Whether you call Chicago your home or not, the Windy City is a worthy destination for a New Year’s Eve celebration. From hotels with historic and amazing parties to a new — and promising — celebration in the heart of the city, there are so many options to pick from. Whichever you choose — and this list is a great start to narrow down your options — be sure to book your ticket and hotel in advance. All hotels offer a good deal.
East-West Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
Move over New York, Chicago refuses to be second city anymore. Chi-Town Rising is a brand new New Year’s celebration in Chicago, and it’s thought to be the reason that the number of tourists coming to Chicago on New Year’s Eve is on the rise. Not only are certain Loop hotels offering deals that night, but the ‘rising’ is being marketed as a ‘mega-event.’ The celebration will take place along the Riverwalk and is being organized by Arena Entertainment. At the time of this article, some details haven’t yet been released — such as the entertainment headliner — but Arena is promising a spectacular countdown, complete with an illuminated star on the side of Chicago’s Hyatt Regency, as well as a phenomenal fireworks display.
Westin River North
320 N. Dearborn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60654
Pamper yourself at the premiere downtown hotel, and pick the ballroom that has the entertainment you’re looking for on New Year’s Eve. There will be everything from live music to celebrity DJs — sponsorship of the event includes B96 — and in between all the dancing, enjoy a 4.5-hour cocktail reception, including martinis, imports, wine and even champagne. And that’s just the basic ticket. The VIP ticket offers even more drinks as well as premium amenities. Tickets start at $125.
Hilton Chicago Hotel
720 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605
Ring in the New Year with Yelp and Kiss FM this year at the Hilton downtown. With more than 3,500 people in attendance, this is one hopping party, spread across multiple ballrooms. Admission types vary, but no matter what, guests will get their share of buffet food along with top shelf cocktails served by plenty of bartenders — meaning you won’t have to wait long for your drinks. While the music will be provided by a variety of DJs, as well as Hifi Superstars in the VIP room, the host for the evening is 103.5 Kiss FM’s Brady.
140 E. Walton Place
Chicago, IL 60611
Your drink will never be empty at The Drake’s New Year’s Eve party, named time and time again as one of the best parties on the last day of the year. With 40 bars, as well as five ballrooms — all with different entertainment — the party is sure to last all night long, well after the ball drops. Take your pick of tickets — some include dinner, others don’t — but be sure to nab your ticket, as well as your hotel room if you want, because this is one party that sells out every year. All tickets also include a ticket into the pre-party on the 30th at the Godfrey hotel.
JW Marriott Chicago
151 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60603
New luxury hotel, new party. This event at the Loop hotel starts at 9 p.m. and entertainment includes some awesome local DJs as well as a cover band in a variety of ballrooms, including the historic VIP Burnham ballroom. That’s not all though. When you get an “On Top of It All” ticket to the event, you’ll also get access both to the pre-party (at Sound Bar on the 30th) as well as the post-party at the Hard Rock Cafe, which goes all the way until 4 a.m.
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not blogging about food, she’s working part-time at a culinary vacation company, The International Kitchen, based in the Windy City, as well as repping Younique cosmetics and skincare products. Some of her writing can be found at Examiner.com.