While New Year’s Eve is a holiday commonly associated with drinking and heading out to the bar with friends, you can’t forget about your little ones! Across Illinois, you’ll find family-friendly New Year’s Eve events that will make the whole family happy. Here are the 10 best in the state.
What better way to celebrate the New Year than a skate party? Decatur Civic Center organizes this event each Dec. 31, providing fun activities for the entire family. Aside from skating, the party includes a live DJ, games, and entertainment until 12:30 a.m. Admission is just $8.50 plus $1.50 extra for skate rentals. Free party favors are included.
Known for the biggest and best firework shows in the city, Navy Pier puts on a fantastic midnight New Year’s Eve fireworks display each year. Navy Pier is open until 12:15 a.m. on New Year’s Eve and many of the restaurants are open much later. Dining cruises with entertainment are also available at Navy Pier, but are mainly for the adults.
Organized by the local arts council, First Night Springfield is a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration starting in the afternoon and offering free hands-on crafts, face-painting, harmonica lessons, stage shows, and other kid activities. They also feature over 30 live performances, firework displays, and plenty more entertainment for the entire family throughout the day and night. This event is a big deal in Springfield.
Eagle Ridge offers family-friendly parties each New Year’s Eve until around 12:30 a.m. The parties include a dinner and fun activities such as prize giveaways, live DJ and dancing, countdown, and a cash bar. Each year they have a different theme to make the parties unique. Eagle Ridge also offers an adult NYE party in another room.
For a unique and colorful show this New Year’s Eve, look no further than Briar Street Theatre. Blue Man Group will be putting on a celebration show full of comedy, music, and color. It’s perfect for families seeking an unforgettable New Year’s Eve experience in the city.
Urbana Free Library is celebrating the Year of the Rooster with the Chinese Heritage Association. The event will be held on Jan 21 and includes bilingual stories, crafts, and songs. The Chinese New Year’s Celebration is an ideal way for the entire family to learn about the Chinese culture.
Bubble Bash is a family tradition each New Year’s Eve and so much fun for the entire family. There are so many interesting and creative activities for children including fort-building, rafts, African drums, and a confetti countdown celebration. Bubble Bash is also a fundraiser for the museum.
Ideal for smaller children between the ages of one and eight, Noon Year’s Eve is a special celebration at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. They feature kid music, kid-friendly games, light lunch, and a “Noon Year” countdown with an apple juice toast.
For families with older children, Crowne Plaza’s Ultimate New Year’s Eve Party is a great option. They offer four ballrooms featuring four different bands, so you don’t have to travel from venue to venue for entertainment. Everything is provided right in the hotel for your convenience. The New Year’s Eve package also includes midnight snacks, beer, drink tickets, a luxury guest room, and a breakfast buffet in the morning. The hotel’s normal amenities including the indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna, slot machines, etc. are also included.
Each year Naperville residents welcome in the new year with family-friendly New Year’s Eve fun. Downtown Naperville celebrates the final day of shopping and dining with a celebration at Carillon at Rotary Hill. There’s free hot chocolate at the Riverwalk Eatery, balloon artists, and a midnight countdown.