From family-friendly to unique, there are so many wonderful ways to ring in 2016 in Illinois. New Year’s Eve is a chance to take stock of the previous year with an eye towards all the possibilities ahead. Whether you prefer a quiet, intimate atmosphere or a blowout – you’ll find a special celebration in the Land of Lincoln.
First Night Springfield
An Illinois tradition, this year’s First Night Springfield is the city’s 29th Annual New Year’s Eve Celebration of the Arts, featuring more than 30 performances taking place on eight stages in downtown Springfield.
The array of musical acts pauses at 8 p.m. for a free fireworks gala. A staple of First Night, the fireworks display bursts over the Illinois State Capitol, wondrously illuminating downtown.
Zoo Year’s Eve at Brookfield Zoo
Rock out where the wild things are this New Year’s at Brookfield Zoo. A live DJ, games, party favors, prizes and an early countdown at 8:00 p.m. headline this family friendly affair.
Before the countdown, head over to the Hamill Family Play Zoo to make your own noisemaker. This event is free with a paid zoo admission, so don’t forget to check out some of the big cats, bears, dolphins, penguins, primates and more!
New Year’s at Pere Marquette Lodge
This year, jettison yourself to a rustic setting in the quiet riverfront town of Grafton at Pere Marquette Lodge. The Lodge’s New Year’s package has everything you and that special someone need to welcome 2016!
Show off your cocktail attire and indulge in a lavish dinner before dancing the night away with a band, champagne toast and plenty of party favors. At the end of the night, you’re just an elevator ride from the comfort of your cozy accommodations.
For the first time, Chicago’s riverfront will play host to a special New Year’s celebration complete with musical headliners, a grand fireworks display and culminate with a countdown to ring in 2016.
Chi-Town Rising’s central location means the party continues all weekend long with plenty of activities throughout the city!
Whatever your plans, have a safe and happy New Year in Illinois.
-Illinois Office of Tourism