 9 p.m. Dec. 31. Reservations required. Admission, $19.95 plus tax. Haunted Trails Family Fun Park, 1423 N. Broadway, Joliet. (815) 722-7800; Enchanted.com
DEC. 31 (evening)
World’s Largest New Year’s Eve Singles Party: hosted by Thunderbird Dances from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dec. 31 at the Westin Hotel. $20 to $55. 400 Park Blvd., Itasca. (847) 266-2706; thunderbirdsingles.com.
Zoo Year’s Eve: Brookfield Zoo’s New Year’s Eve family bash from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 31 at the Holly Jolly Theater featuring music, games and prizes and a countdown to 2012. See website for admissionprices. 8400 W. 31st St., Brookfield. (708) 688-8400; Czs.org.
Youth New Year’s 2012 Celebration All Nighter: The Joliet Park District’s first overnight New Year’s celebration party designed for kids ages 8 to 12 include music, sports, tumbling, art, movies, games and inflatable bounce houses. There will be a midnight snack and breakfast in the morning. Children are welcome to bring a sleeping bag and pillow. Drop-off begins at 7 p.m. and doors lock promptly at 9 p.m. Breakfast will be served at 6 a.m. Pick-up will be at 7 a.m. Pre-registration by Dec. 20. Tickets, $30 to $35. Multi-Purpose Center, 3000 W. Jefferson St., Joliet. (815) 741-7275; Jolietpark.org.
Tailgaters New Year’s Eve party: Tailgaters Sports Bar is throwing a party from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m. Dec. 31. Included in the $75 price tag is an evening with the band Infinity; as well as a buffet dinner, premium open bar, champagne toast and a balloon drop at midnight. 431 W. Boughton Road, Bolingbrook. (630) 679-1994; Tailgatersgrill.com.
New Year’s Eve celebration: Dec. 31 at the Willowbrook Ballroom, dinner and dance package, featuring a multi-course sit-down dinner served in the Willowbrook Room or the Bordeaux Room, with cash bar at 7 p.m., dinner at 7:30 p.m., Champagne toast at midnight. Dancing from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. to the music of the Teddy Lee Orchestra. $35 to $110. 8900 S. Archer Ave., Willow Springs. (708) 839-1000; Willowbrookballroom.com.
The New Year’s Comedy Show for People Who Can’t Stay Up ‘Til Midnight: The Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin welcomes back its family-friendly New Year’s Eve comedy night. Comedian Rocky LaPorte and the award-winning band Sons of the Never Wrong will perform, along with stand-up comedy from WGN-TV morning news anchors Pat Tomasulo and Ana Belaval. Show time is 7:30 p.m. Dec. 31. Rated PG, appropriate for kids 12 and up. Tickets, $25 to $45. 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. (847) 931-5900; Hemmens.org.
New Year’s Eve Rock ‘n’ Roll Ball: 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dec. 31 at the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare, 5300 N. River Road, Rosemont. The evening includes live music from Old 97s, Hairbangers Ball, Cathy Richardson Band, Imposter Radio and DJ Roland. General admission tickets are $75, which includes an open bar from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., admission into all entertainment areas, and party favors. VIP tickets are $115, which includes private open VIP premium bars. Hotel room packages available. Visit ticketweb.com; nye.icohare.com.
Dobie “Mr. Lucky” Maxwell: Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles brings Dobie “Mr. Lucky” Maxwell to ring in the New Year. He has appeared on “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” as well as at clubs and theaters around the country. Show times are at 8, 10:30 p.m. Tickets, $30 to $40. Party favors and a Champagne toast at midnight are included. Zanies, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles. (630) 584-6342; Zanies.com.
New Year’s at Carlucci: 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dec. 31 at Carlucci Restaurant, featuring cocktails, dinner, dancing, party favors, a champagne toast and entertainment provided by The Niche. Tickets, $75, two drink tickets (followed by a cash bar), and a full buffet. 1801 Butterfield Road, Downers Grove. (630) 512-0990; carluccirestaurant.com.
Hyatt Regency O’Hare New Year’s Eve: The Hyatt invites guests to ring in 2012 with live music from Modern Day Romeos and Jaktripper; as well as DJ-Spin in the dance club. Guests also receive access to Red Bar, where Tony Ocean will perform. A Champagne toast, party favors, a fantasy casino and an open bar available throughout the evening are included. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 31 and the New Year’s celebration will continue until 1 a.m. Tickets, $75 per person; VIP upgrade, $34. Overnight packages also available. Hyatt Regency O’Hare, 9300 Bryn Mawr Ave., Rosemont. (847) 696-1234; Ticketweb.com.
Adelle’s New Year’s Eve: The John Avila Trio performs jazz and blues from 9 p.m. to midnight Dec. 31 at Adelle’s, 535 W Liberty Dr., Wheaton. (630) 784-8015; www.valiantmusic.com/jat.
Samy’s Party Bar New Year’s Eve bash: This Joliet hot spot features drink specials and no cover charge before 9 p.m. 3151 Voyager Lane, Joliet. (815) 439-9930; Samyspartybar.com.
Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery party: The Rock Bottom New Year’s Eve party goes from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. and includes live entertainment, premium open bar, an appetizer buffet until midnight and a champagne toast $80. 28256 Diehl Road, Warrenville. (630) 836-1380; Rockbottom.com.
ABC7 Countdown Chicago to 2012: Party features R&B performer James Hunter, 10 p.m. Dec. 31 at Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse Ave. in Rogers Park, Chicago. $50 to $75 Drinks package available for an additional $50. (866) 468-3401; maynestage.com.
Wintersnap — A New Year’s Eve Celebration: Ring in the New Year at the Holiday Inn and Suites-Elgin with bands such as Barefoot Fred, Thinner Teed, Doctor Ed and Friends, Lake Shore, Flatland Ramble, Sean Shiel and All Points Bulletin. All-inclusive drink packages and group room rates are available. $65 to $129. (847) 488-9000. See the event’s page on Facebook.
Annie Alleman is a
local free-lance writer.