Some kid- and parent-friendly New Year’s Eve ideas

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CHICAGO – There are plenty of New Year’s Eve parties around town starting at much more kid and parent friendly times.

One example: You can launch confetti, make festive hats and get the kids all dolled up at New Year’s Eve parties at the Kohl Children’s Museum in Glenview. The parties start at 8:30 a.m. or 12:30 in the afternoon. Tickets are $22 for members, $32 for non-members.

The Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier is offering a similar party beginning at 11:15 a.m.

You may also explore all the Legoland Discovery Center has to offer in its Bricktacular Balloon Drops on New Year’s Eve, build something fun and ring in the new year in three different parties starting at noon, 3 and 6 p.m. Tickets start at $13.50.

A little later in the evening, but still doable, is the Zoo Year 2016 bash at the Brookfield Zoo. Enjoy music, games, party favors and a fun-filled countdown beginning at 8 p.m. inside the Hamill Family Play Zoo – the event is free with paid zoo admission.

You may have already seen the flurry of activity downtown as crews set up for the city’s first ever Chi-Town Rising. Several street closures are already in effect along portions of Water Street as well as Wacker and Columbus drives – some remaining in effect until Jan. 2.

A family friendly event from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. will be held at the northwest intersection of Millennium Park on Michigan and Randolph. Families can check out displays of New Year’s traditions from around the world ahead of a kids countdown at 6 p.m.

The party continues after for adults with live bands. A fireworks show and the lifting of a giant 70-foot star up the side of the Hyatt Regency Chicago on Wacker.

Party planners have taken some flack from folks however. What was once billed as a free event is now selling tickets starting at $119.

If a quiet restaurant is more your speed.. Chicago Tribune restaurant critic Phil Vettel may be able to help out: His annual save the table list was released today. Each year 150 restaurants across Chicagoland reserve a table or two in Phil’s name at different times. The first person to call or email and request the Phil Vettel table gets the last minute reservation.

More information: 

Kohl Children’s Museum

New Year’s Eve Bash

Thursday, Dec 31, 2015

8:30 – 11 a.m. or 12:30 – 3 p.m.

2100 Patriot Blvd. Glenview


Chicago Children’s Museum

Noon Year’s Eve


Navy Pier

700 E. Grand Ave.



Brookfield Zoo

Zoo Year 2016

Countdown at 8pm

8400 W 31st Street, Brookfield


Legoland Discovery Center

Bricktacular Balloon Drops

12p, 3p, 6p

601 N. Martingale Rd.



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