Best Of Chicago

Best Places To See New Year’s Eve Fireworks In Chicago

December 16, 2013 6:00 AM

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(Photo Credit: Thinkstock)

(Photo Credit: Thinkstock)

Tear off the 2013 calendar pages. Blow the horn. Shake the noise-maker. But when you need visuals to celebrate 2014’s appearance, think fireworks. In Chicago, those sky-lighting explosions emanate from Navy Pier. Here’s how to join the pier crowds or go somewhere special nearby to sip champagne, see Chicago’s skyline and watch the fireworks.

(Photo Credit: Thinkstock)

(Photo Credit: Thinkstock)

Navy Pier
600 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 595-7437
www.navypier.com

Shooting stars and an awesome display light up the sky over Navy Pier at midnight, New Year’s Eve. However, there are three fine ways to celebrate and watch the night show. One is to ooh and aah from near the Ferris Wheel after walking the Pier and stopping by vendors for snacks or dinner. A second way is to join about 3,000 other celebrants in a black-tie affair at the upstairs ballroom’s Resolution Gala, then watch the fireworks from an upstairs terrace. Click here for price and information. Third is to party in the Crystal Gardens on the mezzanine and watch the fireworks from a different terrace. Click Crystal Garden for its New Year’s Eve party information.

Anita Dee I Yacht
600 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(855) 298-4395
www.facebook.com/oncruises

Board the Anita Dee I on the north side of Navy Pier for a New Year’s Eve party cruise. Geared to young adults who enjoy great dance beats, the party begins with a 9:30 p.m. boarding time. The yacht departs at 10 p.m. with an open bar that continues to serve until a 1 a.m. return.

Odyssey
700 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(866) 305-2469
www.odysseycruises.com

The Odyssey is the largest and most luxurious of the boats that dock along the south side of Navy Pier. Its New Year’s Eve package includes a sit-down dinner, drinks, champagne toast, dance music, Chicago skyline views and fireworks. After boarding at 8:30 p.m., the ship cruises along Lake Michigan from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and then continues with a dockside party after the fireworks until 1 a.m.

Related: Best Party Rides In Chicago

Shoreline Sightseeing Cruises
700 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 222-9328
www.shorelinesightseeing.com

For its New Year’s Eve excursion, Shoreline Cruises will board at Navy Pier instead of its usual Chicago River at Michigan Avenue spot. The cruise is an inexpensive way to see the Chicago skyline and the fireworks out on the lake. A short cruise of 45 minutes that departs at 11:30 p.m., the trip is for all ages.

Signature Room And Lounge
John Hancock Center
875 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 787-9596
www.signatureroom.com

Floor-to-ceiling windows at the Signature Room on the 95th floor of the Hancock Center offer a perfect view of Navy Pier’s fireworks. Go for the restaurant’s second seating which is a formal, six-course dinner. Then stay to watch the fireworks that are just south at the Pier. For this sophisticated party, reservations and prepaid dinner packages are required. The other choice is to go to the Signature Lounge above the restaurant on the 96th floor. It has a $25 cover charge that includes a drink, but there is no re-entry. The Lounge gets jammed so guests must get there before 10 p.m.

Related: Best Cocktail Bars In Chicago

Jodie Jacobs is a veteran journalist who loves writing about Chicago, art, theater, museums and travel. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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