Family-friendly New Year's Eve events in Chicago area

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's a night of a celebration and a day of fresh beginning - a brand new year! So if you are spending the holiday as a family --- what can you do? We brought in our family lifestyle expert and author of the book, "What The Fun?!", Donna Bozzo to give us a few ideas.


Noon Year's Eve
For little ones who can't quite make it til midnight - or with parents who might want the day off - look for NOON Year's Eve countdowns where kids get all the NYE hoopla - just a few hours earlier.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum will have kid-friendly festivities that include music, crafts, refreshments and a countdown to noon complete with an apple juice toast on New Year's Eve DAY from 10:30 until 12:30.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
December 31, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Cost: $20/member, $25/non-member, $10/ages 2-18
2430 N. Cannon Dr.
Lincoln Park

Or if you prefer to stay in the suburbs - in Skokie The Exploritorium will host its Annual Itty Bitty New Year bash with carnival games, selfies in a photo booth, magicians, crafts, face painting, access to the Exploritorium and a countdown to noon with an amazing balloon drop. Pre-registration is required online or in person.

The Exploritorium
December 29, 10 a.m.-noon
Cost: Children ages 1 & up, $10/residents, $13/non-residents, $2/adults
4701 Oakton St.
847-674-1500 ext. 2700

Look for the annual Bubble Bash at the DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville with fish kites, sand painting, turtle shell weaving, and more. It is THE place for families to ring in the New Year.

DuPage Children's Museum

301 N. Washington St.
December 31, 9 a.m.-noon
Cost: $20/members; $25/non-members


If you have kids old enough to hang with you on New Year's Eve -- but obviously too young to hit those adult parties - a play could be just the ticket! We loved Blue Man Group -- with all its wacky fun --- at the Brier Street Theater!

Families can kick off their New Year's Eve celebrations early with Blue Man Group's kid-friendly performances at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, December 31. Children will be transformed into members of the Blue Man Group band with pre-show face painting. Other festivities include a "midnight" countdown after the show, complete with party hats and noisemakers, and a special performance of "Auld Lang Syne" by the Blue Men. Blue Man Group will continue ringing in 2017 with additional New Year's Eve shows at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., which include festive party hats and a celebratory champagne toast for attendees.

Guests of the 10 p.m. show will also experience a spectacular New Year's Eve countdown party. Complete with noisemakers, a midnight champagne toast, confetti drop and performance of "Auld Lang Syne" by the Blue Men, it is guaranteed to be a celebration unlike any other.

Blue Man Group Ticket Information
Tickets are available from $49-$99. Tickets may be purchased at the Briar Street Theatre by calling the box office at (773) 348-4000; by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787; at all
Ticketmaster ticket centers or via the Internet at For a
full show schedule and ticket pricing, please visit


Or get them outside and moving til Midnight! Wilmot Mountain is the place for family friendly skiing - on NYE they will have live music and fireworks at midnight. They just re-opened after a extensive renovation so a good time to head up and check out their facelift.

Wilmot Mountain
11931 Fox River Rd, Wilmot, WI 53192


New Year's Day Family Fun Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier

Packed with indoor family fun, this delightful family tradition features 170,000 square feet of rides, giant slides, the Chicago Blackhawks indoor ice skating rink and holiday decor that is sure to get you into the holiday spirit.

Kick Off The New Year On A Healthy Footing

No matter how you and your family ring in the New Year - how about a healthy and fun start to 2017? And a great way to kick off those New Year's resolutions!

Check out Chicago's New Year's Day 5K Run & Walk , the city's first official 5K of 2017.

New Year's Day 5K Run/Walk
Date: Sunday, January 1, 2017
Time: 11 a.m. start
Location: Lincoln Park (Stockton Drive & LaSalle) | Chicago

And if you are looking for a New Year's Day Brunch -- Pinstripes is one place to check out. They will have a grand brunch buffet. Enjoy made-to-order waffles, omelets with an endless choice of toppings, carved prime rib, smoked salmon, bagels, fresh shrimp, flatbreads, salad bar and even a 'Kids Corner' with chicken fingers, Mac and cheese and more. Finish off brunch by dipping your favorite sweet treats in our decadent chocolate fountain!

$34 per person for adults (includes one mimosa); $15 for kids 6-12; free for kids 5 and under, plus $3 mimosas and $5 bloody Mary's.

Brunch is available 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please call for reservations.

Pinstripes Chicago
435 E. Illinois Street
Chicago, IL 60610 United States

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