Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021: How to Make the Most of NYE

The new year is right around the corner, bringing with it the hope of more face-to-face interactions and in-person engagements. However, in true 2020 fashion, New Year’s Eve is getting a little shake-up this year, and won’t involve the same big crowds and parties of years past. Fortunately, there are plenty of fun ways to safely ring in the New Year with the ones you love.

Here’s how to celebrate the start of 2021:

Order In

Support your favorite local restaurant by ordering in a special New Year’s Eve dinner. We’ve previously covered some of our favorite restaurants with family-style meals, and many of them are offering special dinners to ring in 2021. etta has put together a mouthwatering meal with charcuterie, cocktails, and dessert, as well as party favors and a link to a curated playlist. Meanwhile, Maple & Ash’s Ultimate Holiday Feast features wood-fired fillet mignon, black truffle potato purée, and pecan pie. All we can say is yum. Check out this list from Choose Chicago for additional order-in options.

Photo by etta

Support a Good Cause

The Drake Hotel’s annual New Year’s Eve party has also embraced going virtual. The streamed event will feature sets from DJs, as well as dinner packages from local Chicago restaurants such as Tavern on Rush, Le Colonial, and Avli. Proceeds from the event will support charities focused on homelessness, suicide prevention, and childhood cancer. Register for the virtual event here.

Run Into 2021

Although the annual New Year’s Eve 5K is no longer taking place in person this year, you can still participate in the days leading up to the new year. The race has gone virtual, and takes place between December 26 and January 3 with proceeds going to provide PPE to healthcare workers. You can run the 5K on your own schedule and share results on social media. You’ll also receive a swag bag for entering! Register here.

Photo via NewYearsEve5K.com

Get Competitive

Even though you’re apart, you can still gather with loved ones for a virtual game night from Game Night In. The company provides an official host to guide you through competitive challenges and mini-games, explain the rules, and keep the competition going. New Year’s Eve spots are filling up fast, so be sure to reserve yours soon!  If a full-out game night is not in your plans, you can simply tap into your competitive side with classic favorites on Zoom such as Guess Who?, Bingo, and Scattergories.

Laugh It Off

Zanies is bringing comedy to your home with their live New Year Zeve event, which will feature some of Chicago’s best comedians. The show will be streamed on YouTube right from the Zanies Comedy Club stage. You can even purchase VIP tickets that gain you access to interact with the comedians in real-time. Secure your tickets to the show on Zanies’ website.

Bid on Art

Evanston’s newest nonprofit arts organization, Evanston Made, is hosting a silent auction and benefit on New Year’s Eve, featuring art donated by local artists. The virtual event will be held via Zoom, and will include a year-end toast and signature cocktail and mocktail from Kombucha Brava. Proceeds from the silent auction will help bring emerging and established artists to Evanston and support programming through Evanston Made.

Watch the Ball Drop

Although Times Square won’t see the same crowds this year, the ball will still drop! Televised events are scheduled for the evening and will feature live performances, speakers, and a look back on the most unusual year. So, don your best outfit (pajamas are totally acceptable), mix your favorite cocktail, and join the country as we enter a brand-new year together!

Stay safe, and have a Happy New Year!

Note: Please check all websites for possible COVID-19 standards or closures.

Written by Arianna Frederick
Arianna Frederick is the communications coordinator for @properties.