If you’re celebrating the New Year with your children in the Windy City, here’s a quick guide to parties and venues that will be safe for your whole family.
December 30, 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Start celebrations a day early at Scoozi! (410 W. Huron St., Chicago) On December 30, the Italian restaurant will offer pizza, ice cream sundaes and toasts with sparkling grape juice for the little ones. Entrées typically range from $9.95 – $15.95. Make reservations online or call (312) 943-5900.
1:00pm – 3:00pm
On New Year’s Eve start out at the Lincoln Park Cultural Center (2045 N. Lincoln Park West, Chicago), where for $5 you and your children can enjoy pizza, pop, party favors and be entertained by a clown band. From 1-3pm, it’s a great way to begin your family festivities.
1:30pm or 7:00pm
If you’re looking for a little more culture in your revelries, take the family to the Noble Horse Theater (1410 N. Orleans St., Chicago), which is offering two shows of The Nutcracker – on horseback. Shows start at 1:30 and 7pm. Matinee tickets are $18 for adults and $14 for children 12 and under. Evening tickets are $28 for adults, or $42 with dinner, and $18 for children, or $32 with dinner. Call (312) 266-7878 for reservations.
3:00pm – 6:00pm
For $30, La Strada Ristorante at the Hoffman Estates (2380 Lakewood Blvd., Hoffman Estates) will offer a disco party for families complete with balloons, noise makers, and party favors. Family style dinner will include pizza, pasta and fries, unlimited juices, and ice cream bars. A New Year’s Eve “countdown” will begin at 5:30pm. Call (847) 765-1700 for reservations.
3:00pm – 6:00pm
For $35 an adult and $10 a kid, enjoy a prix-fixe menu with a chocolate bar and fountain at Viand (155 E. Ontario St., Chicago). Make reservations online or call Tel: (312) 255-8505
5:00pm – 1:00am
Head over to Zest (525 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago) for an extravagant family dinner of lobster crème brulee, smoked quail, grilled sea bass and mini pastries. Dinner will be served before 10pm; live jazz tunes begin after 9pm. Prices are $75 per adult and $20 per child. Call (312) 321-8844 for reservations.
Finish an early night at the Brookfield Zoo (3300 Golf Road, Brookfield). The zoo opens at 10am, and on New Year’s Eve they will host a variety of special activities for children. Live entertainment, crafts, and other activities will conclude with a countdown to 8pm. Admission to the zoo is $10 for adults and $6 for children age 3-11. Grandma and Grandpa (over 65) can get in for $8. Parking is $8 for non members.
11:40pm – 12:00am
If you don’t mind your kids staying up late, check out the light show and fireworks at Buckingham Fountain, beginning at 11:40pm. Be warned, however. This is not a family-centered event, and although it doesn’t advertise alcohol and other debauchery, those elements will undoubtedly be present.
All this information and more can be found online at Center Stage. Happy New Year’s!