Ice Skating in Millennium Park — The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink (55 N. Michigan Ave.) is open through March 4, 2018. Free admission and amazing views of the Chicago skyline. Free skating lessons (Friday – Sunday one hour before the rink opens). Skate rentals $12.
ZooLights — The Lincoln Park Zoo (2001 N. Clark St.) offers luminous displays, hot beverages, and nightly ice carving demonstrations. Friday December 8, 2017 – Sunday, January 7, 2018
Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier — Navy Pier (600 E. Grand) offers an indoor winter carnival through Sunday, January 7, 2018. Check out the 15-foot “snow tubing” hill, toboggan tunnel, winter mini golf, carnival rides, and the Blackhawks ice-skating rink.
Morton Arboretum Illumination — The Morton Arboretum’s (4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle) Illumination, is an award-winning, one-mile outdoor walking tour on a paved path winding through 50 acres of The Morton Arboretum’s celebrated tree collections. Tuesday December 5 2017 – Monday January 1 2018.
Music Box Christmas Show – The Music Box (3733 N Southport Ave) offers a double feature screening of White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life through December 24, and Christmas carols sung during intermission.
The Museum of Science and Industry’s Christmas Around the World – The Museum of Science and Industry (5700 S Lake Shore Drive) offers a forest of more than 50 trees and displays representing holiday traditions and cultures from around the world. Through Sunday, January 7, 2018
New Years Eve
Fireworks – Navy Pier’s New Years Eve fireworks can be viewed from the pier or any number of locations on the lakefront.
Chicago Resolution Gala – Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Navy Pier (600 E. Grand) at the Resolution Gala in the Grand Ballroom, featuring more than 30 bars, unlimited drinks, a fully-stocked buffet, DJs, and fireworks. Sunday, December 31, 2017. You must be 21 to enter.
Windy City Soul Club — The Logan Square Auditorium (2539 N Kedzie Blvd) hosts the best soul dance party for New Year’s Eve, with soul music, Motown, regional hits, and sing-along classics. Sunday, December 31 2017.
Guided By Voices – Celebrate the New Year with Guided by Voices at the Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western Ave.) Saturday, December 30, and Sunday December 31, 2017
Sun Ra Arkestra – The music of avant-garde bandleader Sun Ra’s intergalactic, big band lives on this New Year’s Eve at Constellation (3111 N. Western Ave.). Now under the direction of saxophonist Marshall Allen. Saturday, December 30, and Sunday December 31, 2017
Noname – Coming off her amazing performance at Lollapalooza this year, Bronzeville’s Fatimah Warner (Noname) closes out 2017 at Lincoln Hall (2424 N. Lincoln Ave.) featuring songs from her debut mixtape, Telefone. Saturday, December 30 and Sunday December 31 2017.
Bob Mould + Helen Money – Bob Mould, the former leader of Hüsker Dü and Sugar, plays a trio of year-end shows at Evanston’s Space (1245 Chicago Ave). Also on the bill is cellist Helen Money
Local H — Local H, the pioneering two-man band with guitarist Scott Lucas and drummer Ryan Harding have been pounding out blistering live shows for more 25-years. Ring in the New Year in style at the Subterranean (2011 W. North Ave). Saturday, December 30 and Sunday December 31 2017
Murder by Death – The Bloomington, Indiana quintet, which has been around since 2001, ushers in the New Year at the Bottom Lounge (1375 W. Lake Street)