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Avoid the Bars: 9 NYE Events in Chicago Suburbs

From family-friendly to comedic performances to hitting the slopes, these nine New Year's Eve events will get you off the couch and keep you out of the crowded bars this New Year's Eve.

New Year’s Eve is quickly approaching.

For those who would like to get out of the house — but who cringe at the idea of fighting crowds at an area bar— this list is for you.

The Chicago suburbs has plenty of excellent options for entertainment, outdoor activities and family-friendly events that will make your New Year’s Eve a memorable one. Here are some excellent options for doing just that: 

Metropolis’ New Year’s Eve Second City Show

The Metropolis, 111 W. Campbell St. in Arlington Heights, will host a 10 p.m. New Year's Eve presentation of its Holidays in the Heights show.

“Don’t miss this hilarious send up of all the holiday activities we actually love, and the ones we love to hate featuring a phenomenal cast from Second City and their trademark comedy and improv,” according to the Metropolis website.

The show is rated “R.” Tickets are $50 — $60 per person for a stage table — and include a complimentary glass of champagne, party favors and countdown to midnight with a balloon drop.

You can book your tickets online or call 847-577-5982, extension 228, to book your group and save up to 20 percent. The box office phone number is 847-577-2121.

Paramount Theatre NYE Tribute to Elton John, Billy Joel

Two of the best tribute artists — Craig Meyer (who is referred to as "almost Elton John") and Donnie Kehr — will perform in the Piano Men: A Tribute to Elton John & Billy Joel during two New Year’s Eve shows at 6 and 10 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre,  23 East Galena Ave. in Aurora.

“You’ll spend New Year’s Eve singing your heart out and dancing in the aisles as these two amazing performers take the stage together with their pianos to play hit after endless hit,” according to the Paramount Theatre’s website.

Tickets are $55. The 10 p.m. show includes champagne and party favors.

“Don’t wait to make last minute plans.  This show will sell out!” according to the website. Tickets or group packages can be ordered online. The box office number is 847-896-6666.

Zoo Year’s Eve at Brookfield Zoo

This family friendly event at the Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Road in Brookfield, is a great option for ringing in the New Year with your kids. There will be events going on starting at 5 and 8 p.m.

In the Holly Jolly Theater there will be live DJ music, games, party favors, prizes and an early countdown at 8 p.m. Those Funny Little People will perform a special New Years Eve show at 5 p.m. inside the Holly Jolly Theater.

At the Hamill Family Play Zoo, children will be able to make their own noisemakers and enjoy an early kid-friendly countdown at 8 p.m. This area is perfect for families with children ages 6 and under.

This event is free with paid zoo admission. General admission is $15 for adults and $10.50 for children ages 3 to 11 years old and for seniors over 65 years old. Get more information on the zoo's website. 

Kohl’s Children Museum Hosts NYE Events

The Kohl’s Children Museum, 2100 Patriot Boulevard in Glenview, will host two New Year’s Eve events geared toward children of different ages. The museum will transform an entire wing into a giant Times Square style party with a confetti drop for the events. 

The first event will go from 8:30 to 11 a.m. and will be for preschool-aged children and the second will be from 12:30 to 3 p.m. and will be for early elementary-aged children. 

There will be a children's concert with Jeanie B (morning session only), DJ and dance party (afternoon session only), free kids' party hairstyling and coloring from KidSnips, party hat making and horns, parachute play and Imagination Playground block play. 

Tickets are $24 per person (adults and children over 12 months) while Kohl Children's Museum members can purchase advance tickets for the discounted price of $14. Tickets can be purchased online.

'Build it Big' Bubble Bash

From 9 a.m. to noon, three floors of “bubble fun will provide activity and discovery around every turn" at the DuPage Children's Museum, 301 North Washington St. in Naperville. 

The children’s museum will have a children’s musical favorite, Mr. Singer and the Sharp Cookies, on hand for entertainment. There will be red carpet of bubble wrap for children and adults and children will be able to work together to create a giant, collaborative water-balloon painting and a bubble-filed ocean collage. 

Children will also be able to explore science concepts by catching gas-filled “boo bubbles," constructing big bridges and blowing bubble chains of gigantic proportions. There will be a New Year’s Eve countdown to noon at the end of the festivities. 

The cost is $25 for members and $30 for non-members. Visit the DuPage Children’s Museum website for more information or to purchase tickets.

Wilmot Mountain Hosts NYE Ski

The chair lifts will be running until 1 a.m. at Wilmot Mountain on New Year’s Eve with a fireworks display starting at 9 p.m. 

Live music will start at 8 p.m. from the band Loose Shoes and there will be food and drink specials. The Ski School and Ski Patrol will be putting on a Torch Light Parade and there will be a Light Parade for kids, which they can participate in, outside the Main Lodge. Both parades will take place when the fireworks start at 9 p.m. 

For more information, visit the Wilmot Mountain website.

Free Skating in the Park in Rosemont

Rosemont will offer extended ice skating hours on New Year’s Eve from 11 a.m. on Dec. 31 to 1 a.m. on Jan. 1 at MB Financial Park, 5501 Park Place in Rosemont. 

Skating is free while skates can be rented for $8. There is music, dining and entertainment options available and free validated parking. There will be fireworks at midnight.

Get more information on the village of Rosemont’s website.

An Itsy Bitsy New Year’s Eve Countdown

From 10 a.m. to noon, the Sport Center, 1141 Irving Park Road in Schaumburg, will be filled with an inflatable to climb, riding toys, areas to play a variety of different activities and a balloon drop. 

All activities will be unstructured and parents must supervise their children. The event is for ages 1 to 6 years old and is $8 for residents and $12 for non residents. Call 847-891-1266 for more information.

Grammy Award-Winning Jazz Vocalist Performs in Skokie

Grammy award-winning jazz vocalist Kurt Elling will perform New Year's Eve at the North Shore Center for Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Boulevard in Skokie. 

The concert will start at 8 p.m. and tickets are $75. V.I.P benefit tickets are available and include a 6:30 p.m. reception. 

Elling has been named “Male Singer of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association eight times and every one of his ten albums has been nominated for a Grammy. For more information or to buy tickets, visit the North Shore Center website.

What else is happening on NYE in the Chicago suburbs? Let your neighbors know in the comments section. 


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