Last-minute New Year’s Eve guide
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media December 20, 2012 2:38PM
Maestro Kirk Muspratt and the New Philharmonic will ring in the new year during Viennese Pops New Year's Eve with an International Twist at 4 and 9 p.m. at the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage.
Updated: January 14, 2013 4:17PM
Parents don’t have to feel bad about going out for a New Year’s Eve night on the town, as the DuPage Children’s Museum makes sure that kids are in on the action.
Children can count down to noon this New Year’s Eve at the 11th annual Bubble Bash celebration hosted by DuPage Children’s Museum from 10:30 a.m. to noon Dec. 31. Because of construction at the museum, there’s a new location for the event this year: the Wentz Concert Hall on the campus of North Central College.
Activities include a musical performance by Jeanie B. and the Jelly Beans, a Bubble Wonders show by Bubble Man Geoff Akins and a countdown to noon led by Naperville mayor George Pradel, said Brianna Bromberek, marketing manager with the museum.
“We want to give the kids an opportunity to have a little bit of everything,” she said.
Jeannie B. and the Jelly Beans will play music for half an hour, then the Bubble Man will come out and perform his Bubble Wonders show, and Jeannie B. and her Jelly Beans will finish off the event.
“Jeannie B. is lots of fun. She delivers educational messages, and it’s a great sing-along (show),” she said. “Geoff Akins has been around for over 25 years.”
One of the most popular neighborhoods at the children’s museum is the Waterways Neighborhood, where the bubble area is the most popular.
“By bringing in Geoff Akins, the Bubble Man, it’s a really good tie-in to the New Year’s celebration,” she said.
It’s a guilt-free way for parents to enjoy the New Year’s with their children, she said.
“I really like that fact that it’s a countdown to noon, because … this gives parents the opportunity to participate in those activities with their kids earlier on in the day,” she said.
Parents can also ring in the New Year on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 at Legoland Discovery Center in Schaumburg with a kid-friendly countdown. Guests will enjoy multiple balloon drop countdowns, sparkling grape juice and party music.
Other activities include New Year’s themed photo ops, creative build challenges and the Kingdom Quest laser ride. Doors open at 8 a.m. and there will be balloon drop countdowns at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.
Legoland Discovery Center is located at the Streets of Woodfield, 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg. Visit LEGOLANDDiscoveryCenter.com.
If you are looking for theater for kids by kids, Kidz Kabaret will sponsor a New Years Eve event with the Marriott of Naperville. The evening features a dinner theater production of “Footloose” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” The package for $240 (plus tax) includes: a guest room for four, prime rib dinner buffet for four (including a children’s menu), four tickets to both shows, live music from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. and countdown to midnight activities. Call (630) 505-4900.
So there are options for kids to have a good time. What about the grownups? Here are a few options for adult fun on New Year’s Eve. Remember to call a cab, book a room or bribe a dezzy — let’s make it to 2013 safely.
— Dance the night away at a New Year’s Eve Runway Ball at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 31 and the New Year’s celebration will continue until 1 a.m.
The event features live music from party bands Dot Dot Dot and 7th Heaven; entry to the dance club featuring DJ-SPIN; and access to Red Bar, where Tony Ocean will perform Frank Sinatra covers. A champagne toast, open bar and party favors are included. Guests can also try their luck at a fantasy casino; complete with fantasy poker, black jack and craps. No need to bring cash — you’re playing with fantasy money.
Tickets to the party cost $79. To purchase tickets, call (800) 233-1234 or visit http://nyerunwayball-PR.eventbrite.com. Overnight packages at Hyatt Regency O’Hare are also available. Hyatt Regency O’Hare is located at 9300 Bryn Mawr Ave., Rosemont.
— The Department Restaurant and Liquor Lounge, 205 N. Chicago St. in Joliet, is hosting a New Year’s Eve Bash from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. The party includes a DJ, champagne toast and party favors. No cover charge; call (815) 714-2280 or visit Thedepartmentjoliet.com.
— The New Philharmonic presents “Viennese Pops New Year’s Eve with a French Twist” at 7 p.m. Dec. 31. The concert will be at the Lund Auditorium at Dominican University Performing Arts Center, 7900 W. Division St. in River Forest.
Music Director and conductor Kirk Muspratt leads the New Philharmonic in traditional Viennese musical selections from Strauss and Stolz, as well as ornate French orchestral pieces and arias. (Plus a few surprises.) Award-winning soprano Kiri Deonarine of the Lyric Opera of Chicago-Ryan Opera Center will join the New Philharmonic Orchestra to ring in the New Year.
Performance tickets cost $55-$65. Call (630) 942-4000 or visit AtTheMAC.org. There will be dinner packages and bus transportation options.
— Bring in the New Year at The Improv Comedy Club with comedian Tammy Pescatelli from WE TV’s “A Stand Up Mother” and Comedy Central. She performs two New Year’s Eve shows, at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 31 (with or without a dinner option) and at 10 p.m. The later show includes champagne at midnight, party favors, a balloon drop and a countdown to midnight with Pescatelli.
Call (847) 240-2001 or visit Improv.com. The Improv is located at 5 Woodfield Road, Schaumburg inside the Street of Woodfield.
— Zanies Comedy Clubs, with locations in Rosemont’s MB Financial Park and at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, offers two New Year’s Eve performers. Fortune Feimster, a regular panelist, writer and guest host on “Chelsea Lately,” will perform at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Dec. 31 at the Rosemont location.
Michael Palascak, who has performed on “The Tonight Show” and “The Late Show with David Letterman,” also performs at 8 and 10:30 p.m. in St. Charles.
The later shows include party favors and a champagne toast at midnight.
— The Incognitos will perform a New Year’s Eve show at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 31 at Carlucci Restaurant in Downers Grove. Carlucci will offer a full buffet complete with appetizers, salads, pastas, entrees, carved prime rib and dessert for $75 per person. Guests will also be provided with two drink tickets (followed by open bar), and enjoy dancing, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. Call (630) 512-0990 or visit Carluccirestaurant.com.
— The Arcada in St. Charles presents Piano Man, a musical tribute to Elton John and Billy Joel; along with guests ABBA Salute, at 8 p.m. Dec. 31. There will be an open bar, appetizer bar, dessert bar and midnight celebration for $45. Call (630) 962-7000 or visit Oshows.com.
— Chicago’s Motown favorites The Moods ring in the New Year at the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin. The party goes from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Visit Grandvictoriacasino.com.
— Favorite party band the Neverly Brothers host a New Year’s Eve party at Heroes West Sports Grill in Joliet. Tickets cost $75 and include dinner, appetizer and dessert, party favorites, a midnight champagne toast, raffles, hats and shirts and an open bar. Call (815)725-1234 or visit Heroeswest.net. Hotel packages are available nearby.
— Under the Streetlamp, the former Jersey Boys’ cast members turned music group, celebrates the end of 2012 at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora. Show times are at 6 and 10 p.m. Dec. 31. Tickets cost $55 and $65. The 10 p.m. show includes a champagne toast and traditional midnight countdown. Call (630) 896-6666 or visit ParamountAurora.com.