Suddenly it’s New Year’s Eve — how did that happen? More importantly, what are you going to do about it?
If it seems like the end of the year snuck up on you, you aren’t alone. And if you haven’t made any plans yet, you aren’t alone there either.
From kid-friendly countdowns to “Noon Year” to grown-ups only bashes, here are a few ideas on how to ring in 2014 Lionel Ritchie-style — all night long. So hire a sitter, call a cab, book a room or designate a driver.
For the kids
“Build it Big” Bubble Bash: The DuPage Children’s Museum, 301 N. Washington St., Naperville, celebrates New Year’s Eve with the 12th annual “Build it Big” Bubble Bash from 9 a.m. to noon. A musical performance by Mr. Singer and the Sharp Cookies, bubble-themed activities (who wouldn’t want to walk on a giant carpet of bubble wrap?!) and a countdown to noon led by Naperville Mayor A. George Pradel. Reservations required; $25 members; $30 nonmembers. Register online at dupagechildrens.org/bubble-bash-2013 or call (630) 637-8000.
NYE at Legoland: The party starts at 10 a.m., when kids can ring in the New Year by helping to build a LEGO wish board, work with in-house LEGO experts, illustrate their wishes for 2014, listen to live music and sip on sparkling grape juice. At Legoland Discovery Center, Streets of Woodfield Mall, 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg. $20. Call (847) 592-9700 or visit legolanddiscoverycenter.com.
NYE Family Party: Haunted Trails offers families the chance to stay up ’til midnight with packages that include a buffet dinner, game tokens, party hats and noise makers, games and prizes, and a countdown toast and balloon drop at both its Joliet and Burbank locations. Packages begin at $19.95. Visit Hauntedtrailsfun.com.
Zoo Year’s Eve: Brookfield Zoo’s free event includes music from a DJ, games, party favors, prizes and crafts in the Hamill Family Play Zoo. From 6 to 8 p.m. at 1st Avenue and 31st Street, Brookfield. Call (708) 688-8400 or visit brookfieldzoo.org.
New Years Improv Shows: The Comedy Shrine, Aurora, will host a “Whose Line Is It Anyway”-style improvisation comedy shows. There will be family shows at 4 and 6 p.m. with party favors and a mock countdown. Family show, $20; 8 p.m. show $35; the 21-and-over 10 p.m. show $40 and includes a champagne toast. At the Comedy Shrine, 4034 Fox Valley Center Dr., Aurora. Call (630) 585-0300 or visit comedyshrine.com.
NYE Countdowns: The Naperville community is invited to gather on Dec. 31 for a free, family-friendly countdown to the New Year at the Millennium Carillon on Rotary Hill at 6 p.m. and again at midnight. Mayor George Pradel and Dolly McCarthy will lead the 6 p.m. countdown and Pradel will host the midnight celebration. Hot chocolate and crafts for children. Open sledding on Rotary Hill, conditions permitting. Call (630) 848-5000 or visit Downtownnaperville.com.
Scavenger Hunt: From noon to 5 p.m., the Downtown Naperville Alliance hosts a hunt in the downtown shops.
Fireworks at Navy Pier: Watch them on TV or live and in person.
NYE at the Palmer House: The Palmer House, 17 E. Monroe St., from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. will be the site of ABC 7’s broadcast with hosts Mark Giangreco and Janet Davies. Six ballrooms of entertainment with DJs. Open bar, food, casino gaming, party favors and a champagne toast. $135-$155. Call (312) 697-9107. http://chicagonye.com.
Own the Night: The Hyatt Regency O’Hare, 9300 Bryn Mawr Ave., invites guests to ring in 2014 at this swanky celebration featuring 7th Heaven and Covergurl. Included is entry to the Dance Club featuring DJ-SPIN; and access to Red Bar, where Tony Ocean will be crooning Sinatra and more. Party favors, a fantasy casino and an open bar. 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m. $89 per person. Overnight packages are also available. Visit http://ownthenightnye2013-PR13.eventbrite.com.
Dinner and dancing: Maggiano’s Oak Brook, 240 Oak Brook Center, offers dinner and dancing. After a family-style meal, dance as singer Nick Pontarelli performs the songs of Frank Sinatra and friends. Cash bar, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. $85. Call (630) 368-0300 or visit maggianos.com.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Ball: JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound will headline the New Year’s Eve Rock ‘N’ Roll Ball. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. at the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare Hotel, 5300 N. River Road, Rosemont. Also playing: Cracker, Rod Tuffcurls and the Benchpress, Modern Day Romeos, My Blue Valentine and DJs. Three ballrooms, party favors and four hours of open bar. Meal and overnight packages available. $85 and up. Call (847) 544-5300 or visit nye.icohare.com.
New Year’s Eve Bootlegger’s Ball: An evening of 1920s themed cocktails, craft beer, a dinner buffet, a champagne toast at midnight, party favors, DJ music and more. 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. At 1824 W. Division St. $75-$90. Call (773) 862-8686 or visit moonshinechicago.com.
All Singles New Year’s Eve: Bash for singles late 30s through early 60s 7:30 p.m.-1 a.m. at Pinstripes, 7 Oakbrook Center Mall, Oak Brook. Buffet, DJ, live blues music, cash bar and midnight champagne toast and balloon drop. $79. Call (773) 929-6534 or visit chicagosinglesnewyearseve.com.
New Year’s Eve “Pops” Concert: Guests can get a sneak preview of the new MAC at the College of DuPage when the New Philharmonic Orchestra performs a “Viennese Pops New Year’s Eve Celebration with an International Twist” at 4 and 9 p.m. At 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. $50-$60. Call (630) 942-2800 or visit http://home.cod.edu/atthemac.
Times Square at The Arcada: 1950s-‘60s rock group The Bronx Wanderers will rock New Year’s Eve at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. $75. Call (630) 962-7000 or visit oshows.com.
April Macie New Year’s Eve show: Macie was a finalist on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and is a regular on “The Howard Stern Show” for two shows at 8 and 10:30 p.m. The latter includes a champagne toast and party favors. $30-$40 plus a two-item food/drink minimum. Zanies, 1548 N. Wells St. Call (312) 337-4027 or visit Chicago.zanies.com.
John Caponera New Year’s Eve Show: The Chicago native performs stand-up comedy for two New Year’s Eve shows at Zanies Rosemont, 5437 Park Place. Shows are at 8 and 10:30 p.m. The latter includes a champagne toast and party favors. $30-$40 plus a two-item food/drink minimum. Call (847) 813-0484 or visit Rosemont.zanies.com.
Chris Franjola New Year’s Eve Show: Stand-up comedian and writer for “Chelsea Lately” and “After Lately” Chris Franjola performs shows at 8 and 10:30 p.m. at Zanies St. Charles. The latter show includes a champagne toast and party favors. $30-$40 plus a two-item food/drink minimum. At the Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles. Call (630) 584-6342 or visit stcharles.zanies.com.
“Hello Dolly” dinner theater: Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace, Oak Brook, will ring in the New Year with a dinner/theater combo of a meal and the classic play, a midnight champagne toast and a DJ in the Critics Corner Lounge. 3, 6 or 8:30 p.m., and concludes at 1 a.m. $55 and up. Call (630) 530-0111 or visit Drurylane.com.
Chicago Scene 14th annual NYE Party: At the Drake Hotel, 140 E. Walton Place, plus a second New Year’s Eve bash at the Hilton Chicago; 720 S. Michigan Ave. Both parties are from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. and include open bars, hors d’oeuvres, midnight champagne toast and balloon drops in the ballrooms. $135-$215. Chicagoscenenewyearsparty.com.
NYE Monster’s Ball: Party like it’s the end of the world — or at least the end of 2013 — at the New Year’s Eve Monster’s Ball at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Ghosts, ghouls and zombies alike will ring in 2014. $70 per person-$120 per couple. Unlimited specialty drinks, appetizers, live music and a haunted house. “Cham-pain” toast to ring in the New Year. Call (773) 327-5252 or visit Stage773.com.
Revolution: Redmoon Theatre’s entertainment includes an indoor circus tent, dessert artisans, the 8-piece brass R&B band The O My’s and a spectacular midnight countdown. From 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Redmoon, 2120 S. Jefferson St. $100. Call (312) 850-8440 ext. 123 or visit Redmoon.org.
Up In Smoke New Year’s Eve Party: Cheech & Chong and War headline at the Chicago Theater. 175 N. State. $59.50-$89.50. Call (312) 462-6300 or visit thechicagotheatre.com.
Piano Men: A Tribute to Elton John and Billy Joel: Craig Meyer (Almost Elton John) and Donnie Kehr join forces to pay tribute to two musical legends. Show are at 6 and 10 p.m.; the latter performance includes champagne toast and party favors. At the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. $55. Call (630) 896-6666 or visit paramountaurora.com.
NYE Party at Martini Room: At 161 E. Chicago St. in Elgin opens the doors at 8 p.m. and keeps the party rocking until 4 a.m. No cover charge and a champagne toast at midnight. Call (847) 741-0349 or visit martiniroomelgin.com.
NYE Celebration: The Villa Verone Ristorante Italiano and the Upper Club, 416 Hamilton St., Geneva, hosts dinner beginning at 4 p.m. Live music by The Family Reunion Band and a champagne toast at midnight at The Upper Club. Call (630) 232-2201 or visit opentable.com.
New Year’s Eve Celebration at Chef Amaury’s: At Chef Amaury’s 33 West, 33 W. New York St., Aurora. The evening includes a five-course meal with champagne toast beginning at 6:30 p.m. with seatings at 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. $80. Call (630) 375-0426.