Chicago is a city known for many things, from its incredible cuisine and its unforgettable skyline to its storied past, numerous sports teams, and much more. With so much to see and do, it can be tough to nail down exactly what you want to do for or during the holidays in Chicago — even for locals. And, with the holiday season in full swing, it’s time to start thinking ahead. New Year’s Eve is coming up fast, which means 2024 will be here before you know it, so it’s a great time to start making plans and figuring out what to do in Chicago for New Year’s Eve. Luckily, there’s plenty of fun to be had in the Windy City when you’re ringing in the new year, from fireworks displays and incredible cruises to parties, shows, and more. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t panic: That’s what we’re here for. We took the liberty of putting together this short list of some of the best things to do in Chicago for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, so read on to find out more!


Bring on Brunch and 2024 with City Cruises in Chicago


If you’re looking for a way to kick off the celebrations early on New Year’s Eve, your best bet is booking a ticket aboard Chicago New Year’s Eve Signature Brunch Cruise on Lake Michigan. You and your guests will embark on the ultimate end-of-year celebration with dining, dancing, and unbeatable skyline views, all while sailing on Lake Michigan. Get ready to enjoy a delicious, chef-prepared buffet and gorgeous views of Chicago’s spectacular architecture while you and your guests marvel at famed city landmarks — such as the Willis Tower, the DuSable Bridge, and the Adler Planetarium — from the climate-controlled interior and open-air roof decks. Of course, the City Cruises team will be keeping the spirits flowing with a fully stocked bar, games, and lively music from the onboard DJ.


New Year’s Eve Celebrations on the Water

You can also enjoy the same incredible experience later in the evening aboard the Chicago New Year’s Eve Signature Dinner Cruise on Lake Michigan, with all the same fantastic amenities and out-of-this-world hospitality. For an exciting event that you do not want to miss, join us for the best seat in town aboard The Odyssey Lake Michigan where you will ring in the new year with ABC7 Chicago anchors Terrell Brown and Cheryl Scott for an unforgettable evening on the water with a Chicago New Year’s Eve Premier Dinner Cruise on Lake Michigan, and welcome 2024 with delicious cocktails, dining, and dancing. This will be a fun-filled party you won’t want to miss!


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For those hoping to take things to the next level, there’s the New Year’s Eve Premier Plus Dinner Cruise on the Chicago River. Aboard this incredible excursion, you and your guests will set sail on the river while you take in exhilarating panoramic views of the dazzling New Year’s Eve fireworks that illuminate the city’s architectural skyline from the top-of-the-line, glass-enclosed vessel. As you cruise down the Chicago River, you’ll enjoy a delicious, three-course menu — along with plenty of specialty craft cocktails — while checking out the city’s famous skyscrapers and landmarks including the DuSable Bridge, Merchandise Mart, Willis Tower, the Old Chicago Post Office, and more. The exceptional hospitality and masterful DJ turn the climate-controlled interior and open-air decks into the perfect party atmosphere.


Start 2024 with an Unforgettable Experience in Chicago


Already have New Year’s Eve plans? No worries — there are a ton of fun things to do on New Year’s Day in Chicago, too. We recommend the New Year’s Day Premier Brunch Cruise on Lake Michigan, where you’ll start the new year on the right foot (or should we say, floating vessel!) with beautiful daytime views of the city’s skyline and famous monuments, delicious food, refreshing drinks, and great company.


Other Fun Things to Do in Chicago for the New Year

Planning on staying on dry land this year? That’s fun, too — especially since the city puts on such great shows and events for the new year. The fireworks at Navy Pier are an incredible display that you’ll want to check out if you’re in town for the holiday, and the entire waterfront district is awash with great restaurants, bars, and activities. The Second City in Chicago will be featuring multiple improv and sketch shows throughout New Year’s Eve as well, so you and your guests can laugh the night away as you countdown the minutes until 2024.


Celebrate New Year’s with City Cruises in Chicago

Book your memorable New Year’s celebration today with City Cruises Chicago. However, no matter how you decide to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Chicago, the whole City Cruises team hopes you have a safe and memorable night. Here’s to starting 2024 with a bang!


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