Best time to go to Chicago

New Year's Eve in Chicago 2021-2022

Color blasts illuminate the iconic Chicago skyline


Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen
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Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates. (View the "External Resources" section below)

Festive Chicago will surely leave plenty of fantastic holiday memories. On New Year’s Eve, there's a lot going on in the city. Hop on one of the luxurious dinner cruises to watch the midnight fireworks or opt for a hotel gala with champagne and live music.

Chicago has some of the best nightclubs in the country, and most of them host New Year's Eve parties. There is always an option to simply welcome New Year on the streets, where cheerful crowds gather to watch dazzling pyrotechnic shows, greet each other, and share joy.

The annual Chicago’s New Year’s Eve Blast, a free fireworks display over the Chicago River, happens at midnight on December 31. A mile-long trail of dazzling blasts is set off from barges and bridges in downtown Chicago. Hotels and restaurants overlooking the Chicago River are among the best places to enjoy the fireworks. Or simply take a stroll on Chicago Riverwalk or hop on a river cruise boat. New Year's Eve cruises usually offer DJ music and serve champagne. Some cruises last through the whole night with an open bar and dancing.

New Year's Eve, the Annual Resolution Gala, and Winterfest at Navy Pier are among the most popular annual events in Chicago. Unfortunately, due to COVID 19 concerns, Navy Pier remains closed during the winter season of 2020-2021, and there will be no midnight fireworks.

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